Traffic Management Techniques for Cyclists
S Phull, Department for Transport; J Bedingfeld, E Gould, P Knight, TRL ltd, UK
The project was designed to provide evidence, and make assessments, on traffic management techniques used for cyclists with a view to informing possible trials of new techniques and to help inform future policy and regulatory changes.
The latest National Travel Survey (DfT, 2010) illustrates a significant proportion of journeys made by car which are under one mile in length; 20percent in 2009. Whilst distance travelled by bicycle is increasing, cycling still only accounted for 2percent of trips of less than five miles in the same period. Cycling as a mode into its own right or part of an integrated mode of travel can help alleviate some of the issues associated with congestion and environmental pollution in our busy cities and towns. Cycling is also considered a healthier mode of transport.
Research into cycling safety has shown that a disproportionate number of cycling accidents- nearly two thirds- occur at or near junctions. The main collision configurations involving a bicycle and car were where a car turns right or left while the cyclist was going straight ahead and conversely where the cyclist makes a right turn while the car was going straight ahead. Furthermore, a disproportionate number of fatal accidents involve left-turning lorries at junctions.
There has been much research into techniques for assisting and giving priority to cyclists at traffic signal controlled junctions. Whilst the use of sophisticated signalling systems and strategies have largely concentrated on benefits for motor-vehicular traffic, there has been less emphasis on the traffic signalling techniques for cyclists at junctions.
This study carried out at an integrated approach to the provision of safe cycling (with particular regard to road markings, traffic signs, signals and engineering infrastructure), with priority measures where appropriate, through the approaches to traffic signals and through the controls themselves.
The project was designed to provide evidence, and make assessments, on traffic management techniques used for cyclists in Great Britain and elsewhere with a view to informing possible trials of new techniques and to help inform future policy and regulatory changes.
The 48 techniques considered were considered in this project ranging from simple road markings and additional detection right the way through to more complex junction designs involving extensive kerb realignment and land take. Due to variations in the techniques examined, the study highlighted the need to use appropriate techniques to match local constraints and also to maximise net benefits for all road users, as well as cyclists.
It would ultimately be for the transportation professionals to use sound judgement of the techniques highlighted to establish which of these are appropriate and effective for a particular scheme.
From a literature review and consultation with experts, forty-eight possible techniques to aid cyclists in negotiating traffic signalised intersections were identified and taken forward for inclusion in the assessment process. The assessment methodology was developed as part of the project to ensure that each technique was thoroughly appraised for potential use in the UK.
The assessment process identified those techniques that were concluded to be most beneficial to cyclists, whilst at the same time taking into consideration the impact on other road users, cost implications, legislative requirements and other considerations.
Association for European Transport