'Alarming to see cyclists ignoring protected cycle paths & needlessly holding up traffic'
Letter from Peter Barker, published in New Civil Engineer, 23rd October 2013.
Thankfully, Mr Barker is a *retired* traffic engineer but how many current ones think like this? There are usually very good reasons why cyclists don't use bike paths, 'protected' or otherwise. Too many are crap: too narrow, strewn with glass, blocked with lamp-posts and other street furniture. And those "pedestrian pinch points' are some of the worst examples how seemingly "safe" infrastructure is actually dangerous: cars rush to get past at such pinch points and the cycle access *sometimes* provided at the side of them is often incredibly narrow and invariably stuffed with leaves, glass and other detritus.
Cyclists are not "holding up traffic", they're part of traffic. Traffic isn't just motor vehicles.
If bike paths were wide, direct, well-maintained, continuous and gave priority at junctions and crossings, cyclists would use them.