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  #61  
Old 15.04.2009, 15:40
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Here's the law (first paragraph) and here's the fine (point 621): 30 CHF.

Care to give an example of an overcomplicated cycle lane?
Not in the city.

What we are talking about is the cycle lanes that go paralel to the main roads connecting towns.

I have seen them from Rüti to Dübendorf, but also along the road from Kloten to Bülach.

the problem is when you merge into the main road coming from an intersection opposite to the side where that cycling path is, then you should cross both lanes, that have often heavy traffic and then jump over a little barrier and often a section of grass to be on the cycling path.
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  #62  
Old 15.04.2009, 15:45
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Care to give an example of an overcomplicated cycle lane?
Oetwil am See going towards Monchaltdorf and Uster.
The lane appears periodically on the left hand side of the road. To use it would involve crossing over multiple times.

Uster to Riedikon.
Cycle lane is on the left, the street goes downhill and on a bike you ride close to the speed of the traffic. The bike lane is on the left always has kids on it, and you need to cross over to get onto the bike lane around Greifensee anyway. A forum member I know has broken his collar bone when a kid ran out in front of him on this bike lane.

Binz to Fallanden
Same as above.

There are other examples too that I can't think of off the top of my head.
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  #63  
Old 15.04.2009, 15:48
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

I generally try to use the bike lanes; didn't know it was required. In any case you have to be very observant to follow this law perfectly -- many times I don't realize there is a bike lane at the other side of the road or off the side of the road until I have already missed the entrance. Usually, I am more focused on what's on the road rather than what's off the road.

Even if there is a bike lane, they are often skinny, very poorly paved or occupied by roaming toddlers and pedestrians. As example, when cycling along Lake Lucerne last weekend, I saw no point on entering the bike line when it was less than 100m long, I was traveling downhill at car speed, and the bike lane was skinny and occupied by Easter pedestrians. I agree with Yokine -- I will continue to use my judgment on whether the path or road is safer.
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Old 15.04.2009, 15:51
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Here is a section I refuse to use.

I'm travelling south and would need to cross traffic to enter the bicycle road at "Im Zuegnis" travel 1km to "Haldenweg" Stallikon, before having to cross traffic and use the road again. My judgement is that the two road crossings are far more dangerous than staying out on the road for 3 minutes. Once out of Stallikon I do join the cycle path which is several kilometres long, though I doubt its safety due to the number of crossroads, bus stops and other more "relaxed" users.

As for painted lanes on the right hand side of the road, no arguments about using those. I just wish car drivers could keep out of them.

Last edited by Yokine; 15.04.2009 at 16:15. Reason: schpelink
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  #65  
Old 15.04.2009, 16:27
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

One problem with many bike paths is that they greatly increase the number of intersections and/or the danger involved in crossing them.

Separate bike paths do a good job at separating cyclists from other vehicles that are travelling in the same direction as them, thereby making them safer in this respect. However, many bike paths greatly increase the danger from vehicles that are travelling in all other directions. The vast majority of bike-car collisions occur at intersections with vehicles that are travelling in directions different from the cyclist's (the same is true for most car-car collisions). Therefore, the safety gained by using a bike path due to the first reason is often grossly outweighed by the increased danger that comes from the second reason. Also, the faster you travel, the more important the second reason becomes and the less important the first reason becomes (because you are then travelling closer to the speed of the vehicles). This is why the bike lanes can often be a good idea for slower cyclists to use, but a bad idea for serious cyclists.

I therefore only use bike paths that are separate from the road if it appears that it will not greatly increase the number of intersections that I must cross or restrict my visibility to drivers at those intersections in any way. Unfortunately, these criteria are rarely met, and so I often don't use bike paths that are separated from the road. Cars occasionally honk at me for not using a separated bike path, but the police have not yet stopped me. As mentioned above, bike lanes that are part of the regular road are normally very welcome, it is the ones that are separate from the regular road that I normally don't like.

When you throw in the additional hazard of the pedestrians that don't respect the areas that are designated for cyclists only, then the bike paths become even less attractive. My wife has been knocked off of her bike by an inattentive pedestrian wandering into the bike path she was on - she ended up lying right in the path of the traffic, but luckily she was OK.

The one exception to my disdain for separated bike paths is when I'm in the Netherlands. There, the separated bike paths are awesome and the drivers and pedestrians are incredibly aware of cyclists (mainly because they are often also cyclists themselves, and because they have laws that heavily favor cyclists in the event of almost any car-bike collision).
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  #66  
Old 24.04.2009, 19:49
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Bike path update.

I'm sticking to the roads from now on. I just got run over by a car, on a bike path. My injuries only extend as far as cuts and bruises and a stiff hip, but there is a hip and a handlebar shaped dent in the bonnet of the car. It could have been worse after hitting the car and going accross the bonnet I landed in a heap on a very busy main road at rush hour.

The car was coming out of a restaurant and looking for traffic coming from his left, I was coming from his right, he had been looking at the traffic from the carpark he was pulling out of, so he was invisible to me until it was too late for me to do anything about it.

Word of warning, we're not safe even on the designated paths.
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  #67  
Old 24.04.2009, 19:53
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Bike path update.

I'm sticking to the roads from now on. I just got run over by a car, on a bike path. My injuries only extend as far as cuts and bruises and a stiff hip, but there is a hip and a handlebar shaped dent in the bonnet of the car. It could have been worse after hitting the car and going accross the bonnet I landed in a heap on a very busy main road at rush hour.

The car was coming out of a restaurant and looking for traffic coming from his left, I was coming from his right, he had been looking at the traffic from the carpark he was pulling out of, so he was invisible to me until it was too late for me to do anything about it.

Word of warning, we're not safe even on the designated paths.
Glad you are okay It always makes me nervous on bike paths the cars pulling out without expecting cyclists to be there (and in your case, they even checked, but only checked the direction they'd expect cars to be traveling!)

Personally I love the bike lanes on the side of the roads, I feel very safe there, but the paths do make me nervous for quite a number of reasons.
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Old 24.04.2009, 19:57
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Glad you are okay It always makes me nervous on bike paths the cars pulling out without expecting cyclists to be there (and in your case, they even checked, but only checked the direction they'd expect cars to be traveling!)

Personally I love the bike lanes on the side of the roads, I feel very safe there, but the paths do make me nervous for quite a number of reasons.
The ironic thing is about 2km back I had considered not going onto the bike lane and staying on the road instead. But that road is so busy, and it was Friday evening traffic I decided it was more sensible to go on the bike lane. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

Just for reference, it was the Wetzikon to Uster bike lane that Salsa mentioned earlier in this thread.
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  #69  
Old 24.04.2009, 19:58
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Is it normal to have bike paths which run opposite the flow of traffic? Or was the path two-way?
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  #70  
Old 24.04.2009, 20:07
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Is it normal to have bike paths which run opposite the flow of traffic? Or was the path two-way?
The path is two-way. And yes it is normal to have bike lanes that run opposite to the traffic. They are usually separated from traffic, this one is raised like a footpath, but traffic still crosses the bike path to get on and off the main road.
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  #71  
Old 24.04.2009, 20:11
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

This is exactly the problem. A typical driver does not cycle and does not know the bicycle paths parallel to the road are two-directional and contain cyclists that ride against the traffic.

I almost hit a pedestrian once in the USA when I used to know how to drive, because I was trained only to look left when making a right turn onto a main road.
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  #72  
Old 24.04.2009, 20:25
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland


This kind of things really scares me out...
I'm glad you're OK Eire
(I know I shouldn't, but I'm also glad you made a big dent to the car!).
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  #73  
Old 24.04.2009, 20:27
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Oh dear... Was that at road cycling speeds and did you exchange contact details with the driver? Hope you're ok, and the bike, too!
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Old 24.04.2009, 20:27
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Wow, I just lost a lot of respect for the Swiss traffic system. Running bicycles opposite the flow of vehicular traffic is about the most dangerous traffic engineering practice I can think of. US bike lane systems do suck but running opposite almost never happens here.
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  #75  
Old 24.04.2009, 20:29
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Thanks for sharing all this Eire...glad you are fine barring a few bruises.

As for me, "scares" is a mild word; I get paranoid reading this...I ride quite midlessly when I am on bike path
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  #76  
Old 24.04.2009, 20:42
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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This kind of things really scares me out...
I'm glad you're OK Eire
(I know I shouldn't, but I'm also glad you made a big dent to the car!).
Almost felt sorry for him. He was nearly as shocked as I was, and to be honest as someone who drives regularly as well as cycles I understand how he feels.
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Oh dear... Was that at road cycling speeds and did you exchange contact details with the driver? Hope you're ok, and the bike, too!
Luckily both of us were not at speed. I had just crossed a road so I was accelerating up to speed again and he was trying to merge into traffic. I had been riding 35-40km/h on that section right up to when I stopped to cross the road.

I got his contact details, and he accepted full responsibility. Like I said already I feel sorry for him and he was a nice guy.

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Wow, I just lost a lot of respect for the Swiss traffic system. Running bicycles opposite the flow of vehicular traffic is about the most dangerous traffic engineering practice I can think of. US bike lane systems do suck but running opposite almost never happens here.
The bike lane systems here are great, and this could have happened even if the bike lane was not running against the traffic. Usually the bike lanes are a separate two-way road especially for bikes. That is the case where my accident happened. My problems with these lanes is having to cross traffic on the bike to get to them, once your on them they are great.

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Thanks for sharing all this Eire...glad you are fine barring a few bruises.

As for me, "scares" is a mild word; I get paranoid reading this...I ride quite midlessly when I am on bike path
Don't get paranoid. sh!t happens. It happened to me, I rode home afterwards even though the guy offered me a lift. If you fall off the horse get right back on. Don't be paranoid, just don't ride mindlessly.
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  #77  
Old 24.04.2009, 20:48
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Glad you are okay.....I would trade cycling up Second Avenue at rush hour for a Swiss bike path anyday - what one will do for a free bike fitting.
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Old 24.04.2009, 20:54
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Hey Eire, am glad too that you're okay.. hope you're not going to be too sore and injured when you wake up tomorrow morning.
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Old 24.04.2009, 21:11
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Glad to hear that your not major banged up mate, had a close one myself on Wednesday, with some sh1thead who couldn't wait.
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Old 24.04.2009, 21:30
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Glad to hear you are okay, must have been scarey at the time.

Anyone reckon we can use one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Airzound.../dp/B000ACAMJC

Has to sound better than a ding-ding of a bell
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