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  #21  
Old 04.07.2011, 08:46
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Re: Making roads safer

I know this junction well, and already the cyclist lane stops ahead of the traffic, which is usually enough to get the bikes off first safely, or at least highlight them to motorists who would wish to turn right.
The junction already has an underpass for pedestrians as it's busy/dangerous enough not to want to delay traffic.

The simple solution with this junction would seem to be to ramp the pedestrian underpass to allow bikes to use it, even if they have to push.

As St2lemans points out, look out for yourself, no one else will. Drivers do turn without indicating/they are on mobile phones/lighting cigarettes/playing with the radio/sending texts/daydreaming/in a rush, they can change their minds and decide to change direction, they don't look in their mirrors.
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  #22  
Old 04.07.2011, 08:56
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Re: Making roads safer

Making roads safer:

A huge problem in many, many places. It's not just bicyclists but pedestrians too, especially school children.

A tragic accident happens.
Energy and momentum develops to rectify the danger spot.
Letters are written, maybe a committee is even founded.
Demonstrations are organised and reported in the local papers.
And people await with hopeful anticipation that the local government / Kanton will give the red light to improve the dire situation.

But then the Kanton says no because they don't have the money.
Or don't want to stop the flow of traffic.
Or feel that enough measures have been taken.

And the cruel wheels of fate keep turning until another accident happens.

This has happened in my village time and time again. It's frustrating to no end.

My thoughts are with Begga, her family and friends. It's absolutely heartbreaking.
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  #23  
Old 04.07.2011, 09:00
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Re: Remembering Begga

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Sadly in cities exactly this type of accident is one of the leading causes of death for cyclists.
that's right and something has to be done.

I was looking at the archive of my newspaper yesterday to find an article related to the same kind of accident that happened in Geneva several months ago.

The same thing happened, a young cyclist (18) was killed by the same kind of cement mixer. When the firelight got green, he went straight and the truck turned right.

It is a place known to be dangerous but I don't know if something has been made to make it safer for cyclists. I hope as there were roadworks for the new trams.
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  #24  
Old 04.07.2011, 09:01
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Re: Making roads safer

RoadCross might have the right contacts, suggestions or other ideas.

Of course the website is only in German and French.
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Old 04.07.2011, 09:32
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Re: Making roads safer

The simplest solution it would seem to me, would be to split the green light into straight on, and turning right. And never have both lit at the same time.

I witnessed two near misses in the past two days, both of which were carelessness of the cyclist,. The first incident a cyclist came onto the roundabout, in front of a car that was already on it - inattention on the cyclists part - fortunately the driver was aware, and managed to swerve to avoid the cyclist. The second was when the bus I was on was stopped at a crossing, just before the bus stop. As the bus pulled away into the stop, a cyclists zoomed by on the inside - again, fortunately, the driver spotted the cyclist, and slammed on the brakes.

I'd suggest some free cyclist education courses would be in order, covering visibility in the dark, vulnerability, defensive cycling, always checking over your shoulder before manoeuvering.

On the flipside, driver education. I remember the old ad in the UK. "Think once, think twice, think bike". As an ex-cyclist, I'm very aware of bikers and cyclists. Many drivers aren't and don't pay attention anyway.
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  #26  
Old 04.07.2011, 09:59
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Re: Making roads safer

As an old driver, cyclist (bicycle), and fellow "forumer" I would like to write a few words about that horrible and shocking incident.

I hope that all drivers on this forum will be capable to let their angry feelings aside not to forget that behind all bicycle users there's a human being.

In years I've learnt and seen that bicycles are the easy target to the road user's frustration- smaller than a car and easy to shout at for the passing by, and smaller than a car and easy to shout at for the one protected in their metallic car.

Some shout at them, some show the lights, some find excuses to beep them, some don't take care of them, some take over close, some like to cut their way. And unfortunately, sometimes some don't see them.


Cyclists are annoying, scary, frustrating, etc.. all excuses are good.


But let's not forget that they are also road users. Sometimes nasty, sometimes complying with the road rules and yet being oppressed just because they are on... a bicycle or because one day one cyclist broke the rules.


That young lady's life what taken too early in a horrific way- there's nothing we can do to bring her back. But we can avoid that happening to others. Let's all try to remember that every time we see a cyclist.

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  #27  
Old 04.07.2011, 10:06
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Re: Making roads safer

I read a couple of similar stories of similar accidents at road junctions in the UK and they have started fitting mirrors to the top of the cab on the passenger side, angled down the side of the cab so the driver can see if there is anyone directly next to the vehicle.

Obviously this is not widespread enough.

EDIT: There are also Trixi mirrors.

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 04.07.2011 at 10:14. Reason: Found the info.
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  #28  
Old 04.07.2011, 10:23
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Re: Making roads safer

While I’m not familiar enough with the specific intersection to comment, I have lived long enough in Switzerland to draw some conclusions about the roads here. There are times when I’m absolutely shocked that an intersection is uncontrolled.

I am an experienced driver and I understand right-of-way priority in Switzerland, and despite that, heading into Aeschenplatz always fills me with terror. You’ve got traffic coming from five directions plus two tram lines, all relying on everyone knowing the right-of-way system while at the same time negotiating a complicated set of directions. This, in my mind, is crying out for traffic lights or a proper roundabout.

Similarly, the stretch of the A3 (Basel-bound) where it intersects with the A18 from Delemont – you’ve got traffic crossing three lanes (inbound traffic from Delemont headed to the centre of Basel has to cross three-lanes left-to-right, while traffic from Zurich headed to Basel Badisher exit has to cross three lands right-to-left in the same place. Add heavy traffic, and it’s no wonder I pass an accident on this 1km stretch at least once a month.

Those are the two examples that spring immediately to my mind, but there are other times when I look at the traffic layout here in Switzerland and wonder who in their right minds designed it? Many junctions seem to have been designed without any regard to the safety of road users at all..
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  #29  
Old 04.07.2011, 10:48
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Re: Making roads safer

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While I’m not familiar enough with the specific intersection to comment, I have lived long enough in Switzerland to draw some conclusions about the roads here. There are times when I’m absolutely shocked that an intersection is uncontrolled.

I am an experienced driver and I understand right-of-way priority in Switzerland, and despite that, heading into Aeschenplatz always fills me with terror. You’ve got traffic coming from five directions plus two tram lines, all relying on everyone knowing the right-of-way system while at the same time negotiating a complicated set of directions. This, in my mind, is crying out for traffic lights or a proper roundabout.

Similarly, the stretch of the A3 (Basel-bound) where it intersects with the A18 from Delemont – you’ve got traffic crossing three lanes (inbound traffic from Delemont headed to the centre of Basel has to cross three-lanes left-to-right, while traffic from Zurich headed to Basel Badisher exit has to cross three lands right-to-left in the same place. Add heavy traffic, and it’s no wonder I pass an accident on this 1km stretch at least once a month.

Those are the two examples that spring immediately to my mind, but there are other times when I look at the traffic layout here in Switzerland and wonder who in their right minds designed it? Many junctions seem to have been designed without any regard to the safety of road users at all..
Agreed! Another important part of everyday traffic, where I just fail to see the logic behind it is the right of way for traffic coming from the right. This, in my oppinion slows down traffic considerably and causes plenty of fender benders, as cars rush the intersection and traffic coming from the left has to abruptly stop.
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  #30  
Old 04.07.2011, 10:55
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Re: Making roads safer

This is a solution I've seen in the UK where they put a "protected" cyclist box at the front of the junction to stop the issues. These are becoming more common in UK cities.

Sorry for the poor picture (right) but you get the idea.

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  #31  
Old 04.07.2011, 11:00
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Re: Making roads safer

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This is a solution I've seen in the UK where they put a "protected" cyclist box at the front of the junction to stop the issues. These are becoming more common in UK cities.

Sorry for the poor picture (right) but you get the idea.

It's very good idea-
But sorry to be pessimistic or to use stereotypes, but I think "changes" or adaptation will take some time in Switzerland. To make changes they would need to "complain" or question the government/authorities.

As I have experienced it's not "appropriate" to go against the "current context" here...


But le'ts try to bring something and report, at least we can do our part and assist safety improvment(s).
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  #32  
Old 04.07.2011, 11:03
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Re: Making roads safer

Taking it a little out of context here...but I've ridden with plenty of Swiss people and they seem to be riding the brakes all the time and it quite bothers me. Is it just me, or have other people noticed it as well?
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  #33  
Old 04.07.2011, 11:04
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Re: Making roads safer

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But then the Kanton says no because they don't have the money.
Or don't want to stop the flow of traffic.
Or feel that enough measures have been taken.
The VCS (Verkehrs Club der Schweiz) might be a weighty body to throw the issue at. They are very vocal, sometimes annoyingly so , at lobbying to get traffic calming measures implemented, among other traffic/parking/speed issues.

Due to safety issues and a couple of near misses, residents of a tiny street near us campaigned hard to get their street dropped from a 30 zone to a 20 zone a couple of years ago and their persistence paid off.
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  #34  
Old 04.07.2011, 11:09
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Re: Making roads safer

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But le'ts try to bring something and report, at least we can do our part and assist safety improvment(s).
Thank you for hitting the nail on the head.

There will be no plans for dramatic demonstrations or appeal to the papers etc as described above.

I was just verbalising my thoughts on how we can make a small change which can prevent many future unfortunate tragedies from happening at the very same site. Its obvious that on this small forum itself, many agree that its a very dangerous junction - I am sure more people out there in the city of Basel will too.

But hey, I accept that on a forum, when you seek advice, you get both optimistic and not so optimistic ones. Thank you for all the information so far.
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  #35  
Old 04.07.2011, 11:20
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Re: Making roads safer

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It's very good idea-
But sorry to be pessimistic or to use stereotypes, but I think "changes" or adaptation will take some time in Switzerland. To make changes they would need to "complain" or question the government/authorities.
It's not like they don't exist here...
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  #36  
Old 04.07.2011, 11:47
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Re: Making roads safer

This is a very good initiative that I applaud whole-heartedly and would be eager and willing to help promote it.
I fear the change is going to have to be quite radical to make it really safe for cyclists at these junctions – having said that – it’s about time it WAS changed.
The issue is that, for me coming from the UK, the whole idea of traffic lights being on green for everybody in one direction (traffic, cyclists AND pedestrians) is still quite alien – despite having lived in Germany for 15 years – where the same system exists.
For those who are not aware – in the UK it is either green for traffic OR green for pedestrians – never for both.
SO that means that in Switzerland, the cars turning onto a side road, they are looking out for pedestrians and cyclists.
Cyclists are looking out for cars and pedestrians . . . and so on.
In effect, for car, bus and truck drivers – there are simply too many things to be aware of when turning.
If an early green light were introduced for cyclists to go through, that would only be good for those already waiting. Unfortunately I believe that those at highest risk are those APPROACHING the lights after they have changed to green.
I was very, very lucky last year when I was hit by a turning car after a short stay in hospital I was sort of okay (although I am still being treated for it now).
Even this morning I had another lucky escape at a junction in Zurich. In fact as most cyclists will probably agree – there are close calls every single day.
The only way to alleviate this problem is for there to be 3 phases of green light – one for pedestrians, one for cycles and one for motorised traffic.
The cycle networks are FAR more developed on mainland Europe than they are in the UK and so it is something that will never come into force there but here – I see it as the only solution to this awful situation.
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  #37  
Old 04.07.2011, 11:53
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Re: Making roads safer

I'm never ever going to moan about cyclists on the pavement again. OK, so they are a pain but at least they are a living, breathing pain...

Hell, I'll even keep my gob shut if I get a knock or a side swipe from one of them.
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  #38  
Old 04.07.2011, 11:56
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Re: Making roads safer

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I am an experienced driver and I understand right-of-way priority in Switzerland...
This is probably your mistake - probably puts you in the minority here as many don't or at least don't want to and tend to make up their own mind about who has priority.
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  #39  
Old 04.07.2011, 11:57
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Re: Making roads safer

TeleBasel brought a report on 7vor7. Sorry in Basel-German.

http://www.telebasel.ch/de/tv-archiv...dateto=&group=

The politician who speaks is this one.

http://www.anitalachenmeier.ch/index.php?pid=76

I just wanted to provide the link in case a contact is needed.

There is quite an agreement that the current situation is NOT safe enough.
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Old 04.07.2011, 11:59
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Re: Making roads safer

I got this from a keen cyclist friend of mine on the Lancashire evening telegraph forum, I think it would be fitting.

Quote: Have you heard of 'ghost bikes'? Bikes are sometimes painted white and chained to something near where a cyclists has been killed on the road. Some might see this as morbid, but I think that as well as a beautiful memorial, they're a poignant reminder to all of how vulnerable cyclists are.Unquote

Give it some thoughts please.
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