Update – Great seeing a good turnout last night, and animated discussion. If you missed it, sorry, as Daniel has a delightful sense of humour backed up by some really useful research. Many thanks Daniel, and to Matt Rednall and Ken Lee Jones from AT and Scott Wickman from NZTA for responding to ideas from the floor.
Thanks for the constructive discussion and suggestions:
- slower speeds in urban areas to reduce pressure on cyclists, (as Daniel’s work shows cyclists’ safety concerns cause them to ‘jump’ lights to clear intersections ahead of vehicle traffic sharing the intersection);
- continuous cycle lanes across intersections so that cyclists aren’t faced by merging lanes creating pinch points after immediately crossing intersections –
- and importantly – a research grant to Daniel/AT, to reward Daniel’s initiative in kicking this learning off. We’re relying on Scott to promote the latter message to the National office of the NZTA.
You could say that red light running by cyclists doesn’t matter because it doesn’t cause major accidents. But Cycle Action’s stance is that Daniel’s research indicates our road networks are not meeting the specific needs of cyclists as road users. We know it ‘amps’ up motorists and public negative attitudes to cycling and cyclists, so needs to be addressed (we regard investment in this research to more enlightened and productive than spending on anti- red light running media campaigns).
…well, maybe not on the way to CAA’s next public meeting, where Daniel Newcombe from Auckland Transport will give an award-winning* presentation on his research on why and where cyclists run red traffic lights!
* at the Transportation Conference New Zealand 2013
Daniel is a keen cyclist and regular cycle commuter, so don’t expect him to lambast you. At the same time, he approached his work as a researcher, not as a cycling advocate, so don’t expect him to pull any punches either. And he’ll be happy to discuss the topic afterwards – and what we can do about it, instead of simply saying “you are not to run red lights“!