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Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 560

If the wind is too high or the surface too rough it's the cyclists job NOT TO RIDE THERE.

Right. Which is why it's then a problem having cyclists who want to travel at a reasonable speed, but still a speed slower than motor vehicles can achieve, sharing the same main traffic lane. Which brings me back to my main point: substandard facilities like nothing-but-a-paint-job cycle lanes are potentially dangerous, and we need proper, mode-appropriate facilities for all classes of road user. Which in turn comes back to the original point of the discussion: sometimes we're better off without just slapping paint on the road if all it does is create dubious expectations and a false sense of security.

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 560

I can never be sure the person in the next lane won't lose control of their vehicle. So I should never pass anyone?

You should only pass when you're sure it's reasonably safe to do so. It's really as simple as that, and that "reasonably safe" means taking into account any significant and predictable risks around other types of vehicle. It's the exact same argument whether we're talking about a two-wheeler at greater risk of being affected by wind or uneven road surface, a horse at risk of being startled, or a large vehicle that is signalling on the approach to a junction and will need to make a wide turn.

I don't know where you are, but this story is about the UK, so it's the UK's Highway Code I'm going by, and everything I've just written should be explained routinely by any driving instructor before their students take the test.

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 560

Sorry, but the Highway Code disagrees with you. There are pictures and everything. There is also explicit discussion about the need to allow for more vulnerable road users.

If you go around overtaking other people with insufficient clearance and something bad happens, then again you should expect that to be counted against you in court. Obviously all road users should be able to hold their lane properly under normal conditions, but all road users should also be aware that overtaking is an inherently dangerous manoeuvre and they should not do it unless they are sure they can complete that manoeuvre safely. In the UK, that applies each and every time you pass anyone else, cycle or otherwise, and regardless of which lane(s) you are each following before the overtake.

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 560

Just like a car pulling away from a curb can't jump in front of moving traffic and complain about getting rear ended. It's your job to make the lane change safely. You might actually have to stop instead.

Of course. On the other hand, unpredictable things happen on roads, particularly in bad weather. A driver who isn't allowing enough clearance as they pass a cyclist for the cycle to be blown a little off course without getting hit just isn't paying enough attention.

Deliberate? I thought I saw a road hazard.

Then you can try that one on with the court. Perhaps the CPS will throw in a charge of driving without due care and attention as well, since if you had to panic brake in response to a road hazard there's a fair chance you weren't driving carefully and at a suitable speed for the conditions.

It is not illegal to slow down. If you are behind me, it's your job to maintain a safe following distance.

True, but it is illegal to drive dangerously or without reasonable consideration for other road users, among other things, and these would be likely consequences of a sudden "brake check" to harass a following cyclist. In fact, braking without good cause is explicitly included in the CPS guidance for bringing the reasonable consideration charge.

The main facility that can be upgraded is getting 'road bikes' off the road. There is no way to safely ride 100psi+ tire bikes on the street with cars. They basically have to swerve around every bit of glass in the bike lane and are rolling, left and right lurching hazards with unsafely long stopping distances.

Or we could completely prohibit cars from using roads frequented by road bikes, or impose a much lower speed limit where access is still required. In some places, we're approaching the point where there will be more cyclists than cars using a given road, after all, and removing the cars would make it safer for other types of bike as well.

In reality, neither absolutist solution is going to get us anywhere until there are reasonable alternatives for any group that gets displaced.

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 560

If you need to get out of the bike lane, it is your job to make sure it is safe to switch lanes, same as a car. You can't just jump into the main traffic lane in front of a car and complain the car was going too fast. You made an unsafe lane change.

That is all true.

However, it is equally true that a driver does not have an automatic right to overtake a cyclist in front of them who wants to use the main traffic lane. A cyclist obviously shouldn't switch lanes right in front of a car, but if a cyclist a little up the road wants to use the main traffic lane, they are perfectly entitled to do so. It is the following driver's responsibility to slow down and maintain a safe distance in that case, just as they would have to if a slower motor vehicle pulled out ahead of them on a multi-lane highway.

It's also worth pointing out that a driver who does overtake a cyclist, regardless of which lane they are cycling in, should be allowing as much space alongside as they would have when passing a car. That will almost certainly require crossing well over the centre line of the road on many urban roads in the UK. If a cyclist veering slightly into the main traffic lane ever actually gets hit by a car overtaking them, even if it was a mistake by the cyclist, it was also self-evidently a mistake by the driver.

Also don't complain when cars 'brake check' you going up hills. That's just payback for you slowing them down.

Doing that deliberately is illegal on several counts, and if you do it in sight of a police car you should rightly expect to get pulled up for it.

Many cyclists seam to think they have the right of way any time the alternative is they lose their inertia.

Some do, certainly, and they are wrong. There is no general right of way on UK roads, for a start.

But equally some drivers seem to think that they have the right to go as fast as they want to regardless of other road users, and those drivers are also wrong.

As I said before, the only credible way to improve this kind of situation is to ensure that the facilities for everyone using the roads are up to scratch and reduce the potential for conflict happening at all.

Comment Re: No problem (Score 1) 569

No it isn't. Absolutely nothing stops ad blockers using heuristics to identify "ad shaped images" or simply having manually written lists of DOM paths to nuke.

I find this whole attitude of "shut up whiners, make your ads EXACTLY meet my unique criteria or else I'll just benefit from your work for free - see if you can stop my nya nya" to be appalling.

Apparently people haven't thought through where this ends. It ends with someone eventually making a non-web content platform that doesn't support ad killers, uses video-game like "anti cheat" techniques and which gets the lions share of the best content because publishers are sick of being ripped off. You know, kind of like how the PC used to be the primary gaming platform in the world and eventually most of the AAA games were coming out on consoles first, and PC maybe or never. Basically, because of piracy and the console makers commitment to fighting it.

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 560

Part of the trouble is that the kind of on-road cycle lanes we're talking about in the UK aren't normal lanes in various respects, including sometimes legal ones. Even to the extent that they are, they are often created by literally nothing but painting a line down existing roads to mark off an area much smaller than the relevant policies call for. No extra space is created, nor any real physical separation or protection added.

This results in exactly the kind of them-and-us culture I was talking about, where a lot of drivers who don't cycle themselves see a cycle lane and think bikes should stay in it at all times, while anyone who has ever cycled significantly could tell you that this is completely unrealistic because the lanes aren't wide enough for anyone to do so and still make sensible progress even before you consider all the extra hazards that tend to happen towards the side of a road where the cycle lane is.

Consequently a lot of faster and more competent cycles will disregard the lanes and cycle in the main traffic flow when conditions dictate, and a lot of ignorant and selfish drivers will then illegally harass and intimidate the cyclists for riding in the main traffic lane and slowing them down marginally. Many drivers also pass cyclists who are in a cycle lane far too close, and one of the well established benefits of removing road markings for explicit lanes is that drivers do then move out significantly more and pass cyclists at a safer distance.

For me, the only truly credible solutions to today's them-and-us culture involve providing a decent standard of facilities for both groups where conflict is designed out in the first place. Much better designs than what we currently use in the UK are known -- the Dutch typically do these things well, for example -- but they cost significant amounts of money, particularly to implement them retroactively on existing road layouts, and so far the political will in the UK just doesn't seem to be there to spend it. In some places, particularly older cities with historical areas and narrow streets, there simply isn't a good solution as long as so many different types of vehicle are trying to share the same road space.

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 2) 560

It's an unfortunate reality of a lot of existing/historical road planning policy that it creates a them-and-us culture one way or another. Cars and cycles. Cars and buses. Buses and cycles. Lorries and everyone. White vans and other white vans.

What a lot of people seem to be missing in this discussion is that over-regulation and excessive road markings and street furniture create a false sense of security and so lead to over-confidence. There's a white line dividing the cycle lane from the main traffic, so of course it's safe for me to fly past at 30mph in my car today when there are 40mph winds gusting as long as I stay my side of the line. Yeah, yeah, I know the cyclist has less than a metre of road width for their lane because the markings don't follow the spec, and I know I'm only leaving half a metre of clearance, and I know that one gust of wind or small fallen branch in their lane could mean they swerve suddenly into mine, but that silly stuff doesn't matter, does it? (Incidentally, this goes both ways, too: a cyclist who races up the cycle lane to the advanced stop line at a junction past dense stationary traffic in today's conditions is just as bad.)

On the evidence so far, the reason that cutting down on the markings and regulations is effective at increasing safety and reducing traffic flows under some conditions is that it forces drivers to pay attention and co-operate instead of assuming. If that means drivers slow right down in places where they didn't before, they probably should have been going slower all along, but weren't because they were trusting the road markings or still under the speed limit or some other rationalization. If it means they can't drive properly and be on the phone at the same time, well, they never could, it's just that now it's blindingly obvious even to them.

We should review the results of these kinds of experiments over the long term of course, just in case the effects turn out to be temporary or they have other unintended consequences. But for now, there is ample credible evidence that this alternative approach may be much better for everyone under some circumstances and it's clearly worth further investigation. The fact that so many people here seem to dismiss it out of hand based on nothing but naive intuition is an excellent demonstration of why these sorts of public policies should be evidence-based.

Comment Re:Roll-back as in play-back? (Score 2) 69

Banks can roll back transactions for various reasons, e.g. bankruptcy proceedings, mistakes by their own operators or by customers, or ... transactions that are fraudulent. The Metel gang obviously had a sense of irony in exploiting this ability to undo fraudulent transactions to their own benefit.

Comment Re:Of course ... (Score 1) 315

Windows 10 has been very stable for me.

That's great, but as a few moments searching the web could tell you, not everyone has been so fortunate. There have already been several widespread instances of hardware/driver issues, reboot loops, software being uninstalled due to being deemed no longer compatible, and similar problems reported by Windows 10 users.

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