馬路上踩單車的第三種模式

taking the lane

 

 

 

馬路上踩單車的三種模式

在馬路上騎行大致可分類為三種模式:「行人模式」(pedestrian style),「靠邊模式」(hugging-the-kerb style),「車輛模式」(vehicular style);第一種模式「行人模式」就是不行馬路,即使行馬路也無視交通規則;第二種「靠邊模式」就是在馬路踩但卻儘量貼近馬路邊,基本上避開成為路上車流的一部分,讓出行車線給其他車輛。

建議用「車輛模式」

在大部分情況下,建議以第三種方式騎單車,即車輛模式(vehicular style, 也可稱為bicycle driving, vehicular cycling),簡單來說是把單車作為和其他車輛一樣的方式行駛並跟隨道路上共通的法則及語言;

原因一. 這是較安全的做法;因為和其他道路使用者用同一套道路規則及道路語言,大家知道如何配合;另外,路邊的危險也較多,例如溝渠,突然打開的車門,忽然有行人踏出馬路等…避開路邊能減少這類危險。

原因二. 這是完全配合法例的做法;如果單車人仕沒有充分行駛路權,例如縮在馬路邊行駛,萬一有汽車巴士等埋站上落客或者在同一行車線超越時發生意外,法庭及警方未必會同情主動讓出行車線路權的單車人仕,單車人仕自然吃虧。

近來運輸署的宣傳片(例如李慧詩那個「騎單車 安全才是第一」http://youtu.be/xPoWHkAg0Lo)也說單車和其他車輛有同等路權,而按多方車友的經驗,現時警方交通部也不會就單車佔用慢線有任何質疑。而道路安全議會也已經於2012年3月出版的刊物更新了騎單車的建議,並且已經上載於運輸署網頁:(http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_4552/web_221201433_leaflet_a.pdf)「在狹窄的行車(線)道(相信這包括香港大部分的行車(線)道,因為香港大部分的行車(線)道也是狹窄得不足夠讓單車及其他車輛安全並排行駛的)或轉彎時,宜駛在行車(線)道的中央以策安全

車輛模式(vehicular style)的其中一個具體實施,就是在行車線的中間行駛佔用行車線,原因之一是要讓其他車輛清楚看到單車,原因之二是鼓勵其他較快的車輛使用另一行車線超越單車,以保持安全距離,可以看這影片「在行車線的哪一處踏單車才安全?(2分鐘版)」(http://youtu.be/w3RXZm7539A)就會清楚。

法庭會同意單車駛在行車線中間嗎?

如果被其他汽車危及安全,是絕對應該交由警方跟進。不要自我以為忍氣吞聲或者放人一馬就無事,今次自己無受傷,下次可能是另一位車友的生命受害,為道路安全一定要盡公民責任交警方跟進。

在此讓大家參考以下的案例:

後鏡頭http://youtu.be/IRRrRH6q-Sk及前鏡頭http://youtu.be/SHGsjRTlNlI

片段中的巴士司機已經被定罪不小心駕駛,被扣分並罰款。原因是他入侵了單車的行車線,判決書中定罪原因是:「被告轉線時未有足夠安全考慮給單車使用者,單車使用者作為一個道路使用者,當時在左一線有使用的優先權,事件中可以看到切線太急,而導致單車使用者感覺人身安全受到威脅,被迫收慢及扭軚,所以裁定不小心駕駛罪名成立。

留意判詞中肯定了騎單車人士作為一個道路使用者,在所佔用的行車線有使用的優先權,所以鼓勵大家車友為大家安全要佔用行車線。

佔用行車線會阻慢交通?

可能有單車友及其他人士認為單車佔用行車線會阻慢交通,其實在大部分情形下,反而是其他汽車擠塞阻慢了單車!而真正阻礙交通的是其他車輛、工程、欠佳的道路設計及交通燈(有關這方面的討論請看:https://hkcyclingalliance.org/are-bicycles-slowing-down-traffic),當然,如果真的是有長長車龍跟在後面,還是互相禮讓,安全情形下停靠在一邊先讓後車經過為佳。

所以結論是:不要因為怕在行車道中央騎單車而恆常貼近路邊行駛,反而危害自己及其他人的安全。

In Legco yesterday, the tourism industry rep, YIU Si Wing (姚思榮) asked Transport and Housing Bureau if it was/would:

(a) extend the cycle track network to former Frontier area;
(b) develop cycle tracks on the harbourfront;
(c) set up a public bicycle hiring system
(d) promote cycling tourism

Responses from Anthony Cheung, the Secretary for Transport and Housing, were, in summary:

a) yes, perhaps;
b) [ignored question];
c) no; and
d) ‘yes’ [but actually only trivially]

The first ‘perhaps’ is worth noting: about cycle tracks going into the former Frontier Closed Area.  All leisure cycle tracks are a plus for Hong Kong, though we need to keep pointing out that they are merely a feature, and certainly not the sum total of cycling here, as TD likes to pretend.  So half a cheer for that ‘perhaps’.

Regarding public bicycle rental systems, the Secretary referred to the TD study that was finally released earlier this year (“Traffic and Transport Consultancy Study on Cycling Networks and Parking Facilities in Existing New Towns in Hong Kong“), which was overly narrow in scope, two years late, trivial in its analysis and negative or inconclusive on the issues it was supposed to study.

Based on that, he rejected any kind of public bicycle rental system (referring to new towns, and ignoring everywhere else), because a) it needs many nodes; b) it requires some load balancing between nodes (moving bikes around to meet need); c) maintenance of bikes; d) existing private rental services “can already meet demand”; e) Hong Kong’s land resources are too limited to provide public rental points.

What a load of tripe!  Firstly, there are also excellent potential locations for a public bike share scheme outside the new towns, such as in Kai Tak Development / CBD2, West Kowloon, along the new NT Cycle Track Network, and of course, along the Harbourfront Cycleway (when we ultimately force it into existence).

His responses a), b) and c) simply cite characteristics of a public bicycle rental system, no different from those handled by the 500+ (and rapidly rising) schemes around the world, especially in mainland China.  Along with response e), he’s peddling the old canard that Hong Kong is so special that the rest of the world can teach us nothing.  And finally, by citing existing rental he is missing the whole value of a network of pick-up and drop-off points. (actually ‘protecting’ the business of a handful of operators, who’d probably anyway benefit from the upsurge in interest, if only they could adapt to it.)

The question about developing cycle tracks along the harbourfront was flatly ignored.  How can a government minister do that?  Didn’t the THB read the question?  Does it think no one will notice?  Or does it simply have no respect for Legco and not care who knows?

All in all, the Secretary’s reply showed that our government still doesn’t ‘get’ cycling, or its obligation to work for us.

More work to do.

See:
Press release, with full text

Blogpost about cycle tracks (‘我們的單車徑’) by Secretary for Development Paul Chan (陳茂波),
22 Sept 2013 (Chinese only)

 

 

去年(2012)介紹過台北巿鼓勵巿民及遊客使用單車的設施;今年(2013)再往台灣,發現比之前更進步了:也是問香港運房局這一句,台灣可以,為何香港不可以? 看看台灣怎樣好待單車吧!而即使這樣,台灣還未能打入哥本哈根單車友善指數地區的頭二十位呢!加油啊中華民國!香港,是否還要拒絕投入這改善城巿的運動?

自強號列車上為擺放單車而設的車卡

自強號列車上為擺放單車而設的車卡 

台北捷運站有清楚表示讓單車由頭或尾車卡進入捷運

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(上圖)台鐵自強號列車上有一整個車卡是用來擺放單車的;而台北捷運站有清楚表示讓單車由頭或尾車卡進入捷運(當然,人家是不用拆下前輪的!那有在香港要拆卸前輪才能入閘的歪理?!也哪有不拆前輪會被其他單車友拍照放上網受網絡公審的怪現象?!要注意,台北的捷運也不是乘客量少的)

台北巿(西門)的單車和行人共享路面

行人優先,路權清楚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

台北巿(西門)的單車和行人共享路面,行人優先,路權清楚,互相禮讓,又為何不可以在行人路上踏單車代步?!鼓勵單車代步不一定要劃出完全分隔的3.5米寬「單車徑」的!

 

微笑單車U-bike(公共單車租借系統) 

泊單車的位置分佈於路邊各處,十分方便

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

去年還只有信義區才有的微笑單車U-bike(公共單車租借系統),現在於西門町(相當於香港的旺角區)也可以看到;馬路上也會遇到用微笑單車來代步的巿民,而泊單車的位置分佈於路邊各處,十分方便,而好像看不到有長期佔用泊位的廢車及手推車,看!還有空置泊位呢!

 

頭城(宜蘭縣)的單車行車道

「鐵馬驛站」為長途單車客提供厠所、食水、工具及充氣等支援

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

頭城(宜蘭縣)的單車行車道及由宜蘭市政府辦的「鐵馬驛站」為長途單車客提供厠所、食水、工具及充氣等支援;單車環台看到「鐵馬驛站」能不感動嗎?

 

日月潭的單車徑旁的讓單車推上樓梯的斜道 

日月潭的單車徑已入選為世界十大最美麗單車徑之一

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(左圖)這是什麼?是位於日月潭的單車徑旁的讓單車推上樓梯的斜道。 你知道日月潭的單車徑已入選為世界十大最美麗單車徑之一嗎?香港單車同盟建議的港島北海濱單車走廊如果成真的話,說不定也可以入選呢! 台灣可以,為何香港不可以?

高雄巿捷運對帶單車的告示

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

高雄巿捷運對帶單車的告示,大意就是要為他人著想吧。(為人著想不包括要像港鐵般要求拆除前輪呢!)

Tung Chung New Town Extension Study – Stage 2 Public Engagement

Planning Department and CEDD are preparing to expand Tung Chung.  But despite the existing popularity of cycling in the town, cycling and cycle tracks are downplayed.  (There are bike icons on the cover, and a mention of ‘cycle tracks along the waterfront promenade’, but nothing in the planning principles or other important parts of the document.)

We need to make sure that cycling is integrated into the heart of planning of new Tung Chung, to all destinations.  That includes roads and tracks that facilitate getting efficiently around the area by bike, parking (residential and spread across district).

First, see the Stage 1 study (you may need to use Internet Explorer to view it properly)

How to get involved, under the Stage 2 Public Engagement:

(1) ‘Community Workshop
22 June 2013 (Saturday), 2:00pm – 5:30pm (need to pre-register by 20 June)
Venue: HK Federation of Education Workers Wong Cho Bau Secondary School (map)

(2) ‘Public Forum’

13 July 2013 (Saturday), 2:00pm – 5:30pm (need to pre-register by 11 July)
Venue: HK Federation of Education Workers Wong Cho Bau Secondary School (map)

(It’s not clear what happens at these two events, or the difference between them)

(3) Make a written submission, either via their dull form (eg. ‘Do you want continuous walkways?’) with options to write your own answers;

OR just write to PlanD and CEDD, at:
skisdpo@pland.gov.hk and tungchung@cedd.gov.hk (deadline: 21 July – but do it now!)

Please email us at info@hkcyclingalliance.org if you’re going to a public meeting. If you write, please cc us.

You can phone them at:
PlanD: Sai Kung and Islands Districts Planning Office, 2158 6177 (fax: 2367 2976)
CEDD: HK Island and Islands Development Office, 2231 4408 (fax: 2577 5040)

The Stage One study

The Stage One study includes decorative icons and images of bikes, and mentions cycle tracks in the text.  But why isn’t cycling among the planning principles or the transport section, and why are there no details at all of the ‘cycle tracks’ – they’re not even shown on the map?  What are we being offered?

Cycling should be at the heart of the new Tung Chung, not merely window dressing.

Although the ‘cycling is leisure’ mantra is not trumpeted in this study, government is still very reluctant to recognise cycling as transport, let alone integrate it into planning.  So cycling is mentioned (even ‘commuting’, slightly), to look good, but actually left vague.   Without a firm commitment to build Tung Chung around cycling connectivity, we’ll end up with the same old disjointed, badly designed paths and no supporting effort to promote and enable functional cycling.

Don’t believe the pretty pictures; look at the text.

In the study’s 15 pages, here is what we get:

  • 海濱長廊及連綿的公園都會附設單車徑,以推廣單車成為區內的環保交通工具 Provide cycle tracks along the waterfront promenade and linear parks to promote cycling as a green commuting tool in Tung Chung

[what about cycling everywhere else? tracks can be good, and people cycle on roads and mixed-use area too.  So enable cycle traffic flow – no pointless barriers or dismount signs.  Encourage sensible sharing of space.  ]

  • 主要交通及社區設施附近提供足夠單車泊位以鼓勵居民使用單車 Provide adequate cycle parking space near major transport and community facilities to encourage cycling

[But people need to park at any locality, not just large bike parks at major facilities.  What about local parking near any shops or other places people go?  Eg. enable individual parking at most lampposts, signposts and railings.]

 

After three years, Transport Department has casually put up on its website the ‘Nine Towns Study’ that it has been promising for so long:
Traffic and Transport Consultancy Study on Cycling Networks, Parking Facilities in Existing New Towns in Hong Kong

I’ve not had time to read it all yet, but, like the interim reports, the result seems underwhelming.  It only ever tried to look at cycle tracks and a few specific facilities in new towns, not general cycling on roads and the cycling environment as a whole.  Or planning ahead for New Development Areas.  And I note that the original scope has been cut, with no sign of the promised “conceptual improvement layout plan for each new town”.

On parking, it notes that there is not enough designated parking (that took three years to work out?) but the discussion quickly drops into TD’s favourite issue of what style of parking facility to buy, rather than, say, how to measure and determine where parking is necessary, especially small-scale distributed parking, away from the obvious MTR locations.  (Cyclehoop, anybody?)

The issue of poor connectivity of tracks is identified, which is good, but this problem will never be successfully addressed until we aim to maximise throughflow of bike traffic — as in, prioritising cyclists wherever possible, and certainly wherever bikes are the major flow.  No mention of that here.

The proposals, within this narrow remit, seem mostly small-scale and unimaginative.  So we have a three-year, multi-million-dollar report suggesting things like:

  • put up plastic bollards in place of steel – to reduce injury severity (already TD’s plan, when they should be removed entirely to .. er .. eliminate the injuries altogether);
  • paint markings to guide cyclists away from obstacles (just a stopgap: where are the planning guidelines for obstacle-free cycleways?);
  • paint track surface colours to show trunk and local routes (irrelevant if tracks are still used by commuters, wobblers, sports riders, and kids, with no policy consideration of who and what the tracks are for. Or real training.)
  • lots of soft padding on things in the way, such as newly erected poles carrying mirrors.
  • installing railings designed to make parking your bike harder (when it’s not even an offence to park a bike on a footway, central reserve, verge, hard shoulder etc, if no danger or actual obstruction is caused).

Of course, the study makes a number of valid points and raises genuine issues.  In particular, it presses for tracks to be connected at various places where currently there are gaps (and recognises that this will involve rebalancing some priorities). It also calls for the implementation of shared footpaths; improved signage and surface markings; cyclist access to leisure facilities (ie. everywhere managed by LCSD); and having Highways Dept staff cycle the tracks at night to determine lighting needs. Many specific problem locations on tracks are enumerated.

If the government, starting with TD, intends to act positively, the study could point towards some modest improvements for cyclists in the new towns.

However, in essence, by looking only at cycle tracks, with no assessment of wider transport policy, patterns of cycle journeys made, and aspirations among cyclists and potential cyclists, it was never going to offer a strategy for more effectively incorporating cycling into our communities.  Then by proposing largely what TD is already thinking (or has done!) – minor capital expenditure that tinkers with existing infrastructure, and no solid planning basis for avoiding the same mistakes in future – it falls sadly flat.

More detailed comment will follow.

You can read the report here:
http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/publication/td_194_2009_es_eng.pdf

 

方便推單車上落樓梯的斜道(星加坡)

單車泊位(星加坡)

這個渡假村加設了單車泊位及方便推單車上落樓梯的斜道,是兩年前我到訪此地時未見有的。希望很快在香港也能見到類似單車專用斜道這樣的小設施,雖然星加坡也不算是對單車有完善支援的城巿,但小小一個設施已反映著和香港不一樣的態度。

 

東海岸公園的單車徑(星加坡)

這和馬路差不多一樣寬闊的路不是馬路,是位於東海岸公園的單車徑,攝於東海岸公園海鮮中心對出。希望香港的單車徑都有這個水準。

廣州地鐵站(越秀公園)外的公共單車租賃點

 

廣州的公共單車

單車租賃點同時提供收費單車停泊服務

廣州巿區的單車行車道(於中山路)

The Road Safety Council recently changed its guidance regarding where cyclists should be in the roadspace. It now tells cyclists to be in the middle of any narrow lane (ie. when another vehicle cannot safely be alongside within the lane) or when you are approaching a turn.

On Hong Kong’s confined streets, this has many benefits: it makes you much more visible to drivers, gives you some space on your left when vehicles come too close, and ensures that drivers think before they overtake you rather than believing they can “just squeeze past” when you are nearer the kerb.

I saw this post on the fantastic bikeyface blog today and thought it was very appropriate:

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Whenever a person first discovers I bike, they reply with a story. And it’s always the same story.

“I was driving down [insert any road name] when all of the sudden I saw a cyclist in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!”  Inevitably it always ends with them saying they “just tapped on their horn” or “squeezed by” or “yelled out to the cyclist.” 

And many many times I’ve been the cyclist in one of these stories – the one sharing the road with a driver that isn’t aware of the basic road rules regarding bikes.

What’s worse is that sometimes reasonable people panic at the sight of a bicycle in the lane… and then all that reason flies out the window.

So I wanted to explain it to those who have never biked in the city:

And there’s more. Bikes are small, but they still need space. Cars should give cyclists the same amount of space when passing as another vehicle, at least 3 ft. However, not all roads allow for that, particularly in Boston:

So don’t panic when you see a bike in your lane. Just treat it like another vehicle. If you can pass safely, that’s fine. If not, most likely you won’t be slowed down much if at all. In the city, I find that car traffic slows me down much more than the other way around.

以單車作為交通工具的眾多好處之中,零空氣污染排放及無噪音污染是對城巿的其中兩個好處,這是對整個社會甚至地球的貢獻。

去年(2011)是香港有紀錄以來路邊空氣污染最嚴重的一年,而香港的主要空氣污染物是來自交通的排放。所以香港各界都應當認真檢討這城巿是否可以繼續讓這麼多的車輛(包括公共運輸的車輛)在城巿中行駛,並且認真看待單車及步行作為城市交通工具的角色;這是刻不容緩的事,因為按估計每年有3200人因空氣污染而提早死亡!

為宣揚香港渴求健康空氣的訊息,並鼓勵大眾多使用無空氣污染排放的交通工具,「健康空氣行動」(Clean Air Network )會於12月2日下午舉辦一個名為「綠悠遊 Clean Air Drive」的活動,活動集合一眾人士騎乘電動車、單車及其他零污染交通工具,由九龍灣零碳天地(九龍灣常悅道,MegaBox旁)出發,沿一條特別路線遊走,如果從高空向下望,該路線會畫出 A I R 三個英文大字,藉此宣揚香港渴求健康空氣的訊息。

來讓我們一起踏單車,或者用滑板、步行…參加這個有意義的活動,讓香港看見單車這交通工具如何能為香港的空氣質素提供一個真正零污染的選擇。

活動詳情請參閱:http://www.hongkongcan.org/chi/2012/11/cleanairdrive/

Clean Air Drive event logo

 

An interesting new report from Civic Exchange takes a detailed look at how we should be moving around – and enjoying – our built space, here in Hong Kong.  It focuses on walking but embraces cycling as part of a much-needed shift in thinking towards personal mobility.  Cycling and walking are together at the core of a global change in urban planning that is sadly not yet seriously encountered within the realm of .gov.hk.

The report points out that, increasingly, other world cities are improving transport by making “more priority to cycling and walking” a policy goal. The quote is from Melbourne, but similar examples from London, New York, Seoul, Toronto and many others are included.

If reading this study makes you want a more cyclable, as well as a more walkable, Hong Kong, and you’d like to be a part of making it happen, please contact us!

Report