Talk:Milton Keynes redway system

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This discussion is reproduced from the main Milton Keynes article to show the strong differences of view on the benefit or otherwise of the system


The section on cycling has a very negative tone. I think this needs to be ameliorated; cycling is much better in Milton Keynes than many other towns because of at least an attempt to plan for this transport option. Perhaps more measured criticism on the experienced failings of a system, or issues of upkeep could be noted in the broader context of having a dedicated cycle path system. My previous experience was ten years of Hackney to London central and back, and I'd suggest most London cyclists would dream of dedicated cycle paths. And not being attacked by youths with iron bars (happened to my friend, they only dragged me off and kicked me in the head a few times before stealing my bike). (Mark G 13 December 2005)

The more negative perspective was introduced in a recent edit was by a CTC campaigner and he produced the evidence to support his thesis. I suppose we could rule it out on grounds of no original research, but it is not unconvincing. My own experience is that distance commuting by bike is only realistic on the grid roads, but I wouldn't dream of doing it after dark because of light clutter. (The article is negative in that respect too - you are far safer on a bike after dark on the redway than you are on the road! Perception v reality!). I've tried to make it a little more neutral, see what you think. --Concrete Cowboy 21:01, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I have reverted the incredible statement that "only one cyclist was killed on the grid roads, but six on the redway system". The source [1] is highly suspect. That article says that five of the so-called redway fatalities were caused by collisions with motor vehicles. So they can't have been on the redway, but on the road - albeit at a crossing point. Converesely, there have been at least three fatal accidents to cyclists on the A5 alone, with subsequent demands that it be closed to them. The research is seriously biased and I feel that even that reference ought to be removed since it has not been properly peer reviewed. --Concrete Cowboy 12:47, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I have corrected the fatalities bit from the (highly suspect) Franklin research to reflect the actual figures in the article, which are 22 grid road fatalities vs 24 Redways fatalities in that time frame. Interestingly, the same article states that about half of commuters used the Redways at that time, with the other half split between local and grid roads. Assuming similar usage figures for cycling in general at that time, and a total fatalities figure of 59 (from article), the Redways, for all their failings, likely have a proportionally lower fatality rate. That's before any consideration of the experience levels of the types of cyclinsts who elect to cycle on each type of route. At any rate, John Franklin's research is not the best example of a good source, as he is ideologically opposed to the idea of any segregation of cyclists from general traffic. This bias can be seen throughout his published work, often disguised with cherry-picked examples which agree with his views but which ignore the wider research consensus. (talk) 08:45, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Your correction wasn't accurate. You've put 'fatalities' where Franklin says 'serious or fatal'. I have corrected. I've also corrected an example of selective reporting: all roads should be compared to all redways, not just grid roads. But as you say, the research is very flawed - most obviously because the data is not normalised into rider miles. We don't know, for example, whether there are same/less/more/ten times more rider miles on redways as on roads. It makes a huge difference to the significance of the figures. We also don't have any normalisation by experience. Frankly, the report is a crock of the proverbial. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 18:41, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Diagram showing relative increases in collision rates for users of cycle paths

--Sf 14:15, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

This might be relevant if there were any junctions like that in MK, but there aren't. They are all off-set so that the cycleway crosses the road at least 5 metres from the dotted line. --Concrete Cowboy 14:45, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Critique of Franklin paper[edit]

There are some really basic flaws in the cited paper:

  • The figures are not normalised to "accidents per 1000 user/km", let alone the relative experience of the the two user groups. The number of users of the redway system is vastly more than that of the "normal" roads, so it must be expected that there will be more accidents. The experience and expertise of roadway cyclists is far greater than that of redway cyclists.
  • There is no control sample: what are the figures for a city of comparative size and similar number of cycle users, but without cycleways? Without this, it is impossible to infer anything meaningful from the figures.
  • The author has chosen to include road accidents as redway accidents, to suit his agenda.
  • The author has excluded accidents on the A5, again to suit his agenda.

If the paper were offered as a wiki article, it would be ripped to shreds for blatant PoV and GCSE Grade G level of statistical analysis. --Concrete Cowboy 14:45, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Then by all means feel free to submit a rebuttal to the journal concerned. However, you may not choose to use this medium as the place to promote such views as this comprises "original research" on your part. Thus, if you wish to cite rebutal research in the article it must come from similarly peer reviewed and identifiable sources. --Sf 15:13, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I have carefully not put this challenge in the article itself. But the points I make above are elementary scientific method and readers must be offered the opportunity to form their own view of their merits. --Concrete Cowboy 16:36, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I have deleted your references to a challenge of this paper in the footnotes. Again you need to cite your sources. Claims made by an anonymous wikiuser with no apparent qualifications in the matter do not, in my view, count as a credible challenge to the work which was carried out. --Sf 17:11, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I might also point out that you make several unsupported allegations as to the "agenda" of the author. (Who you clearly do not know, which, in my view, immediately suggests that you have absolutely no expertise in the field) These allegations and the manner in which they are made might be taken to suggest that your challenge is based primarily on emotional rather than scientific considerations. In my view, this would further undermine your claims. --Sf 17:27, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
The author gives his qualifications and interests on his website and his paper is widely cited. I don't challenge his qualifications or his national status. I also see that he was a leading member of the Milton Keynes Cycle User Group, which has campaigned hard against any proposals to exclude cyclists from the A5, a high speed grade-separated dual carriageway. The reason for these proposals being made is the number of cyclists being killed or seriously injured on that road. He carefully excluded that data from the paper - this is bad science. You insist on repeating that error. The MKCUG membership consists of serious long-distance, fast cyclists, who are strongly opposed to the 10kph design speed of the redways. MKCUG is not representative of the large numbers of leisure users who like to potter about on sunny days. The text of the article as you have modified it, creates the impression that the redways are a dangerous and unpopular failure, which is a travesty of the truth. I accept completely that they do not meet the demands of CTC for good, safe, multi-use road design (which I support), but they are a very popular facility. (One of the papers citing the Franklin paper, "An American Prototopia: or Peachtree City as an Inadvertent, Sustainable Solution to Urban Sprawl" (Dalton, Dalton 99) describes [2] how other cities have positively sought to emulate the system, with communities building their own connection to the system rather than wait in turn for the local authority to do it). Rather than resort to personal attacks on me, you could address my challenge to the basic errors in methology in the paper. My qualifications and interests are irrelevant, all that matters is whether my challenges are valid ones. --Concrete Cowboy 13:22, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
With respect I think you need to start dealing in facts. The changes I made make no reference to "popularity" merely to facts regarding fatal crashes on the roadway/redway network of Milton Keynes. As to your "challenges": if you wish to publish them here then first publish them elswhere. Or else find a published source. --Sf 13:38, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Comments left on Sf's talk page by concrete cowboy[edit]

I've moved these here as they are better aired in a more public forum --Sf 15:00, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

[CC ]I have great difficulty accepting your figures at Milton Keynes#Cycling and walking. I can recall very clearly at least three fatalities on the major roads (including the A5). I don't recall any grid road fatalities - bumps, scrapes, broken limbs, concussion certainly, but fatalities would have made the front page of the Citizen. You need to cite your sources. --Concrete Cowboy 11:41, 22 December 2005 (UTC) (Continuation of the aboove): If you mean the the report referenced in the article then its methodology is highly suspect: it says "Five of the cyclist fatalities was as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle". There are no motor vehicles on the redway: these fatalities were on local roads! (There are clearly problems where the red-ways cross the roads: inadequate signage, lack of marking on the road, lack of parking restrictions on either side. The problem could be solved if the crossings were converted to traffic-light or zebra crossing, with chicanes to force inexperienced cyclists to slow down rather than ride straight accross without looking. --Concrete Cowboy 12:36, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Rather than arbitrarily reverting my challenge to your partisan PoV, why not address it. --Concrete Cowboy 16:23, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Vice versa[edit]

"Using the redways can be frustrating for experienced cyclists, because they tend to go under or over the roads, rather than vice versa"

eh? as opposed to what? the roads going under or over the cycleways? Morwen - Talk 16:08, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes! So the cars would have to climb bridges or out of underpasses. -- (talk) 20:40, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Removing section[edit]

The entire criticism section is highly biased, and without encyclopedic value. I am going to remove it, if there is a reason that it should not be removed; please reinsert it with reason....... CaptainMurphy1989 (talk) 20:46, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

External link to maps[edit]

I fixed the broken link to the maps in the External Links section, however I just noticed it's now a duplicate of ref 2. An alternative link would be [3]- Arguably more canonical, however those files are in MS Word format, which I don't think is great for maps compared to PDF. Maybe the external links section should just be removed, and maybe add a note to ref 2 to indicate that maps are available there? I don't feel comfortable doing that without some consensus Geordiecoder (talk) 18:31, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I found an alternative URL for the original link, though not sure how long that'll be alive judging by the subdomain (maps are in JPEG format): [4] Geordiecoder (talk) 18:57, 28 August 2014 (UTC)