As previously discussed in several articles, Gorski Consulting is engaged in a research project to gain further knowledge about how motor vehicles pass cyclists. This information is needed to provide further insight into efforts to minimize the common scenario where cyclists are struck. Little objective information is available anywhere about this process. Video sessions conducted on April 12, April 14 and June 8, 2023 have enabled the documentation of 14 instances where passing motions occurred at our test site. These 14 observations are shown in the table below.
We have previously created articles discussing three observations: Apr 14-1, April 14-2 and April 14-8. The present article will now discuss a fourth observation: Apr 14-11. As in previous occasions the path of the northbound cyclist has been identified with respect to the lateral position with reference to the concrete gutter located near the right edge of the lane. The table below shows the cyclist path throughout the 50-metre travel distance within the observation zone.
As shown above the current cyclist rode rather close to the edge of the concrete gutter, mostly in the range of 0.65 to 0.50 metres to the west. Overall the average distance from the concrete gutter was 0.56 metres and this is below the overall average of all cyclist observations.
The figure at the beginning of this article shows the scenario as the cyclist is passing the Zero marker and is entering the 50-metre zone of observation. The timecode at this specific time is 01;21;36;58.
As seen below, a white Honda SUV enters the view at 01;21;39;49 and is crossing the Zero marker while its right front tire is located about 2.05 metres west of the concrete gutter. This is at a time when the cyclist is riding near the 20-metre marker.
The figure below shows the scenario at 01;21;40;37 as the cyclist is crossing the 25-metre marker while the white Honda SUV begins to approach from the rear.
The next figure below shows the scenario as the white Honda SUV is crossing the 25-metre marker at timecode 01;21;41;56. The right front tire of the Honda is estimated to be about 2.60 metres west of the concrete gutter. This is at a time when the cyclist is approaching the 40-metre marker and we can see from the previous table that the cyclist is located about 0.55 metres west of the concrete gutter at the 40-metre marker.
In the figure below we can see the cyclist is riding at about 0.50 metres west of the concrete gutter just as the White Honda SUV is passing by. No estimate has been made of the Honda’s lateral position but the view clearly shows that it is well over the roadway centreline.
As shown below, the cyclist crosses the 50-metre marker when his front tire is riding over the 0.60 metre marker west of the concrete gutter. We do not have a precise location for the Honda SUV but the figure below shows its shadow and it appears to be somewhat in front of the cyclist but not far.
As noted in previous articles, some information can be obtained about this occurrence by examining the what happens when the traffic units pass by various roadway markers. For example we can estimate the speed of the cyclist by examining the timecode as the cycle passes the Zero marker, 25-metre marker and the 50-metre marker. With respect to the speed of travel in the first 25 metres, the cyclist travels that distance in 3.65 seconds or 6.85 metres per second or 24.66 km/h. This is a relatively high speed. We can also examine the speed of the White Honda SUV. It took 2.12 seconds for the Honda to travel the initial 25 metres, or 11.79 metres per second or 42.45 km/h. So the difference in speed of the two traffic units about 17.8 km/h.
We can also examine the speed of the traffic units in the latter portion of the zone of observation. The cyclist took 3.00 seconds to travel the second 25-metre distance so its average speed was 8.33 metres per second or 30.00 km/h. That speed is substantially higher than the typical cyclist speed. Unfortunately we cannot calculate the speed of the Honda in this latter portion of the zone of observation as it is out of camera range as it passes the 50-metre marker. However the Honda appears to pass the 45-metre marker at a timecode of approximtely01;21;43;07.
Using this estimate we would say that the Honda travelled 20 metres in about 1.18 seconds. Thus it average speed would be 16.95 metres per second or 61.02 km/h. Thus both traffic units would appear to have increased their speeds in the latter portion of the zone of observation. The Honda’s speed would be unacceptably high for a roadway posted with a maximum speed of 40 km/h. One consideration is that the Honda driver might have increased speed because this was needed to counter the higher speed of the cyclist. The Honda driver may not have wanted to be driving across the centreline for any long distance because of the possibility of encountering opposing traffic. Thus increasing speed would cause the Honda to pass the cyclist quicker and allow the Honda to return into the northbound lane in a quicker time.
The purpose of this study is to compare these results to what is expected when the City of London completes the creation of a painted cycling lane through the area. While concern has been expressed that the painted lane will not provide the adequate level of safety to the cycling users, it is really unknown just what will unfold. It is the intention of Gorski Consulting to return to the site and conduct additional documentations of cyclists and motor vehicles thus enabling a comparison between the before and after scenarios. In the meantime we continue to write website articles discussing what has been found while the cycling lane does not yet exist.