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Why commuting by motorcycle is good for everyone

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Ljiljan, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring...uting-by-motorcycle-is-good-for-everyone.html
    Motorcycle riders don’t just save themselves time and money, they do the same for car drivers, and they also help to reduce the emissions of cars.​
    That’s the conclusion of a major new study by TML, a Belgian transport specialist. The research centred on a study of motorway traffic flow from Leuven, 10 miles to the west of Brussels, into the Belgian capital, focusing on traffic build-up during rush-hour periods.​
    The study’s aim was to look at the effect on traffic flow and congestion of some commuters changing from cars to motorcycles. Interestingly, some of the consequences were dramatic for all road users, not just the commuters who made the switch to two wheels.​
    Existing traffic flow was analysed thoroughly beforehand, using data taken from seven sites on the route, each site being a junction with six sensors monitoring traffic in both directions on the main carriageway and at the exits. Information from the sites was gathered at five-minute intervals around the clock through May last year.​
    The typical traffic patterns won’t surprise anyone: the intensity increased strongly between 5am and 7am, with queues starting to form at 6.45am and continuing until about 9am. In other words, the morning rush hour took place from 6.30am to 9.30am, much the same as in any European town or city. ​
    At the 7.50am peak, the journey on the 8.5-mile stretch of motorway takes 14 minutes longer than at 6.40am, a big and wearily familiar increase when you consider the same journey takes only eight minutes in free-flowing traffic.​
    This real-world information was then used to calibrate a sophisticated traffic-modelling system called the Link Transmission Model. TML found that inputting the real data produced simulated traffic patterns very similar to the observed ones, including the same increase in travel times, confirming the accuracy of the model.​
    TML then quantified the congestion by converting it to “lost vehicle hours” (the time wasted per vehicle occupant because of congestion), in this case amounting to 1,925 hours in a single morning rush-hour period.​
    This is where motorcycle behaviour comes into play: in free-flowing traffic a motorcycle uses the same space on the road as a car, just another slot in a line of traffic, but as the density increases, motorcycles start to use less and less space, eventually disappearing altogether between the traffic queues. The study expresses this as a Passenger Car Equivalent space, or PCE. On an open road a motorcycle has the same value as a car, 1, but as the traffic comes to a standstill it drops to 0, where the bikes are filtering through stationary cars and in effect using no road space, or at least none that’s contributing to congestion. It’s a variable that has some major knock-on effects.​
    Satisfied that the model reflected the real world accurately and the PCE value for motorcycles was accurate, TML next looked at the consequences on traffic flow of one in 10 car drivers switching to motorcycles. The results were astonishing. The travel time for the remaining 90 per cent of car drivers at the 7.50am peak increased by just six minutes instead of 14, while the queues started later and dissipated sooner.​
    With a tenth of car drivers now using motorcycles, the main queue is gone by 8.30am instead of 9.10am, while the number of “lost vehicle hours” decreases by 63 per cent to 706.​
    The individuals making the switch, of course, would enjoy even faster journey times once the queues start to form, but they would also be helping their fellow commuters.​
    The environment benefits, too. The effect on emissions assumes that car drivers would change to 250cc commuter bikes, which produce 21 per cent less emissions than cars. But this alone resulted in a fall of only one per cent in emissions – a greater fall of five per cent came from the improved traffic flow.​
    In other words, car emissions fell because they were not stuck in traffic jams for so long.​
    The fuel economy of cars also improved, but the study concludes the biggest benefit to the remaining car users is one of time. Even with a 40 per cent reduction in lost traffic hours, across Belgium a saving of 15,000 lost vehicle hours per day would be made. Applying TML’s figure of £19 per hour per vehicle time value, that comes to a total of £280,000 per day saving for car drivers.​
    In the UK that saving would be much greater. So those bike riders wriggling past you in the traffic are not only saving themselves time and money, they’re also saving it for car drivers, as well as cutting emissions.​
    Move over and let them through, or better still, get on a bike yourself. You’ll arrive at your destination sooner, and less stressed.​

    • Like Like x 2
  2. Finally I'm doing something for the environment!

    The big factor for me is the time I save. On public transport It used to take me an extra 1.5 hours to get to and from work every day. That's 7.5 hours a week I get back.
  3. Uhm... the study says you are doing something good for the environment when changing from a car to a 250 bike. Not when changing from public transport to a bike :p
  4. I love the way they explain this in detail about how much we can help congestion. And if these observations are accurate(which we, as riders know full well they are) Why are our ctp,s doubling?. why do they persecute us for filtering/splitting. Are our lawmaker just stupid or they just want the cash?....opps just answered my own Q. So when will our lawmakers own up to the FACT that we (all riders, except me) are a positive influence on traffic or do we just continue to cop it sweet
    And yes i do know the research was done in Pommieland. But our fine lawmaker can read............ I hope.

    "So those bike riders wriggling past you in the traffic are not only saving themselves time and money, they’re also saving it for car drivers, as well as cutting emissions."

    Tell this to the bastard who opened his door on me while filtering last week.
  5. This was from the UK, not Oz.

    But, you are right.
  6. Stupid/want the cash.... these two options are not mutually exclusive.

    The real answer to your question is the "dog's dick principle"....... because they can.
  7. Belgium, actually, but he's still fairly right.
  8. Article is from UK.
  9. Aint that the truth :depressed:
  10. thankyou...
  11. Yes I agree that it is interesting, and a good thing, that a mainstream media source is picking up on motorcycling research, especially as it would normally be viewed as a tad obscure. The more we can do highlight such research the better IMHO.

  12. I don't save on time at all unless it's outside peak hour. But I do save on money. It's about $13 a day for me for a daily train ticket, so well over $60 a week. But it costs me about a third of that to ride.

    So no time, but I save plenty of cash. And I don't have to stand next to stinky, selfish, train users blabbing on their mobiles and banging into me with their bags.
  13. That is a really good article - thanks for posting it.

    Problem is there are people who frown on filtering that I talk to and while I'd like to show them this article, I'm not confident they can read...
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Daily commute from deer park to Richmond :

    Citilink $5
    Parking $7
    Fuel : $8-10

    Citilink FREE
    Parking FREE
    fuel : $3.80

    Not only has my lams bike paid itself off within the duration of my new licence, but I have saved countless hours being stuck in traffic. The ONLY time I've been complained at for filtering and lane splitting was by a cop car who lights and sirened me as I passed, but was stuck in traffic so couldn't follow.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Actually two of the background citations in that study were from Victoria. One was from me and the other was Professor Marcus Wigan...
  16. My point is that given it's an article in a UK newspaper means very little for Australia because filtering is legal there and not just accepted but expected.

    Now if that article had been in an Australian newspaper then I'd be impressed.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. If you want to see the opposite - when motorcycle riders "upgrade" to cars, look no further than Thailand. The current Thai government recently offered first time new-car buyers a scheme where they didn't have to pay sales tax. It was very successful (depending on how you measure success) with more than a million extra cars going on the road. The result: peak hour traffic in cities such as Chiang Mai has gone from heavy-but-flowing to car park, but the total number of vehicles probably hasn't increased much at all - just riders getting off motorcycles and into cars (although old habits die hard - you'll sometimes see cars filtering, too).
  18. Well this only proves true if bikes are actually allowed to filter. If we take a scenario where every bike does not filter as i sometimes do not in peak hour as drivers put their cars everywhere on the road. Then all the flow savings are basically minimised to zilch.
    If filtering is used effectively this statement holds true otherwise it means quite little apart from less fuel consumption.
  19. I suggest you go to the source and Google Marcus Wigan's work Powered Two Wheelers in Victoria