Cycling infrastructure is generally (in my opinion of course) just a tick box for my local councils. I cycle all over South Yorkshire and whilst sometimes there is a well planned cycle lane most of the time the council get around the provision by painting a bike symbol onto the path to create a 'shared use' path. On the whole I don't think that bikes belong on footpaths (although I'm not going to get into the issue on cyclists using footpaths). When councils put these in and a cyclist continues to use the road, which they are perfectly entitled to, they are open to abuse from motorists who then mistakenly believe that the bike must use the path provided. I'm not a fan of mingling bikes with pedestrians, it's dangerous for both parties. I'd much rather have a solution that mixes with traffic.
|Shared use path, City Rd|
photo: Google Streetview
Then there are badly thought out cycle lanes, the internet is full of them. Some are comedy gold but that's not a good thing. After all people's lives are at risk and I really think that town planners are not aware of this. Cycle lanes should be used to protect vulnerable cyclists from dangerous conditions (such as the infamous pinch points I've mentioned before).
So my message to the planners is... Stop with the tick box infrastructure. If you can't put in a bit of decent cycle lane then don't bother, just don't.