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Is cycling priority on roundabouts a good idea?

BicycleDutch - 25 February, 2020 - 23:00
Roundabouts are much safer than regular intersections. There is not much debate about that fact in the Netherlands. But when it comes to the priority rules on roundabouts the opinions … Continue reading →
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When a junction turns people cycling into lawbreakers, how do you fix it?

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 22 February, 2020 - 12:47

As with many British towns in the wake of the 1963 Traffic in Towns report, Horsham responded to the coming age of the motor car with a mixture of enlightenment and destructiveness. In doing s0, it largely reflected the nature of the Report itself, which presciently diagnosed the enormous problems mass motoring would present, but offered damaging remedies that essentially accommodated ever-expanding demand for driving right in the heart of our towns, alongside a more benign banishment of it from limited areas within them.

In Horsham, that destructiveness involved the construction, in several stages, of a four-lane inner ring road that now encircles most of the town centre, and the construction of several large multi-storey car parks to accommodate increasing numbers of private cars.

The red line indicates the approximate route of the four lane inner ring road, over the previous street pattern. Original map here.

Although that ring road was (and remains) a blight on the town, the area within it has fared rather better, with a fairly deliberate policy of either complete removal of motor traffic, or minimising its levels. Through-traffic is discouraged by means of a 20mph zone (one of the first in the country) combined with a winding, circuitous route through the town centre, while many other streets have been either fully pedestrianised, or part-pedestrianised.

While these changes within the ring road are largely to be applauded, the enlightened planners and councillors who implemented them sadly neglected to consider cycling in any way, shape or form. One of the biggest issues is that the one-way flow through the centre, while successful at keeping motor traffic on the inner ring road in an east-to-west and north-to-south direction, also completely excludes cycling. I’ve previously written about this specific issue here.

Another longstanding problem for cycling lies to the western edge of the town centre. Here the former main north-south road across the town (shown in green and blue in the overhead view below) has been bypassed to the west by the four lane inner ring road (in red), leaving short sections of road with a pedestrianised area in the middle (highlighted in green), that still allows cycling in a north-south direction, but in a very half-hearted and ambiguous way. In other words, it’s not at all clear that it’s legal to cycle there.

This is actually a fairly important area for cycle journeys, because as well as potentially allowing you to cycle in a north-south direction avoiding the unpleasant, fast and busy four lane inner ring road (which naturally makes no concessions to cycling at all), it should also allow journeys in an east-west direction – particularly, people coming from the north and the west to enter the town centre. All these potential routes are shown on the overhead view below.

The red lines indicate entry and exit points for cycling. To the left is the large inner ring road.

The real difficulty lies at the southern end, where a new bus station was built around twenty years ago. It lies in the middle of the red ring, above. The building itself is attractive, but once again there was absolutely no consideration of cycling when it was planned (are you sensing a pattern here?).

The area where buses arrive and depart is buses-only – so the area ringed in green, below, is a no-go area for cycling.

That means all the movements through this area have to pass through the gap between this green area and the building on the corner, which is at present a pedestrian crossing, connecting the pedestrianised area with the bus station. This is a very awkward fit for cycling.

The video below shows me cycling along the line of the red arrow. This is at a particularly quiet time of day, early in the morning, so it is free of the potential conflict with people walking to and from the bus station.

It’s not even clear to me how legal this is. I take the option of crossing into the bus station and then moving across the solid stop line (the lights will only change for buses, so jumping the lights is unavoidable). The alternative is to cycle onto the pedestrian crossing, but that doesn’t seem particularly appealing either.

Short of rebuilding the bus station and starting all over again from scratch, to my mind there are no obvious fixes here to formalise cycling through this area. Perhaps a short term bodge is simply to convert the pedestrian crossing into a toucan that is at least legal to cycle onto, but then you are left with the inelegant solution of cycling off of it to join the road where the heads of the red arrows are located. Furthermore this toucan crossing would not help with cycling in the opposite direction, where people have to cycle (the wrong way!) into the bus station entrance from a signalised road junction, and then somehow ‘merge’ onto a toucan crossing which may well have people walking on it.

To demonstrate, here is another video of me on this desire line, cycling from the east, then heading north, along the line of the upper red arrow. Currently I take the approach of cycling onto the footway before the red light, to avoid conflicts with the pedestrian crossing. Although cycling in the pedestrianized area is legal, it probably isn’t on this bit of footway. But I’m not sure what else to do.

For pure north-south cycling journeys, the most obvious option is some kind of route running down the western edge of the bus station. There is a new-ish hedge that could potentially be sacrificed, and some parking bays that are occasionally used by service vehicles from the bus companies.

Here is a family walking south down the footway along the western edge of the bus station, with the hedge and the parking bay to their left.

This would solve these purely north-south journeys. However, it wouldn’t do anything to address the most of the journeys across the area, which will involve some east- or west-component, and therefore will involved the difficulties shown in my videos.

Indeed, the junctions around the bus station are an almost perfect case-study in how people cycling are turned into lawbreakers (or at least flexible rule-benders) because nobody has given any thought into how people would actually cycle through the area.

From the east, the ‘least worst’ option is to cycle on a short bit of footway (which may or may not be legal), and from the north the ‘least worst’ option is either to cycle onto a pedestrian crossing, or to cycle through a red light designed only for buses.

It’s a mess. And without a total redevelopment of the area, I’m not sure how it can be substantially improved. But any thoughts on how it might be done would be welcome! This area is important, as it is right in the town centre, and dealing with how to cycle across it in at least a legal manner needs to be solved.

Categories: Views

Winter Cycling Congress 2020 in Joensuu

BicycleDutch - 18 February, 2020 - 23:00
The city of Joensuu was host to the international Winter Cycling Conference 2020. With temperatures as low as -13 degrees and weather conditions ranging from sunny clear blue skies to … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Who are the one percent super polluters ?

A View from the Cycle Path - 18 February, 2020 - 13:32
Our starting point for this article: We needed to reduce our emissions by 18% a year, beginning in 2019. Of course, we now know that this is not what actually happened in 2019 so we now need to reduce our emissions even more steeply beginning in 2020. This will not be achieved by any easy measures which allow us, i.e. the relatively rich people who live in developed nations, to carry on our David Hembrowhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/14543024940730663645noreply@blogger.com0http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2020/02/who-are-one-percent-super-polluters.html
Categories: Views

DCE at the UK Houses of Parliament

Dutch Cycling Embassy - 12 February, 2020 - 10:19

DCE attends Walking and Cycling Showcase organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling & Walking.

Categories: News

Cycling in the Finnish snow

BicycleDutch - 11 February, 2020 - 23:00
In the past two weeks I was in Finland, thinking: ‘When the snow doesn’t come to me, I will go to the snow instead!’ That wasn’t the main reason though. … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Call for Nominees for CED’s Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion 2020

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 11 February, 2020 - 14:23

This is your chance to nominate the candidate you think should be honored with the Cycling Embassy of Denmark’s Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion 2020. True to tradition, the CED will award an individual or an organization with our Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion at the Velo-city conference which takes place in Ljubljana, Slovenia in ...

The post Call for Nominees for CED’s Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion 2020 appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

Categories: News

Bicycle Architecture Biennale 2019-2020

Dutch Cycling Embassy - 10 February, 2020 - 09:58

The second international 'Bicycle Architecture Biennale' (BAB) by BYCS is once again available for the next month.

Categories: News

Dutch Expertise on Channel Island of Jersey

Dutch Cycling Embassy - 10 February, 2020 - 08:52

Dutch Cycling Embassy provides team of public and private experts to work with the Channel Island of Jersey.

Categories: News

Cheerful art in a cycle tunnel

BicycleDutch - 4 February, 2020 - 23:00
Most cycle tunnels in the Netherlands have a work of art on their walls. One of the reasons is that art makes the tunnels less scary. A cycle tunnel in … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Dutch Expertise in Berlin and Warsaw

Dutch Cycling Embassy - 29 January, 2020 - 13:37

Dutch Cycling Embassy visits Berlin and Warsaw to discuss future cooperation with our network.

Categories: News

Rush hour at dawn

BicycleDutch - 28 January, 2020 - 23:00
It’s been a while since I showed you a morning rush hour. It is always good to take a step back every now and then. I often show you different … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Dutch Cycling Embassy Visits DC and NYC

Dutch Cycling Embassy - 22 January, 2020 - 12:37

DCE Director Lucas Harms attends meetings with key players in both Washington, DC and New York City.

Categories: News

Renting a bicycle from a locker

BicycleDutch - 21 January, 2020 - 23:00
Thanks to the national OV-Fiets system, which is the public-transport shared bicycle system, I can get to places where I want to film for this blog. When I had to … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

DCE Leads Belgian Trade Mission

Dutch Cycling Embassy - 16 January, 2020 - 10:22

Delegation of experts from the Dutch Cycling Embassy joins Minister Sigid Kaag on Belgian trade mission.

Categories: News

Dutch Cycling Embassy Meets TU Delft

Dutch Cycling Embassy - 16 January, 2020 - 10:08

TU Delft hosts the first of several planned meet-ups between cycling researchers and practitioners.

Categories: News

When you design streets for people, not for machines

BicycleDutch - 14 January, 2020 - 23:00
The Utrecht Maliebaan is a beautiful tree-lined avenue – over 60 metres wide – that was built almost 400 years ago as a sports track for a game that was … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

You are not made of sugar…

BicycleDutch - 7 January, 2020 - 23:00
You won’t melt in the rain… That is not the answer you want to hear as a teenager when you complain to your mother about having to cycle to school … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

2020 is the year of stage 2 of the Tour de Force

BicycleDutch - 1 January, 2020 - 23:00
In this first post of the year I’d like to focus on the second stage of the Tour de Force which starts right now, in 2020. But we can of … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Happy Holidays

BicycleDutch - 23 December, 2019 - 23:00
As promised last week, I have a little video to wish you all the best for the holidays. It is traditional, in this darkest time of the year, that the … Continue reading →
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