Views

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 →
Categories: Views

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

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

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

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

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

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 →
Categories: Views

A compilation of my 2019 posts and videos

BicycleDutch - 17 December, 2019 - 23:00
It is time again for the traditional year-in-review video in the last real blog post of the year*. This is the fifth end-of-the-year compilation video, so it is becoming a … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Riding from Delft to The Hague in the dark

BicycleDutch - 10 December, 2019 - 23:00
It is never fun to discover that your train service is suspended due to upgrading works and you will have to use a bus instead. I hate being on a … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

The curved cycle bridge of Beek

BicycleDutch - 3 December, 2019 - 23:00
A very nice curved cycle bridge was built near Maastricht – Aachen airport. This is a bridge in the fast cycle route from Maastricht to Sittard-Geleen in the extreme south … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

The extraordinary efficiency of bicycles, the potential of active modes, and the role of active travel in transport poverty

A View from the Cycle Path - 27 November, 2019 - 14:05
Last month my eldest daughter ran the Amsterdam marathon. She achieved her aim of running the 26.2 miles (42.2 km) in under her target of four and a half hours. A marathon is something you need to train for. The race was won by the spectacular Eliud Kipchoge, an extraordinary athlete and the world record holder, who has won nearly every race he's ever entered and who finished with a time of just David Hembrowhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/14543024940730663645noreply@blogger.com0http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2019/11/the-extraordinary-efficiency-of.html
Categories: Views

Riding in Autumn

BicycleDutch - 26 November, 2019 - 23:00
Autumn is the time of year associated with decay, with rain and wind, but when the sun is out, shining from just over the horizon, on the leaves in many … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

7550 New Bike Parking Spots at Copenhagen Central Station

Copenhagenize - 22 November, 2019 - 13:13

For all of Copenhagen's badassness as a bicycle city, there remains one thing that the City still completely sucks at. Bicycle parking at train stations. At Copenhagen Central Station there are only about 1000 bike parking spots. Danish State Railways can't even tell us how many spots they have. They're not sure.

Even in Basel they have 800+. In Antwerp they have this. Don't even get me started on the Dutch. 12,500 bike parking spots are on the way in some place called Utrecht. Amsterdam has a multi-story bike parking facility, floating bicycle barges round the back and are planning 7000 more spots underwater.

Even at the nation's busiest train station, Nørreport, the recent and fancy redesign failed miserably in providing parking that is adequate for the demand. Architects once again failing to respond to actual urban needs.

It is time to remedy that. Here is my design for 7550 bike parking spots behind Copenhagen Central Station. Steve C. Montebello is the architect that I worked closely with.


By exploiting the area over the train tracks and using Tietgens Bridge as the transport spine, we have created an iconic bicycle parking facility with ample parking spots at this important transport hub where trains, buses and - in 2019 - the Metro converge in an inter-modal transport orgy.

In our work on the EU project BiTiBi.eu - Bike Train Bike - we have been focused on parking solutions at train stations. It was a natural evolution to use that experience in developing this project.

The structure is supported by columns and utilises the existing platforms below, which dictated the shape that we decided upon.

There are:
- 6880 bike parking spots in double-decker racks. This can be expanded with 1360 more if necessary.
- 30 dedicated cargo bike parking spots featuring.
- 640 secure, indoor bike parking spots in the green roofed building at left (above).
- A bike shop for repairs and maintenence.
- Ticket machines and displays for departures and arrivals of trains and buses.
- At the end of the long point, the belvedere will be the world's premiere, dedicated lookout spot design for trainspotters.


Here is the view of the area as it is today.

There are four on/off ramps from Tietgens Bridge for ease-of-access.

A secure bicycle parking facility will house 640 bikes.

We used 3D models of bike racks courtesy of our colleagues at the Dutch company Falco. They know a thing or two about bike racks.

There will be a space for a bike shop for repairs and maintenence located at the entrance, next to ticket machines and displays featuring departures and arrivals for trains and buses.

The parking with have signs with areas divided up alphabetically, so you can find your bike again.

There is access to the three platforms below by stairs that will, of course, have bike ramps. Duh.

This facility will right so many wrongs and will thrust Copenhagen into the 21st century regarding bicycle parking at train stations. If we are  to maintain the momentum of a blossoming bicycle-friendly city, we need to up our game regarding parking.Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.
Categories: Views

Five cycle tunnels in the province of Utrecht

BicycleDutch - 19 November, 2019 - 23:00
A beautiful new bicycle tunnel was officially opened last Thursday in De Bilt by representatives of the Province of Utrecht and the municipality of De Bilt. The new tunnel is … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Road versus tree (the tree won!)

BicycleDutch - 12 November, 2019 - 23:00
In Vught there is an almost 100 year old beech tree that had survived World War II as a sapling. Decades later it was carefully spared when the motorway it … Continue reading →
Categories: Views
Subscribe to Cycling Embassy of Great Britain aggregator - Views