Is campaigning for an experiment a better way to start?

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thomasrynne
Is campaigning for an experiment a better way to start?

I’m planning to start a campain for a local cycle route but I’m still working out what it is that I am asking for.

In the mean time I wanted to share an idea in case people have experience of this or other thoughts.

I think that rather than campaining for permanent changes to the local road layout to facilitate cycling I should campain for a 3 or 6 month experiment during which temporary changes are made.

The changes I have in mind would involve closing off one end of some residential roads and creating segregated lanes along wider roads to form a continuous route from the town center to a park at the edge of the town. I think this could be achieved by hiring the normal red and white traffic separators used during road works.

The cost for this would be quite low and any opposition or problems due to legal issues reduced due to its temporary nature.

If popular it would create a demand for a permanent change, whereas right now there’s only me.

Even if there was an appetite for permenent changes I think an experiment would be appropriate given the costs involved. It would probably result in a better quality end result too.

The main risk I can see is that the widths and layout possible using only tempory changes might not be a fair representation of what is possible.

Has this been tried before? Do you think a temporary improvement would create demand for something permanent?

Fatbob
Fatbob's picture

Hi Thomas,

A couple of queries / points you'd need to consider:-

  • What town / area do you want to try this in and what is the length of the route?
  • You need to consider signage (this is fraught with legal issues).
  • If you are suggesting closing off through routes can vehicles still turn at the end of the road (thinking of refuse wagons  etc)?
  • Are the roads you want to close off used for emergency vehicles?
  • What will be the effect on the journeys / routes of residents of the closed off streets (what will their alternative route look like?).
  • Could 20 mph zones work better?

Cheers,

Geoff

Geoff

The best bike is a used bike!

thomasrynne

Hi, thanks for raising these points. I had not thought of these issues.

I want to try this in Aldershot, Hampshire, The route is about 1.5 miles.

By signage do you mean signs for cars or cyclists (or both). What kind of legal issues are there?

You make a good point about turning, I will look at the roads again and see if there is space.

I'm not sure what you mean regarding the emergency vehicles. Obviously the roads would be used if accessing residents of the street. Do some roads have a more significant role?

For the closed off streets the worst case detour is just under a mile but a more common detour is 200m depending on which end of the street they live and where they want to go.

I don't think a 20mph zone would work. For me it would not pass the 8 year old test. ie. If my 4 year old was 8 I wouldn't be comfortable letting here cycle on the road, even with a 20mph sign. However, if there was only local traffic I would feel ok. I am guessing the same would be true of other people.

christhebull

If certain detours are considered too long, it may be worth also / alternately considering carefully arranged false one way streets and/or turning restrictions with cycle exceptions, ideally arranged so that they were useless as rat runs by forcing drivers to rejoin a major road at an "earlier" point. That would also address issues with refuse or delivery vehicles needing to turn round. I am vaguely familiar with Aldershot but a Google Maps / similar link showing the proposed route would be nice.

Fatbob
Fatbob's picture

Hi Thomas,

By signage do you mean signs for cars or cyclists (or both). What kind of legal issues are there?

Both,  check out   http://www.sustrans.org.uk/resources/design-and-construction/features-an... and that is just the start!

I'm not sure what you mean regarding the emergency vehicles. Obviously the roads would be used if accessing residents of the street. Do some roads have a more significant role?

Are the through roads used as access roads for emergency vehicles - wiould you be slowing their response times?

For the closed off streets the worst case detour is just under a mile but a more common detour is 200m depending on which end of the street they live and where they want to go.

OK, to you and I that may not seem too bad but be prepared for significant opposition from those who may need to drive for an extra 3 minutes!

 

Cheers,

Geoff

Geoff

The best bike is a used bike!

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