Sunday, 21 April 2013

How to make a cycle-unsafe crossing by not thinking holistically

Near to me is a traffic signaled crossroads across a dual carriageway linking two 20mph zone residential estates. Below is the crossing looking east to west. The legal alternative to this crossing when cycling (opposed to dismounting & pushing) is approximately 300m on the dual carriageway upto the next junction, and then loop back along winskell avenue.You can see the junctions on Google maps
It's illegal for bikes to use this junction even though it's between two 20mph zones and about 5 metres
The bus lane which is approximately 50 metres doesn't permit cyclists, prohibiting cycles from legally travelling straight across between the estates. The lights for busses are sensor controlled, and do not trigger for cyclists forcing a jump of the red.

The pedestrian crossing, not in the above photo, but just to the left, isn't a Toucan, but a pedestrian only crossing, cyclists need to walk over, which is not convenient. The crossing also has railings to corral the pedestrians as shown below.

Corralling pedestrians like cattle, Oh, and pedestrian only so bikes cannot use
There is a cycle crossing put in ACROSS the bus lane parallel with the dual carriageway as part of the John Reid Road cycleroute which has NOT been extended north of this junction
Perversely, there is a sensor controlled cycle crossing over the bus lane
The easiest and cheapest solution to this would have been to include cycles in the Traffic Regulation Order when the bus lane was created or by subsequent amendment of the order and the signage. Since they considered bikes crossing the bus lane how could they not consider the crossing of the main road.

This was raised, and although the points were acknowledged, the comment was made that cyclists can safely and legally cross by dismounting and wheeling their bikes across the pedestrian crossing and using the short off road links to bypass the bus lane, and that this was preferred as it would minimize conflict with pedestrians. Hardly enlightening and constructive advice from the transport officer responsible for cycling!

Junctions like this need to be made safe and as convenient for people who ride bikes, as they are for drivers. If not then there is no chance of encouraging people to leave their cars at home.

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