From main road to attractive people’s space

BICYCLE DUTCH

Utrecht is reconstructing the streets directly around the historic city centre. These streets, alongside the former city wall and moat, were once supposed to become a four lane main road. For that the water would have disappeared. That never happened at this location but the streets did become a main route for motor traffic for decades. Now the streets have been designated as a main cycle route around the city centre. The design of the streets is being changed accordingly. The second stage of this project has just been finished and a third stage is under construction.

The reconstructed Maliesingel in Utrecht has first and foremost become a main cycle route. The area is now also an attractive urban space where people may want to linger longer.

Two years ago I showed you the first stage of this project. The streets named Maliesingel and Tolsteegsingel were transformed from a…

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Kensington Meadows: Designing out disabled access

Bath and North East Somerset announced consultation on the Kensington Meadows, an area of Bath that runs parallel to London Road between the road and the river. What is clear is that they asked the current users of the meadows what they wanted. People that avoid the meadows due to being physically unable to use the meadows really got short shrift.

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Continue reading Kensington Meadows: Designing out disabled access

Bike roadshow

I hate this idea that everyone shares the same responsibility. As has been shown by West Midlands Police, most collisions between a person cycling and and a person in control of a motorised vehicle is the fault of the driver. The use of the term ‘accidents’ has been banned by the British Medical Journal as there is always a root cause and don’t get me started on “Share with care”. Something stolen from the towpath scene and more appropriate to sharing space between people cycling and walking. However they will be handing out free stuff. Expect to be berated for cycling without a helmet and be encouraged to let your 8 year old child “share with care” with big lumbering HGVs or aggressive parents late on the school run. Nothing about what this charity does is good. They are not trying to enable cycling by campaigning for segregated safe cycle space, they simply want the status quo. 1700+ people die each year due to driver error, over 18,000 are seriously injured, yet we all have the same duty of care. Ridiculous. Still free swag bag. Just make sure not to wear a helmet and make sure to ask them why they are not campaigning for real safety changes by creating space for cycling.

BATH NEWSEUM

A free cycling roadshow will be taking place in Bath next week, helping cyclists get ‘Bike Smart’ for winter as part of UK Road Safety Week 2018. Offering on-site cycle maintenance services, anti-theft cycle marking and a competition to win cycling lights, the roadshow is part of a wider campaign focusing on the safety of those on two wheels.

Cyclists and motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users in the UK. More than a third of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads are those travelling by bike and more than 100 riders are injured every day in preventable crashes.

Taking place between 19–25 November and coordinated by Brake, Road Safety Week seeks to raise public awareness about the importance of protecting those on two wheels and the message at the heart of this year’s campaign is ‘Bike Smart’: helping cyclists and motorcyclists to be ‘BikeSmart’ through safe…

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Design Details (1)

Probably one of the best explanations of continuous footways that councillors and highways engineers really needs to read.

Nicer cities, liveable places

Design Details (1)

Continuous footway, side-road crossings, simplicity and clarity, blending, getting it right, getting it wrong.

What it is which makes the Dutch ‘continuous footway’ design work so successfully?

Copies of this are becoming more common in the UK, but are we getting our designs right?

What Dutch design principles are relevant here? What can we learn from these principles?

What’s wrong with the idea of ‘blending’ designs?


This is, I hope, the first part of what will become a series of articles looking at details of Dutch (and perhaps Danish) infrastructure – specifically at how these support cycling, walking, and the vitality of their cities and towns – and comparing these designs to those in the UK. Details about other posts in the series will appear here.


What is ‘continuous footway’?

In Dutch cities and towns one of the features which first stands out to a UK audience…

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Active Travel and Accessibility Forum Follow Up

While it is all fresh in my head I will quickly write-up as much as possible.

LCWIP

The Bath and North East Somerset Local Cycling Walking Infrastructure Plan is being developed as a whole across BaNES, North Somerset, Bristol, and South Gloucester. It was good to note that Cllr Mark Shelford want a commitment from the people that are developing the LCWIP that the priority would be Safe routes to school then commuter routes to centres of employment, then centre of commerce.

Cllr Shelford also noted that walking was analysed at 2km and not the 3 miles that is currently used for school travel support.  (5km for cycling).

There was an admission that no money is available to implement this and we will be needing to look to the DfT and WECA however WECA are going through the process of developing a Joint Spatial Plan, a Joint Local Travel Plan, and there is also something called the Local Plan.

All in all good. What was not so good is there was no connection to what Wiltshire are doing or any detail about the connections between Urban areas. Also Secondary schools were ignored in the node to node analysis in Bath. However expect further work on this.

Oxfordshire Walking and Cycling Standards

I’ve spoken about these before and there is progress on these with the council now looking to develop or adopt these. They are absolutely vital and can transform what developers can do with their roads space. This is a big big change and will make a huge difference.

Somerdale Bridge

Apparently £1M is not enough to build a bridge. I understand the one at Batheaston cost £900k with material costs of around £500k. Cllr Shelford made it clear he could not understand why a bridge could not be built here for that money. Expect this one to explode.

Seven Projects for Bath City Forum

The ATAF will be developing a set of 7 costed projects to submit for CIL funding via the Bath City Forum. Projects can be as simple as installing a dropped kerb to finally getting a good ramp from the Two Tunnels into Lyncombe Vale rather than that root infested dirt path.

Given that other community forums have similar CIL pots, there is no reason not to develop this out to other areas.

Share with Care

As cycling has become more popular, so has poor interaction between people walking and cycling. Council is going to reach out to Sustrans and their One Path initiative on the B2B and see if something similar could be done on some of our shared routes. The reality is though, we simply must start designing for cycle traffic and recognise a cycle is a vehicle capable of speed. Grade separated segregated space is realistically the only way to achieve this to remove much of the cycle traffic from leisure routes.

A.O.B.

Keynsham High Street design process is about to kick off.

Western Riverside was discussed and how the whole development should be considered a Low Traffic Neighbourhood and that Destructor Bridge should be restricted to buses only. Further work needed.

Weston to City Centre cycle scheme was discussed as to whether the advisory cycle lane actually did anything. A few people noted that if the parking along here was removed then this would no longer be a problem as segregated cycling infra using orcas (see London Road) could be implemented.

Cllr Shelford should be congratulated for defending the London Road Orcas. Apparently he got a lot of flack for them. They are an example of how to achieve light protected cycle infrastructure.

 

Active Travel and Accessibility Forum (16th) + Follow Up Meeting (23rd)

Bath and North East Somerset Council Active Travel and Accessibility Forum (ATAF)
5.30pm to 7.30pm 16 October 2018, Kaposvar Room, The Guildhall, Bath

Agenda

1. Review previous actions outstanding
2. Feedback from Oxford research visit
3. Current scheme/project updates:
Local Cycling and Walking Investment Plan
Mulberry Park walking and cycling improvements
4. AOB:
Fielding Road Bridge (FT)
Keynsham High Street (AR)

(There will be other discussions)

This will be followed by a Cycle Bath meeting on the 23rd at the Guild Co-Working space at 6:30pm to discuss and analyse the LCWIP, and form our initial response to the process.

 

 

New bridge route must not be a ‘rat-run’

Email transportation@bathnes.gov.uk Subject 18-015/2/AC Make sure you write SUPPORT in your email. By keeping this bridge closed to through traffic and only useable by buses, we create a Low Traffic Neighbourhood that tackles car dependency and enables walking and cycling while prioritising public transport. It is good to see that the council is doing this but your voice needs to be heard in supporting these. There will be local residents that object without realising that this will create one of the worst rat runs in the city. BaNES needs to hear that this is supported by you.

[EDIT] As somebody pointed out this TRO closes Stothert Avenue to through traffic. It does not close the bridge enabling north (must turn left)/south traffic across Destructor Bridge. Yes Stothert Ave should be closed, but the reality is that by closing Destructor Bridge you create a significantly better river side residential area. More concerning is that the cycle infrastructure on Midland Road has not been designed correctly. You can share road space with children cycling if traffic volumes are low and under 20mph. Opening the bridge will make a section of Midland Road unusable.

BATH NEWSEUM

Just taken my first cycle trip across Bath’s new Destructor Bridge – down at the Crest Nicholson Riverside development.

It’s my understanding motorists had a taster last week-end when police asked for the route through from the Upper Bristol Road to the Lower to be opened to relieve congestion.

It has been firmly closed again and – it is the fear of creating a rat run – which has finally prompted news of a consultation about installing some form of permanent control.Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 12.59.10

Signs have gone up proposing a restriction on use which will effectively send Riverside traffic northbound across the new bridge.

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Keynsham High Street One Way System

Letter sent to Cllr Shelford (Transport), Cllr Goodman (Environment) and Keynsham Cllrs Hale, O’Brien, Organ, Gerrish, and Simmons as well as key officers.
Dear Councillors and Officers,

The attached picture was taken this morning.

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It is very clear that paint does not and will not prevent this type of behaviour that endangers residents that want to cycle.
I think there is an opportunity to ensure that the design protects all vulnerable road users while designing in good space for cycle traffic.
Vauxhall Street, London was successfully upgraded and I think the same design can be used in Keynsham High Street.
A video of the scheme is available here:
If we want to create an environment that tackles car dependency then we need to ensure that we design infrastructure that enables kids to cycle to school. Paint simply will not cut it.
Please be aware that there is a moratorium on flat “shared space” issued by the DfT (mainly due to schemes like Kingsmead Seven Dials) and that grade separation will be needed between the cycle track and the footway.
I hope that the BaNES Active Travel and Accessibility Forum (ATAF) will be heavily involved with the design and, particularly, that any concerns the RNIB raise are treated with the utmost importance.
I also want to ask that nobody is ‘surprised’ by the type of design the members of ATAF will be pushing for. It must be visibly safe for a parent to allow their 8 year old to cycle it independently. We need to enable cycling and stop just promoting cycling.
If you want to read further on this approach, please see TfL’s Vision Zero Plan https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/safety-and-security/road-safety/vision-zero-for-london and why this is critical to tackling car dependency, congestion, air pollution, and getting residents walking and cycling.
I really hope this is useful.
Regards,
Adam Reynolds

 

“The True Costs of Automobility: External Costs of Cars”

Although 6 years old, the implications are that we probably need to revisit this on a yearly basis to define exactly how much car dependency costs our nation and even each Local Authority.

Road Danger Reduction Forum

First, the good news: another academic study  using conventional cost-benefit analysis finds that motorists in the 27 EU countries have a net economic cost to society, with the UK second only to Germany in costs. Take a look at the nice short summary  in the Guardian. It’s good to counteract what the Guardian correctly calls “The perennial complaint from drivers that they are excessively taxed”, not least the prejudice that cyclists are cheating by “not paying a tax”. The figure given for these external costs – £48 billion per annum, some £10 billion more than the total of motoring taxation revenue – looks pretty damning. However, it can be argued that the costs of motoring to society are considerably greater than those in the picture painted in the study, and that the report is inadequately critical of the status quo.

Let’s look at the report in a…

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Another reconstructed city centre street in Utrecht

A key point to me is that this is not pedestrianisation, but the road is traffic free as it is not a part of a through route. I also note the grade separation between road and pavement, vital for visually impaired people. In the UK they would have flattened this space into some sort of Frankenstein shared space then wondered why it was not working. Interesting to note that even in the Netherlands there is a problem with parking.

BICYCLE DUTCH

Retailers in the Utrecht shopping street Oudkerkhof are very pleased with how their street was reconstructed. Some seem to think it was done at their request. But this transformation was part of a much larger program that runs for years. It is meant to upgrade the city centre of Utrecht by making it less accessible for motor traffic and much more attractive for people walking and cycling.

Oudkerkhof after the reconstruction. The roadway is slightly wider than before. This makes cycling possible in both directions. The sidewalk became wider too, because 16 of the 24 parking spaces were removed.

Oudkerkhof in 1976. The banner says it is “young and very much alive” but it had parking on both sides and really narrow side walks at the time. Not at all what the Dutch perceive as livable today. Picture Utrechts Archief.

The cause for the reconstruction can be traced as…

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Working, Living, Cycling, and campaigning for better cycle infrastructure in Bath, UK