The council recently announced a trial to create a one-way system on Keynsham High Street. I’ve even heard it was designed by cyclists for cyclists but I’m guessing the term ‘cyclist’ must have clouded their way of thinking and I’d just like to remind the council that ‘cyclist’ is not a middle aged man in lycra and that you must design better.
There are big big issues in the design which have not considered sustainable safety. I mean serious omissions. Highways have ‘baked in’ infrastructure that encourages illegal behaviour that creates real danger for anyone cycling in the space.
This is only a quick run down of the issues. If you want to follow along, this is the PDF from which I’ve taken the details.
- The route is exceptionally straight. Highways design to create 20MPH Zones should introduce road calming as part of the design. Chicanes are viable and should be part of this space.
- The one-way lane is also 3.6m wide. Lanes MUST be 3m wide or AT LEAST 4.5m wide. Anything between encourages close pass behaviour.
- The cycle contraflow is 1.5m wide and runs, unprotected, right next to the lane. Highways England IAN 195/16 inclusive mobility indicates that we should be designing for a mobility vehicle 1.2m x 2.8m long. This covers cargo bikes, larger mobility scooters etc. Newer National Cycle Design Standards are also recommending 2m+ wide cycle lanes. 1.5m is not enough here.
- The cycle lane is unprotected (just paint) and the road already suffers from ‘white van man’ stopping to grab something from Greggs. Pole cones are cheap (less than £25 each) and could be used.
For a ‘Keynsham in Bloom’ scenario planters can be used as well.
- There is room to put the cycle lane against the kerb. This would also help those on mobility scooters as well as protect pedestrians. Also a key bit is that people ‘cross’ all over the place here. By having a cycle lane against the kerb, then a ‘buffer of planters’ you enable people to cross bit by bit safely interacting with each lane one at a time.
- Going back to our family cycling in this space, the junction is a nightmare. Seriously deadly but was oh so simple to fix. This is horrifying for a child to use or a parent with a 2.8m long bike (towing a child trailer).
It could be better simply through removing the poor interactions in that space by having the child on a bike negotiate around the space.
I cannot stress how badly this space is designed with absolutely no thought for family cycling or placemaking. This could be so much better using paint and movable street furniture to create a great shopping street.
We really need the council officers to put this up on the wall and drummed into them on a daily basis:
I have raised these issues with Highways, but other people should do the same. What they are proposing is a fast rat run through the beating economic heart of the town. Sorry but no.
[Addendum] A rather fantastic site lets you play with street cross sections. I think this gives a ‘better’ solution that protects people while prioritising pedestrians. http://streetmix.net/awjre/22/keynsham-high-street