Thursday, 30 October 2014

Velocity plans out to public consultation

With no notice for the members of Manchester's Cycle Forum Manchester City Council has put the plans for the "Airport Cycleway" and "Prestwich Cycleway" out to public consultation on their web site.

Members of Manchester Cycle Forum took part in a pre-consultation exercise to try and ensure the plans would be of good quality before they went out to public consultation. Unfortunately our objections to the very poor quality of the proposals were ignored and the plans that are being presented seem to be every bit as bad as the original proposals.

The photographs on this page give you some idea of just how poor the proposals are; rubbish temporary plastic armadillos, dangerous road narrowings, long delays at road crossings and unprotected junctions are featured - there is no sign of the good quality Dutch-style facilities of the original plans.

The closing date for comments is Monday 1 December 2014.




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These were my original objections to the Airport Cycleway

1) General Design

The proposed design lacks ambition for encouraging of cycling in the city and when judged on the five core principles of design for people walking and cycling, these being

* safety
* coherence
* directness
* comfort
* attractiveness

These proposals fail in part on all these principles. It also fails to take account of people with children in cycle trailers or people with disabilities who ride unconventional machines such as handcycles.

2) Barriers

The proposed K Gates http://www.kbarriers.co.uk/k-barrier-gate/ for the access off of Brooks Drive are totally unacceptable as part of the Velocity Proposals. These barriers prevent people with many different designs of bike and tricycle from getting through.

A quick question on twiter about experiences this type of barrier elicited some very negative responses.

For more on why this is a bad idea see
http://www.ctc.org.uk/article/cycling-guide/barriers-on-cycle-paths
http://www.leedscyclingcampaign.co.uk/sites/default/files/uglys%20Lucy_0.jpg

3) Shared Use Pavements

There are several long sections of low quality pavement in this proposal, particularly around Tuffley Road and Simonsway. Whilst short sections of pavement _may_ be acceptable to bridge a gap, long sections of pavement with untreated junctions are a complete waste of money. Most people will ride on the road because of the danger created at every side turning. They also create confusion and treat cycling as the lowest priority form of transport

For more information see
http://www.camcycle.org.uk/newsletters/111/article11.html

4) "Light Segregation" aka Armadillos

The proposal to use small plastic humps to separate cycles from heavy traffic on the bridge over the M56 is totally unacceptable. This section of the route is one of the most dangerous and requires an extensive redesign of the junction as well as hard segregation.

Armadillos have failed to protect cycle lanes in Camden and Salford from encroaching motor vehicles.

See
http://madcyclelanesofmanchester.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/armadillos-dont-believe-hype.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv2xDZWqFzI

5) Junction Treatments

The proposal for the junction treatment at Altrincham Road is simply unacceptable. It forces cycles round a long diversion onto a staggered toucan crossing. This will add a considerable delay, possibly of over two minutes for anyone cycling. As a result it will not get used and people will cycle on the road.

Other junction treatments on this route are also poor.

6) Conclusion

These proposals do not achieve the standard I would have hoped for from the Velocity project and need to be considerably improved before they go out for public consultation.

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These were my original objections to the Prestwich Cycleway (previously known as the Prestwich City View Cycleway)

1) General Design

The proposed design lacks ambition for encouraging of cycling in the city and when judged on the five core principles of design for people walking and cycling, these being

* safety
* coherence
* directness
* comfort
* attractiveness

These proposals fail in part on all these principles. It also fails to take account of people with children in cycle trailers or people with disabilities who ride unconventional machines such as handcycles.

2) Coherence

This route completely fails to connect to the city centre. The route down Cheetham hill is not a cycle route at all, it is a busy road with a few token bits of green which will have no effect. This route is completely unsuitable. The failute to create a connection with the rest of this route just compounds the problem.

By contrast there is the possibility of connecting the centre of Manchester via Danzic Street and Collyhurst Road, but this has been completely ignored.

The routes also include Heaton park which is closed after dark. Such routes are totally usless for commuting in the winter.

3) Barriers

The proposed use of barriers is totally unacceptable as part of the Velocity Proposals.

For more on why this is a bad idea see
http://www.ctc.org.uk/article/cycling-guide/barriers-on-cycle-paths
http://www.leedscyclingcampaign.co.uk/sites/default/files/uglys%20Lucy_0.jpg

3) Shared Use Pavements

There are several sections of low quality pavement in this proposal. Whilst short sections of pavement _may_ be acceptable to bridge a gap, long sections of pavement with untreated junctions are a complete waste of money. Most people will ride on the road because of the danger created at every side turning. They also create confusion and treat cycling as the lowest priority form of transport and will face opposition from local people who walk on these pavements.

For more information see
http://www.camcycle.org.uk/newsletters/111/article11.html

4) "Light Segregation" aka Armadillos

The proposal to use small plastic humps to separate cycles from heavy traffic in various places is totally unacceptable. These sections requires an redesign with hard segregation.

Armadillos have failed to protect cycle lanes in Camden and Salford from encroaching motor vehicles.

See
http://madcyclelanesofmanchester.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/armadillos-dont-believe-hype.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv2xDZWqFzI


6) Conclusion

These proposals do not achieve the standard I would have hoped for from the Velocity project and need to be considerably improved before they go out for public consultation.

If the proposals for Velocity are not improved they will face clear opposition from cycle campaigners.

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