Wednesday 29 December 2010

London Road - Fresh Paint!

Ok, it seems someone has been out on London Road with the white paint since I first took some photos there and has (sort of) joined up the Unreachable Cycle Lane.

Now going north from the junction with Fairfield Street the short piece of cycle lane, which rapidly turns into a bus lane seems to be the start.

If you look really carefully you might notice that when you get to the corner with Whitworth Street you are supposed to cycle left onto the pavement - see where it says "SLOW", that's it...

You are then directed to cross Whitworth street using the pedestrian crossing, but not after you have been warned that this is the slow route - and it takes a bloody long time for the lights to change, so this will delay you considerably.

Eventually when you get to the other side you will find that new bidirectional cycle signs have been painted on the pavement - so fresh you can see the construction marks. One of these new markings directs you back onto London road - though here there is no sign where to go next...

However, if you search around you may find the start of The Unreachable Cycle Lane, which is also now showing fresh paint.

Again the markings are so fresh you can see the construction marks, and the very strange addition of "CITY", just in case you thought Manchester was still a town.

And this was the same spot on 27th November...

This was all apparently part of the Fire Station Quality Bus Corridor scheme scheduled for completion in mid-November 2008! Seems like this is a real mess, there are a lot of disjointed signs and cycle markings in this area thanks to this bus priority scheme.

There is classic piece of mindless cycling infrastructure, just around the corner in Whitworth Street, but I'll save that piece of crap for another post.

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Tuesday 14 December 2010

Love Your Bike

A quick search for more info on the London Road facility has thrown up the FoE web site "Love Your Bike".

It has a few pieces of potentially interesting source material on the Quality of cycle lanes and facilities and Junctions.

Monday 13 December 2010

The Unreachable Cycle Lane - London Road

Ever wondered how magical cycling can be? Look no further than London Road by Piccadilly Station, here you will find a cycle lane built for the magical appearing cyclist...

I just couldn't work out how any cyclist could legally reach the beginning of this lane, it just appears, going northbound on a crossing island between the southbound one-way traffic and the tram tracks. I couldn't even see the traditional Cyclists Dismount sign in the area.

If you aren't walking past you just wouldn't know it was there.

The pavement lane just appears on the island, turns into a short piece of segregated track,

before turning into a contraflow cycle lane, alongside a car parking bay, though some drivers prefer the pavement.

After the road becomes two-way at a car park exit the facility ends in a reasonable advanced stop bay, but not before the lane is squeezed down to barely more than the width of the double yellow lines.

Still, since it is so difficult to get to, I don't suppose many people use this route.

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Monday 6 December 2010

Great Ancoats Street

Heading Northwest along

is a cycle lane that's got a split personality...

It gets off to a start in the most useful of places, a bus stop, just after the road crosses the Rochdale Canal.

At this point it is definitely an advisory on-road cycle lane, but it then vanishes to fit in a pedestrian crossing...

it resumes as a cycle lane,

but then swerves onto the pavement for just a few meters

before forcing the cyclist out into the path of the moving traffic at the lights.

Then after the junction it is back onto the pavement for an obstacle course round the poles,

a dangerous squeeze between a sign and the oncoming buses,

and a dubious side road crossing,

more squeezing between the traffic and the poles,

before the next set of lights

where the route just disappears!

Nasty piece of work this, if it isn't dangerous, then that's because no sane cyclist would mount the pavement to use it.

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Saturday 27 November 2010

Too Short...

Just along from the height limit in Grosvenor Street is this ridiculously short section of pavement cycle path.

There is no way you could fit a bicycle in that.

It is of course one of those stupid sets of markings that only a bureaucrat could design as it achieves nothing for the path user whilst covering the designer's back...

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Height Limit....

The idea of a height limit sign on a cycle path amuses me for some reason,

perhaps it's the thought that the cycling officer who designed it owned a tall bike?

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Tuesday 2 November 2010

Another Bad Sign - Princess Street Roadworks

What utter crap!

If anything there should be a sign saying Cycle Lane suspended, but that's if someone bothered to get out the traffic order suspending the mandatory cycle lane...

Update 27/11/2010

The roadworks have cleared and this junction is back to three lanes + mandatory cycle lane.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Bollards - Sackville St

Bollards are one of the most common obstructions in cycle routes. In this case one has been added right in the middle of the cycle sign.

Clearly in this case the bollards don't obstruct a cycle route, unless you are good at bunny hops.

The cycle markings are pretty confused and confusing.

This is actually trying to tell you where to go after crossing northbound under the Mancunian Way.

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Thursday 23 September 2010

Fairfield Street pavement

This one is pretty mad - it is neither a pavement or a road, but something in between.

It starts with no sign to introduce it, but segregated from the pavement and the pub with a barrier.

It then crosses several side roads...

with no protection from crossing vehicles

and a pretty poor surface

including drain gratings

eventually ending in an advanced stop lane.

Now that the road had been nicely resurfaced, the road is far safer and more pleasant.

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CYCLISTS DISMOUNT - never a good sign

Labour party conference preparations began with the worst of all road signs...

This one is in St Peter's Square, where the ring of steel is being built.

I long for the day when I see a sign saying "DRIVERS GET OUT AND WALK"

Update - one day later...

The dismount sign has been replaced with something more appropriate :)

Thursday 15 July 2010

Comedy Cycling in Oldham St

Manchester's Comedy Club has its very own comedy cycle lane. This short example of cycling madness is an example of how to build a cycle facilities, just for the amusement of passing pedestrians.

This short cycle facility even has two give way lines, though thankfully it weaves its way around the traffic signs.

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Irwell River Park

I've just been to a presentation about the Irwell River Park as part of a day of presentations about transport around the MediaCity site. There were lots of detailed maps and pictures detailing the new bridges and paths, all good stuff.

So, I get back to my desk and look up the web site....

Good isn't it? Ok maybe not.

It is very disappointing to find that the web site is one single page with none of the detail.

Suffice to say that for people cycling from Central Manchester to MediaCity this is a potentially pleasant and useful route, but it hasn't fully secured funding yet, and as it stands parts of the route are blocked by gates which get locked in the evenings and poor surfaces.

Update: The web site is a holding page, and the real site will go live "in a couple of weeks"

So, watch this space....