Sunday, 26 January 2014

Armadillos & Planters - a progress report...

A letter by cyclist Rob Cole in the Camden New Journal provides worrying new evidence of he failure of armadillos and planters in Royal College Street, Camden after less than 6 months in place.

Photo by Rob Cole via the Camden New Journal

In the letter Rob Cole says he has "been saddened to see how quickly motor vehicles have ruined this new lay-out."
He has documented:-

  • 10 plant pots affected by vehicle collisions, eight squashed / pushed over, one missing (mounting plate still in road), one empty of contents (looks like a contractor replaced a damaged container, but not the contents and it has no safety, reflective, tape unlike all the other pots);
  • Two plant pots with rubber edging strips peeled off, exposing sharp metal edge to oncoming cyclists;
  • Three armadillos affected by vehicle collisions – two missing (mountings still embedded in road), one twisted on mounts.
  • Numerous vehicles were parked into the cycle lane on the southbound lane, ignoring the white paint and armadillos, including a Camden Council van. Refuse bags were piled against the plant pots on the southbound lane.
He also reports that "As a cyclist I have had a number of near-collisions on the southbound lane in the past few months as this new design hosts car parking, with motorists and couriers with packages rapidly decanting into the cycle lane without checking for oncoming cyclists. I have also seen other cyclists have too many near-misses, despite travelling at safe speeds and using bells."

So, neither the armadillos nor the planters have lasted 6 months without damage. Vehicles can clearly breach the line of armadillos and block the cycle lane, so they offer limited protection against motor vehicles.

Clearly neither planters nor armadillos are suitable for a major, permanent scheme like Oxford Road.

Meantime lots of people are making excuses...

1 comment:

  1. I think we can assume then that plastic wands (or "flexible bollards" as they're calling them) wouldn't stand much of a chance either.

    This makes me even more certain that strong permanent kerbed separation is the way forward ("island segregation with gateways"). Of course the following need to be considered:

    - maintenance and cleaning (so that rubbish and glass etc don't accumulate).
    - drainage.
    - I would prefer that there would be camera based fines for anyone who does park in the cycle facility, especially since there will apparently (probably) be an anpr system to stop private vehicles cutting through. But either way, a high steep kerb on the road side might help to stop cars - particularly taxis - trying to sneak in.