Monday 31 March 2014

Seville's Cycle Segregation Measures are not Plastic Armadillos!

If you do a quick web search for Seville and cycling and you will find images of cycle lane separators that look like this:-

Pics via Bike Friendly Oak Cliff

and this

pic via ECF

and this

pic via London Cycling Campaign

and this

Pic via Which Way Austin

and this...

pic via the Alternative Department for Transport

None of which are the cheap plastic armadillos being trialed in Salford. These are apparently known as "Tobys" and would do severe damage to any vehicle that tried to run over them. They have been chosen by Bristol in preference to plastic armadillos.

New Salford Cycle Path - Broughton Bridge to Adelphi Footbridge

Out walking on Sunday I came across this newly constructed cycle track on the northwest side of the River Irwell between  Broughton Bridge and Adelphi Footbridge in Salford.

You can tell it is supposed to be a cycle path because of the (anti-)cycling barriers at the entrance.

I'm not sure whether the path is finished or whether there is going to be a proper tarmac surface.

It is a pleasant alternative to the cycle route on the other side of the river, which at this point is enclosed by a fence.

The fencing certainly doesn't give the impression of being finished. The various cycle barriers can easily be bypassed at the moment.

All too soon Adelphi Footbridge comes into view

and the end of the path is in sight.

There is some hedge laying evident at this end.

The path from the footbridge end.

This location is part of NCN route 6, and the site of one of Salford's worst anti-cycling barriers.

So a short little path with views of the river, pleasant, but not going to encourage too many new journeys by bike.

View Riverside in a larger map

Ordsall Chord goes to Public Enquiry

Notices have appeared around Princes Bridge (NCN6) saying that the Ordsall Chord scheme, which would see the removal of Princes Bridge, has gone to a public enquiry. It looks like this may have been triggered by English Heritage who in their application to the secretary of state to halt the scheme concluded: ‘the necessity of causing substantial harm to individual designated heritage assets and to the historic environment in general has not been demonstrated, as there is an alternative route which is technically and operationally viable.’

The quality of the proposed temporary cycle route was not going to be good.

The enquiry will commence at the Mechanics Institute at 10am on the 23rd April.


Update 18/4/14 New notices give some more information

Sunday 30 March 2014

Broughton Bridge Salford

This is where anyone who rides a bike wonders about the sanity of the people who design cycle facilities in Salford. This is Blackfriars Road, heading south across Broughton Bridge. Up till now there has been no cycle lanes at all..

Suddenly as you approach the bridge an advisory (i.e. useless) cycle lane appears...

but as you get onto the bridge it stops

then starts again

only to end short of the traffic lights

and reappears just before the advanced stop line box.

Not that the local drivers give a shit about the cycle facilities round here.

Not even the bus drivers!

It is just as mad on the other side of the road, the cycle lane starts as you get towards the bridge,

but stops and starts again at the road narrowing, only to start again a few yards later.

I have to ask the question, who on earth thought this was a good idea? It strikes me as utterly idiotic, an example of council tokenism which we should all condemn. Even worse, where were the cycle campaigners when this went out for consultation? Did it go out for consultation?

Just remember folks, somebody got paid to design this!

At this point I would normally embed a Google map, but it appears to be somewhat broken, so here is a link to Open Street Map instead...

Saturday 29 March 2014

Manchester Central Library Cycle Parking

It was wonderful to be able to meet up for Critical Mass this month outside the newly re-opened Central Library.

However, anyone cycling to the library will encounter problems trying to park their pedal cycle.

Sadly the council has not made temporary arrangements for cycle parking until permanent cycle racks are installed,

so it's all a bit of a mess at the moment.

(That is of course if there ever was any cycle parking in the plans...?)

Manchester March Critical Mass

This month's Critical Mass was nearly a washout. The cold and pouring rain an hour earlier in the afternoon left many wondering whether to brave the elements. Numbers were probably a bit down because of the weather, but the rain stopped and the evening warmed up a little as we met outside the Library for the first time in a couple of years.

It was a really interesting mix of people, including academics from Manchester Cycling Lab and several people who run bike based businesses along with several local bloggers and film makers.

The most unusual machine on the ride was this penny farthing which I had to keep a careful eye on from my low position on the Brox.

The ride set out south along Oxford street, but was forced into a massive u-turn by the road closure and headed south along Peter Street,

then east into Albert Square

and on into Cross Street

before more road closures forced us up New Market.

Another notable participant in the ride was a mum who rode the whole way with her 3 children, one on the front and two in the trailer. Just fantastic!

As it had been decided to end the ride in Sandbar, the ride looped round and round the city centre, venturing out onto Great Ancoats Street for a short way,

where one of those dangerous stretch limos was parked on the pavement.

We then turned south down Oldham Street for the statutory big wheel photo,

and an excuse to try and get two big wheels in one shot...

Then down London Road

with Pavol's dog still keeping up

and right into Grosvenor Street to end at Sandbar.

A very enjoyable ride, if a bit cold.

See you all next month for the first ride after the clocks change.

Friday 28 March 2014

Black Bollards, Yellow Bollards

Update - Sunday 30th

It seems that after 3 days there is good evidence that not all drivers can see the colour yellow...

The "trial" of armadillos by Salford Council is continuing to evolve. In an ever more desperate attemp to try and demonstrate that cheap plastic lumps work Salford council have been adding bollards.

First they added two black bollards at the start of the tow lines of Armadillos, and yesterday they added two yellow bollards to the section of cycle lane further up Middlewood Street.

These seem to be designed to pre-warn drivers of the black bollard further down the road which has already sustained damage.

Of course these high-viz bollards may be more visible at night,

but they are not particularly visible in bright sunlight...

One has to wonder why this section has not been fitted with armadillos as well. Perhaps Salford council are coming to the conclusion that the bollards are actually more effective than the armadillos, or maybe they are just trying out more free samples from the supplier?

Of course these new bollards cannot possibly be a reaction to the image I posted on Twitter last Friday...

At this point I am beginning to wonder what monitoring Salford Council and TfGM have actually put in place for this "trial". I have not seen any evidence of monitoring at either of the sites, so how on earth are they going to know whether it has worked? One has to wonder what criteria they set out for this trial. I may have to submit an FoI request at some point to find out.