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From Cycle Planning e-list debating bicycle banthustans/modal apartheid

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  • Tramsol@aol.com
    We ve been having a fun debate here - a further note, however on the layout of streets for the horse & carriage. The designers had the commonsense to include
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2005
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      We've been having a fun debate here - a further note, however on the layout of streets for the horse & carriage.  The designers had the commonsense to include the detail of narrow back lanes which matched the pedestrian grid density and also allowed deliveries to the rear. 

      I had lobbied for Glasgow Planners to keep the lanes not privatised already, open as through routes but sadly developers continue to close them off, to connect plots on either side with more sales or office space, and the condition of the lanes which remain often deters most users, as the private owners are not a coordinated group, and the utility openings etc take place, frequently blocking through access, and invariably failing miserably to properly repair the surface.  How does this work with other towns & cities?  

      I do like the way that Nottingham - against the common trend kept the route through Broad Marsh operational as a street - and the shopping mall thus remains open 24/7 with the nice twist that it is a lot cleaner, drier, and better lit than the street it used to be.

      I was chuffed to get this response though, but Graham deserves a pat on the back for slimming the thinking down to 3 succinct points.

      Dave Holladay makes a great point, in this string started by Angus, which
      is often lost in considering layout guidance: "where (once) the route was
      determined by purpose rather than to suit the vehicle".  Seems to me that
      'on and off route provision' is a 'wrong division'!   Off route provision
      is ... lets face it ... useless.  Look at it like this:-
      1  People make journeys
      2  The routes which carry most journeys become main routes
      3  Therefore all modes will use main routes to reach destinations.

      It also follows that if we (the DFT), design new layout types to
      accommodate car ownership and use, as we have done for at least 50 years,
      that the new layouts will, effectively, have the physical impact of making
      none-car modes all but impossible.  Our current situation outside
      traditional connected grid-like development.

      So a new years' resolution could be, lets remake all layout guidance to
      newly encourage walking and cyling and public transport.  Nothing to stop
      car use - but congestion and inconvenience.  Result; proper cities??

      Graham Paul Smith

      Message: 1
      Subject: RE: Cycle Route Innovation

      Thank you for your replies on cycle routes and innovation. Alongside a literature review it would seem the overall view is that the core principles 'coherence, directness, attractiveness, safety and comfort' are rarely achieved when providing off-carriageway facilities.

      So, as a follow-on question, is the inability to meet these core design principles inevitable with off-carriageway provision, or is it perhaps more that engineers have been slow to innovate with strong design which really delivers these principles? Is anyone doing off-carriageway well in the UK or is best practice really only happening in places like the Netherlands?

      Many examples of off-carriageway provision are at best poorly designed (and are at worst downright dangerous) so that cyclists would often be far better integrated with other traffic on the carriageway. So is off-carriageway provision ultimately just an unattractive last resort for cycle planners and a legacy from the era when, for whatever reason, planners thought they should segregate bicycles and cars?

      Angus Jeffery
      Environment and Transport Research
      Halcrow Group Ltd., Sussex.

      Message: 4
      Subject: Re: Cycle Route Innovation

      Old transport infrastructure, where the route was determined by purpose, rather than to suit the vehicle, means that for most local transport puposes the existing highway goes the best  routes to the places people want to go, and any contrived and additional off carriageway routes either duplicate or provide less useful solutions for the cyclist, and for that matter the pedestrian (which is why people jaywalk rather than use ridiculous routes over bridges and under subways).

      For pedestrians a comfortable & workable grid spacing of approx 25 metres shows up in the narrow & closely spaced lanes and vennels of towns and cities which retain their medaeval street pattern, whilst the later towns have a grid of wider streets spaced at greater distances (to suit the horse & carriage) and so on up to the motor age which has the best motor traffic networks with massive blocks, which then need subsidiary routes for walking & cycling. 

      Perhaps one means of analysis is to examine the grid and see if the spacing is appropriate for cycling, if not that there will be a need to add intermediate routes for cycling fitted between the main roads to ensure cycling distances are not over extended by having to travel 2 very long sides of a large triangle. 

      Topography also plays a part - In Glasgow and Edinburgh a route around a drumlin, or the Royal Mile dyke and plug/New Town escarpment, will attract users because of the 'easiest way' factor using contours rather than direct routes.

      Dave Holladay

      Dave Holladay

      PS those who track the work of the Project for Public Spaces from the European side of the pond, might note that they are visiting Scotland between 15 and 17 February details on http://www.greenspacescotland.org.uk/default.asp?page=15&theme=Training%20and%20Events&UID=116&textonly

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