Welford Rd consultation closes today, 2nd Nov. If you’re stuck for words, feel free to copy & paste these. The more people get in touch to support space for cycling the better. Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org please.
I write in response to the consultation on cycle ways on Welford Road
and Belvoir St. These are very important ‘missing’ bits of cycle route and I am in favour of creating them. If we want less car-based congestion in Leicester, there have to be reasonable travel alternatives, and these routes would contribute to that. Research around the world has found that creation of lanes for cars increases car traffic, and creation of lanes for bikes increases bike traffic.
I have a few specific comments about the plans shown on the internet:
* ‘Changing sides’ between pedestrians and cycles should be avoided.
I know that during peak times the bus stops at the top of Welford Road are very crowded, however we need to trust people not to cycle into pedestrians or walk out without attending to their surroundings. Goodexamples exist in Brighton (where cycle ways that come between bus stops and their passengers have a slight rise to prevent speeding bikes, and sometimes pedestrian crossings. The initiators of the scheme were Hove Council LSTF, through the officer has moved on. Similar plans, without raised sections or striping, are used throughout Copenhagen, and neither pedestrians nor cyclists appear to
fear each other; they manage interactions with no problem.
* Parking has always been a problem in the bus lane on Welford Road, increasing as more takeaways opened there. Parking must be tackled if the cycle and pedestrian lanes are to work, perhaps directing parking to designated short-term spaces on Mill St, etc, in the neighbourhood. Newark St shows that a cycle lane will be used as temporary parking if that is not made impossible. Barriers must be in place to prevent parking on the cycle lane. I would like to see wands in use, which could be removed later and do not take away too much space from the lane.
* Some cyclists will want to turn right onto Carlton St. This could be facilitated by an advanced stop box on Regent Road that cyclists could enter from Welford Road on their green phase of the traffic lights.
* The present proposals have cyclists giving way four times in 300 yards (Marlborough St, Mill St, Regent Road, Tower St). As human-powered vehicles, it is important for cyclists to be able to maintain momentum – do all of these roads have to be give-ways for cycles?
* From Carlton St, the proposed plan takes cycles along the central strip between multi-lane roads, inbound and outbound. This is a dangerous and unpleasant place – witnessed by the speed cameras both sides. It would be far better to take cycles alongside Mandella Park until the Granby Halls crossing by expanding that pavement rather than the central reservation.
* Thank you for bravely taking out trees that would otherwise obstruct the lane and the visibility.
* Good use of loading bays and movable bollards. This will be additionally helpful on Friday/Saturday nights.
* More wands/bollards will likely be needed to prevent parking.