Monday, 3 January 2011

Friargate

The updated proposals for the Friargate development have been published. Link (ref no: P/2010/1915)

The proposals for cycling look like this:


This is a great improvement on the current layout of junction 6. The gyratory is a death zone for cyclists and the alternatives involve "dog legs" disappearing into holes in the ground. Also good are
  • the greatly improved link between the railway station and the end of the pedestrian/cyclist bridge at Grosvenor Road
  • the decision to design the road environment for a maximum vehicle speed of 20mph
  • the removal of the subway under Greyfriars Road at its junction with Warwick Road. I hope this will enable any cycle tracks in the area to reach the minimum width recommended in the Department of Transport's Local Transport Note 2/08 "Cycle Infrastructure Design".
But
  • As Warwick Road rises to go over the railway, it's divided into three narrow lanes. So narrow that motorists can't overtake cyclists without encroaching into another lane, which leads them to overtake too closely. Thus a reduction to two lanes, without significant loss of carriageway width would be desirable for cyclists.
  • The idea of a "Get off and push cycle route" is just not realistic. In reality people with cycles will not dismount, so these routes need to be designed to ensure that people who do cycle in these areas do not cause problems for pedestrians.
Some things to add
  1. Widening of the footbridge across the ring road (currently linking Friars Road and Manor Road) to safely allow shared pedestrian/cyclist use. That would provide a direct cycle route between Coventry University and the station.
  2. A cycle only link between Warwick Road and Friars Road, running just north of the ring road. To allow cyclists to avoid the main pedestrian flows to/from the station and the traffic signals on New Union St. and Warwick Road (at Greyfriars Lane, Bull Yard and Greyfriars Road).
Various turns are going to be banned to counter the danger of motorists rat-running down some of the side roads. These bans should not apply to cyclists, to make cycling more attractive. In general roads which would be rat runs for motorists provide very good cycle routes.

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