Saturday, 28 August 2010

City Centre Car Parking

To provide convenient access to city centre car parking, motorists get this:

While pedestrians and cyclists battle for space in holes in the ground:

The main article in the August 2010 edition of the Coventry Society's newsletter applauded the Council's decision to maintain the Barracks car park for at least another five years.

I wrote the following email to the society's chairman:


One point about this car park which is often overlooked is that access traffic conflicts with people using more environmentally sustainable modes of transport on the Inner Circulatory Road.

As you are aware, the Inner Circulatory Road forms a ring around the core of the city consisting of (among others) Fairfax street, Corporation Street, Grayfriars Road, New Union Street, Little Park Street and Cox Street. It serves as a sort of ring road for buses and pedal cycles. However unlike the ring road built for private motor vehicles, it does not provide uninterrupted passage. There are numerous traffic signals and intersections which delay cyclists and bus users. Thus to encourage people to switch from car to public or non-motorised transport, with obvious environmental benefits, it would be beneficial to remove car park access traffic from the Inner Circulatory Road. Less traffic would also increase the road's attractiveness to pedestrians. Access traffic for the Barracks car park causes a problem in New Union Street and Warwick Road, while the West Orchards car park access traffic causes congestion at the Corporation Street / Upper Well Street junction.

In the case of Hertford Street the conflict between car park access traffic and pedestrian traffic has been resolved by channeling the former into an underpass. I suspect, however, that a similar solution for the Inner Circulatory Road would be too expensive. I therefore support the suggestion that the Barracks car park and others within the Inner Circulatory Road be moved outside the Circulatory Road. This would have little effect on journey times as the average speed of cars between the car parks and the roads directly accessing the Ring Road is not much higher than walking speed.

If car park access traffic were removed from the Inner Circulatory Road, opening the road to general traffic may become a more practical option, as the threat of it being overwhelmed by cars travelling to and from the multi-storey car parks would disappear.

19 August 2010.

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