Charles St in the city centre has been refurbished to Streets Ahead standard. Let’s have a look at what that means in practice.
View looking west. A smooth road surface and the street is free of clutter. Parking is in designated bays (there is a loading bay for the pub). Parking enforcement will still be needed to ensure that people don’t abuse the roadway of course.
One of the new LED lamp posts. These are elegant (in my opinion) energy saving and emit a strong white light that is quite different from sodium. The light face downwards so there is less light pollution escaping towards the sky. As it is a strong light, fewer posts are needed and therefore less street clutter, and Streets Ahead claim they should make people feel more confident to walk and cycle. On the downside, your view of the night sky will be reduced while you are underneath them.
Existing cycle lane has been re-painted and there have been some modifications to the kerbline. This lane is of adequate width, although we would prefer grade separation where it is possible for additional protection from motor vehicles.
Level transition from the cycle lane to the shared use area leading to Paternoster Row. This is particularly important when you are approaching the transition at an oblique angle – even a small difference of kerb height can cause you to catch your front wheel and come off.
Here’s what it used to look (link will be valid until Street View gets updated)
View Larger Map
All in all an improvement I think. Why not pedal down and take a look (and have a drink in the Red Lion while you’re there!)
(A few comments we’ve had in:
This street benefited from Section 106 planning gain money so the materials used could be of higher standard than the average Streets Ahead street.
Charles Street between Pinstone Street and Brown Street / Paternoster Row, illustrates how a useful link can be created for cyclists when making roads one-way for other traffic or implementing road closures. It has a toucan crossing, a cycle route across a road closure, shared use of a pedestrian space and two sections of contra-flow cycle route. When maintenance is carried out on the Pinstone Street to Rockingham Street section (Charles Street and Wellington Street) should the two-way cycle link be extended? This link would disappear if the Sevenstones (or has the recession reduced this to one and a half stones) development goes ahead, but it would illustrate what we are looking for from the maintenance works.
We would of course all be sad if the “cycle gate” created by putting some non-Sheffield stands too close to each other at the Arundel Gate toucan went….wouldn’t we? )