Missed Opportunities

There have been plenty of missed opportunities for cycling in Sheffield over the years I’m sure you guys could tell me about loads of them. I have a few here which could be addressed under the streets ahead and some which could have been great but are long since lost.

Northern General Hospital – there has been lots of kerfuffle over parking here in recent years, some money was spent on improved cycling routes but the vision wasn’t big enough. The signposted route from town to the hospital is treacherous and not cycling friendly, cycle lanes were added to part of Herries Road but ended at a dangerous and busy crossroads with no further assistance, access to the site by bike is through the same routes as cars even though there are lots of potential better and safer routes available.

Lady’s Bridge – a real missed chance to create another section of riverside path from Blonk Street to Lady’s Bridge to nicely link up the current cycle provision but you can barely get a bicycle past the new buildings structure now, there are opportunities for shops and cafes there too.

Smart Routes – aren’t as smart as they could be and limited in focus, how about connecting the ends of tram routes and bus stations like the ones around Hillsborough, up with good quality secure cycle parking and a network of bicycle routes to continue your journey.

Localised approaches – the bigger routes only benefit established cyclists, the primary focus in my opinion is to give local people safe routes to local conveniences like shops, schools and libraries. Local signposting of these routes with cycle lanes provided on any main roads they encounter, linking into longer routes is easy then.

Signage – confusing, incomplete and the routes aren’t logical and go against peoples perceived better judgement. Directing people along roads generally unknown to them and then coming to a junction to find no assistance.

Cycle Map – yellow roads should be identified by cyclists not highway personnel.

I have lots of individual gripes about lots of cycling infrastructure in Sheffield its why I don’t care for it much, but I can understand how it can be used to encourage cycling if we can get a few things sorted out with the streets ahead it may help and have a little more rational thinking behind transport infrastructure in Sheffield it may assist. Having poor quality of anything does not assist the users. We can’t rip up all our roads and put in segregated cycle paths we must work with what we have but in my opinion the first stage is making it safe to ride a bike to your local conveniences.

Sorry just needed to get that off my chest.

(note a big  thanks to Russell Cutts for contributing this discussion post, we invite comments)

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