In March 2013 CycleSheffield had a full and frank discussion with SCC and we think it was agreed that cycle audits would start ‘soon’ and forthwith cycle lanes would be painted to the DfT recommended standards (i.e 1.5 m wide) except where this was not deemed possible; in which case we would be consulted.
In late October/beginning of November 2013, SCC have painted a contraflow cycle lane on Cumberland St at the bottom of the Moor. It runs from the junction with South Lane (corner with The Moorfoot Tavern) up towards Moore St and peters out just past Bishop St (at the back of Wickes). At least if you won’t be able to cycle on the Moor then you can cycle across it.
The photo above shows how it starts. Note that you have to cycle over a drain because the island used to hold up the pole is so big. Notice that the white line is inside the width of the pinchpoint – intelligent, thoughtful work, eh?
At the start you have to cycle through a 1m wide pinchpoint (which has been there a while) onto the newly painted cycle lane. Note the cross hatching to guide oncoming drivers away from the island forming the pinchpoint(!) Also note that the solid white line starts less than 1m from the kerb presumably to ensure that you are hugging it. The photo below shows that the width of the lane to the solid white line is 0.92 m at this point. (NB bike training guidance is to ride a metre from the kerb).
This is the signage at the entrance. Although it is double yellow lines loading can take place before 8 and after 6.30. There are no signs on poles to show it is a contraflow cycle lane and that bikes can enter but a bike sign is marked on the floor.
The width doesn’t change much until you get to where the Moor intersects with Cumberland St. There is a pinchpoint here so that pedestrians only have a single lane of road to cross. I presume that cyclists are allowed to continue on this newly laid asphalt surface (see picture below) and will share it with pedestrians who will be walking across your direction of travel in both directions.
Note in the photo above the uneven nature of the surfaces and the slope, a reverse camber, on the black asphalt. Shouldn’t cycle lanes be level-ish?
The black bit of pavement is 1.7 m wide to the kerb (see picture above). The cycle lane is at most 1m wide and the ball bollard at ground or wheel level must be there to guide you away from veering onto the road and ensuring you don’t take up more than 1m of width of the black asphalt, although you are more likely to collide with it whilst keeping an eye out for peds. Neat looking job eh? What a showcase of cycling facilities that will welcome cyclists to the redeveloped Moor and the opening of the new market!
As you go across the black asphalt at the pinchpoint you are guided by the second ball bollard at wheel level and re-enter the contraflow cycle lane on the road (photo above)
This cycle lane looks as narrow as the other one on the other side but is in fact 1.03 m from the kerb to the start of the solid white line (photo below). You’ve gained 11 cm of space but it’s still not 1.5m wide
Just after the YMCA the cycle lane, still against on-coming traffic, is marked with dashed lines so it becomes advisory because vehicles will need to have access in and out of the National Tyres depot and vehicles will be need to be able to come out of Bishop St and turn left into the path of cycles to go along Cumberland St to Moore St or turn right to go onto the on-coming cycles and into the tyre depot.
And there is a solo motorbike parking bay between the two entrances of the tyre depot on the left hand side of the cycle lane so they will need to go across the cycle lane in order to park and leave.
The cycle lane ceases just past Bishop St and you can make your way onto the Moore St cycle lane or take a right across oncoming traffic on Cumberland St to access the on-pavement cycle lane. See the map which shows a bus parked across it. This means, once you have cycled over the bus, you can use the toucan crossing to get across Charter Row to access Fitzwilliam St, if you can figure out which lane to use on which island.
What this cycle lane shows is:
a lack consultation with cyclists before it was put in;
a lack of of clear thinking about hazards, e.g the safe width of a contraflow cycle lane, lane markings for a contraflow cycle lane, the low-level bollards, the unevenness of the path at the ped pinchpoint, lack of adequate signage for cycle lane entry or for oncoming traffic to indicate a contraflow cycle lane
no conformity with DfT guidance (contrary to promises made by SCC);
poor workmanship – it looks crap as well as it is crap and carries the meaning that cycling can be treated like crap;
promises made by SCC at CycleForum are not worth a thing and/or there is no clear leadership at SCC of what ought to take place and no management or monitoring of what is taking place.
The hazards do not stop there. The main oncoming traffic is buses and taxis. When I went to survey it, on Thursday 7 Nov, a bus had stopped to set down and pick up passengers. But the driver had stopped the bus away from the kerb (for no apparent reason, the car illegally parked behind did not prevent him pulling in.) Note that he is more ‘out’ of the marked bus stop (the yellow dashed line) than ‘in’ it.
This meant that buses and taxis overtaking his bus went into the cycle lane (visible on the left of the photo) even though it is marked with a solid white line. Has anybody told the bus companies what has been installed on this road?
CycleSheffield requests that the person who designed this cycle lane comes to the next CycleForum (Tue 19 Nov 2013) to explain the rationale behind this design and discuss the principles of designing cycle facilities. The proposed Cycle Schemes Sub Committee could look at a redesign as a matter of urgency.
And 7 months after what we thought was a ground-breaking CycleForum to agree to collaborate – cycle audits have not started either ….
7 Nov 2013