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Cycling in and around Birmingham England
Who thought that was a good idea?
It's a substantial gradient, the last thing cyclists need is more traffic-enraging.
I am glad I am not alone on being concerned about this. In my view it is an accident waiting to happen. (https://twitter.com/ShivajiShivaLaw/status/896026340624879618)
I met Chris Lowe and David Cox on Friday about something else and took the chance to have a rant about this. As a result, we rode (back) up to take a look and:
- Chris took some video of the difficulty these pinch points present for cyclists,
- a passer-by who lives nearby said he thought there had been some consultation by the Council (I have not seen any), and
- Pushbikes are interested in a piece on these for the blog.
I saw the Linden Road pinch points yesterday, thankfully whilst going down hill. In the opposite direction a bus was having to follow behind a cyclist struggling to climb the hill, as the pinch points prevented an overtake.
BCC have also installed pinch points and "speed cushions" on Gibbins Road, which have failed to reduce the amount of traffic (which the residents have been complaining about), but have increased the aggression level. I did contact Karen McCarthy beforehand to object to the measures, explaining how the problems in Gibbins Road could be successfully addressed.
The techniques used by BCC to address heavy, speeding traffic are a donkey that's not just dead, but one that never lived in the first place.
I passed these new pinch-points today, took one look at them, and thought "who on earth approved these?" They aren't pedestrian refuges for crossing the road, so someone in the Council must have decided it was a good idea to put them into the road because... I cannot think why.
I agree with you, Robert, about Gibbins Road. It is one of the roads in the this neck of the woods that I simply will not cycle along unless going downhill, such that I can keep up enough speed to get along it and off it again as soon as possible. The speed cushions seem to have made it worse rather than better.
I understand that speed cushions are meant to make it possible for ambulances and fire engines to pass over them at full or nearly-full speed without trouble, but it seems that only the very smallest cars (1960s style Minis) actually have to slow down to go over them. Mostly what they seem to do is encourage cars to drive right down the very middle of the road.
I'd be grateful if someone who knows about these things could advise me on who I should contact in the Council, etc., to complain about these measures/ask if any assessment was carried out of their impact on vulnerable road users, etc?
I rode past them again today. Temporary traffic lights at the top of the hill meant no particular conflict with motorists, for now.
I note the one nearest the Cadbury World entrance is in fact an accessible pedestrian refuge, which bothers me slightly less (still horrible for cyclists, but at least it has a decent purpose). The others are pure pinch points, presumably because the 'kerb' on the Cadbury side of the road is a substantial drop, and pedestrians aren't expected to be crossing there.