Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

Somebody once suggested a thread where whinging is not allowed. Here goes...

I've been off the bike for 3 weeks due to flu then an operation. I'm back at work tomorrow so went out for a ride this afternoon to check out recent developments in the city centre.

On the way I passed Edgbaston Cricket Ground and saw these which weren't there a few weeks ago...

and these...

On Edmund Street I saw this

and three of these

Apparently there's another car port rack on Cornwall Street but I didn't go there. 

At Snow Hill Station the cycle parking hub with 18 racks and a repair stand is almost ready...

I saw more new racks on Steelhouse Lane and Whittall Street 

I rode towards Newtown to have a look at the new A34 cycle route. It's early days but what's there looks good.

On the way back I saw these racks on Colmore Row

and these with planters on the corner of Temple Row / Waterloo Street.

I decided I would cycle home through Cannon Hill Park despite it being dark and being a bit wary due to recent muggings. I was pleased to see two police officers on bikes near  the footbridge to Second Avenue. They said they will keep patrolling as often as they can.

If you have any good news please click Add Reply :)

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Cornwall Street

Church Street

Great Charles Street

Colmore Row

these are positive but missing something ??

With the good news about finally the A38 going ahead then we need to do something about the City Centre because there is so little provision there ... 

Looking at these pictures, I thought you was going to say what I was thinking.

These are positive, but they seem to be missing something.....

Bikes!

More and more bike stands are going in across the city, but the number of bikes attached to them doesn't seem to change. The only place I can recall seeing bikes attached to a bike stand, undamaged, is outside Longbridge train station.

I don't know if most people are like me, but I'd not leave any of my bikes attached to a bike stand for much more than 10 minutes. I see too many missing wheels etc to leave them any longer.



ian robathan said:

these are positive but missing something ??

With the good news about finally the A38 going ahead then we need to do something about the City Centre because there is so little provision there ... 

It's February.  New people don't take up cycling in shite weather.  I'm not expecting miracles, but I expect the new stands will get more use as the fair-weather cyclists return and discover new places to park.

Other than commuters, which this sort of parking isn't really aimed at, people don't tend to leave their bike locked up for very long because they generally don't need to.  I rarely lock up a bike for more than an hour or so at a time when I'm doing errands.  You're far more likely to see the remains of a single theft from some point last year at a bike rack than my regularly used bike, so you can't really infer much about the use or safety of particular bike parking just by looking.

Bike stands were full at Custard Factory by 9.00 last week.  They need some more !!

I understand the point about the weather, but it's not just of late I was thinking about. I honestly can't recall seeing bikes at stands anywhere really (other than Longbridge). This could well be down to where I tend to cycle (or my dodgy memory), but I'm not sure. Timing could be an issue too, I'm just not in the area when people do leave them. Like you say, Kim, people don't leave their bikes for that long, so I could just be missing them.

One thing that does bug me a little (which was the subject of recent consultation) is the fixation on the city centre. I don't believe people will venture into the city centre, on a bike, before they've tried a trip to their local high street. If the council wants to get more people cycling having bike stands on local high streets seems a better idea, to me, than having them, right now, in the city centre. Commuters cycle into city centres, not your casual shopper.

The Custard Factory is more a place of work and that's probably why the stands fill up there more than anywhere, Dave.  

 

Focusing on the city centre seems right to me, because the local high streets already have some cycle parking (which has been added to in recent years), but other than the disappointing facilities at New Street station, there's been a general lack of public bike parking in the city centre.  I've certainly had problems finding convenient places to lock a bike in the city centre - either having to walk a long way from the bike, use the Brompton and bring it inside with me, or lock to lamp posts, railings, etc.

I regularly see bikes parked at public stands in Selly Oak and Kings Heath.  Less often in Harborne and Highgate.  Rarely in Northfield.  And the bike parking at the supermarkets I visit generally gets used, though numbers depend greatly on the weather and time of day.  The fullness of the racks at Selly Oak Aldi is particularly stochastic - sometimes mine's the only bike there, other times the racks are full and people are locking bikes to the railings (or even optimistically putting a lock through the front wheel and leaving it on a kickstand (foreign students, presumably)).

Anyway, it's all good, and lack of somewhere to securely lock your bike near your destination is one of the barriers to cycling that's relatively cheap and easy to fix.  Now to see what happens with the A38 route...

More planter stands on Colmore Row.

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