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Bike 'gate' on Trinity Street

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Tuesday 14 October 2014 8.30pm
The proposed changes to the Trinity Street barrier are a small part of a much larger, London-wide, programme to get more people cycling. The reasons for getting more people cycling are well known, and include:
1. To get people doing more healthy exercise;
2. To improve our streets by reducing, at least a bit, motorised traffic;
3. To reduce air pollution.
To get more people cycling we have to make it safe and convenient, and attractive for all types of cyclists. Simplifying routes with clear signposting is important, so we need to avoid diversions round 3 corners when a more direct route around one corner is available. And removing physical barriers like the one in Trinity Street is important.
Will the motor cycle traffic increase if the barrier is more permeable? This seems unlikely. If motorbikes try to cut across the pavement from Gt Dover St this is easily stopped by cameras or policing. From Harper Rd there is already access via Brockham St and the Square, and this is little used. If you want a long wait at a junction, then the Trinity St stop line is the place to be! And the planned additional pedestrian crossing phases will slow it further.
The Mayor's aim is to more than double cycling over the next decade. This means getting all sorts of people cycling and to achieve that we need, literally, to remove the barriers.
Tuesday 14 October 2014 11.06pm
Hi all, first post here for me - live in SE5 since 2001 but commute through SE1 every day for work so hope I'm allowed to post!

Full disclosure, I've been motivated to sign up (tho been following/retweeting the SE1 stuff for ages) because the Quietway issue is very important to me.


We have a baby daughter and one of the main reasons families like ours want to stay in London with our communities is because, finally, after decades of trying, London is slowly starting to become more pedestrian and bike friendly. I really, really want our daughter to be able to play in the street when she's a bit bigger, and definitely cycle to school and her mates like I could as a kid growiing up in the sticks.

So for us the Quietway is very very exciting. I've got to be honest, I really, really hope the plans go through, and the details are definitely important. The gate in Trinity St is a very good example of this. Yes, it's easier to leave it as it is, and perhaps there might be a few mopeds (but an earlier poster pointed out they have nowhere really constructive to go, and they're more of a hassle after dark anyway, plus they have numberplates if you want to get really het up about them)...

But.... do we really want to muddle along piecemeal like before? Or build something proper? Yes the UK way tends to be to bodge these things to the point where they're ineffective, but experience on other 'quietway-by-mistake' routes that have been eked out in London and elsewhere (Hyde Park, Tavistock Sq, Brighton & Hove seafront etc) shows that if you build attractive direct routes people will come - on bikes, not mopeds.

Family-friendly, continental style, all-ages and all-accessibility cycling means just that - no obstacles, no bodges, no head-scratching 'where does this route go then?' or 'how do we cross this road?' moments - instead everything should be as easy and safe and intuitive as it would be on a car journey.

I can understand the concerns about mopeds. But riding this route around once a week I've never seen a moped, ever. I have been inconvenienced by the existing gate, each time.

I say: let's do it properly now, and if the moped thing causes problems a year on, fine, take action then - if that means a wide gate then fair enough. Build that review process into the consultation if we have to.

cheers all
joe
Wednesday 15 October 2014 8.04am
Hi, I live in Peckham and I use this Trinity Street route regularly on a bike. The gates as they are at present are extremely difficult to use and they go from wall to wall that is across the pavement. It is not possible to navigate them without getting off your bike.

I have a handicapped daughter, physically OK but with quite severe autism. I cycle with her, on the roads, and generally if I am not careful, that is as dangerous as it sounds. So I am careful and I use the back routes designed especially to keep cyclists safe.

Cycling is very good for her. It keeps her active, makes her pay attention to where she's going and teaches her (very slowly) road skills. But she can't learn these skills on main roads, it just wouldn't be safe. She needs safe routes off the main road like the route through Trinity Square and she needs it to work properly so that she can actually use it and understand what's going on.

I understand the concerns about moped riders using Trinity Square and I would suggest a trial to see if alternative gates or bollards would be equally effective. This trial could be tightly designed with a set end point, maybe after 3 or 6 months. I don't know if it would be possible to distinguish between cyclists using the route and moped riders using those counting lines that the council puts out.

But maybe a real person (from the council or a volunteer) could do a count, once a week or once a fortnight for the two hours of the morning rush and count the number of moped riders. The trial could have strict criteria either of specific numbers (no more than 5 mopeds between 7-9am) or proportions (mopeds to be no more than 1 for every 100 cyclists)

There would be a specific timetable with a point for review and final decision and arrangements for stopping the trial early if moped riders poured through in enormous numbers.

The trial would have to last at least 6 months to be fair to residents because moped numbers, if they were to increase, would increase slowly as more moped users became aware of the route. Six months would probably be enough for route use to stabilise.

Given public policy and the weight given to encouraging walking and cycling, I would say the case for a trial is overwhelming and we should now be discussing how it should be framed.
Zoe
Wednesday 15 October 2014 8.27am
I regularly cycle this route and I'm a bit torn. I generally go down Cole Street as I have dyspraxia and the gate is a bit too much of a challenge to my spatial skills. However, I also believe motorbikes will use the space if the gates are removed, so I think they should probably stay, or perhaps a version of them which has a narrow space but not the turn. It's a shame that people can't be trusted not to break the law.

Also, Sally you're an awesome woman taking your kid cycling. It's not easy having an Austistic child and you are clearly doing a great job.
Wednesday 15 October 2014 8.43am
A quietway sounds good.

My concern is how to stop an increased volume of cyclists riding over the shared space by The Roebuck at full pelt - with no regard for pedestrians.

A significant proportion of the ones using it now just put their head down and go at it at top speed. An increase in the volume of cyclists will, I assume, mean an increase in the danger to pedestrians. Which probably isn't the intention.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 15 October 2014 9.22am
Ivanhoe - the quietway doesn't cross the shared space - going east past the Trinity Street gate, it turns left up Globe Street and crosses Great Dover Street to reach Tabard Street.

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Wednesday 15 October 2014 10.31am
My apologies and thanks, James.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 15 October 2014 2.28pm
Half the problem Ivanhoe is that the cyclists there are coming off Great Dover Street - it can take people a bit of time to adjust from "dealing with traffic on main road" mentality to "ambling along at a gentle pace with pedestrians". I'm not sure how you'd fix that tbh, but the whole ethos with Quietways is to avoid roads like Gt Dover Street & promote a much more chilled-out kind of cycling. In any case though, it doesn't use the shared space - precisely because Gt Dover Street is anything but quiet.

As to the gates - it's pretty sad if disabled cyclists, tandem riders, families with cargo bikes etc. end up losing out because of some selfish *&%ús on mopeds who can't stick to the law. I'd have thought an enforcement blitz is what's needed there. Crush their noisy, smelly little mopeds and give them clean, quiet e-bikes instead?
Wednesday 15 October 2014 2.56pm
Wulfhound wrote:
Half the problem Ivanhoe is that the cyclists there are coming off Great Dover Street - it can take people a bit of time to adjust from "dealing with traffic on main road" mentality to "ambling along at a gentle pace with pedestrians". I'm not sure how you'd fix that tbh, but the whole ethos with Quietways is to avoid roads like Gt Dover Street & promote a much more chilled-out kind of cycling. In any case though, it doesn't use the shared space - precisely because Gt Dover Street is anything but quiet.
As to the gates - it's pretty sad if disabled cyclists, tandem riders, families with cargo bikes etc. end up losing out because of some selfish *&%ús on mopeds who can't stick to the law. I'd have thought an enforcement blitz is what's needed there. Crush their noisy, smelly little mopeds and give them clean, quiet e-bikes instead?

I wonder whether a potential solution to the shared space issue would be a segregated cycle lane on Gt Dover St.

Less pressure on cyclists to travel at pace with the motorised traffic, and then the segregated lane feeds into the shared space, rather than the road feeding it. That would prevent motorcycles entering the space, and would hopefully slow the cyclists on approach to the shared space.

I used to cycle across Flat Iron Square daily and the experience was drastically improved for all parties when they removed the ludicrous cycle lane that passed right outside all of the shop entrances and replaced it with shared space, which was fed from a segregated cycle lane.
Wednesday 15 October 2014 3.16pm
Wulfhound wrote:
Half the problem Ivanhoe is that the cyclists there are coming off Great Dover Street - it can take people a bit of time to adjust from "dealing with traffic on main road" mentality to "ambling along at a gentle pace with pedestrians".

Sorry, but I completely disagree.

As a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motorcyclist, or a car driver, I have to use observation and forward planning to actively moderate my speed according to where I'm going.

If I cycle off the road and onto shared space, I KNOW what I'm doing. It's an active choice. And I have the choice as to whether to proceed with caution and consideration to pedestrians, or to put my head down and go full pelt.

...if you press it, they will come.
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