Sunday 1 March 2009

UWE: Recognised Pedestrian Route

Right on the edge of the UWE campus, there's a "recognised pedestrian route to campus". It says so in big letters and a symbol of somebody walking.

That's a really strange concept. The city proper has these things called "pavements", and with the notable exception of Montpelier and Clifton Wood, they are generally considered "recognised pedestrian routes". Yet here, out in the car-centric city fringe, they have signs up telling you where you are expected to walk.

And where to walk from? Well, there is a zebra crossing, with another sign at the far end.

It says: "recognised pedestrian route to car park 20".

Ahh, now it becomes clear. For a moment there was the glimpse of hope, the idea that thousands of UWE students would walk in to campus from somewhere, maybe the train stations, maybe nearby housing, and go to lectures. But no, they are walking in from Car Park 20.

That tells us
  1. There isn't enough space on campus for all the staff and students to drive in, they have to have more parking across the road.
  2. There are at least 19 other car parks. They have not yet numbered up and opened the car parks on the former-HP land they recently bought, and B&Q Filton is not official parking, so those areas are not included in the total.
  3. There is no expectation that anyone will walk to UWE except from the car park.
UWE is probably the best, the greenest of the sites here -take a look at the queues of cars leaving the MOD at 1700h for a contrast, and the U1-U5 buses are the best road-based public transport options in the area. However, barring theLockleaze path, driving is probably one of the main access options to the city. At least compared to its neighbours, the students drive small cars and fill them with their flatmates, so the CO2/head and congestion impact per student is less than for the companies -but it does set them up for a lifestyle of sitting in traffic jams, one they can use for the rest of their life. Think about it: Oxford and Cambridge: cycling. London: tubes and buses. UWE: driving to lectures.


Dru Marland said...

Perhaps an enlightened UWE could run life skills classes to teach them how to walk on their Recognised Pedestrian Routes. Seems only fair.
I recall a R4 programme about obese children; a trainer described the alarm of some children to find that they were leaking water; they hadn't ever worked up a sweat before....

Chris Hutt said...

So what about "UNrecognised" pedestrian routes? Surely it would be more helpful to sign these, since by definition they need to be brought to people's attention.

And why should "recognised" pedestrian routes need signing at all because they are, by definition, already known about? Isn't it as pointless as signing the M32 as a "recognised" motor route?

Or does "recognised" mean the same as "signed"? In which case is this not effectively a sign saying "this is a sign"? Or should that be "this is a recognised sign"?

Perhaps the bureaucrats responsible for concocting these things are playing a version of Scrabble amongst themselves and score extra points for insinuating long, superfluous words into their signs.

Whatever the answer, it gives us further unwelcome insight into the anal recesses of the bureaucratic mindset.

TonyD said...

"UWE recognised the pedestrian route of Stoke Gifford. How do you recognize a pedestrian route? You go, "exc... Hey, wait. No, don't tell me. Wait, wait, didn't we meet last year at the Bordeaux Quay wine fest? You look a lot like the Railway Path. Didn't we meet last year at the Highbury Vaults? No."

With apologies to Robin Williams

Unknown said...

Recognised pedestrian route is just to underline its no cycling status.

Incidentally MoD has over 350 secure cycle parking spaces, shower and changing facilities and a preferential parking scheme for multi-occupancy vehicles and motorbikes. All of which are well used. In the summer bicycle parking is fully utilised requiring "innovative" parking approaches and even in the winter it is nearly full. And lets not forget the train station right behind the site.

I know all this because they did a travel study a few years ago which counted travel to work methods, nearly half of the workers take the train.

Your right there is a biiiig queue of cars (soo big Firstbus refuse to go up there now), but also more alternative travel methods in use than at most other employers. Perhaps because of the limited number of parking spaces.

I remember being a student when few of us could afford cars.. how come they now can? Universities should try limiting their parking, and making more of it staff only.

As the council say... Its "Better by Bike".

SteveL said...

The MOD bike parking is good because it is so secure, but some of their bike routes are a bit iffy -whoever drew them up on the map didn't take into account the big security gates.

Chris Hutt said...

"Recognised pedestrian route is just to underline its no cycling status."

Ah yes, of course. It's so obvious now you mention it. You're not called InsanityIdeas for nothing.

Unknown said...

The section of path to the security gate is oft used for amusement value but is a bit of a trick of photography as there is adequate room to go round it. Besides its not really an issue for anyone as that is something of a path to nowhere.

What is of annoyance is those big yellow barriers some twat put further down the path. Eventually painted yellow after someone doubtless cycled into them.

SteveL said...

The yellow crash barrier has been covered already.

If you want to meet up one lunchtime I'll bring a camcorder, bike mounts and we can work on some ROAM-class footage of this problem. Actually, that would be a really good sequel "traffic calming -by the collective". I'll have to think about that -could be a good theme for another posting

Anonymous said...

@ InsanityIdeas, price of buying a car has come down alot siince.

It's interesting you comment on the shower facillities, uwe has failed on this part.

Anyways, the lease on car park 20 runs out next year i believe.

SteveL said...

-Since UWE bought most of HP's site last November, it now has three extra car parks which are yet to open.

It also has a new gym with shower facilities big enough for football teams, with some cycle parking outside. That parking was OK when the site was secured, but not for UWE. If we could get more bike parking there, it could make a good UWE/North Fringe bike hub.