Friday, 5 June 2009

Portsmouth Revisited: Albert Road #2

The road may look cycle friendly, but what it is like to ride? What is it like for tourists or locals to pop down to do their Saturday shopping
The bike parking outside supermarkets, chemists and other useful shops are handy. Those that are by zebra crossings not only stop cars parking there, they make it easy to get your bike across the road when you park (get off and walk), and to get back on the road in either direction when you are finished. This is better than Gloucester Road, where the parking is on one side, but half the shops you want on the other, and no easy way to cross except run for your life.
At the same time, it's a busy road. Try cycling down it at 20-25 mph (it was flat), and a van will still try to overtake you at speed and cut in. It is like any shopping street in any non-cycling-city.

Some bits have bike lanes, some bits have double yellow lines. But double yellow lines get ignored by vans, which ends up creating tailbacks into the junctions behind them,

At least here the FirstBus driver was generous and opened the door to let some of the passengers out.

A trip along Albert Road on a shopping day reinforces the argument that it is better to have a 20mph road that everyone shares than a 30 mph road with bike lanes. Because once the bike lanes are occupied by parked vehicles, they are useless.

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