Sunday 28 December 2008

A walking strategy for Bristol

Over from the Bristol Cycling Campaign comes their proposal to the council on a walking strategy for Bristol.

All of the artwork appears to come from contributions to this site, which shows that our secret plan is coming to fruition. Bristol Traffic is becoming the city's best public database on transport issues, all stored and indexed by our strategic partners Google and Yahoo!, and we gladly give permission for photographs to be reused if we get credit. (Please check first, some third party submissions via flickr may have different.

We think you should read the entire document. It's interesting to compare the campaign's point of view: pavements should be valued, not treated as space for cars and mobile phone base stations, to that of the local press, which imply that it is bicycles that are the greatest threat to pedestrians. The Evening Post appears to be trying to create a split between walkers/cyclists, rather than unity against a common problem: cars and the danger and inconvenience that too many of them are creating in the city.

For those in a hurry, here is the summary:

The Bristol Cycling Campaign strongly believes that a walking strategy is needed. Walking has to be recognised as the primary mode of short-haul transportation in the city, and is an integral part of any public transport story. It has to be made safe.
We propose
  1. A 20 mph speed limit
  2. A focus on strategic walking routes
  3. Fixing the walking gaps in the city
  4. Reclaim pavements from cars
  5. Make crossing roads safe
  6. Aggressive solutions to the school-run parking problems
  7. Keeping the pavements clear of clutter.
  8. Include walking and running for leisure
  9. Active engagement of other groups that care about pedestrian safety.
We believe that a walking strategy should have a goal such as "easy access on foot to key destinations". We also propose a set of destinations:
  • Local facilities: shops, pubs and similar.
  • Local pubs. Walking to the local pub helps reduce drunk-driving incidents, but walking home after drinking alcohol does significantly increase the risk of being hit by a car.
  • Schools. Walking, scootering, kid-bike-on-pavement and kid-on-bike-with parent should be viewed as the preferred transport options to primary school; teenager on their own on foot+public transport or bike that for secondary school.
  • University: no students should be driving to Bristol University.
  • Public Transport hubs. Pedestrian access to the central bus station, templemeads and, to a lesser extent, Parkway, stand out here as opportunities for improvement.
  • Local bus and train stations. Without the ability to get safely to the access point to the public transport infrastructure, this infrastructure is inaccessible.
  • Health care and social services. These should be accessible by someone with physical disabilities.
  • Central shopping areas: Bedminster, Whiteladies road, Gloucester road, Cabot Circus and Broadmead are examples. These can be visited on foot or foot+bus.
We do not directly discuss walking to work. For those people who live in or near the city centre, this is already an effective option. Many people do walk round the city.


Anonymous said...

Agree with it all.

As I move around this city it is shameful that, as a society, we have let the pieces of tin dominate our lives, spaces and places. They are not just dangerous, but also a horrible visual intrusion in the more urban (read Georgian / Victorian) parts of Bristol. All of our streets have become roads!

As to reclaiming the pavements - the bins don't help; they should only be allowed on the pavement on the day of collection. Street furniture is also a problem - badly sited posts with just a sign on them (look at the Gloucester Road for this - where the pavements are already too narrow).

Who are you targeting at the Council regarding this?

Do you expect anyone to take any notice?

Good luck though!

SteveL said...

The councillors are discussing a walking strategy as part of their sustainability group; this doc was the BCyC submission.

Anonymous said...

Hope them walkers remember us wheelchair users. We want the same thing plus less steps.
And buses we can get onto otherwise we are forced into cars.

SteveL said...

Currently Bristol pavements only work if you can run across roads. I know, I have a damaged knee and can't. It's easier to cycle round town than walk round, as you can cross junctions more easily.

I'd hope there is a pressure group making the needs of wheelchair users known to the council, as you can't trust the Bristol Cycling Campaign to represent everyone's interests. Similarly: pedestrians and runners need their own organisations.