Wednesday 14 January 2009

Portsmouth: cycle lane #2

Further west, there is a bike lane leading up to some lights. You can see it under the two cars doing loading/short-stay shopping.

It is is not exactly an inconvenience to have these vehicles here, as it is not a long lane

It begins just in front of this bus. Which is why the cyclist in the picture is on the left, travelling with the traffic flow.

On any shopping street, there's going to be conflict between cars doing shopping/delivery/pickup, through traffic cars, bikes and pedestrians. This road has focused on the needs of cars, added some bike lanes that would keep the bikes out the way if they existed, but the needs of people like the post office means that they don't.

What does Bristol do in these cases?

1. Whiteladies Road. Parking with no time limits, hence used by commuters. Shoppers use the traffic islands and zebra crossings for parking.
2. Gloucester Road. Time-limited parking; it turns into a bus lane during peak hours, but cars often remain in the lane, so it only goes live when the traffic wardens are visiting.
3. Bedminster East Street. The through-route is nominally bikes/bus/delivery only, but gets used as a secret short cut for anyone in a hurry.

The Portsmouth road doesn't appear any better or worse. The bike parking is convenient, and it is fairly pedestrian safe, but these bike lanes do not appear to contribute much to anyone except push cyclists out the way of cars on a road that is considered a through road rather than a shopping street or a road with two schools alongside it.

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