Stop Start - The Weak Link
There are actually some great facilities for cycling around here. They connect up useful places that people would want to travel to or from. They have great smooth surfaces, and they’re wide enough for two-way traffic.
Almost universally though, they have the stop-start problem:
These two examples are from National Cycle Route 72 as it crosses Welbeck Road in Walker. It’s the first example of a modern cycle route that I used, and compared with the way cycle routes used to be it’s just superb. Actually, it’s pretty superb without bothering to compare it with the way things used to be. When I’m heading to my various clients in Walker, it’s the route I use.
But this stop-start thing. Every time there’s a road that crosses it, there are these chicanes to deal with (they stop the local yoofs from driving cars up the cycle route), and then a road to cross. A road where the traffic has priority.
I’m picking on this route as an example - there are many others that have the same problem.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and these weak links re-enforce the message that cars have priority. I’d like to believe that when this problem is fixed, and bikes get priority, on segregated routes that the people will spontaneously rise up and take to their bikes in a славный виток (glorious revolution).
This whole issue is a whole lot more complex than just the infrastructure. But there’s a finite list of things to be fixed before people do start riding in preference to driving. And if we address them one at a time, eventually we’ll have done them all.
And then maybe we can have our revolution.