Monday, 2 November 2009

The cycling infrastructure is getting worse, not better

Britain is a car-sick nation of addicts, and getting sicker year by year. And those who should be treating the sickness are themselves addicts, who can’t see beyond the next fix.

All over Britain, transport planners and highway engineers are working to ‘improve traffic flow’ and increase on-street car parking, at the expense of cyclists and pedestrians. What the London Borough of Waltham Forest is about to do with five neighbourhood ‘improvement schemes’ is replicated by this crackpot scheme in Penarth.

Look at the photo and you can see this amazingly wide street could easily accommodate a wide, segregated two-way cycle lane on the Dutch model. And just look at its sick condition – cracked flagstones, heaps of rubbish sacks, and unrestricted car parking. It’s a dehumanized street. And the planners want to make it worse by making this one-way, screwing up a major cycle route, and creating more on-street car parking:

Under Vale Council plans for Penarth Town Centre development, one-way traffic will only be allowed up Arcot Street, while cyclists heading downhill on Upper Arcot Street will be diverted through the Glebe Street and Windsor Road shopping areas.

As previously reported in the Penarth Times, Arcot Street will accommodate considerably increased chevron parking