Sunday, 20 January 2008

The best I can do today...

...is to ask you if you know what and where this contraption behind the tree is:


because this and the picture below were all I could get out of a short walk into town this morning.

This end of Bridewell Lane has its entry restricted to cyclists only, and although the merits of that are debatable, it is a fact. I occasionally use it, but think that drivers of vehicles coming in the opposite direction may think I am simply being reckless. (We cyclists who use pavements - however courteously - have a bad reputation in Bury!)

Unfortunately cars do not understand or see, or simply ignore the signage here (which is correct) and more than once I have had to wave my finger (which is terrifying for them) or even turn them away. Some residents would like a "proper" no entry sign - red circle with the broad white horizontal line. But that would not be correct, and might not be adhered to either.

The white lining could be refreshed (and I have asked for this) but not much else can be done without removing the cycle path - after all College Street is nearby for cyclists and in the same direction.

Does anyone have a view?

16 comments:

Cllr. Paul Hopfensperger said...

Shared-Space.

headless said...

I use this junction pretty much every day (coming the right way!) and wasn't aware of the cyclist entry, per se.

This is probably because I think the narrowing of the Lane as you approach the junction does not provide enough room for a cyclist going one way (against the "flow" of the (motor) traffic) and a vehicle the other.

I've seen cyclists coming the "wrong" way up Bridewell Lane and didn't think anything of it, so I guess I must have known, albeit subconsciously, that it was "two-way" for cyclists.

I agree, Paul, that the white lining could do with being refreshed.

It should be pretty clear to anyone thinking of turning into the lane from Westgate St that it is one way only due to the narrowness of it.

Having said that, my father visited Bury recently having moved away over 20 years ago and he nearly tried to turn into it and he's a competent driver, so I suppose therefore it's not all that clear.

Why does the cycle entry have to be on the tarmac surface? As the road surface has been narrowed, surely there is room for a cycle lane on the "pavement"?

This is all, of course, until such time as hoffy gets his shared-spaces...

picklesmum said...

headless - "Why does the cycle entry have to be on the tarmac surface? As the road surface has been narrowed, surely there is room for a cycle lane on the "pavement"


I'd have thought so pedestrians could walk safely on the pavement without being knocked down by some prat on a bicycle.

Paul F said...

Headless - interesting comment.
PM - not all cyclists are prats.

headless said...

I find however that pedestrians in the town centre are particularly stoopid (don't even get me started on the problems at the Abbeygate St crossings caused by ingorant bipeds!)

PM - the point there was that the pavement is really wide at the junction and up to the lane quite a bit further. Why not therefore convert part of the pavement to dual use or even just cycle use? IN the latter case, even "prat" pedestrians will be able to work out where they shouldn't be walking.

Having said that, as quite a few of them don't seem care whether they should be parking where they do at certain busy hours of the day, I don't suppose they'll care where they walk either...

The trouble is that we're all far too selfish once we get on or near the road (whether on foot, bike or 4 wheels) and think everyone else is an arse. I wouldn't claim to be not blameless in that regard.

The issue is whether we can make it clearer to road users what the "rights of way" are on a particular stretch. If it's clear, then there's got to be less chance of collision, I'd think.

Anonymous said...

I find the p word offensive. I didn't realise this site was x-rated.

picklesmum said...

Not ALL cyclists no, but ones on paths generally are.
I cycle occasionally and my Dad cycles to and from work in Bury every day.

Not on paths though!

Florries Mum said...

Re the first photo, this is in the garden of the house at the back of St Mary's, which faces onto Honey Hill and Sparhawk Street junction. I think its a bird feeder.

Paul F said...

One Bury blogger emailed me a much worse word than that recently. It was a short email, followed by the word "off".

PM you are forgiven. I'd better watch out for your dad next time I'm tearing along Kings Rd in the car!

Well done FM. I should have realised you'd get it. But I thought it was a scarer.

picklesmum said...

Paul, please do watch out for my Dad, he did get hit by a car in York Road a couple of years ago. He wears luminous jacket so there was no excuse for not seeing him!

headless said...

PM - I've taken to wearing one of those luminous "vests" (is that the right description or does it conjure up an altogether wrong picture??!) when out on the bike. I think you're pretty brave to cycle in the town centre to be honest, and good on your dad for carrying on after his accident.

I hope Paul meant he would look out for your dad to *miss* him if he sees him....

picklesmum said...

hee hee headless, thanks for that image of you in a luminous string vest.....you'll be easy to spot then!
Maybe it is called a tabard, but then you sound like a dinnerlady at school!

Bury Boy said...

In the world of shared space. every body has a responsability. No one group has the "right of way"

the concept is a sound one and gives equal weight to walkers, pram pushers, cyclist ( with or with out vests) and cars. There are no pavements just one simple surface.

Since the closure of the Greene King fire station this road would be an ideal shared space.

headless said...

BB - do you think that a shared space scheme would work in this country? It would seem that it works in some european towns (although are there any where it has been a failure that we haven't been told about?!), but I think they have a much greater idea of community (in terms of ownership and responsibility) than I would say we tend to have here.

For example, I recall hearing that there is far less concern with home ownership on the continent and a much higher percentage prefers to rent.

I wonder if the same principle applies to "owning" our part of the "road"?

I like the idea of shared space in principle. I think also that SEBC's streetscape scheme may well provide the same aesthetics and hopefully begin to instil some of the shared space principles.

Bury Boy said...

Headless
I think those of us in the east and south east are ready for shared space. In part due to our closer links with the contintent, and in part cultural. ( it may also be that we have a lower density in our smaller towns, and a higher european influx).
We also have a close community spirt which seems closer to that of the Dutch, Germans, and Belgians where shared space is most popular.
No doubt there are some areas of shared space failing, but on balance these seem not to come to the front.
You are correct on house ownership certainly in Germany however this is changing. It may not have an effect on spared space, more impactful in our committment to 7 day trading, and the disappearance of a family day.

More of a concern is the lack of experience, open mindedness, and willingness to view, experience, explore, debate or discuss the benefits of shared space among our local planners, and politicians. We may need to retrain some of our professional bus drivers.
One would hope that town twining may at least open a few closed minds. Bury missed an ideal oportunity with Kings Road. Abbeygate street could have been a positive oportunity but we seem to have failed here also, Angel hill is a possible oportunity. If we had a true 20mph speed limit and maybe reintroduce the gates.
Bury could turn over an area from the park way to the abbey gardens to shared space.
The key how ever in my opinion is a single surface, no pavements, or roads. Yes the scheme has some merit, but our elected and paid officials seem to lack the foresight, or challange, hiding behind closed doors and budget restictions. welcome to Bury St Edmunds..

Paul F said...

PM - I'm sorry about your dad. I wouldn't have mentioned watching out for him (NOT meaning to hit him, Headless!) if I'd known.

BB - I don't think politicians are as anti shared space as you suggest. Personally I think there are areas where we almost have it (Angel Hill, Abbeygate and the Traverse) and others where it could be successful (Buttermarket & Cornhill - although if parking spaces were removed - shock horror! - it would be easier there).

Kings Road will have an area of shared space which I personally think is unnecessary (will crowds be surging to and from waitrose?)and unhelpful to those in houses 3-5 who have a tiny pavement and will lose even that.

Would you like to lose your pavement BB. which is much wider than theirs?

Kings Rd is a major route out of town, especially as it's now one way. The County Council presumably cannot afford the extra £100K or so to make that transformation, or would rather put it in a more suitable area.

I think your notion that Bury folk are the only ones who know best or care is rather backward looking, and an easy excuse to criticise "foreign" ideas - which of course is what shared space is.

I will always be a newcomer, having lived in the \bury and surrounding area only since 1977. Does that prevent me from contributing to the community?

Think of all the good things and creations in various towns and cities. Was none of them done by an "outsider"?