Proper infrastructure

 

Bike lane 4 (1 of 1)

Sporting success on the roads, the track or the hills, is good.

Pretty pictures of freshly dapper cyclists are good.

Shiny, blingy bike bits are good.

Mass participation bike events are good.

All of these things are elements that facilitate, encourage and promote.

However.

Nothing. But Nothing, gets bums on saddles more than real, proper, infrastructure. Get people feeling safer and they will ride. Imagine removing the Taff Trail today. Just picking it up, ripping it out and removing it from our cycling vocabulary. Cycle commuting in Cardiff would be slashed. The fact that a swathe of cyclists moving from North to South would have a safe, offroad route removed would undoubtedly force some back into their cars. Fortunately we’re not in the process of removing it, so everyone can rest easy and continue to enjoy it. But today I thought I’d photograph and celebrate a recent addition to our cycle network that adds another piece to completing the complex jigsaw of modal shift.

Bike lane 3 (1 of 1)

This is a new cycle lane that straddles both carriageways on the Cowbridge Road bridge in Cardiff’s city centre. Have a look at the top image to see how sensible it is; wide enough, seperated from traffic by a low wall and from pedestrains by a kerb. Now look at the picture below and see how necessary it is; this stretch of road is super busy in rush hour and cyclists used to run the gauntlet. I’ve experienced the before and after. This is proper infrastructure in a place that truly needed it.

Bike lane 2 (1 of 1)

(and a swift reposte to any witty types who exclaim ‘Yeah! But look how empty the bike lane is!’ there were a few cyclists waiting for me to finish taking the pictures).

4 replies »

  1. Looks good but difficult to use for cyclists that need to turn right onto Westgate St. I do that every day. So the cycle lane thinking only applied to the bridge without consideration as to how it connects with the roads and junctions before and after it.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Amanda.

      Yes – I’d agree that’s tricky. On balance though, I’m really pleased that some effort has gone into making this section safer for the majority of cyclists. I used to ride over this bridge in the direction of Canton in rush hour traffic and duking it out with buses, cars and vans was less than pleasant (and often downright dangerous). So……not a perfect solution, but a big leap in the right direction (and as a template – full separation of cyclists and traffic – its to be lauded for busy urban areas).

      • It’s just that cyclists have to go from ‘dangerous’ conditions into a stretch that is safer, but then back into ‘dangerous’. So one’s guard is let down and I worry about that. Another example is the much improved markings for cylists on Cathays Terrace that suddenly vanish and leave the cyclist very vulnerable again when going over the bridge to the junction with Colum Dr/Corbett Rd/Park Place. The council should consult properly with cyclists to help get this right!

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