Wednesday 30 March 2011

Coldharbour Lane and a council that doesn't care

Comrades! We welcome a new Comrade to the People's Cycling Front: yangtse55!
While they have not yet taken direct action against the council, they have documented its maintenance of Coldharbour Lane

This has to come into the "indifference" category, unless they tried to clean it up and got it wrong, in which case: "incompetence".

We hear the collaborators with the existing regime will be having a little get together. Obviously, members of the  are not welcome, but that's OK: if we had been invited, we would have had to decline the opportunity. Presumably Cllr Allison will be driving to the event. If he were to cycle, he'd appreciate how shite what they've done is. That's probably one reason why he'll be driving. The other: he doesn't ride a bicycle, not as far as we know.

Let's repeat that: we have no evidence that the S Gloucs Councillor, Brian Allinson  ever rides a bicycle. You can see that in the press coverage of the Cribb's Causeway Route, the shiny press release by the council themselves:
This route will make it easier for cyclists to travel to Cribbs Causeway,

Not  "this route will make it easier for people to cycle to Cribbs Causeway" -because cyclists are not people.  Not "this route will make it easier for myself and others to cycle to Cribbs Causeway." Instead, implicitly, he's distanced himself from the cyclists: he is not one of us.

No Brian, you aren't. Which is something anyone who tries to cycle on any of the facilities you are so proud of will realise.

We could have done so much better. We still can. But not with you, Brian.

Or is Bwian?

Monday 28 March 2011

All quiet on the Eastern Front

On the other side of the MoD from the Bollards of Death route lies "the eastern front". It's quite nice in daytime. Here we see two people with orange rucksacks doing the route into town.

The rucksacks say RAF on them, and as you can see, the cyclists are riding in formation. Years of experience paying off.

Is this a bike lane the dutch would laugh at? Well, let's look at some other bits.

Heading to the A4174 on a weekday morning.

The bike path isn't wide enough for two bicycles to pass, but at least there aren't any bollards here.

What is an issue is that anyone walking to work on the MoD site has to cross the bicycle side of the path to get to pedestrian side, increasing risk especially at the bus stops. Why not make the path wide enough for different lanes of bicycles and people walking? And put the footpath on the side by the bus stops, on the basis that that is the obvious destination?

One interesting feature is the green lanes on the road here. Some cars do actually give way to bicycles on these bits, even though it's not a legal requirement. You can't trust it, so perhaps both sides slow down just to make sure. It's a shared space kind of thing.

Now, the final view: heading south on a weekday evening. It's getting dim, and you can see that about one light in four on the MoD site is lit up. If all were lit up, you'd have better visibility on this stretch, which would really benefit pedestrians, who aren't encouraged to walk down here. Oddly enough, all the lights in the car park work.

The bike path is on the right (remember how it is on the left on the bollard path). With two bike paths joining, and the one at the end actually connecting with the bollards route, you have to swing into the pedestrian lane as you approach it, or to pass other bicycles.

Then you hit the rugby grounds. Pleasant at day, at night you have to deal with the narrow fence to get through -this was a change that got worse a couple of years back, before anyone with an MTB -as you need on these paths- could just clear the berm on the left. Now, if you have a road bike you have to slow down and zig zag through, on an MTB you can go on the grass and swerve through faster, hitting potholes as you go. There are more potholes at 1:18, stuff no bike can avoid, potholes that form massive puddle in the rain. At night you don't get any warning of this.

What could be done?
  1. Widen the path between the bus stops and the nursery/car park, giving a proper pedestrian lane on the side of the bus stops. Eliminate crossing risk, better for everyone. It's not as if there isn't the space.
  2. Move the bike path to the other side on the rest of the route, reduce risk of collision from the right. Or just recognise that there is no lanes. 
  3. Fix the lights on the MoD site.
  4. Change the entry point to the rugby grounds so you don't need to come completely to a halt. Instead widen it enough to get a trailer through, and line it up better. 
  5. Fix the potholes.
  6. Add some st-werburgh's path style solar LED lights through the rugby grounds. They show the route to everyone, and do benefit pedestrians.
The annoying thing none of these need much imagination to come up with, the problems are immediately visible. Yet nobody fixes them, nobody cares. Incompetence or Indifference: you choose.

Update: Fixed the link to the final video.

Sunday 13 March 2011

Bristol Parkway to UWE. Could try harder.

Before watching the video, know that 20 years ago, you could walk or run through fields all the way from the railway bridge to the UWE entrance. Since then various office facilities have appeared, along with lots of parking, and, unsurprisingly, big traffic jams on the A4174 ring road, along which everyone will have to cross, unless they are heading north to Bradley Stoke.

That means that in the past 20 years, many of the side roads went in, giving an opportunity to have a wide bicycles-first route alongside the roads. It didn't happen, and what has gone in recently can best be described as damage limitation, or more precisely "damage limitation designed not to upset anyone driving"

This is the official video on the better by bike site. This is the best video they could do to sell the project. Imagine how much less compelling it would be if it was done on a day when rain screwed up visibility and stopping distances, bikes coming in the opposite direction, and more pedestrians.

For a citizen of S Gloucs who is not affiliated with the People's Cycling Front, here are some issues the video highlights
  • 0.14 - The chance to mix it with bus queues and their trolley suitcases  -
  • 0.42 - 1.50 The convoluted detour to do 2 left turns.
  • 1.19 - The chance to cycle on a narrow pavement under the bridge -
  • 2.15 - The chance to scare the living daylights out of pedestrians on yet another
We add:
  • 0:00 No coverage of the car parking here. Yes, that increases train traffic, and there is also some secure bike parking, but it still implies that the primary expected transport option here is by car, not walking or cycling. Compare with the NL. 
  • 0:31 the usual pavement/path problems. Two people walking side by side and bicycle traffic are not expected or supported in S Gloucs. #FAIL
  • 0:44  A  zebra crossing with a designated bicycle option. This is is good, and should be replicated elsewhere, on this route and on all other routes where pedestrians and cyclists are expected to yield to motor traffic. Well done!
  • 1:05 How can crossing be cycle friendly when the cars don't stop and the island is not wide enough for any bicycle with trailer or tagalong. Better to pull the island (removing a pinch point for the vehicular cyclists) and put in another bike+foot zebra crossing. Why wasn't this done? #FAIL
  • 1:10 the signpost is not in the path. Well done!
  • 1:19 this is a choke point you can't avoid. Yet someone was scared of, say, narrowing the road to one lane (alternating) and putting in a dedicated two way bicycle route. You know, something that says bicycles matter. #FAIL
  • 1:25 a single bollard, with the blue markings but not that reflective. Just one bollard though. 
  • 1:55 note the traffic speed. There's an expectation in cars that there aren't bicycles and you can drive at 60 on the roads. Lower speed limits would help, but the ever present dual carriageways reinforce the "cars only" feel. Yet these bike lanes are the alternative.
  • 2:08 The loopback to the bridge is now complete. If a segregated bicycle lane had gone in under the bridge, the bike journey would have saved all the time since 0:44. This is a bike path designed to encourage you to cycle on the road as it is faster. #FAIL
  • 2:10+ This is just a fucking pavement. Why not come out and call it that instead of a designated bike route. Oh, and it's no fun to walk either. The fields were prettier. 
  • 2:20 Now the pavement gets narrower. The bollard to the right is there to stop you cycling into something that would hurt, like a fence. #FAIL.
  • 2:43 Bicycles give way to staff car park. #FAIL.
  • 3:05 another crossing with no ped/bike support other than "hope for the best". #FAIL.
  • 3:20 a quiet back road with no parked cars would be the ideal place to retain a real segregated bike path;  instead you are expected to embrace the road. If you wanted that, why not just start off on the road? Oh, and what is the speed limit on this road? 30 or 60?
  • 3:54 video forgets to warn about buses coming up the RHS, especially in a morning, as its the bus route to UWE. #FAIL.
  • 4:01 we'd recommend looking right for cars doing 70+ mph before trusting the green man. Just a thought. 
  • 4:03: the roadwork sign is the A4174 road widening, way more expenditure than the cycling work. It does add a bus lane, but doesn't take away any driving space. And how long before people get fed up by an empty bus lane before they turn it into another car lane -as they did with the car sharing lane the other side of the M32 junction?
  • 4:08 - video doesn't say "These are responsive lights". There's a reason for that, expect up to a minute's wait, always including time stuck half way. You could say "well the cars are going fast here", but why not downgrade the road speed then? Why not give pedestrians and bicycles priority and give a full sequence to allow people to walk or cycle across the route without that wait in the middle? #FAIL
  • 4:21 - we'll look at the UWE site bike paths some other time. Someone on site believes that bicycles are a threat to cars and so need their own special traffic calming. 
There we have it then. A half-arsed bike route that tries to provide a safe route to UWE from the station but tries to do it on the cheap by not putting in enough safe road crossings, and for a lot of the way, just putting some blue circles on a pavement. We think the Dutch will be, well, disappointed.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

The Bollards of Death Path

Here is the famous "bollards of death" path at 17:30 on a weekday. MoD staff, other commuters. This is what it really looks like, compared to the sunny quiet-day video.

The bollards are visible, you can see where we taped some of them up, but they do blend in with the white line. It makes you realise why many road-side posts are in alternating white and black -visible in more conditions.

0:08 -swerve into oncoming lane. No protocol here so there's a risk you both swerve. It happens. That's why when there is a lower pedestrian count the path switches to normal left-side-of-road rules.

0:18 anyone walking over the zebra crossing is lined up to get hit here. Also note the barriers. Rationale unclear. Not bicycles, so it must be stop pedestrians crossing the road except at the zebra crossing. So why not allow that?

0:55 mediocre visibility on an uphill route; hope nobody is descending.

1:12 MoD pedestrian access point. Again, having the bike path on the RHS would reduce risk here, but look at what comes up

1:19 foot access to the train station, key part of the pedestrian route. Oh, and a pillar in the middle.

1:24 even two people walking side by side are something you have to worry about

1:39 notice the vast space for parking. This site fills up its parking, a lot of staff were reallocated from elsewhere. Now people who live within three miles aren't allowed to park. But what is the alternative. We're on it.

1:56 its quieter here as its either residents of Northville or Lockleaze on foot, or bicycles. At the end of the path there's a blind corner, but we are avoiding it as we are taking the Northville exit.

2:10 This is a bike path, marked up on the maps, oddly not in the better by bike video. When we say "you need an MTB to cycle round here" we forgot to mention the max handlebar width and travel. The more travel your bike has, the higher your bars go, the harder it is to get through here. Good thing there's nobody in the way, and that we arent carrying children on the front bars -or in a trailer or tagalong.

2:17 narrow bridge. Clearly this is a path for pedestrians that's had some anti-motorbike barrier for a while and with a blue circle is now a pedestrian/bicycle shared route.

2:28 into the garage zone. It's interesting how much space is allocated to parking here. Even though you are a few minutes cycle/walk from the supermarket, the whole Bristol suburb culture is about driving. The busses are less frequent, the corner shops bleaker and further away. You are expected to drive.

2:46 and we are in the cars-on-the-pavement suburbs.

Now, is this path a failure?

Experience: Fail. In that it doesn't go out of its way to make you feel welcome and valued yes. Neither pedestrians or cyclists will enjoy this walk. Indeed, one of the things about walking round this area, or up to parkway station, is how mindnumbingly dull it is. Even the graffiti isn't that interesting. All you see are car parks, dual carriageways and cars, until you get to crossings that make you wait for 30-60s before you react. It's implicitly designed to make you wish you'd rather be in a car.

Maybe this is why its so rare to see anyone walking around. In the inner city, people out and about. Here, people walking to their cars, some teenagers loitering, and people waiting for busses looking miserable.

Use: Unknown. We have no before/after data, the MoD exclusion zone will encourage more walking and cycling so the statistics won't be reliable. It's busy with pedestrians and some bicycles. Some morning and school time data would be useful, probably between 8 and 9 am is the peak hours.

Scalability: Fail. The path may only have a few bicycles, but its already saturated. The segregation fails because the path isn't wide enough for two directions of walking and two directions of cycling. If the number of people cycling down here were to double or triple at peak times, it still wouldn't make much of a dent in the car traffic statistics, but it would overload the cycling infrastructure. And what then? A new lane?

Tuesday 8 March 2011

What have the Romans ever done for us?

To us, the People's Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire, our enemy is the roadbuilders who stick up the new roads, widen the old ones, and add walking and cycling features as an afterthought -one that neglects our needs and is constrained by the inability of the roadbuilders to imagine the needs, care about them, or execute on their own plans.

We call them The Romans. For what have the Romans ever done for us, apart from the roads?

This is the A4174 ring road path, by the UWE entrance. 20 years ago you weren't allowed to cycle here, and as a consequence there was none of this traffic calming stuff up. It was easier to cycle down, and way safer than the ring road.

Since then, the ring road has got busier and wider. This week they opened a new priority lane for buses, one that avoids taking any space from cars.
That worked, didn't it?

Looking the other way, you can see that some of the pedestrians are wearing camouflage and not hi-viz.
This shows a conflict of goals. The motorists and the councils would like all pedestrians to wear hi-viz, obvously. But many of the MoD staff are wearing work clothes designed to keep you alive in war zones, and bright reflective clothing fails then. It went out of fashion when officers stopped wearing red jackets.

The combination of traffic calming and pedestrians whose lives depend on not wearing hi-viz makes for a higher risk environment.

Descending to the roundabout, you can see that it is too narrow to have separation from pedestrians, so we are grateful for the current lack of bollards. Admittedly, the various road signs don't help, and a wider path would actually eliminate the conflict entirely. This would good as the people cycling up the hill are all in uniforms.

Note the different roundabout crossings

1. MOD entrance: light controlled, safe.

2. MOD back entrance and shops -no lights, cars may coming off the main roundabout at speed. There is a traffic island designed for at most one bicycle to wait, limiting the cycle traffic flow to one bicycle every 30s maximum. Everyone cycling across has to look at the traffic, then keep looking in front to see its clear to get off the crossing.

3. Shopping centre entrance. There is a green strip here, and the driver coming off the roundabout did give way. This is unexpected and welcome, as a green line on the ground has no legal force. If you get run over, the car had the right of way.

What did the SGC get wrong here?

The key issue is a focus on motor traffic rather than pedestrian and bicycles, and not making it safe to cross the roundabouts. Pelican lights that would block both the entrance and exit of crossing #2 would make it safe to cross and eliminate the traffic island bottleneck in the middle. That or a zebra crossing would be good. But perhaps they fear the tailbacks created by stopping for pedestrians and cyclists.

3. Again, no formal cycles-have-right-of-way setup at the junction. This time someone was being generous, but you can't rely on it.

The biggest hazard is the main MoD roundabout
  • The main road has 50 mph speed limit, people are still in motorway-mode -and not expecting pedestrians or cyclists.
  • No pedestrian/cycle crossing lights or scheduled period in the main light sequence.
  • The traffic island has room for one bicycle at a time and is already saturated.
  • Pedestrians and bicycles are sprinting over, attention split between traffic coming off the roundabout and what they will run or cycle into.
The metric we ask is "would you trust an 11 year old child to use this bicycle path safely". Not with these crossings and paths we don't. 

Better by bike?

The city's better by bike site has a video from the Bollards of Death route to the B&Q bridge.

We see they chose a sunny off peak period. This is it at its best. Try doing it at 17:15 after the MoD knock off, in winter conditions. the MoD lighting is for their IR cameras, the rubgy grounds completely unlit with large potholes that fill up with water. Add some pedestrians trying to get home in darkness and a couple of teenagers on trials bikes.

A quick post mortem of the video

1:14 Swerve into "the forbidden side" to pass pedestrians. This shows a fundamental problem here that bollards don't fix. People walk side by side, the bike paths are two way, the path isn't wide enough to segregate either traffic option. All the bollards do is increase the likelihood of collision, as segregation isn't possible.

2:06. This is three way junction with restricted visibility -something the video doesn't warn you about. Anyone coming from the route that joins on the left has to be in the pedestrian side to avoid colliding with people coming from the direction shown in the video.

2:21. Note the large water filled potholes. Then consider what the path is like in darkness.

2:48. Note how conflict is reduced at this point because the road is wide enough. But on winter nights when the rubgy match lights aren't on, pedestrians are invisible -nobody likes it.

3:57 (now in Bristol) observe the large oncoming bus. With vehicles half parked on the pavement on both sides of the road, oncoming traffic will swerve into your lane, and as few people give way to bicycles, the advice to keep your speed down would be correct -though of course having the cars do the same would be better. That is, after all, why people park on the pavement -to protect their own vehicle's bodywork.

Those vans on the left are a fixture by the way. We are promised some signs -let's see if that makes any difference in behaviour. Making one side of the road no parking, and making pavement parking illegal, might, because then everyone would park on the same side of the road -and less swerving.

4:27 You need some acceleration to cross here, cars are in a hurry to get in or out of Lockleaze.

4:59 locals tend to drive to these shops (no bike parking), look out for double parked vehicles, cars stopping, pulling out and U-turning without warning.

The shopping stretch is interesting. It is hazardous, because so many people drive there. Why? No reason not to other than fuel costs. There's little congestion, no parking problems (just double park), and you know there'll be somewhere to park when you get home. Unlike the inner city, the local shops are further away but easy to drive to. Downtown, the combination of congestion, one-way streets, road closures and traffic lights means you are best off walking round the corner. Here driving still works. It may cost, but as that weekly cost is decoupled from the drive to the shops, it's not immediately obvious.

Monday 7 March 2011

BBC on Cycling City

The BBC is doing a post mortem of the Cycling City program on the radio, and in print

On the one hand, the BBC are saying "It's failed because it didn't reach its goals", then we have the Bristol Council Conservative Party leader saying "It's failed because all the features they added have taken away road space from people who choose to drive. Choose to Drive, remember that. It is optional within the inner city, despite what some people think:

The leader of the opposition Conservative group on Bristol City Council, Geoff Gollop, said the new cycle routes were to the detriment of motorists.

He said: "The Cycling City initiative brought in match-funding which has delivered new cycling routes but these have largely been achieved at the expense of the majority of road users - by reducing road space or capacity.

"Whilst we recognise the merits of promoting cycling as a leisure activity for the individual - delivering personal health benefits and helping to improve the environment for all - this form of travel is unlikely in the near future to be a major means of commuting.

"We do not believe the £22m project can be said to have been successful even in its own terms."

From this, "the Clarkson perspective", anyone cycling is (a) a loser and (b) in their way. While the conservative party are a mostly irrelevant minority in Bristol -where the power has mostly been held by Labour, now LibDems (though elections in May might change things, the nightmare scenario is the cons party hold the balance of power.).

For all the criticism the BBC points at the council, the Bristol council leadership and the traffic team has embraced cycling. You don't see that in S Gloucs. They will be with Geoff Gollop: they want the money, but don't want it to take any space from roads, because commuting is what cars are for.

There's discussion about "what next", and proposals for more funding. We in the People's Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire don't believe that any funding should go to the S Gloucs team unless there are fundamental changes not just in their engineering team, but in the council themselves. They will never embrace Dutch Infrastructure when they view cycling as an odd hobby for outcasts.

If you think Bristol City cycling is a failure, then you haven't tried to go round S Gloucs. And here is the joke: They have the space. This isn't the inner city, with its windy hills, residents parking on the pavements because there's no room for anything else. No, this is the quiet suburbs where you park your cars on the pavements because you can, where mediocre cycle paths are designed to keep them out of sight and out of mind. Yet these lanes aren't designed to cope with a doubling in the numbers of people using them, as they couldn't even begin to cope.

The People's Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire will change this. All who stand in our way shall be defeated. They shall fear our very name!

South Gloucestershire Council: this is how it is done

For the S Gloucs team -you don't need to fly to Amsterdam to get a hint of what could be done. just head down "the concorde way" to the city to see a new bridge done by the Bristol Team.

It has lights. Clearly overkill, but it makes it feel less threatening to pedestrians, and reduces the risk of pedestrian/bike conflict as they can see each other. [That said, in-path solar lights would have kept things wilder, retained some visibility and not pissed off the locals so much]
It has one, count it one bollard at either end of the bridge, to keep motor traffic off. And there is a reflector on it.

there are
  • No signs in the middle of the path.
  • No dropoffs.
  • No zig-zag routes that aren't actually rideable.
If there were bollards all down the bridge and the path was actually popular then it would be dangerous. Hence the cycle city team -who want their paths to be used- left them out, except to control car access. They could still do with a bit of daylight highlighting, but otherwise it's a lovely bit of infrastructure. But what does it connect up to? That's right, the S Gloucs council works.
Come on S gloucs cycling team, head south and see what can be done!

(note this doesn't mean we think much of the route from Abbey Wood to this bridge, more on that another day)

Friday 4 March 2011

No, we think the Dutch would still laugh

Part of the feedback from our coverage of the new "technical" bike path going up  was that we "didn't know the plan", and that to say the dropoff was going to be a disaster was slander.

Well, this week the fencing is all down, and the dropoff has been enhanced by a slope. As Frank told us last week "There is a fence across the cycleway showing it is not in use you blind git.". The absence of a fence must mean it is now open for use. Presumably the contractor will now notify S Gloucs council that whoever is putting up this path is ready for the bollards and the pillars to go in.

Another (deleted but in our archives) message said
Why should something which is not fucked up be repaired.

I pity your clients even when told your in the wrong you cannot see the solution.
Well. as we predicted, the solution coming from the road builders, -the romans- tries to resolve the 50 cm height difference in 1.5m horizontal, leading to a 33-50% gradient or thereabouts, just where it joins the cross route which is a popular walking/cycling route to the university.

This will be impossible for happy families to ride up
-and positively dangerous on the DH, on account of the cross traffic. That's even if you have -like anyone who has to cycle round this area needs- an MTB with good travel and fat tyres.

We have now attempted the descent, here is the video from the evening

As an experiment our rider did ride through the junction, having to carve right fast to avoid the vegetation, while retaining enough speed to avoid having the existing cyclist clip us. No braking until off the drop; didn't want to damage the earthwork. Look at the lights on the ground to track the placement of our rider and the other cyclist coming from the side and being forced to swing right to get past our successful attempt to descend without doing any tree-work.

Now, we were also told, "with your poor design perception and blinkered approach I am not suprised" for our criticism of the design. Well, we have been there, we have tested it. It doesn't work. If you put a layer of tarmac over the slope, it still won't work -it just makes it easier to brake as you descend. Most cycle path users will be unable to get up the slope, and as we've just shown, even commuters with 100mm of front travel and good brakes can't descend in control.

Frank, if you are in this project, and this was "your solution", we are sorry. It isn't a solution. It is, to use your own phrase "fucked up". A gentle gradient to the junction is a solution - replacing the step with a steep slope isn't. Please try cycling it and you will see.

Citizens of South Gloucestershire! Once the slope is metalled we are planning a mountain bike event here! It'll be a lunchtime friendly event with categories
  • Best manual/jump off it
  • 2x2 uphill challenge
  • Circuits
Adult MTB, CX and BMX only, too tricky for the fixies. Unless they are brave, in which case they can play too.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Not a one-off

We looked at the signs in the middle of the bike path last week. Is that sign a one off?No, someone seems to have decided they can put them up directly after the hard zig-zag turns that were designed by someone who doesn't understand how people walk or cycle.
This path comes out of an industrial estate, only used by commuters. Regulars. So why  bother putting up a sign right in the middle of the path to remind them where their turn off to work is?
Again, painting something on the floor will work. That's why they do it on roads. But no, whoever has a bollard fetish -and is clearly a fetish- decided a triple-height bollard would do here.

This is painfully bad path design.

Is there hope. Well, the "old school" cycle campaigners have been emailing the council, here is the response they got

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 1:05 PM
Subject: Camouflage bollard on cyclepath near Abbey Wood

A reply to Terry Miller’s comments was sent by Keith Marsh last month, (attached), which outlines the situation regarding the ‘origins’ of the bollards near the MoD.  As for the larger direction sign posts, one or two of these have been repositioned where absolutely unavoidable.  In other cases, reflective tape has been applied to the recessed collar to make them more visible in dark conditions.

I’m sure you appreciate the number of considerations that go into determining the final position of these posts – the sign arms obviously need to be clearly visible from different directions and they should not protrude less than 450mm from a live carriageway, (for example).  Safety is also a prime consideration and the vast majority of all the recently erected sign posts and bollards create no additional hazard to cyclists or pedestrians whatsoever.

Where there are safety concerns raised regarding these features they will be investigated and rectified where appropriate.  This has already happened in some cases and as the Stage 3 Safety Audits for all the Cycling City routes take place, (the first ones will take place very soon), there may be cause to investigate one or two more specific locations.  In the meantime, construction works, including completion of often quite minor outstanding items, is still continuing on the Cycling City routes.  When this is finished and the safety audits also completed there will another opportunity to review some aspects of the route design, including the bollard / sign positions.

It would be premature to assume that all the current positions of all bollards and signs will not change.  At present the construction works are still being completed – when this is finished a further assessment of the routes will be carried out.  Any of the bollards or signs that might appear to compromise safety to an unacceptable degree may be removed or relocated.  I am sorry that this process has not already been completed – there are other works still being completed which have arguably greater potential safety implications in the short term.

I hope this is helpful.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

See that? "Premature to assume that all the current positions of all bollards and signs will not change". Why on earth were they put in the middle of the path in the first place? What person though it was a good idea, and has this person been escorted out of the council offices by site security yet? Because until they have, we have no confidence that such things won't stay there -to change them would be to acknowledge mistakes, and nobody likes to do that.

What can we do here?

We propose
  1. Publicising such incompetence more widely. 
  2. Putting up reflective markings, and publicising this.
  3. Putting up warning signs ahead of the sign posts warning of signs in the middle of the path. 
  4. Put some signposts in the middle of the car park behind the council office. 
Other ideas are welcome. Remember, proposing acts of violence against the council staff is a no-no. That doesn't solve problems, merely polarises opinions. We plan to use the white light of publicity and rely on ridicule and the fact that whenever anyone from the S Gloucs cycling team goes to any meeting with other councils, people will snicker and ask about signs in the middle of paths. Our big concern is this: they won't care.

Incidentally, this path joins Old Filton Road. That's the road that was closed to cars until a local councillor campaigned to have a rat-run reopened so he wouldn't have to spend so much time on the ring road. Presumably, that was done with cycle city funding. This is why the People's Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire is opposed to the council team getting any more funding from central government. We need a new team, or at least new councillors, before any new money can be justified.