space4cycling (1/6) road space re-allocation

You can discuss this article below. What do you think? Give us your local example and what changes you’d like to see.

This story is part of our space4cycling series.

Re-balancing road space towards more benign forms of transport is Tyne & Wear stated objective through their third Local Transport Plan (LTP3), and rightly so. Without providing space for cycling Newcastle’s bike modal share percentages will not get into double figures (as mandated in Newcastle’s 2020 cycle plan [1], and as calculated to 12% in 2020 through the Cycle City Ambition Fund bid [2]). This is clear when learning lessons from other cities; only with providing cycle-specific space on fast busy roads for better and calmer cycling environments will bike modal share reach beyond the 10% mark.

We hear that journeys by bike are on the up in Newcastle, which would not only make it timely but also somewhat urgent to provide safe conditions. It is the direct, continuous, safe and attractive cycling infrastructure that makes cycling into a real choice and into a sensible transport alternative – ultimately “getting people out of their cars” – a policy Newcastle has had for decades yet one that remains largely unfulfilled. It has only been actioned in a piecemeal approach. Better focus on outcomes and a more holistic and inclusive approach to city transport is needed.

A road diet is the prescription – more space for walking and cycling. In alignment with city policy we therefore ask for space for cycling to be set aside from the carriageway as in a liveable city both walking and cycling must be enabled and facilitated. The new cycle space has to be created from ‘car space’ and not the pavement, otherwise a modal shift (away from the short journeys by private car) will not be brought about. It’s push and pull.

As an ultimate minimum, we must create dedicated cycle space on all roads at or over 30 mph speed limit. Or we have to discuss how to reduce speed and traffic volumes to a manageable environment for young and old, men and women to cycle. It will be the prevailing road environment (speed, volume, vehicle mix) that determines the necessary degree of protection required between car and bike users, ranging from a white line to a full kerb, considering upstands, bollards and low kerbs.

As a local example, we are making the point for roadspace reallocation in the 1Core reply on John Dobson Street, see image 1. We are impressed with Dublin city’s removal of a row of car parking to create a two-way cycleway on Herbert Place:

Dublin : Herbert Place

Here’s the ever-so-excellent Streetfilms. This time with a 5-minute clip on how re-allocation of space works, and makes roads function better for everyone. They call it “going on a road diet”:

Then new cycle space must come from the carriageway. It could be created by making a road one way with a cycle contraflow. Or removing a lane, or a row of car parking. Here Streetfilms discuss the space-efficiency of on-street parking:

Here is a quick 1-minute before-and-after on space re-allocation on New York streets, offering an excellent compendium of different measures, such as necking-down, road diet, curving, road closures, removing car parking:

Our youReport series collected stories from established as well starter cities that are new to providing for cycling.

The established cycling cities and towns:

Amsterdam : where bike is king
Assen : bicycle priority
Assen, Drenthe : Hembrow holidays
Berlin : Cycling city
Bremen : Learning and teaching
Copenhagen / København : pedal in paradise
Freiburg : wide and ever-widening cycle lanes
Kiel : A Baltic biking bliss
Montreal : Montreal : North America’s best bicycling
Vienna / Wien : VeloCity 2013

And the new-comer cities:

Barcelona : pleasing pedal
Bilbao : culture and cycling
Dublin : Making Tracks
Dublin (again) : seasonal greeting from the stylish cycle path
Estepona : blue sea and blue tracks
Seville / Sevilla : The fourth best cycle city in the world!
Sydney : Going Dutch down under
Paris : mon dieu, doing pretty well
Vancouver : reclaiming space for people

[1] Newcastle’s 2020 cycle plan
[2] Cycle City Ambition bid

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