Quality Streets

This article was published in 1995, in Newsletter 3.

The “Quality Standards” subgroup, set up in September, has now met several times.

The first meeting was held at Jonathan’s house in the middle of September. Our discussions were wide ranging, and more than anything else, we found that there was a large number of opinions and priorities amongst the people there.

We discussed several issues:

  • There’s actually quite a lot of money to be spent by the councils over the next year (around £70,000). We want to be able to liaise with the councils on how this should be spent.
  • We identified some of the kinds of facilities that are currently provided: cycle lanes (mandatory and non-mandatory); joint-use footpaths; cycle traffic lights; and so on. One of the things we plan to do at the next meeting is to complete this list and look at each in detail.
  • We discussed whether we wanted cycle facilities at all. Some people argued that the provision of facilities, such as cycle routes could ghetoise cyclist and make motorists less aware of cyclists
  • Although we didn’t like the terms fast cyclists and slow cyclists, we did recognise that there were (at least) two kinds of cyclists. Facilities that were suitable for one group might not necessarily be suitable for the other.

At the next meeting at Nigel’s house we discussed “cycle friendly road design”. This covered areas such as:

  • how right and left turns are handled (with or without explicit cycle facilities)
  • which roads we felt “safe” on – even if there were no explicit cycle facilities
  • the fundamental “design for maximum cars” approach that always squeezes cyclists if the space runs out

We plan to work through some of the other issues in subsequent meetings.