This article was published in 2007, in Newsletter 70.
Easier than before
I don’t agree with the Newsletter article about the new barriers in the underpasses in the Newmarket Road roundabout. I find them easier to cycle through than before, and I have less conflict with pedestrians since they were installed.
The old chicane arrangement was awkward. It is easier to cycle straight through with the new barriers. The old barriers narrowed the space, putting cyclists in the same space as the pedestrians every time.
Slower than walking
I liked it best with no barriers.
I now find I have to slow down to less than walking pace and hug the outside wall on the way down the ramps, in order to get as much view as possible around a 90 degree blind bend. And when heading out I now always ring my bell, to alert anyone coming the other way.
Even if they just swapped which side was pedestrian and which cyclist it would improve the sight-lines a little.
Barriers should be used sparsely
“Barriers” are obstacles built to bar passage and should be used sparsely.
Comparing the current arrangement to the previous one, in my opinion:
- there is less conflict
- there is less waiting
- it is easier to go through with a tandem and wide handle bars
As this is a narrow tunnel with two directional traffic at different speeds and with different requirements (bicycles, pedestrians, four wheel push chairs and wheelchairs,) I think that forcing the largest two groups apart is probably beneficial.
The only better solution I could propose is blowing this whole ugly concrete monster up (bridge and roundabout). But I assume there is no money available for that…