Thanks for Nothing

Someone somewhere within the corridors of power clearly thought that it would be a good idea to improve the bike lane markings near the office at work. In essence there are two ways to get to work.

Upper Brook Street Commute

The default route taking in the Bends of Fury and is all on the road (red line). The alternative is to cut across the oncoming traffic or ride over the pedestrian crossing to join the bike lane (green line) on the other side (which technically I think is supposed to be joined via Grosvenor Street). Any way it’s generally a nightmare during rush hour because footpath users tend to walk in the bike land and I’ve become bored with running people over or yelling at them.

The council have now altered the road markings that link into the contraflow bike lane on Sackville Street. Here’s Sackville Street and the contraflow bike lane:

Now what they’ve done is to direct people from the end of the bike lane around to the contraflow. Previously the bike lane just ended, but now your encouraged to ride across the path the pedestrians will use.

If you’re coming down Sackville Street on the Contraflow and now follow the signed rouite you can’t see any pedestrians until you’re round the corner of the wall which may not be enough time to stop running people over depending on the quality of your brakes and the speed your going plus the number of pedestrians.

Quite why they didn’t logically continue the bike lane on the logical side of the wall as a shared but delineated path at first isn’t at first immediately obvious. Yet there is a reason…

Yes people who have been on the bike path are now encouraged to join Sackville Street at it’s narrowest point – just after two lanes of traffic have become one and people are frequently coming off the Mancunian Way Motorway in a squeal of tyres at over 50mph. Brilliant.

When I’m taking the road route (red line in the aerial photo above) there is frequently not enough room to get past cars at this entry point because they swing wide on the bend and end up positioned near the kerb. During rush hour Sackville Street is often backed up with stationary traffic to this point too.

I think I’ll continue ignoring the signs if I take the bike lane option and in either case will be riding up the bike lane on Sackville Street against the contraflow markings. I’ve encountered a cyclist coming the other way once since the path was created…

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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