I was literally bouncing off walls.
Yes, the first potentially semi-decent segregated cycle lane on my route to work is now being built. I've talked about it before and you can find what I've said already here.
The keen eyed will have noticed that my first two sentences of this blog are however using the past tense. Why, well, now that East Dunbartonshire has started building the lane, the reality is starting to set in. If it continues to go in as planned it is going to be far from perfect. In fact, I might not even use it! Rather than explain it to you, let me share a letter I have sent to one of the council officers in charge of the project.
I hope you are keeping well.
I have been watching the building of the 'Bears Way' segregated cycle route with some considerable interest and I look forward to trying it when it is finished. I am desperate for some good quality infrastructure.
In the past I discussed with the design team some of the issues with the designs, i.e. the need to cross over, the fact that it was a two way lane etc. However, since I have seen the work progress I have some new concerns. My first is the treatment of cyclist heading north as they approach the Burnbrae Roundabout. Previously the lane continued on north beyond the roundabout. It wasn't ideal, but at least it kept cyclists going in that direction away from what is a horrible roundabout. Now cyclists are abandoned on the pavement and are expected to then use the junction to join the join the roundabout. This is definitely a step in the wrong direction. Having also spoken to a few cyclist who head north (I head north east onto Glasgow Road), I understand that a new pinch point has been created at the new crossing. This is obviously concerning.
This morning I was also very concerned at some new bollard signs going up. They are placed just before junctions and the arrows suggest that cyclist must give way to traffic coming from side (minor) roads. Is this correct? I'll be quite shocked if it is, as this would effectively stop me and many other cyclists from using it. Why use a segregated lane that is significantly more inconvenient to use than the main road? Would a main road ever be built where drivers were expected to continually stop for cars entering it?
My final issue for the time being is the floating bus stop being put in near Burnbrae. First let me congratulate you on building the lane this way. I think the idea is excellent. However, I am concerned at the step angle that cyclists will need to turn to allow for this. This might not be an issue if the lane was one, way, but traffic is supposed to be using it in both directions. This area has a high potential for collisions, especially in the wet and when the council inevitable does not clear leaves and muck as often as it should.
I have attached a few images from my helmet camera that demonstrate the areas I am discussing.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.
For me personally the biggest issue is the treatment of cyclists at junctions. If the priority isn't correct and it isn't properly signed and controlled (raised tables could be a solution) then the lane is very poorly designed and one I might chose not to use.
I'll let you know when I get a response, but feel free to let me know your thoughts.