Thursday, 18 June 2015

Dundee - The City of No Discovery

Something happens to you when you become a cycle campaigner, something....fundamental. No, you don't start going around hugging trees or knitting yoghurt, at least I haven't...yet....

You start looking.

You find that it becomes impossible to go anywhere different without looking. Looking for cycle infrastructure.

Everywhere I go now, even places I've been before I was a cycle campaigner, get the treatment. I try and set some time aside to go for a walk around to see, what I can see. And so it was today, when I had to pop up to Dundee to do some work. I had an opportunity to go for a wander before my train arrived.

So, how can I best describe Dundee and its cycle infrastructure......

Hmm...ummm...errrr.....ah yes, that's it. Dundee is......a blank canvas.

A nice enough pedestrian precinct

I first set off walking around the city centre and I quickly stumbled across a pedestrian precinct. That was a good thing. As pedestrian precincts go, it was nice enough. Shops, people and little traffic (some goods vehicles are a necessary evil....unless of course you use bike transport....). All good. But as I continued through the city it became shockingly apparent that there was in cycle infrastructure.

Let me spell this out in detail. There was no all. Nada. Nill. Zip. Nought. None.

The good news is that there were no ASLs or really, really narrow cycle lanes. No feeders that take you up the left of HGVs. No door zone lanes. No shared use paths. There were none of these. Not though, because the council had see the light. No. There were none of these because the council hadn't bothered to even evolve eyes.

OK, I'll admit I'm not being entirely fair to Dundee. I did, after a while of wandering see a cycle sign.

A bike sign, a bike sign, my kingdom for a bike sign...

 I followed it and I found this. 
Mixed messages

...and then this.

By golly, it's a cyclist!

Yes I found a shared use river side Sustrans route that took you.... pretty much no-where near anywhere you might actually want to go. A nice wee cycle along the waterfront with the kids perhaps, but if you want to get to the shops, go to work or visit your friends, then forget it. It ain't going to happen unless you are happy to mix with the big boys and girls.

Yes, Dundee is undergoing a lot of work at the moment, and I'd be interested to know from anyone who knows, what cycle infrastructure, if any, is going in with the developments. But seriously, what the actual feck is going on in Dundee!

I mean, it's not as if there is a shortage of space!

There's no space on that very wide dual carriageway for cyclist...stick em on the path

Perhaps it's time Dundee got a little.....noisy....



    The new waterfront development has no cycle infra at all that I know of. It will include new parks surrounded by 4 lanes of traffic on all sides. The road coming off the Tay Bridge is one of the major through roads not only for the city, but for the East Coast of Scotland. They're place-faking.

  2. a few months ago, I had to get from the train station to Ninewells. looked like decent infra for that. some discussion here. in the end i took the bus for other reasons.

  3. I lived in Dundee until 1990, cycled everywhere as a kid and student, no infra, no helmet, no problems, except the steep hills after a few beers. This was mid 80's at the latest and not so much traffic but I managed fine. Hate to see what it's like now with more traffic and more powerful cars.

  4. Quite a bit of that is the waterfront area and it looks like a building site because it's a building site. Not the greatest for cycling, and may not be even when it's done, but do bear in mind that drivers have been discovering brand new road layouts on an almost weekly basis for a couple of years and it's not /entirely/ fair to hold DCC to what's there not being very good right now (and yes, I've seen David Hembrow's examples of temporary work in NL and I look at this and weep).

    Route 77 is headed "pretty much no-where near anywhere you might actually want to go"... well I suppose you could reasonably charcterise Ninewells like that because nobody /wants/ to go there, but for those who have to go there (were you one David, in your line of work, calling in on my colleagues in Radiotherapy?), and it's one of the city's biggest employers so there are quite a few of us, it's going there. And also to the Dundee Tech Park, and the James Hutton Institute (re-branded SCRI for those wondering WTF is that?).

    Could do better, certainly, but the main point with infrastructure is separating us from fast/heavy traffic, and Dundee actually has much. much less of that than Glasgow, Embra and (AFAICT) Aberdeen.

  5. You are right, its not a lot of cycle infrastructure , but as you say, that is good and bad. At least they have a blank canvas to start from. Default 20mph anyone?