I met with the traffic engineering manager yesterday and we are going to meet again in a couple of weeks time to go through things that haven't been done correctly and things that haven't worked out in 'real life' in the way that the modelling in advance predicted. We're basically going to start at the top of Blackboy Hill and work our way down to the Triangle - even though the latter section isn't in Cotham, I've been getting feedback about it.
In general, feedback from local residents has been positive. Broadly speaking, pedestrians are delighted by the safer and more numerous crossings, including the increased 'permeability' across the road. Feedback from cyclists has been mixed, with some people worried about the new 'pinch points' that have been created, while others feel that the more constant road speeds is safer overall. Drivers are telling me that the traffic is tending to flow more smoothly most of the time (due to fewer pedestrians operating lights), but that there are snarl-ups from time to time, especially around bus stops. Bus users are delighted by the new shelters and real-time information boards, but they aren't really seeing any improvements in reliability yet.
So, what I would be interested to hear is any specific feedback about problems that local people have encountered so that I can collate them all together and walk the engineers through them in mid May. Here's some that I've got on the list already:
- The junction with Redland Park has been narrowed too much, making it difficult to turn in and out of, especially for lorries. The pavement either needs cutting back or yellow lines extended on Redland Park to provide a 'reservoir'.
- The 'no entry' signs on Burlington Road are invisible until you've already started your turn, so that people either have to change their mind or carry on through them. 'No left/right turn' signs are needed.
- The big new pavement area at the end of Westfield Park is getting people parking on it, especially in big 4x4s! This is illegal, but we need bollards and/or cycle racks to prevent it from happening.
- The big new pavement area at Cotham Hill isn't finished yet and there is a display boards and a group of cycle racks to go in there, as well as decision about having tables and chairs outside.
- We're getting taxis lining up across the Cotham Hill junction at night in a very unsafe way. This was originally as the new taxi ranks hadn't gone in, but they no longer have this excuse. I'm asking for a clampdown.
- Cyclists are saying that pedestrian crossing at Clifton Down pinches in the road too much, forcing them into the main line of traffic - this is dangerous where cars are not watching and giving proper respect. I'm not sure there's a solution to this, but it needs exploring.
- The new tan coloured area in the middle of Whiteladies is intended to be for pedestrians to use as an informal crossing. However, it's also in the swing of a couple of the wide junctions, so there is confusion about who is able to be there - cars or people? This needs a bit of a rethink as I've seen a couple of confrontations.
- The junction at Tyndall's Park Road and St Paul's Road is a great improvement for pedestrians, but there are some issues there for cyclists about the contour of the road and the signage - I'm very grateful to a Cotham resident for walking me through this on Good Friday!
- Also, the signage on Whiteladies Road approaching this junction is insufficient at the moment, with just a small white arrow on a blue roundel ('ahead only') to show that the left and right turns have been banned now.
- The bus stop outside the TA Centre is built out sigificantly more than in the past. This is causing delays as cars can't get around the buses, but it's also creating another pinch point for cyclists - see the photo above. This was a very late addition to the plans and I think it needs a rethink of some sort while maintaining the basic principle of improving the bus stop.