Duncan Place Cycle Crossing

Duncan Place cycle crossing
The cycle route through Leith Links crosses Duncan Place here. This is so new it was still having the finishing touches applied. Note there is no stymie gate (there are none on this route), a feature that just renders cycling slow, difficult, or even completely impossible. Given the open nature of the park such a gate would fail to block cars anyway, but that doesn't stop Birmingham City Council pointlessly erecting these gates at great expense. They are so inconvenient that people just walk and cycle around the outside, creating a mud-bath. Most people wouldn't even consider driving along a narrow path, but those that do are deterred by the presence of legitimate users. The more usable is the path, the more legitimate users there are. The build-outs make it easier to cross the road, because they narrow the carriageway to one lane (forcing motorists to slow down and give way), and they prevent parking across the cycleway. The bollards enforce the build-outs. Gulleys ensure rain water doesn't pool either side of the build-out. Naturally there is a 20mph speed limit. This is almost a textbook design. It would be better if the cycleway was taken over the road on a raised platform with colour differentiation for the cycle track, as that discourages speeding even more, and gives visual priority to cyclists. This is aided further by bringing the road into the crossing through a chicane. Finally there is the British problem of cyclists on the carriageway being bullied off the road as they approach the narrowing. This last problem will only go away once we make real progress with modern infrastructure, but at least this crossing is a move towards that, providing as it does a cycle crossing. However, a narrowing like this is better than a conventional British pinch point, because it forces motorists into conflict with other motorists, and a potential head-on collision with another motor vehicle is more threatening than a cyclist. Additionally in this case the problem probably wont be that great, as it's a low speed road by design and parking either side of the crossing narrows the road anyway.