Monday, 5 July 2010

Disintegrated Transport Planning (2)

Ok, it's time to correct my first post on the Greenwich pedestrianisation plans.

I have to admit to having been misled by the consultation document Where the key to the page 2 diagram indicates ''Pedestrian area, resident and business access only'' it turns out that GBC just bunged an old inaccurate and out-of-date map into the consultation. 
Apparently the light brown area is wrong and the key to the dark brown area is also wrong.  But hey, they had a map of some sort - even if they know it's wrong it'll be fine for a consultation, won't it?  Just bung any old rubbish in, that's good enough for the public!

Being a simple person, I understood the ''only'' in 'resident and business access only'' to mean ''only''' and then spent a good time calculating distances according to that.  Time wasted. 

But I've been assured that the map is wrong and cyclists will be allowed to use the pedestrianised area.  I only have one person's word for it, mind.  My maps showing east-to-west routes are now inaccurate because cyclists will apparently be able to now cycle through rather than around the area, albeit ceding right of way to pedestrians.

However, while bike commuters travelling up to town won't have a significantly longer journey, all cycle routes from south-to-north (Greenwich Foot Tunnel) except via Greenwich Park will be longer.  This also includes journeys from New Cross to the foot tunnel.  Here's a current-proposed journey from Blackheath Hill/Greenwich South Street to the foot tunnel.

That's an extra 0.17 of a mile comparing the shortest current route (in blue) and the shortest possible proposed route (in green).  The total length of the pedestrianised area is 0.16.

Coming down from Hyde Vale....
Longer again.  Sure, it's not a lot longer but each time the added length is caused by the proposed one way section between Greenwich South Street to Greenwich Church Street.  A cycle contraflow on this section would cure this.

The same goes for cyclists coming from Ditch Alley (the link from Lewisham below Wickes to Egerton Drive) and from New Cross or Deptford Broadway or Brockley or.....

You get the picture: longer journeys for cyclists.

Why?  Because this project has started with a simple desire to pedestrianise a small area without considering cyclists.  They produced their original consultation maps that didn't show cycle routes.  Cyclists complained.  They've half accommodated cyclists in the 2nd proposal, curing the problem caused by ''disappearing'' the Ha'penny Hatch/Norman Road omission.  But even after having made concessions to cyclists, they still produce an incorrect consultation document and longer routes for cyclists.

If we imagined beginning the process again, we could start with a problem: too much motorised traffic.  How do we reduce the amount of motorised traffic that makes life so unfriendly to pedestrians?  Displace the traffic or encourage alternative means of transport? 

I'm obviously in favour of the alternative means of transport option.  But no, they've come up with an option that displaces traffic from Greenwich to... er, Greenwich, forgets completely about getting people out of cars and into public transport or onto bikes, and increases journey distances for cyclists. 

In my first post about Disintegrated Transport Planning, Jed wrote about the problems that would be caused for buses, and I'm the first to admit I'm the last person to catch a bus so I haven't begun to consider them yet.   But the problems for the buses have been created for exactly the same reasons that they've been created for cyclists.  Start with pedestrians versus traffic and forget about what reduces traffic.

Join it all up, for heaven's sake!

1 comment:

Deptford dame said...

Greenwich Cyclists are planning to discuss the proposals and possible mitigation measures at their meeting this Wed at 7.30pm in the Armada Centre on Creek Road. Might be worth going along if you can make it - the meeting is open to all.