As promised, here are my sample responses to the first two summer 2016 Kingston mini-Holland consultations.
This is a very bland post… feel free to copy, paste and add your own thoughts. But please do fill in the survey. Neither of these schemes are good enough and both need significant rework.
Overall, what are your views on the proposal to convert the roundabout into a crossroads junction?
The shared space will induce conflict between pedestrians (particularly those with reduced vision) and cyclists. Shared space decreases subjective safety for pedestrians and slows cyclists as pedestrians impede them.
More confident / faster cyclists will naturally avoid this conflict and use the road, negating the point of rebuilding this junction.
There is a danger point where access to the cycle route towards the junction from Kingston crosses the bus exit. Bus drivers will block this in heavy traffic, causing difficulty for cyclists.
Cyclists and pedestrians wishing to cross more than one junction arm will likely have to wait several minutes for motor traffic. This does not entice people to use alternatives to cars.
The increased road lanes from Kingston means pedestrians must cross five lanes plus a central island. Will sufficient time be given, sufficiently often, to allow this crossing in comfort for a slower walker?
There is no provision for cyclists wishing to continue along Malden Road. Again, this will induce conflict.
None of these problems would be present had the original Dutch style roundabout been present. This option will neither improve cyclist safety nor encourage uptake of cycling. It must be completely revisited.
A Dutch roundabout has pedestrian and cyclist priority over the arms through zebra crossings. With present walking or cycling levels, this is unlikely to affect traffic flow. Should a high quality layout prove wildly successful, priorities could be revisited.
In what capacity do you most frequently use Fountain Roundabout? (Please select one)
I don’t tend to cycle this way as the present provision is so unpleasant. These proposals will do nothing to change that, whether I’m riding a slower bike with a child on the back or my road bike at 20mph.
How do you think the proposal to convert the roundabout into a crossroads junction will benefit you? (Please select all which apply)
None of these
How likely are you to walk or cycle in the local area as a result of the proposal to convert the roundabout into a crossroads junction?
How would making this less pleasant for cycling and walking make me more likely to walk or cycle here?
Looking at the red dotted line on this image please say which of the following elements you would like to see in the new arrangement. (Please select all which apply)
Other: I’d like to see a proper, segregated, cycle path leading to a Dutch-style roundabout.
Please tells us if you have any further comments about the proposals
This funding was allocated under the title “mini-Holland”, with the goal of improving cycle provision to that of Dutch standards.
It is clear that this has not been adhered to. This benefits neither pedestrians nor cyclists and continues to favour motorists.This funding was allocated under the title “mini-Holland”, with the goal of improving cycle provision to that of Dutch standards.
This must be revisited and the roundabout reinstated, with pedestrian and cyclist priority over the arms.
To what extent do you support the scheme as a whole:
The segregated cycle route is useful; however, it is rendered useless for many cyclists by the cycle route disappearing at junctions.
This slows progress for people on bikes as they have to avoid pedestrians. Cyclists prefer not to ride among pedestrians; pedestrians prefer not to walk among pedestrians.
Again, faster cyclists will simply use the road which negates the point of the scheme. Potential cyclists are unlikely to wish to start riding among pedestrians.
It is also unclear what happens at these junctions: are cyclists and pedestrians given at least as much priority at drivers?
Given that there are a maximum of four lanes, the road crossing should be made in one go. It is horrible for pedestrians at present being stuck in the cage in the middle of the polluted road, waiting for a second set of lights to change.
The 20mph restriction is a noble concept; however, experience with other Kingston roads suggests it will not be adhered to unless there is significant change to road design. The central planters should be removed and the vehicle lanes moved closer together to this end.
The moved crossing outside Fairfield library should remain before the left turn into Fairfield Road. This allows traffic to exit Fairfield Road in safety and allows pedestrians to cross Fairfield Road knowing traffic will not enter from Wheatfield Way. The proposals remove this safety.
Regarding Clarence Street, the footpath level loading and taxi bays must be clearly marked to avoid confusion. The ambiguous Clarence Street crossing must have a declared priority – ideally for pedestrians.
The segregated route from Wilcos to Kingston Station is welcome. This should seamlessly join the cycle route that presently goes underneath Kingston Station railway bridge towards Richmond.
How likely are you to use the area for walking following the improvements?
We already walk to Kingston town centre through here. This doesn’t change the poor provision for pedestrians at junctions and adds conflict with cyclists forced to share the same space.
As a parent of two young boys, I do not wish to share walking (skipping, jumping) space with people riding bicycles any more than I wish to share it with people driving cars.
How likely are you to use the area for cycling following the improvements?
I live near here so have to use this if I wish to leave my house.
When on my road bike, I will be unlikely to use these facilities due to the poor junction treatment. Fix this and I’ll probably change my mind: I presently enjoy the Portsmouth Road facilities that free me from worrying about motor traffic without unnecessarily slowing me at junctions.
When carrying children on a slower bike, I will likely use the separated route, but swear unceasingly when forced to share the pavement with pedestrians. Or just bump onto the road at this point.
To what extent do you agree with introducing a 20mph limit?
See above. The road design must be such that drivers feel 20mph is appropriate. Narrower lanes with sharper turns will aid this. At present, drivers frequently exceed the current 30mph limit. Simply changing the limit will achieve nothing.
To what extent do you agree with the improvements in the Brook Street area?
This doesn’t appear to improve anything.
There still appears to be a two-phase crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, which is an awful experience (especially in the rain).
The disappearance of the cycle route into a shared space bodge is woeful. Simply put the cycle route must continue distinct from pedestrian space. This has been done many times in the Netherlands so can simply be copied
Fix these two items and this element of the scheme has my support.
To what extent do you agree with the improvements in the Orchard Road area?
There is still a two-phase crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, which is an awful experience (especially in the rain). This creates a central divider which makes drivers feel safer and able to drive faster. This does not aid the proposed 20mph limit. Simply removing the divider and pushing the lanes closer allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road in a single phase.
The segregated cycle route must continue and not disappear into shared space.
To what extent do you agree with the improvements in the Clarence Street / Old London Road area?
By reducing lane space to two lanes on the approaching routes, a segregated cycle path could be accommodated throughout this scheme. This would be helpful given the high pedestrian numbers crossing from Old London Road to Clarence Street. The shared space at such a busy area is dangerous and will cause collisions between cyclists and pedestrians.
The new pedestrian crossing is welcome; however, the new unsignalised crossing is a danger point. This could easily be made into a zebra crossing or continue using the existing traffic signal controlled crossing.
To what extent do you agree with the improvements at Kingston Museum and Library area?Strongly oppose
The main part of this scheme is relocating the signalised crossing to after the Fairfield Road junction. This increases danger for drivers attempting to leave Fairfield Road and pedestrians crossing Fairfield Road.
The segregated cycle path should continue through the junction. There is not clear route here across the junction and as such (with the relocated junction) this increases danger for cyclists and pedestrians. Frankly, it doesn’t appear that crossing Fairfield Road has even been considered for cyclists – this is poor for a mini-Holland scheme.
A single phase crossing of Wheatfield Way is welcome; however the central island should be removed and the motor lanes brought closer together to decrease traffic speed (and decrease crossing times).