Sunday, 27 June 2010

Bath Road crossing

Our new cycle path along the Bath Road was officially opened to coincide with Bike Week. They've widened the footpath and made it shared use along about a mile of the A4. They've installed Toucan crossings at a couple of places. And they have linked all this to other routes and a couple of local schools.

The intent is to reduce congestion and parking issues by encouraging people in general to leave their car at home and encouraging children in particular to cycle (or walk) to school. Those are worthy aims that I think everyone can applaud.

From a more selfish point of view these changes will make a slight improvement to many of my rides by making it easier to cross the Bath Road. I regularly go that way on various routes heading south and west. Several months ago they began work on all this by installing a traffic island in the middle of what is now a toucan crossing. As soon as they had done that it started to have an effect on my trips, because I no longer had to wait for traffic to clear both directions at the same time.

It's a small improvement, but still I offer my thanks to the local authority and Sustrans, who each contributed £170,000 towards the cost. That's a lot of money, so lets hope that the new route gets plenty of use. Removing a short delay in my rides shouldn't carry any weight, but if these improvements do help to encourage more cycling and less congestion then that should encourage the council to make more investment like this in future.

I've been out to plot it all with the GPS this afternoon, and discovered that some elements had already been added to OSM. That's not bad for a facility that has only been open for a few days. I've now been able to made some more additions, and I look forward to seeing the results as the cycle map is re-rendered.

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