Pinch-Points

Bill Clinton’s comment, “It’s the economy, stupid”, became famous for pointing out the obvious during one of his election campaigns back in the 80’s. As far as our roads are concerned here in NE Lincs, we can definitely say “It’s the design, stupid!”

So many of the issues we as cyclists have directly result from conflict being designed-in to our roads. Hazards are built in to our roads by design. What do I mean by this? There are many “pinch-points” around our area, places where the road narrows so much that there is not enough room for both a bike and a car.

An example of this is on the approach to Corporation Rd bridge in Grimsby heading away from the junction with Victoria St, as the following pictures demonstrate. This is a stretch of road used by many cyclists. It becomes seriously dangerous for cyclists unless the flow of traffic hangs back to allow space for the cyclists to proceed. In my experience this doesn’t happen very often and consequently a dangerous situation arises.

IMG_00000229IMG_00000232Whose fault is it? The cyclists?  They’re just cycling along the road. The motorists? They’re just driving along, probably not aware of the danger the cyclist is experiencing. The real fault lies with the design. Conflict has been designed-in, resulting in real hazard for the road users, both bike and car, but especially the cyclist, who could easily be knocked off his/her bike and suffer injury. Who wants that? Nobody of course. So why is it OK to design-in such danger?

Another example of this same problem is on Weelsby Rd by the junction with Hainton Ave. The central island pinches the space available and creates a hazard.
The "pinch-point" on Weelsby Rd by the Hainton pub.

The pinch-point on Weelsby Rd by the Hainton pub.

This picture also shows there’s space for pedestrians and for cars, but at this particular point there’s nowhere for cyclists! How can this be OK?

Problem: Sections of road designed with “pinch-points”,  where the space for cyclists suddenly disappears creating hazard and danger.

Solution: The solution is simple – design-in adequate space for a separate cycle lane, so that cyclists don’t have to take their lives in their hands at these places.

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