Tag Archives: connect2

Proposed Cycle Parking at Arsenal Tube

Cycling parking proposed on new build outs at left and right hand side behind the cars. Pavement build out will be immediately in front of the station.

Please say yes  to Islington Council’s Arsenal Tube/Gillespie Road survey which ends on August 12th. The plans will:

  • add a total of 10 cycle parking spaces on two new build outs either side of Highbury Hill marked in green on the satellite photo below and behind the red and black cars in the photo.
  • build out the pavement in front of the station by 2m.

Although the proposal is for 10 cycle parking spaces, 5 sheffield stands on either side of the road, some residents feel that this is too much because it ‘could be a hazard to traffic and pedestrians’. They suggest the locations marked in red in the satellite photo.


View Proposed Cycle Parking at Arsenal Tube in a larger map

The existing covered bike racks to the left of the station entrance at the station are always full. Commuters that cycle to Arsenal Tube station are locking up to trees and anything static in the area.  It looks as if the demand for cycle parking is far greater than supply.  We think that the proposed 10 new cycle stands will be full every day in a matter of weeks.

Councillors are likely to be swayed by the views of residents that live in the Highbury West ward.  However it would be difficult for the council if they turned down cycle parking if the majority of respondents to the survey supported it.

Regular Gillespie Rd cyclists will know that this narrow road is jammed packed with residents parking (see lower photograph).  The real estate for cycle stands cannot be extended without reducing residents parking which local councillors are unwilling to do as this is a strongly contested ward.  The only reason that this particular piece of real estate is available at all is because its on a T junction and cannot be used for residents parking.

There is also a proposal to build out the pavement in front of the station.  We support this as does Islington Living Streets as it helps create a sense of place and helps pedestrians cross the road. Sadly cycle parking cannot be put here because Arsenal fans swarm through this space on match days.

Cars passing each other outside Arsenal Tube Station. Tube Station entrance is on the left.

Some residents are concerned that this build out might cause additional traffic congestion. The existing congestion is caused by cars queueing to enter the the very narrow section of Gillespie Rd which has residents parking on either side of it and through which two vehicles cannot pass. However even with the build out in place, because there is no parking directly opposite, there is still 6m of road width available. The Drayton Park width restriction is 2.15m so two vehicles can still easily pass each other in front of the station.

The proposals are funded by Sustrans’s Connect2 project for Drayton Park and Gillespie Road.

Please respond to the Gillespie Road survey with a yes. There is only one question.


Update 8th Aug 2012

ICAG has received three emails objecting to the proposals and make these points:

  • Vehicles (especially large ones) turning into and out of Highbury Hill might not have enough space to turn and negotiate on-coming traffic and will probably end up clipping or mounting the curb if the pavement is built out.
  • During match days the crowds congregate around the area outside the Station , on Gillespie Road and on both sides at the very end of Highbury Hill. I am sure the racks with or without cycles tied on them will created Health & Safety issues for the people who mill around.
  • The existence of the cycle park will be another obstacle for blind people, disabled, old and women carrying prams with one hand and holding another child with the other hand.
  • During cold and rainy winter days and weekends when the racks will be empty the area will look very unsightly.
  • While a few new racks may be welcomed as a nice-to-have by people who already walk to the tube, or encourage cycling to the station on warm days (though how many will choose to travel on the tube when soaking wet?), it seems to us most unlikely that a significant number of motorists will abandon their cars in favour of a bike because of the addition of a few bike racks, and certainly not enough to make this proposed scheme worthwhile.
  • I would use my bike for regular trips I make to the Sobell, but have no confidence it’ll still be there when I come out (once when I tried, someone was shamelessly cutting through my padlock, in full view of passers-by).  I’ll leave it to your imagination to interpret possible implications for new racks in Highbury Hill.
  • Many apparently ‘parked’ bikes on trees are not left by tube users but abandoned, often being dismembered for parts over time before being liberated by residents and Council Refuse Teams.   Or they belong to people working/visiting houses in the vicinity.


Update 14th October 2012

Tomorrow, Islington Council will re-consult residents in the immediate area around Arsenal Tube Station. The council has received over 100 responses so far and the majority are in favour of the scheme. If you responded, thank you!

However, in the immediate area around the tube station, the consultation document was posted through each door and the responses received were split between for and against. Also the response rate was very low. (Not everyone has time to respond to a small plan to create a single build out and cycle parking for ten bikes.) Some residents said that they didn’t receive the consultation documents. For these reasons the council is doing a second consultation. It now comes in two parts Arsenal Tube Station and Highbury Hill.

ICAG could, of course, go and knock on the 100 or so doors in the immediate area and ask people to respond. Half of the houses have probably got a bike in them and so we’d probably be able to swing the response strongly in our favour. But we have to draw the line somewhere. If local councillors want to block this scheme, they will.

This is very frustrating and one has to wonder how many years it will be before Sustrans brings another £600,000 into Islington.


Sustrans sprinkle some magic on Drayton Park

Here’s Islington Council’s proposed second design for the Drayton Park width restriction. The original design wasn’t very popular and was thought to make the road less safe. This time around, Islington Council worked very closely with Sustrans.

Islington Council's revised design for width restriction on Drayton Park - June 2012
Cyclists now have continuous 2m wide advisory cycle lanes on the outside of the width restriction.
 
09-Jul-2012 Update from Paul Taylor at Islington Council about wider vehicles:

The motor vehicles permitted to use the bypass lanes will include:-

(a) anything done with the permission or at the direction of a police constable in uniform;

(b) in respect to a local bus service, a school bus, a coach, a vehicle being used in the service of a local authority for the collection of refuse, demolition or excavation, improvement or reconstruction of the highway, maintenance or building operation; or

(c) any vehicle being used for ambulance, fire brigade or police purposes in an emergency.

(d) those vehicles provided dispensation for access to Network Rail site from the A1 (holloway road).

Others may be provided with special dispensation on request.

I am unable to give accurate numbers for volume of these vehicles however I would estimate it to be normally less than 5 a day. However it should be noted on the occasion Drayton Park is being used as a diversionary route, it is likely all vehicles will be using the bypass lane.

For earlier information about the width restriction

May 7th: Drayton Park – the vanishing cycle bypasses.


Connect2 – proposals for Drayton Park and Gillespie Road

Echelon parking and double parking on Drayton Park - credit Pat Tuson

The width restriction on Drayton Park has raised a lot of wider issues about this cycle route. It’s also a Connect2 route chosen by Sustrans for a complete overhaul for pedestrians and cyclists.

Prompted by a comment on twitter for a ‘proper cycle lane on Drayton Park’, here is the the short list of ideas that council officers are currently working on. It’s a large file full of photos. Comments about any of the proposals are welcome.

ICAG has emphasised the need for covered cycle parking outside the Arsenal Tube station and the removal/relocation of the echelon parking close to Drayton Park station.

For quick reference, here is the short List of possible Schemes (text only). (Item 10 may refer to the whole of Drayton Park or even the whole cycle route.)

1) Gillespie Road – entrance to Tannington Terrace
Proposals:
Raise crossover to same level as footway and construct with ASP flags on reinforced concrete.
Benefits: Provides a continuous step free pedestrian walkway for increased pedestrian safety.
Estimated Construction Cost: £5000

2) Gillespie Road by Tannington Terrace
Proposals:
Install cycle stands as possible.
Housing land, will need to secure agreement with housing
Benefits: Good location for cycle stands.
Estimated Construction Cost: £5,000

3) Crossover opposite Drayton Park junction with Elfort
Road
Proposals:
Raise crossover to same level as footway and construct with ASP flags on reinforced concrete.
Benefits: Provides a continuous step free pedestrian walkway for increased pedestrian safety.
Estimated Construction Cost: £5000

4) Arsenal Stadium entrance 2 to Box Office
Proposals:
Create a raised 2 metre wide buildout in reinforced materials to match existing footways
Benefits: Large shared priority area with enhanced speed reducing features. Increases pedestrian perception of space.
No loss in parking due to presence of existing parking restrictions.
Installation of red blossom trees not costed.
Estimated Construction Cost £50,000

5) Arsenal Stadium entrance 2 to Box Office
Proposals:
Create a raised 2 metre wide buildout in reinforced materials
to match existing footways
Benefits: Large shared priority area with enhanced speed
reducing features. Increases pedestrian perception of space.
No loss in parking due to presence of existing parking restrictions.
Installation of red blossom trees not costed.
Estimated Construction Cost £50,000

6) Drayton Park – Tree Lined Verge
Proposals:
Take up and relay surfacing surrounding existing tree lined
verge with resin bonded material to prevent further tree root
damage
Benefits: Reduces trip hazards for pedestrians, increases effective available walking space, reduces unsightly cracks and water ingress to further damage the paving.
Estimated Construction Cost £125,000

7) Drayton Park / Aubert Park
Ready for Implementation
Install Pedestrian refuge in Aubert Park
Possible removal of existing roundabout after safety audits are carried out.
Estimated Construction Cost £20,000

8 ) Drayton Park junction with Whistler Street
Proposals:
Raise two crossovers to same level as footway and construct with ASP flags on reinforced concrete.
Benefits: Provides a continuous step free pedestrian walkway for increased pedestrian safety.
Cost: £12,000

9) Drayton Park mainline station
Proposals:
Construct footway buildout to same level as footway and construct with ASP flags on reinforced concrete.
Benefits: Physically narrows carriageway to help reduce vehicular speeds, Increases pedestrian space. No loss in parking due to presence of existing parking restrictions.
Cost: £30,000

10) 56 – 80 Drayton Park – realignment of cycle lanes
Proposals:
Realign cycle lanes to back of carriageway and upgrade to current LCDS.
Benefits: Facilitation of safer cycle movement, reduced conflicts with motor vehicles and increased pedestrian safety as a result of the associated new zebra crossing
Estimated Construction Cost: £65,000

11) Drayton Park – Crossover opposite mainline station
Proposals:
Raise crossover to same level as footway and construct with ASP flags on reinforced concrete.
Benefits: Provides a continuous step free pedestrian
walkway for increased pedestrian safety.
Estimated Construction Cost: £5000

12) Drayton Park / Arvon Road pedestrian crossing point /central refuge
Proposals:
Extend existing buildout and construct new central refuge and dedicated pedestrian crossing point
Benefits: Safer crossing point for pedestrians, increased perception of space and reduction in vehicle speeds.
Estimated Construction Cost £20,000

13) Arvon Road
Proposals:
Replace existing tarmac footway with ASP flags in line with current standards. Resurface carriageway.
Benefits: Increases pedestrian comfort and alleviates hazards from existing potholes where the tarmac has worn away
Estimated Construction Cost: £45,000

14) Arvon Road – Drayton Park School
Proposals:
Look into replacing unsightly guardrail with alternatives such as buildouts and trees.
Benefits: Aesthetic improvements to the environment
Estimated Construction Cost: £30,000

15) Arvon Road – Junction with Witherington Road
Proposals:
Create a raised shared space by constructing raised entry treatment in reinforced materials to match existing footways
Benefits: Continuous pedestrian crossing point, speed reduction benefits and an increased pedestrian perception of space
Estimated Construction Costs £25,000

16) Cycle symbols along entire Connect2 Route
Proposals:
Approximately 30 cycle symbols along route to define and provide directions to cyclists.
Benefits: Increase awareness of cyclists of the route.
Estimated Construction Cost: £1,500

17) Quill Street – Gillespie Park
Proposals: Build new ramped access with handrail.
Estimated Construction Cost £20,000.

18) Gillespie Park – Seven Sisters
The possibility of a ramp at the other end of the park by Seven Sisters road has been looked at by Greenspace and not deemed possible due to constraints by network rail and the level gradients being too severe. We will ensure however that the area is cleaned and tidied. Possibility of Mural or sculpture works at this end.
Estimated Construction Cost 5,000.

19) General repairs to carriageways and pavements in
Gillespie Rd, Drayton Park and St Thomas’s Road
Proposals:
Estimated Construction Cost £50,000.
Proposals:

20) Install sinusoidal humps or explore the possibilty of chicanes outside 82 and 154 Drayton Park.
Estimated Construction Cost £10,000.

Report on Connect2 steering group meeting on Wed 23rd Feb

Connect2 steering group meeting on Wed 23rd Feb
Present: Alison Dines & John Ackers( ICAG);  Councillors John Gilbert (Lib Dem, Highbury East), Phil Kelly (Lab, Finsbury Park) & Richard Greening (Lab, Highbury West); Caroline Russell of Living Streets, Michelle Quin Sustrans rep, a TfL rep, Paul Taylor, Will Umney & Martijns Cooljmans (all LBI transport officers)
In summary:-

Station Place:

Nothing more can be done to the cycle lane through Station Place as TfL buses won’t relinquish any space; they need it for operational reasons.  The 2-way cycle lane is (just) over the minimum width. John queried whether it was appropriate use of a long length of shared space. But the view was that there weren’t many pedestrians and therefore there should be little conflict. They also want to keep the guard rail by the side of the cycle lane to prevent buses hitting pedestrians and cyclists. Caroline Russell asked why pedestrian and cycle groups weren’t involved in the discussions with TfL buses and Islington officers said it was their responsibility to represent cyclists and pedestrians.

John suggested applying political pressure & Richard Greening seemed to agree, if an alternative solution could be proposed.  The main concern was the length of time this would take so the majority view was to proceed with the proposed scheme (& possibly pursue the political action route thought a few).

Rock Street:

Of the 3 plans on Rock Street it was agreed that 2 lanes of motor traffic with shared use footway was the preferred option. John suggested keeping the northbound cycle lane so cyclists confident of being on the carriageway could use it & it was agreed that would be put into the scheme.

The consultation will show the 3 plans but recommend this option with the explanation. LBI will consult locally in March, including having a stand there & send feedback to TfL.  TfL have to put in a request for alterations locally (i.e. changing light phasing, there won’t be much engineering work) to their forward planning group & it might take 10 months to get considered.  However there seems to be no work being done in the run up to the Olympics (can’t remember the exact time periods) & the Connect2 project has to be completed by March 2013 so if they’re not careful they might run out of time! Phil Kelly was very disappointed there was no connection from this area up into Gillespie Park.

Drayton Park:

The officers had compiled a short list of work that would be undertaken but realised they had not forwarded it to anyone so they will do that.  Only minimal local consultation will be needed & they envisage the schemes going ahead without problems.

Overall:

Martijns Cooljmans said he appreciated ICAG were not happy with the scheme but had no suggestions as to what else should be done. The councillors generally acknowledged that the scheme was poor but they felt that it was an improvement.  John asked how it was an improvement and the councillors said that there would now be a southbound route. Phil Kelly said that we should make these changes and wait until more cyclists use the route which will then make it possible to make further changes. John said the Sustrans vision was to make the transformation in one step. Michelle Quinn restated that the connection into Finsbury Park was the key part of the project but did not express any objections to these latest proposals.

This whole project has been poorly managed and lacked any desire to do something really ambitious (but perhaps you can’t at Station Place with the money on offer).

ICAG objects to Connect2 proposals for Finsbury Park

Sent to Islington Council on August 28th 2010.

The guidelines to the Connect2 project say “Connect2 will create a new way of living, where people, and not cars, are at the heart of travelling within communities throughout the UK.”

Connect 2 schemes are supposed to be ‘inspirational in design’. This location is a strategic cycle route as well as a providing access to one of London’s major interchange stations. While we appreciate that it may be difficult to deliver a bridge across the main road here, which was always ICAG’s aspiration, the scheme that is now presented to us fails to meet minimum standards.

Far from providing a step change for walking and cycling it would bring high flows of people walking and cycling into conflict with each other. A sticking plaster solution, it neither meets the aspirations of the many people who voted for Connect2, including many LCC members, nor is it likely to offer value for money.

The significant length of proposed shared use pavement (between St Thomas’s Rd and Seven Sisters Rd) has high footfall, particularly during peak hours. The London Cycling Design Standards says on high flow routes you need 3m for cyclists and 3m for pedestrians as a minimum, besides a safety margin between tracks and the carriageway. In any event tracks are at the bottom of the hierarchy of consideration.

The problem here, an issue not dealt with in the LCDS, will be that people waiting to cross the main road will block the pavement area. Conflict will be even worse when people cross on the toucans. The Pitfield Street crossing of Old Street shows the degree of conflict, where there are such crossings of major roads, and we are opposed to toucan crossings that do not have separate marked paths for those on foot and on cycle were flows are so high.

We would like to know the proposed signal timings for this junction. Having to use three stages to get from St Thomas’s Rd to Stroud Green Rd reminds cyclists of their lowly position in the transport hierarchy.

This is a flagship project and we are looking for transformational change to tackle this barrier to active travel and achieve significant modal shift. The sort of solution we’d like to see would be:

  • 20mph limit on all roads around station, with advisory 10 in station forecourt to remain. Average traffic speeds are already low enough due to congestion to allow this.
  • widened crossings with gently raised surface to help slow traffic down (as on A10 Bishopsgate around Liverpool St (that may be there already) station and also A201 around Farringdon Station: i.e. rely on these precedents for treating red route around busy stations)
  • formalise two-way cycling through station forecourt and remove the silly cycle lane on the east side
  • remove gyratory and associated Pedestrian Guard Railing (replacing with cycle stands where appropriate), restricting direct access for motor vehicle to top end of St Thomas St, with significant areas of public space around top end of Rock St, which currently has a very poor streetscape.

We would like to know the amount originally budgeted for this scheme and the cost of the proposed scheme now.

On a side note, there is very limited short term cycle parking around the station. A woman in Hackney told me recently that she didn’t want to spend £11 locking up her and her daughter’s bike at the station for a one off journey to Hertfordshire. Not everybody is a commuter. Although public space in the station forecourt is limited, removing motor traffic from the top of Rock Street would create space for cycle parking, with high levels of passive surveillance.

I am sorry that these comments are not positive but over the years we have seen many stop-gap schemes being implemented – such as the present facility through the station forecourt – that have not been worth the effort or funding. We therefore feel we have no choice but to object to the current proposal. We would be pleased to help you make the case for real improvements with our local council and GLA representatives.