Oxford's Lye Valley area has poor walking and cycling connectivity. Two key routes could be upgraded to improve this, to the west across Lye Valley to the Churchill Hospital and to the south west over the golf course. more
I think consideration should be given to turning off the signals at the northern end of Cornmarket and having that junction operate like the Holywell junction at the other end of Broad St.
I walk and cycle through this junction regularly, and there's pretty much always:
a stream of pedestrians crossing on red across George St, as in the photo above - if they didn't they'd pile up and block the footways;
pedestrians crossing haphazardly across the unsignalled Magdalen St West and Broad St arms, sometimes getting caught out mid-crossing by signal changes;
mopeds and cycles going through red lights or using the wrong side of the road to turn from Broad St into Magdalen St West; and
significant periods when buses and taxis and cycles are waiting even though the junction is clear.
The Charlbury Rd area in north Oxford has a major problem with road danger at school drop-off and pickup times. Large numbers of school-run vehicles arriving and stopping and departing in a short period of time create congestion, along with turning and reversing movements that endanger people walking and cycling. more
Lambeth recently released its Kerbside Strategy. This proposes a reallocation of kerbside space towards active travel, place making, climate resilience, and traffic reduction (94% of Lambeth's kerbside is currently devoted to parking or parking restrictions).
Wherever possible, space for cycle or scooter parking should be taken from car parking space or spare carriageway space, not from footways or space for pedestrians. Pedestrians are at the very top of the transport hierarchy and private cars at the very bottom.
This 1975 "Cars Without Chaos" documentary looks at the problems created by cars and what Oxford was doing to try to address them: "Oxford has gone some way towards solving its traffic problems". (The video is twenty four minutes long, but you can start two minutes in and skip the introduction.)
The amazing thing about this is how much of it is still relevant. more
With 51 people scheduled to speak for two minutes each, followed by the cabinet members themselves speaking (and debating amendments), it was a long and lively cabinet meeting to decide on adoption of the Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan and the traffic filters in that. Roughly half the public speakers were against the traffic filters, a quarter were for them, and the other quarter wanted tweaks: Kennington or Noke to be given more permits, this filter or that to be dropped from the scheme. more
The Oslo Street Design Manual (in English) is useful. In particular, it has guidance for cycling infrastructure provision in the presence of hills, which is lacking from Dutch guidelines and standards.
But a very important flowchart, for determining what cycling infrastructure is needed in different circumstances, has two errors in it!
The key goal of Vision Zero is "to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and severe injuries, while increasing safety, health, and mobility for all". Vision Zero was originally a Swedish idea, but it has been adopted by the Netherlands and by cities such as London, Oslo, Seattle and Denver — and now by Oxfordshire, along with some other local authorities and regions. more
While the county should continue to support schemes for schools that request them, having that as the only way for schemes to happen will limit the effectiveness of the program. The county should proactively plan School Streets schemes at those locations where they will have the most effect. more
Oxfordshire's cabinet recently adopted a "decide and provide" approach for transport planning, but that doesn't seem to be informing the plans for the traffic filters in the Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan. The St Cross traffic filter and cycling on Magdalen Bridge provides one example of this. more
The Central Oxfordshire Travel Plan (COTP) is a fairly comprehensive plan to make transport in Oxford and its surrounds better and more sustainable. I support the goals of the plan and the actions proposed to achieve those, but feel that some things have been neglected or omitted. In particular, I think there should be separate Actions on Walking Experience, Speed Limits, Ring-Road Severance, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, and Children and Older People. more
Parking enforcement in Oxford is woefully poor and seems impossible to improve. This creates dangers for people walking and cycling and can impede motor traffic (especially buses). Higher penalties would provide greater deterrent to the most problematic offences, without requiring additional enforcement resources. more
Zero Emission Zones (ZEZs) such as Oxford's should be reworked with general access restrictions that address all the harms done by motor vehicles, not just tailpipe emissions. In particular, Oxford's fails to address either particulate air pollution or road danger. more
The junction of Longwall St and High St, in Oxford, poses some unusual design challenges. Along with Magdalen Bridge and the Plain roundabout, it is a key bottleneck in Oxford's transport network — this segment is probably the second busiest cycle route in the UK and likely the second busiest bus route. There are huge problems with this junction as it is, but the core schemes in the forthcoming Central Oxfordshire Transport Strategy offer a chance to redesign it.
people cycling wanting to turn right into Longwall have to wait in a one metre wide lane with motor traffic on both sides
Even just on a ten day visit, one of the most striking things about Amsterdam is that there are too many cars in its inner city. The one-way "cars are guests" streets, with regular speed humps, work well to slow motor traffic, but in many places the network structure only inhibits through traffic on these rather than stopping it. And at a larger scale there are still major through routes within the S100 ring-road. more
How should the planned Oxford traffic filters work: what hours should they operate, what exemptions should there be, and so forth? To understand this, we need to understand their purposes:
to allow space and time to be reallocated to make walking and cycling safe and accessible, especially at junctions
to stop buses being congested and delayed, to have better and more efficient bus services
to free up space (and reduce noise and air pollution) for an improved public realm
But while the goals may be the same, the unique geography of each filter — and the very different roads they are on — means that they may need quite different implementations. This can be illustrated by Hythe Bridge St and Marston Ferry Rd. more
Based on a four day visit to York, I think its city centre should be a model for Oxford's. York has pedestrianised a huge chunk of its centre, and it's really great to walk around. After a bit it just feels entirely normal, just as it does in similarly pedestrianised European cities, and it really shows up just how horrible walking around central Oxford is.
At least during the daytime, outside loading hours, there are no cars at all, moving or parked in the core area of York. This means that one never has to think about traffic at all, or even about getting around parked cars, which makes for a completely different feel to bits of Oxford such as Catte St or Turl St or New Inn Hall St or Merton St or Pembroke St, where anyone walking is likely to encounter at least one moving motor vehicle and many parked ones. more