East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

response to enquiry re Rye Lane Cycling

Here is the answer to an enquiry about the cycle path on Rye Lane raised by a cyclist in a unrelated thread (a thread on whether the ED forum is useful or not).

Dear Councillor Hamvas

Thank you for your email about the postings on the East Dulwich Forum. I understand that you will be responded to separately about the parking enforcement.

With respect to the cycle path through Rye Lane, we have carried out a number of temporary asphalt repairs where the buses (and possibly delivery vehicles) have damaged the kerb line. Our normal practice is to wait until we have a number of such repairs and then arrange for new kerbs to be installed under a full road closure, as obviously the costs for such closures can be significant compared to the actual works costs.

I wholly appreciate that the relatively narrow carriageway width is a contributing factor to the damage but the costs for any lane widening would be huge compared to the benefits obtained. Longer term there may be some scope for such works as part of the overall Peckham regeneration works but there is nothing planned in the immediate future.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you should require any further information.

Regards

Dale Foden
Street Care Manager
Highways Division

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Cllr Renata Hamvas
Labour Councillor For Peckham Rye Ward
Renata.Hamvas@southwark.gov.uk
02075255223

Ward Surgeries
1st Friday, 6.30-7.30pm Rye Hill Park TRA Hall, Peckham Rye SE15
2nd Saturday,10-11am East Dulwich Community Centre, Darrell Rd SE22
4th Thursday (3rd in December), 6.30-7.30pm Nunhead Library, Gordon Rd SE15

Peckhamryelabour.blogspot.com
I'm afraid the whole design is not fit for purpose given the increase in volume of cyclists since it was designed and built. Tere is simply not space for cyclists and the sothbound lane is a joke.

There needs to be another solution!
The other alternative is that cyclists could be more patient, accept that there is limited space on a shopping precinct and bus terminal, and slow down a bit for the 30 or so seconds they have to share that stretch with other people. And if they really can't bear that, there alternative routes south.
Only Rye Lane is neither a shopping precinct (because it's not pedestrianised, however much many treat it as though it is), nor is it a bus terminal. There is plenty of room for sharing and some cyclists do need to slow down, but equally some pedestrians need to accept that there is one very thin cycle lane and try not to walk in it, nor down the middle of the road. If they really can't bear that, there are alternatives on both sides, they're called pavements.

Thanks Renata for raising the subject even though the answer is hardly satisfactory.
I'm sure this must have been covered elsewhere but some of the problem is down to poor design. The cycle path is a slightly darker grey than the adjacent pavement and there is nothing else to distinguish it; many pedestrians are unaware that cycles have priority over that stretch.
Mugglesworth Wrote:

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> I'm sure this must have been covered elsewhere but
> some of the problem is down to poor design. The
> cycle path is a slightly darker grey than the
> adjacent pavement and there is nothing else to
> distinguish it; many pedestrians are unaware that
> cycles have priority over that stretch.

Absolutely - there may not be money for major works but a couple of cans of blue paint or a few yellow stencils would avoid a world of confusion-related conflict.
Completely agree that the fact that it is not an obvious cycle lane is part of the problem. I am not a fast cyclist (so it isn't that I need to slow down)and I take great care in this area.

I find that stretch of my journey the most nerve wracking due to pedestrians stepping out in front of me. I see a lot of people stepping out without looking and often have to slam on my breaks to avoid a collision. Some of the time pedestrians don't realise I was there or have stopped due to looking the other way or at their phone! It's always worse when someone does that from in front of or behind a bus so I can't anticipate them coming.

I am more than prepared to be cautious and wait but I think that the cycle lane needs to be marked out in a different colour so that pedestrians can be more aware and alert.
Pretty much every-time I use that lane in the evening a pedestrian walks in front of me. So I crawl up it.

It's too indistinct, too narrow and the surface is dreadful.

Peckham Rye is a nightmare to cycle down generally.
now's the time to resurrect a previous popular thread. but how to find it?
This would be such a in easy fix. Just mark it out with yellow lines, and more pedestrians will realise it's a cycle path.I cycle along it every day, and I can't blame the people who walk into it. Generally they just think it's a (particularly bumpy) section of the pavement.
Hi all,
I will pass your comments on. I did ask them before about lines, but there was something about aesthetics and shared space.I will ask again, Adam.

Renata
Aesthetics? Have any of the designers actually used the space on a regular basis? A clearly delineated cycle Lane would be far safer for both people on foot and people cycling.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit was february 07, 10:55pm by Ampersand.

Something about aesthetics and shared space
This phrase, with its vagueness, verblessness and jargon, condenses so much about public sector/committee-led life into such a short space
Shared space and lack of road markings generally decrease the number of collisions because they encourage all road users to be far less selfish and a lot more cautious.

[www.theguardian.com]
Thanks Renata, much appreciated.

Abe, I think that's a really interesting principle and it does work well on that street in Kensington. The trouble on Rye Lane is that people have no reason to expect to see bikes on the pavement as they wander out of the shopping centre. It's pretty dangerous.
As it says in that article, "Shared space is not for every road." It works well on two way residential streets, on a one way bus and cycle only street it wouldn't work so well, particularly for those pedestrians with poor vision. This is proved by the current situation of confusion at the end of Rye Lane, where the cycle lane is so poorly marked it may as well not be there.
It's funny how there is't a similar problem using the shared space from the north end of Rye Lane across Peckham Road and past the library
A bit of empirical observation would not go amiss here. Every day, you can witness altercations between cyclists and pedestrians on this stretch ranging from the benign "oops, sorry" to more aggressive exchanges. Statements along the lines of "well, it's fine somewhere else" do not change the evidence of experience.
Abe_froeman Wrote:

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> It's funny how there is't a similar problem using
> the shared space from the north end of Rye Lane
> across Peckham Road and past the library

Not funny at all: a) that space is a massive plaza, not a street, which has separate entrances for cyclists and pedestrians, b) there are no shop entrances which have people walking out of them, c) there are no buses driving across the plaza. So somewhat different.
Abe_froeman Wrote:

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> It's funny how there is't a similar problem using
> the shared space from the north end of Rye Lane
> across Peckham Road and past the library


Abe_froeman I'm struggling to understand what your angle is here. Are you against suggestions to try and make this strip a little safer and clearer for pedestrians and cyclists? Are you a cyclist that doesn't find this road tricky/ risky maybe? There will always be cyclists and pedestrians that could take more care of course
I would say scrap the badly-signed path and widen the road a short width with an aim to stopping the plenty of cyclists who cut the corner and then ride over the pedestrian crossing into the (pedestrian) piazza at the library. Shared spaces can work, but not here.
Nigello Wrote:

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> I would say scrap the badly-signed path and widen
> the road a short width with an aim to stopping the
> plenty of cyclists who cut the corner and then
> ride over the pedestrian crossing into the
> (pedestrian) piazza at the library. Shared spaces
> can work, but not here.

The piazza outside the library is not a pedestrian area, it's a shared space where cycling is permitted. Similarly cyclists are not "riding over the pedestrian crossing": it's a shared cycle/pedestrian crossing (ETA so, apparently, a "puffin" not a "pelican"), as can be seen from the fact that when crossing is permitted there's not only a green man but a green bicycle as well. I agree there is a problem with cyclists cutting the corner from the cycle path to the crossing rather than following the path round to the crossing (there have been CPOs there in the past to monitor this) but neither the crossing nor the piazza are banned to mounted cyclists.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was february 08, 05:17pm by rendelharris.

alice Wrote:

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> now's the time to resurrect a previous popular
> thread. but how to find it?

Search via your username and lo!

[www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk]

The above just makes me even more convinced that the fault there is not pedestrians or cyclists, it's actually the design. Councils once again wasting taxpayers money and putting in substandard designs that actually make things worse.
I had no idea that section of Rye Lane was a cycle path until I started to cycle to work. It definitely needs to be marked so it's clearer.
whilst they're at it they could take a look at resurfacing the eastbound Peckham Road. It's not fit for purpose, with more potholes than good bits of road. It is safer to cycle out in the road than down it, and then you have impatient cars wondering why you're not cycling in the cycle lane.
This has gone one and on since the lane was created and the council haven't listened to a single point. Now the lane is in such bad repair anyway on the kerbs that you would have to be a complete idiot to not see that the design and materials are not fit for purpose. For the record, I have had four collission with pedestrians who walked straight into my front wheel without looking. Even though I always cycle at walking pace, it did not stop the collision.
Hi all, I will raise all your comments with officers. I will also discuss this with my colleagues in The Lane Ward. I don't think major structural changes will be done to this cycle path until the whole site is being developed, but when the repairs are done, better delineation etc could be done.
Renata
Better delineation and better polcing of offenders, please. Lots of people of all abilities (children, old people, buggy-pushers) use the pavements at the corner and not all are nimble enough to get out of the way of footpath-riding cyclists.
I tend to cut that corner heading south. Impossible to do anything other than that most times.
If you don't cut the corner, then you cycle across the flow of pedestrian and cycle traffic who are mainly walking and cycling north/south. So following the path here can be more hazardous than cutting the corner.

Given that three cyclists were killed in London last week, if there are any available resources for 'policing of offenders' I think they may be better deployed elsewhere, thank you very much...

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