The council is proposing to make the following changes in Avenue Road (this is the one which runs from Swiss Cottage gyratory down to Regents park)
- move the zebra crossing near Elsworthy Road and convert it to a signalled Pelican xing
- move the zebra next to Acacia Rd to adjacent to St Stephen’s Close, put it on a raised table, and add central traffic islands.
- create a raise table at the across the entire Acacia Rd junction
- add two new sets of central traffic islands (
to reduce overtaking).
The Camden Cycling Campaign responses to the Avenue Road local safety proposals is as follows.
Question 1: Move the zebra crossing near Elsworthy Road and convert it to a signalled Pelican crossing No. See comments below.
Question 2: Move the zebra next to Acacia Rd to adjacent to St Stephen’s Close, put it on a raised table, and add central traffic islands. Yes, but preferably not the central islands (see comments below)
Question 3: Create a raise table at the across the entire Acacia Rd junction Yes.
Question 4: Add two new sets of central traffic islands. No. Instead suggest tables or humps. See comments below.
We support the speed table proposals which will have a beneficial impact for all road users by reducing traffic speeds.
However please note that Avenue Road is one of the borough’s strategic cycle route (it is on the London Cycle Network), so this scheme must be subjected to a cycle audit.
We are highly concerned by the proposed new central traffic islands as they will lead to cyclists being pinched by motor vehicles which overtake them. This creates a powerful deterrent for those who cycle, especially the less experienced cyclists who do not know how to (or are to scared to) position themselves to reduce the risk of this occurring. Our members report that the existing traffic island near the southernmost zebra crossing is extremely hazardous.
To solve the problem of overtaking cars we strongly recommend the use of further speed tables or (preferably sinusoidal) speed humps to both slow down motor vehicles and deter overtaking.
It would be a disappointing if the traffic calming benefits of this much needed scheme delivered a reduction in cycle use because this important arterial route for cyclists became too dangerous for them.
Finally, please note that Queens Grove/Elsworthy Road is also an important London Cycle Network route.
We also suggest that the new crossing location will be far less convenient for those on foot, requiring a detour for walking along between Queens Grove & Elsworthy Road.
We therefore recommend that either the existing zebra remain where it is, or (preferably) that the proposal below is adopted.
We suggest that the best option would be signalling the Queens Grove/Elsworthy Road junction with an all green phase for pedestrians; this would have the added benefit of regulating the motor traffic travelling across Avenue Road and assisting cyclists. In its current form this junction even creates difficulties for experienced cyclists (some of whom dismount and use the zebra crossing).