Chalk Farm Town Centre Improvements
Following the discussion with Cliff Thompson and Dave Stewart on 12th April, CCC is very pleased that they have offered to carry out a
mini-CRISP to assess the cycling needs for Chalk Farm Road. Please try to arrange this as suggested in June or July. It will be an opportunity to identify cycling issues in detail, but I have included a list of those issues that we are already aware of. We note that there have been cyclist casualties near to the junction under the railway bridge and also on the road itself north of that junction. We would like to be told the full details of all cycle casualties on Chalk Farm Road before we participate in the mini CRIM. The proposal document states that it is a major route for cyclists – please let us have any available cycle count figures available.
Chalk Farm road is often very congested and at times it is hard for cyclists (or indeed any other vehicles) to make much progress. For this reason, any opportunity to cross it and join alternative routes will be very beneficial to cyclists. The recently installed cycle crossing from Crogsland Road to Regents Park Road is an excellent example of such a facility. We propose another cycle crossing at Ferdinand Street under our list of cycling issues below. The main week point about the Chalk Farm area as a cycle route is due to the one-way section south of the railway bridge: northbound cyclists can go from Jamestown Road to Castlehaven Road, but the reverse journey is not possible. A really radical and useful project would consider southbound cycle access to the canal bridge and over into Jamestown Road.
We welcome the urban design proposals at the painted bridge and between Adelaide and Regents Park Road and note that the proposals recognise the importance of the cycle route that links the two.
It is inappropriate to reply to all of the questions in the questionnaire on behalf of CCC, as some of them are outside the scope of our concerns. Therefore I have listed responses to selected questions below.
We note that the proposal suggests new locations for cycle stands. All of these will be welcome. It is fortunate that the wide footways make this possible. The suggested site near to the entrance to the Stables Market is particularly welcome.
As mentioned above, Chalk Farm Road is often congested, particularly southbound, resulting in slow speeds. But at other times, for example, late evening, speeds can be much faster. For a Town Centre road like this, with vehicles parking, turning and moving out of parking places and considering the poor casualty record reported, an overall speed limit of 20 mph is really the only safe option.
Some of the issues for cyclists
Junction of Castlehaven Road
This junction is problematical for cyclists and appears to have been the site of several cyclist casualties. It requires a major rethink. Here are some details observed so far:
- approach from north: feeder lane disappears under the kerb on the approach to the stop line, ASL is required; stop line should be perpendicular to kerb; this corner is a pinch point for cyclists when the light is green.
- approach from the south, cyclists turning right into Castlehaven Road need to cross over from the left lane. This side needs an ASL and central feeder lane (to allow cyclists to stay on left when lights change)
- approach from the south, left side: the small cycle lane is overlapped by the buses and wider vehicles.
- Castlehaven Road: the car parking area on the north side is too wide, leaving an ambiguous strip that may or may not be a cycle lane.
Junction of Ferdinand Street
We understood from a recent consultation that pedestrian facilities and ASLs at all three arms would be installed at this junction. Our response to this consultation still stands: “The feeder lane to the west of the junction as shown on the diagram is too short – it should extend back to the Bus Stop area. The other feeder lanes are also shorter than would be required by the queues that often arise at this junction.”
We also requested provision for cyclists to cross from Ferdinand Street to Camden Goods Yard to enable them to cycle up to Morrisons and then on past the store and into Oval Road. This forms a useful route between the area east of Chalk Farm Road and Regents Park. The introduction of the new pedestrian crossing on the western arm of the junction is an opportunity: cyclists could cross safely to Camden Goods Yard while the vehicles stop to allow the pedestrians to cross. But cyclists should not have to wait for a pedestrian to push the button. Therefore a cyclist push button with a forward only light would be needed in Ferdinand Street.
We still believe that this would be very beneficial to cyclists.
Junction of exit from Morrisons store
ASLs and feeders are required on all arms of this junction. It is particularly important for cyclists to get a good start when coming down from the store (or from the route along Oval Road) and turning right across Chalk Farm Road.
Crogsland Road- Regents Park Road
The downhill cycle lane on Regents Park road is too narrow – cyclists almost always ride on the hatched area. The lane should be widened to 1.5 m and the hatched area retained.
The approach to the toucan in Crogsland Road is currently covered in new road surfacing: the markings should be reinstated.
Q4. Creating a better balance of parking and servicing needs for customers, businesses and residents. The intermittent
pay and display parking bays on the east side of the road is a problem to cyclists because they have to move out to pass the parked cars. It might be better if there were to be a single lane of vehicle traffic on this side of the road and continuous parking for as far is needed. This would also help to calm the traffic. There is always the risk to cyclists of being hit by opening doors and moving out vehicles, but if they can ride in the centre of a single lane of traffic, there is less risk.
Widening footways to provide for high pedestrian flows This is important where indicated outside the Round House, but most of the remaining footways are already wide.
Lighting scheme at Camden Lock railway bridge Anything to improve visibilty is welcome.
Q6. Better lighting and pedal cycle parking are both very important. Designing out crime, particularly bike theft is equally important.
Q10. How easy is it to get to Chalk Farm. By bicycle: there are plenty of side road approaches on the east side, but the access is blocked by the railway on the west side. The main difficulty concerns the north-east to south-west movement mentioned above. For example, those that visit the area from the south east over the canal bridge cannot return the way they came. Instead they have make a detour via the fast-moving counter-clockwise gyratory.
Q12. In terms of road safety, how safe does it feel to get around Chalk Farm? by bicycle. This is neither very safe nor very unsafe. The main difficulties are due to the junction under the railway bridge and the difficulty of moving out round parked cars.
Q16. Congestion. Very bad.