The council is asking our views on proposals for pedestrian improvements in Mill Lane. It doesn’t mention cyclists.
This proposal includes suggestions for zebra crossings with “bigger island”, which looks like potential trouble. (See the recent consultations on Fortess Road and Highgate Road where our responses stated the LCDS regulations and yet non-conforming cyclist pinch points have been built and we now have to ask for them to be modified.)
It also proposes raised entry treatments (which are referred to as junction tables) – the latter would be better.
Camden Cycling Campaign (CCC) supports the proposal to install zebra crossings in principle but believes the pinch points created by the traffic islands compromise the safety of cyclists. This is a particular issue because of the high traffic speeds along Mill Lane.
The consultation document states that the proposals aim to “slow vehicle speeds”. CCC fully supports this aim but it does not believe extending the existing traffic islands will have a significant effect on traffic speeds in itself. The most recent speed survey available, which was carried out from September to November 2002, shows 85th percentile speeds of around 29mph.
Transport for London’s Cycling Design Standards (LCDS) give detailed guidance on chicanes and pinch-points. (See section 3.6.4 of http://tinyurl.com/2z9r6v). The Standards state that:
- where 85th percentile traffic speed is 21-30mph and there are buses and HGVs using the road, the lane width should be 4.0m
- additional measures (e.g. speed humps or cushions) should be considered to reduce speed in these instances
- 3.0m lane widths may only be used if frequent traffic calming measures are present along the length of road.
The extended island proposed at Location 1 near Westbere Road has a lane width of 4.4m which would be acceptable, although the proposed resident’s parking bay close to the crossing would create a new hazard for westbound cyclists. The extended island proposed at Location 2 near Solent Road is not acceptable as it has a lane width of just 3.0m. This would only be acceptable if frequent traffic calming measures were present along the length of Mill Lane.
CCC does not feel it is acceptable to modify an existing island that goes against the LCDS; any changes should comply with the TfL standards.
CCC therefore encourages Camden Council to:
- look again at the lane widths at the island near Solent Road
- consider how and where traffic calming measures in addition to the two pedestrian islands could be introduced along Mill Lane
- carry out a new speed survey after the implementation of any proposals, in particular looking at the speeds for the approaches to the two zebra crossings in both directions.
- move the proposed 3 residents’ parking spaces near the zebra on Westbere Road as they are too close to the crossing thereby creating a second hazard as cyclists move out to avoid parked cars and traffic moves out to overtake
One option for reducing traffic speeds would be to place a junction table at Solent Road where the 20 mph stretch is supposed to start, and possibly the same at the Westbere Road end. Alternatively ripple print could be used as on East Heath Road.