Saturday, 23 March 2013

Catching the rat that is the school run

Tankerville Terrace turns ratty during the school "run", reported by the Jesmond Safe Cycling group of the Newcastle Cycling Campaign here. It's a residential street in a sub-urban area that is crying out to be re-purposed and re-claimed for people (by removing its rat school run tendency) through the re-distribution of space (by allocating safe space for cycling).

Resident parking would be fully retained (one third of space). An other third of the road space would be re-allocated from paid car parking to cycling (such as a two-way cycle way) and the remaining third is a one-way road space. School drop-off would not be possible on-road (it's dangerous and currently widely misused so parents have forgone that favour anyhow); rather drop-off on Tankerville Terrace should only be possible on site where available, such as Percey Hedley's Northern Counties.

Alternative drop-off locations are a little walk away, on Forsyth Road and possibly Clayton Road and Burdon Terrace. But these should be discussed, decided and a plan formalised in the school travel plans.

Here is a before and after impression for Tankerville Terrace.


Tankerville Terrace


Tankerville Terrace

The entry and exit areas onto the cycle way (Forsyth Road and Burdon Terrace) should be carefully designed. As should the access and egress points to the schools. Cycle way continuity must be maintained for safety and to give cycling some convenience and priority over driving.

This should help to achieve the travel plans of the schools, which are undoubtedly ambitious.

If we can't do road reclamation like this near schools where else could we ever?

Let's make a start now or we keep ending up with tokenistic feeble efforts like this (top end of Tankerville Terrace near West Jesmond primary school).

Road safety at its useless best

Unfortunately when the PFI school was build the opportunity to remove a blind spot on a road bend was ignored, resulting in guard-railing the place to the death. Things like these do not exactly give you hope in council planning, engineering and road safety skills.

Recently a small section of guard-railing has been removed. Anecdotally, that happened on the request of school bus drivers not having sufficient space on that blind spot corner. ON the other corner, the guardrails are bend and damaged in many places. And this isn't just kids or student kicking it for fun.

Tankerville / Brentwood

Tankerville / Brentwood

What a dangerous mess! Please get it sorted!

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