Crossrider wrote the other day about a collision on CS7 at a junction with a side road:
The problem with these minor road junctions is there are a lot of them, and at each one there is a chance that a vehicle will encroach over the give-way line into the cycle lane. This can cause you to T-bone into the side of the vehicle, or in trying to avoid doing so to swerve or brake, either of which could cause a crash. Alternatively, you may get left-hooked by a vehicle trying to turn left across the cycle lane from the major road into the side-road. A third possibility is a vehicle turning right across your path, either not knowing that the cycle lane is there, or not seeing a cyclist in it.
The problem is indeed all these minor roads, or as we should call them, access roads. These are residential and other roads that should be for providing access to places and not through routes to other locations.
Here’s the junction in question on Streetview:
There is a current trend (in certain boroughs of London at least) to try to do something about these junctions with the aim of improving pedestrian comfort by adding a raised table across the junction mouth. This provides a flat (not necessarily smooth as there’s a change of surface material) pavement surface across the junction, presumably to increase driver awareness of crossing pedestrians.
There are however a number of problems with it that could be easily changed to make this type of junction alteration much better for both pedestrians and cyclists.
If you look in the CROW Design Manual you will see descriptions and diagrams of just this style of access road junction, they call them gateway entrances/exits, the idea being that they are a gateway from one type of street into another, and by enforcing this gateway mentality in the design, they reinforce with road users their behaviour on the road has to change appropriately.
When I was in Holland last, we cycled through a small town that had implemented similar junction entrances. The key differences between the those and what we find on our streets are the angle of the corner radii and the gradient of the step change for motor vehicles.
As you can see in the picture, the pavement is continuous across the junction and vehicles have a very steep short climb up onto the pavement to cross it forming a gateway to the residential access road to the left of the picture.
The case with Collage Road on the A24 above is actually solved with a much simpler solution that has ironically already been introduced half a mile south/west down the road. The best way to remove conflict is to remove or reduce the conflict at source by restricting traffic movement. The residential roads of Hotham, Norman, Grove and Laburnum Roads in South Wimbledon have had their southern end access to the main road blocked for motor vehicles, instead restricting their movement to within the residential area and accessing the outside main roads via a couple of access roads onto Haydon’s Road.
This sort of movement restriction could easily be implemented at College Road and many other residential junctions with main distributor roads throughout London to make those main routes safer for pedestrians and cyclists.