Hackney's bicycle only road

Just a short pedal up the road from where I live is Goldsmith's Row, in the borough of Hackney.  This used to be home to a well-used but controversial segregated contraflow cycle track - it was wide and comfortable to ride, but cut directly across the pedestrian entrance to the popular Hackney City Farm.  The path had to go to avoid a direct collision between cyclists and children coming out of the farm.  But Hackney did something very interesting... rather than wrip out the track and lose a popular traffic-free cycling route, they just closed the road to traffic and created the borough's first bicycle-only road.  Cyclists and pedestrians benefit from more space and local residents no longer have to endure the road being used as a cut through.

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If an old cycle facility has passed its sell by date, or if the design isn't quite working the way it should that's no excuse to wrip it out and hope for the best.  By constantly upgrading and improving old facilities we can build on existing cycling levels and invite more and more people to cycle.

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And as you can see from these photos, Goldsmith's Row is now a relaxing haven for Hackney's two-wheeled residents!

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17 comments:

Cargo Bike Al said...

I'm wondering whether Hackney Council are now going to take out the speed bumps seeing as it's only bicycles using this street now. They're a bit of a pain when you're carrying stuff on your bike and there is no way of avoiding them on this part of the route now that the cycle path has been taken out. Minor grump!

ibikelondon said...

That's a very good question Al. The humps are a left over from when this road was a bit of a rat run. I'll let you know if I hear anything about them being removed.

ndru said...

I know this road, around the corner from where I used to work. Brilliant stuff. Hackney is really on the ball with making the borough cycle friendly (or is it Tower Hamlets - I never know where the border between the two is).

ibikelondon said...

This is Hackney. Just the other side of the Hackney Road (where Columbia Road is) is Tower Hamlets, where cycling is not so great.

What I like about this road is that it forms part of a 'spine' of car-light or car-free cycling infrastructure that runs all the way from Hackney central, through London Fields, Broadway, over the Cat & Mutton bridge, here at Goldsmiths, safely across Hackney Road, then down past Columbia Road all the way to Weavers Fields. There is more cycling infrastructure on Vallance Road as far as Cycle Superhighway 3, but it isn't very good. If they upgraded that section there'd be a really good cycling artery, right there.

Martin said...

Yes the speed humps need to be removed now its bike only. Also it's confusing at the end just past the posts as to whether you should go right onto the pavement cycle path following it round to the pedestrian crossing or stay on the road and join the main road directly. Some signs would help.

ibikelondon said...

I agree the resolution at the end of the road isn't perfect. They've made it so it is shared space to cross the pedestrian walkway to get to the separated part of the track that runs alongside the farm to get to the traffic lights. Maybe some big painted arrows would help?

cyclingbean said...

This used to be my route to work, before I discovered I could stay on the canal to Islington! I have tried out the new improved version though, and it is WAY better. Good to see Hackney getting it right here!

ibikelondon said...

@CyclingBean How is commuting on the canal these days? There's been a lot of talk recently of pedestrian / cycling conflict, especially around the bridges. I'm always worried I'll fall in!

Anonymous said...

How about a few pictures about the conflict point so we can see what the problem was?

ibikelondon said...

Hi @Anonymous They'd dug up the old track and replaced it with paving before I had a chance to get a photo, however you can see very clearly on Google where the cycle track used to cut straight across the entrance to the City Farm;

http://g.co/maps/wtc6c

Duncan said...

Hackney do seem to be more imaginative than the other boroughs. I particularly like junction of Culford Road and Northchurch road near De Deauvoir square where they have "modal filters" or "bollards" as they are otherwise known - just like Goldsmith St its a comparatively cheap measure that makes a bit difference.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=De+Beauvoir+Square,+Hackney,+London+N1,+United+Kingdom&hl=en&ll=51.541464,-0.08184&spn=0.007567,0.021136&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=14.745606,43.286133&vpsrc=6&geocode=FSN1EgMdr8n-_w&hnear=De+Beauvoir+Square,+London+N1,+United+Kingdom&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=51.541543,-0.081812&panoid=Rdv1zWHWAvtKg8mScBpkZA&cbp=12,192.69,,0,16.72

Anonymous said...

I have it on good authority that the speed humps will be removed in the next few months as part of Phase 2 of the scheme.

Anonymous said...

improvements are on the way keep an eye on hackneys consultation finder in November / december 2011

southern end of goldsmiths row road cycling facilities to give cyclists options rather than dictate what has to happen. more signs equals clutter which adds to confusion. Eyes are for looking and brain used for decisons, slow down and be considerate to all users.

Andy in Germany said...

There are sevral places here this could be done where I live, except tha the local politicians are still in the 1960's...

Mark said...

Getting rid of the yellow lines would be good too!

Anonymous said...

Consultation documents will be online at hackneys website https://www.engagespace.co.uk/engage/hackney/default.aspx
during the week starting 14 Nov 2011

Alex said...

Just came from there, where I had a motorcycle tailing me. Looked back and shouted "Bike lane!" to a reply of "Awww f*ck off!" Nice. Wish there was a way to keep the motorcycles and motor scooters out while still letting cyclists through :/