At its meeting this week, the Council’s Growth and Regeneration Scrutiny Commission has an agenda item on cycling and walking infrastructure. BWA is taking the opportunity to give its assessment of provision for walking in Bristol, and Bristol City Council’s plans.
“Walking schemes are not the same as buses or bikes: rarely are schemes walking-only. Pedestrianisation schemes, and neighbourhood schemes for crossings, are the exception.
Often it’s small things that are part of wider schemes, eg continuous footways across side turnings, dropped kerbs, crossings.
The small things that matter to pedestrians include fixing pavement obstructions – parked cars, bins, BT Street Hubs and other clutter.
These things may be small but fixing them gives out the message that pedestrians matter.
The pedestrian is supposed to be at the top of the hierarchy. We all know that that is too simple a statement. Transport scheme designs have to be compromises.
Take the bus route 2 corridor scheme at The Triangle, the subject of consultation a year ago. The pavement at Queens Road past the shops and along to the Wills Tower is one of the busiest pavements in Bristol, and it is not wide enough for the numbers that use it. The temporary Covid street scheme addressed precisely that issue: it widened the pavement. So the route 2 scheme was an opportunity to make it permanent. But it didn’t happen. By the time the highway design officers had allowed for a new segregated cycleway opposite the shops, and space for motorised traffic, they couldn’t find room to widen the pavement.
That’s the reality. We accept it’s the reality, but we want to change that reality.”