Senji (senji) wrote,

  • Mood:

UI whinge

I'm all in favour of tactile paving. However I am also a cyclist and there is what I regard as a serious misfeature in the tactile paving that's often used at the ends of segregated shared-use cycle paths§. At the start and end of such stretches of pavement¥ are placed two grids of tactile paving with parallel linear raised sections aligned with the edges of the tiles. On the cyclist side these raised sections are parallel to the direction of travel and on the pedestrian side they are perpendicular to it.

Now, I've noticed the following behaviour when my bike's front wheel touches linear obstructions. If the obstruction is perpendicular (or nearly so) to my direction of travel then my wheel tends to pass over it without any problems. If the obstruction is nearly parallel then my wheel tries quite hard to rotate so that it is parallel to the obstruction in preference to passing over it, if I'm not paying sufficient attention, or the ground is slippery (for instance if it has recently rained) then this can lead to a (possibly momentary) loss of control.

Other cyclists appear to have noticed this phenomenon as well, since they appear to use the same work around as I do, namely that if there is noöne whom it is likely to inconvenience I shift about metre to the side just before the tactile paving and cycle over the pedestrian tiles rather than the cyclist ones.

For readers in the past and other foreign countries, this is bits of paving that indicate road features via tactile means (primarily for the aid of blind and partially sighted people). The commonest example is small raised circles which indicate a pedestrian crossing in the region.
§ For various reasons I try to avoid these, however there are a couple I use as they provide (significant) short-cuts compared to on-road routes. e.g. the Jane Coston cycle bridge.
¥ Sidewalk.
Images may be found on this site.
Tags: cambridge, cycling, rant

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