Sunday, 19 May 2019

Practical Loading

The need for business loading is often cited as a reason not to build cycle tracks, but it's a spurious argument. 

Businesses absolutely need to move goods around to function and in fact, when we upgrade our streets to provide new cycling infrastructure, loading can be easily accommodated.

It's obvious I suppose, but for the foreseeable future, we are still going to be using vans and lorries to service businesses and we absolutely should make provision for loading because if we don't we'll have delivery drivers parking on the cycle tracks and footways.

The good news is that most businesses don't have deliveries made by 40 tonne articulated lorries and so making space at regular intervals allows delivery drivers to legitimately stop in a safe location and not have the stress of having to rush while they make their deliveries.

The loading bay above provides servicing space for an adjacent area which cannot be accessed by traffic during the day and a residential complex opposite. The cycle track is stepped in this case, so there is a dropped kerb with gentle ramp to get to the cycle track with a trolley and the forgiving kerbs are easy to roll over.

This loading bay is next to a carriageway level cycle track with a gap in the skinny protection island to allow the delivery driver to wheel his trolley over.

In some cases, there might be a space compromise if a street performs a vital motor traffic movement function and so with a loading bay in the main carriageway, then only allowing loading off peak might be appropriate rather than impacting on the space and time continuity of the cycle track.

One of the key things with providing loading space is that it should be considered as a higher priority than car parking. In fact, bus stops and loading bays are vital for the operation of our urban places and car parking less so (other than for disabled people who might need it). If there isn't space on the main road, then we could use a side street to provide a loading bay to keep the main road clear.

Of course, what is often forgotten is that building cycle tracks means that we can shift some deliveries to cargocycle. The beauty of this is that we can stop right outside the business and cut down on the time walking between loading bays and the front door. Cargocycles can also be taken right into the building as shown by Pedal Me below!



    Absolutely. As can be seen from common Dutch practice. Even typical Dutch urban car-free zones have no problem moving goods to shops. A good example is the downtown Utrecht car-free zone. Although a major shopping area, there is no problem whatsoever keeping the shops supplied. See:

    1. Absolutely. I get that change is hard for people, but we can accomodate businesses in our designs.