Saturday, 24 August 2019

Back to Midland Road

After looking at QW14 on the last London Cycle Safari, we went for a quick ride up to Midland Road by King's Cross station.

Now I did take a pretty good look at the works to build cycle tracks along Midland Road back in June, but this was a weekday evening visit whereas last time was during the day on a Saturday.

First, here is a little film of a ride-through from Judd Street into Midland Road and back - the details of the layout were covered in my previous post. I would add that despite the kerb upstand on the left, the cycle tracks are wide enough for side by side cycling (ducking in to let people by) and they are very smooth - some of the best in London.

Anyway, there was a bit of time to stand and watch the world go by and the crossing outside the St Pancras entrance was interesting to watch. I was pleased to see that the dull light blocks which picked out the zebra stripes had been overpainted so it was clearly a zebra crossing (below). What I hadn't noticed last time was that there wasn't a tactile 'tail' running across the footway to help visually impaired people orientate themselves which is very poor.

Unfortunately, my beady eye did notice was the early signs of failure in the sett paving used at the crossing - sorry, I did did predict that back in June (below). It's still a busy street for general traffic and buses and this type of paving just isn't up to it. We would be better off spending the money where people are walking and using asphalt in carriageways.

As I said before, the carriageway is too wide and it invites speeding. It also invites drivers forming two lines which we saw quite a bit. This means people crossing are getting visually masked (below);

The crossing is also inconsistent. Crossing left to right in the photos in this post one needs to look left for the cycle track and then right for the general traffic. Although this is consistent with a two way street, you then cross the two lanes of the cycle track and taxi lane on the second half.

I think given this is such a large station and with people arriving who don't know the area it would have been better to provide a much narrower carriageway and wider islands to give people a little more time to think, see and be seen. But, it all kind of works and this shouldn't detract from the huge transformation. As long followers will know, I am a fan of zebra crossings and so here's a (speeded up) video of the crossing which flows wonderfully (on the whole).

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