Over the last few months whilst commuting to & from work - some works were going on which I've discovered are pinch points where the pavement is now curved out into the road to reduce the width of the road presumably to make a shorter crossing distance for pedestrians (this particular stretch, although residential is 40mph). The road previously had a semi-decent painted cycle lane that was between parked cars & the flow of traffic (never ideal, but at least it was away from the door zone). Now the road is narrow, these pedestrian areas are often hidden by parked cars - as are the posts with hi-viz strips for cars to see them. This is forcing cyclists into the flow of traffic when approaching these areas.
Since getting irritated at this happening on the ONLY road connecting my home town with where I work (other than the motorway), I have noticed that this seems to be happening on the majority of arterial roads within the region. I can only assume this is being rolled out as a standard road feature country wide. The roads in question are usually A roads that are jammed with parked cars and now this additional road clutter which is making it much more stressful both cycling & actually when I drive - and I am both a confident cyclist and driver (I cycle over 5000 miles per year).
I dont recall reading any consultation about these road redesigns and certainly nothing has been mentioned about them at the County Cycle Forum. Which begs the question - why on earth are authorities doing this? Surely if it is for pedestrian safety they should be looking at stopping traffic with crossings or reducing road speeds rather than making cars weave along roads and forcing cyclists into incredibly vulnerable positions on these roads, which are all narrowed by parked cars and pedestrian refuges and are now even narrower.
I've been commuting by bike regularly for over five years now and this year I have noticed that I feel much more vulnerable than previously by the way that the roads are being used. Near passes, more left hooks than ever before and I am having to commute early & early in a morning and much later in an evening to avoid heavy traffic. So these road changes are really unwelcome. Has anybody else noticed this and is there anything that can be done to undo this?
Sometimes I just feel like sacking off the cycle commute. But my bank balance and waistline would suffer. As would my off road hill climbing legs.
Feeling frustrated. And like my personal choice to not pollute on my way to work is being forced away from me.