Cycle path to Grange Park
Campaign member Anthony Kay has written to local councillors about the cycle path from Knox Road on the Grange Park estate to Magnolia Avenue on the Fairmeadows estate. The developers of Grange Park have built most of it, but there is a short stretch before reaching Magnolia Avenue where it has been left as an informal, roughly-surfaced cut-through. It is believed that this is because of a land ownership issue: the Grange Park developer does not own this piece of land.
Anthony has suggested that the local authority should make a Compulsory Purchase Order to obtain this small piece of land to enable the cycle path to be completed as the route provides a safe route to school from Grange Park to Outwoods Edge Primary School. It is also the most direct route from a large part of the Grange Park estate to the University (via Hazel Road and Cross Hill Lane), and indeed to the town centre. It is hoped the work can be done before next winter, when heavy use is bound to make the cut-through muddy.
A response from Charnwood District Council is awaited with interest.
USA Revelation - Cycle Infrastructure improve road safety
A major study of road safety has found that installing physically protected bike lanes reduces deaths not only for cyclists but also for drivers. (Painted lines on the road, however, do not produce this benefit.) It was found that in cities which invested in high-quality protected space for bikes, there was a dramatic reduction in fatalities among all road users. The report from the University of Colorado Denver and the University of New Mexico found that in areas that had extensive cycling infrastructure, drivers were more aware of their surroundings and more willing to slow down.
The researchers were both surprised and encouraged by the results; having assumed cycling to be one of the riskiest modes of travel, they expected a city (or country) with a lot of cycling to be the least safe. However, the places with a lot of cycling turned out to be some of the safest places for all road users. Researchers looked at road fatality rates in 12 large US cities with high rates of cycling. In Portland, Oregon, they found that as the number of people using a bike to get around rose from 1.2% to 6% between 1990 and 2010, the road fatality rate dropped by 75%. With added bike lanes, fatal crash rates dropped in Seattle (by 61%), San Francisco (by 49%), Denver (by 40%) and Chicago (by 38%).