Archive for Quiet Routes

No Entry Except Cycles

Oxford’s first No Entry Except Cycles sign. About half of Oxford’s one-way streets have little islands to allow two-way cycling. Now two-way cycling can be allowed with just a sign. Experience in many countries is that two-way cycling in one-way streets carries no particular risk, and it should be the norm.

Cycling to Secondary School

Waiting for friends, before cycling to school
Up to age 11, most children walk to school. Some take their bikes, either because they live a little further away, or just for fun. There’s no problem with small children cycling on the pavement (up to age 10). Quiet routes pass close to each school, so older children can start using the road, under adult supervision.

Secondary school means getting up a bit earlier, and meeting your friends so you can cycle together on the quiet route. This was one of three separate groups meeting up in the park. Secondary schools are generally in the suburbs, and served by quiet routes that are mostly separate from the main road routes that adults use to get to the city centre.

Quiet Streets

Quiet street

Parents need to be pretty confident that car speeds are low on quiet routes, so they can accompany their children using their own bikes. The children learn that you get the best visibility if you cycle in the middle of the street, safely away from doors opening.

20mph is fast enough in towns

20mph repeater signs x3

On main roads, you can get speeds down by narrowing – there’s enough traffic to help break up sightlines. On residential streets, you can switch parking from side-to-side, or use build-outs on both sides.

On in-between roads, there’s only so many speed cushions you can put in, and sometimes a bit of extra signage is required. Slowly but surely, people are getting the message – 20mph is fast enough in towns.

Shopping or commuting

Family on bikes in town
There are more journeys to the shops than to work. Quiet routes into town let you take the children, even when they’re starting to ride their own bike.

Pavement Cycling Tolerated

A certain amount of pavement cycling, especially by children (and accompanying parents) is tolerated, despite being completely illegal.