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East Parade

East Parade has a cycle lane in each direction. The lane when going uphill (south) is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons, outlined below.

1. The cycle lane starts as a painted strip on the road.

East Parade, Harrogate, cycle lane  East Parade, Harrogate, cycle lane

2. By traffic lights/pedestrian crossing, the cycle lane goes onto the pavement.

East Parade, Harrogate, cycle lane  East Parade, Harrogate, cycle lane

3. The cycle lane continues up the poorly surfaced pavement until painted give way lines just before a bin and the next pedestrian crossing. What are cyclists supposed to do here? Just give way? Or dismount as well?

East Parade, Harrogate, cycle lane on pavement  East Parade, Harrogate, cycle lane, give way at bin

4. Having given way to the pedestrians at the pedestrian crossing, a few metres further up, you (presumably) dismount, and give way to the traffic, twice, when crossing Station Avenue, which exits the roundabout, in two stages.

East Parade, Harrogate, cycle lane at Odeon roundabout

5. You're then directed off the pavement, and onto a small corner of the road, with 'give way' lines where it seems you're supposed to stop yet again, probably dismount, and cross North Park Road. Awful.

Bizarre lines for the cycle lane on North Park Rd, Harrogate  North Park Rd, Harrogate - cycle contraflow lane

East Parade: map

The map below shows East Parade:

Map showing East Parade, Harrogate

East Parade: suggestions for improvements

The problem with this route is that it is not convenient. Cyclists shouldn't be asked to give way to both pedestrians and traffic; be constantly required to stop, give way, and dismount. Otherwise, nobody will use the route. I wouldn't use this rubbish - I would just cycle up the road. 

This 'route' has clearly been made in the cheapest way possible. There was only a budget for paint, I suggest, so the route is reduced to 'where do you think there's just about enough space to paint a cycle lane.' If your ambition is to build high quality infrastructure, it needs more than paint - a cycle lane needs to be built, not just painted. 

My suggestions:

1) Don't keep swapping from road to pavement. Instead of just painting the lane onto the road and pavement, it should be built at road level, but separated by kerb or 'armadillos.'

2) Give the route a bit of continuity. It's not that cyclists should never have to stop, just that they shouldn't be asked to stop all the time. Don't make cyclists third-class - giving way to pedestrians and traffic on every occasion.

Do you have any more comments or suggestions?

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