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Photo number:
Photo #191137

[Image taken 17.2.23] York St John University, off Clarence Street, York. Speed cushions at the exit from the campus (looking towards Clarence Street). Street view from 2008, 2016, 2019 and 2021 shows a speed table at the entrance to the campus. Street view from 2008 shows speed cushions at this location. These interventions have remained even as the provision for people who cycle expand. Are there enough motor vehicle movements to merit them? And are they effective at slowing speeds of motor vehicles? Watching what happens at speed cushions anywhere round the city shows they are ineffective at reducing the pace at which most motor vehicles pass over them. Even minis can straddle them. It’s only drivers of low slung vehicles that need to take it steady. For someone cycling any infra on a carriageway that we have to go up and down or change our preferred line of travel puts a barrier to a lesser or greater degree in our way and makes using a cycle a little less convenient or easy. When the barrier is physical as here we can’t use the safest place on the carriageway – the centre of the lane – unless we pedal over the obstacle. Further someone on a wider cycle (including used for mobility #185679, dependant transporting #183763, #176784 or utility trips #180470) or with a trailer (see: #187542) for example could struggle to get through and/or with balance.
MY EXPERIENCE: When I came to cycle off the campus there was a taxi minibus parked up, it seemed. I cleared the speed cushions but the taxi driver passed me on the right determined to reach the junction with Clarence Street before me. We were both turning right into queueing traffic. But while I could have slipped out and through the queues the taxi could not. As a result I was not only held up but had to wait in the fumes of that vehicle. The speed cushions limited where I could position myself on the carriageway to keep myself safe it but did not slow the motor vehicle/prevent the driver from passing me and ‘racing’ to the junction where I was not only held up but put at direct risk of inhaling air pollutants from that vehicle.
Observation: street view from 2021 shows two zebras between Clarence Street and including the one this side of the speed cushions that is now only marked by darker tarmac. None remains. Looking back over street view the measures to facilitate movements of people has changed several times. The dropped kerbs remain and mark the locations but zebras have come and gone. Street view from 2008 shows a circle with a 10 in it marked on the tarmac - max speed permitted. By 2016 this had changed to max 5 as it still appears today. Yet the speed cushions remain… And driver behaviour is not changed by either. Other image these cushions: location: #191138, measurements: #191140, #191141. Other images York St John campus today – cycle parking: #191155, #191156, #191157, #191158, #191159, #191160, #191161, #191162 (and from 18.2.23) #191163, #191164.

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