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Photo number:
Photo #191027

[Image taken 13.2.23] Former Bootham Park Hospital, York. This is a key part of the Scarborough Bridge to Bootham Park cycle route improvements scheme (overview: #177537). I believe, the cycle light in this image became operational on the week starting 6.2.23.

I do not think this junction and pavements on the northern side are safe for any non motorised user – including pedestrians. My list of reasons is below. Other images (looking north) here today: #191028, #191029. Other image today and links: #191022

Observations: The junction looks controlled for all users. There are lights for all users. The semblance of order is deceptive. There are unpredictable and non-predictable movements by road users but also NMUs on the pavements. I consider this new junction to be extremely hazardous.

Reasons this facility is unsafe:
(NOTE: This list will be updated based on my experiences and observations.)

1. The stop line is 8.6m from where a user joins the road.
2. The only way for someone exiting the park on a cycle/mobility scooter/scooter/wheelchair **and be able to see ** or have a chance of being seen is to wait next to the cycle-specific light on the north side of Bootham.
3. People waiting to cross next to the light on the north side of Bootham obstruct the pavement.
4. You need speed to reach the road yet may need to stop for a pedestrian or other user. And have to get going again. This could be difficult for some people due to infirmity or a temporary or chronic health issue.
5. Stop-starting takes strength and energy. It makes cycling less easy and active travel less attractive.
6. There are no sight lines as you venture forward.
7. There are reasons you need to look down – leaf litter (see: 190861), cobbles (see: #190862) – which means you can’t be looking ahead and to all sides – which you absolutely need to be doing at all times.
8. There are no sight lines for you as you exit.
9. There are no warnings to pedestrians walking along Bootham and crossing in front of the gates that this is a junction and people on cycles (mobility scooters, scooters, wheelchairs) may be exiting.
10. There are no warnings to pedestrians walking along Bootham and crossing in front of the gates that this is a junction and people on cycles (mobility scooters, scooters, wheelchairs) may be approaching from the other side of Bootham.
11. The eastern side gate is kept locked at all times (see: # 191031). This means pedestrians (with children in arms, in a buggy, holding hands), mobility scooter and wheelchair users turn into the park in front of people on cycles. This can include groups who are therefore several strong (I saw a party of six men) who are talking among themselves and not alert to any need to look around or proceed slowly. There are no warnings on Bootham to pavement users that this is a junction.
12. There are no warnings to pedestrians walking along Bootham and turning into the grounds of the former hospital to expect people on cycles exiting (to their left or right) or entering (from behind them).
13. The large gates are not open at weekends. What about bank holidays? Families use the route at weekends and bank holidays.
14. The western side gate is narrow – too narrow for wider cycles to pass through. Ditto for people riding protectively ie with a dependant or someone they are caring for, or people riding sociably to pass through at the same time. Pedestrians, dog walkers – including with several animals and likely most on extending leads, people on cycles, scooters, in mobility scooters and in wheelchairs have to share this narrow entrance/exit with limited sight lines and no clear ‘rules’ to its use.
15. The gate is far from the cycle light.
16. The gate is the ‘wrong’ side of the pavement – you need to cross the pavement to get to or/from the road.
17. The sight lines are compromised. The trees, pedestrians, other NMUs waiting to pass through the gate.
18. There is no hierarchy of use for the side entrance.
19. There are no clear turn taking rules.
20. As there is no uniformity possible of how to use the entry points and the exits no-one can develop a strategy to use the route safely. This uncertainty makes walking and cycling unattractive.
21. People are vulnerable from the side – cyclists, mobility scooter and wheelchair users, scooter riders – are not lit from the side.
22. Bootham sees thousands of people walking (plus using a mobility scooter or a wheelchair) along it at all hours. A massive percentage are visitors or people who may use it infrequently. They can’t develop ‘local knowledge’ to be safe here or to change their behaviour to be safe for the users to/from the park grounds. And they shouldn’t have to. Streetscapes should be legible.
23. People crossing from the park grounds over Bootham to St Mary’s and vice versa also have drivers from St Mary’s to contend with. They can turn left or right. They may not be expecting other road users to emerge from the Hospital grounds.
24. People exiting the park grounds can turn right or left. This puts them in conflict with other NMUs. There are no road markings, no lanes, there is no clear position to head for or use. There’s no strategy people can learn.
25. People on cycles may be visitors to the city or this part of the city. Ditto, St Mary’s has visitor accommodation. Many motorists will be visitors. They won’t be aware and won’t use it often enough to learn all the hazards this junction hides.
26. I can’t see how a group with young members riding independently can use a formation that will keep everyone safe. See: #191029. The group is dispersed. Riding side by side is no guarantee of safety as the other users and their movements are unpredictable. Bookending means you are strung out over the entire width of the junction and each person is vulnerable. If the composition is adult ahead and child behind or child ahead with the adult behind and giving instructions… this won’t work either. Every user has ** know ** this junction is dangerous and complex. Every user has to ** understand ** the full range of dangers s/he can encounter using a road and to be alert at all times.
27. Drivers on Bootham – east bound proceed into the boxed junction. When the lights change they obstruct the junction.
28. There is no mechanism for a NMU on Bootham who was heading east in the advisory cycle lane to turn right into St Mary’s.

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