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Pedestrians injured after 'dozens' trip over new cycle lane

Cardiff Council are now going to use spray paint to increase the visibility of the bollards...

Shop owners have complained after a number of pedestrians tripped over a newly installed cycle lane. 

One local shop owner claimed there has been at least a dozen incidents since January, including one in which an elderly man broke his wrist. 

The two-way cycleway on Wellfield Road in Roath, Cardiff was introduced earlier this year as part of a pilot scheme that also saw the road made one-way.

Footpaths were widened and parking was removed from both sides of the road last summer to allow social distancing. 

But Wales Online report the lane has proved controversial. 

Cardiff Council are now going to use spray paint to increase the visibility of the bollards after receiving two reports of people tripping last week, but said they had received no previous reports of the issue before then. 

CCTV footage showed the moment one elderly man fell over the lane bollards and broke his wrist, less than two weeks after another man tripped over further up the road and was treated by paramedics.

Jeffrey Atkinson, 78, fell into a wooden tree planter after stumbling over the cycleway on July 22, and suffered bruised ribs as well as a wrist fracture.

Mr Atkinson’s daughter, Dawn Christopher, 54, said her father was “very shaken up” by the incident, but only discovered that his wrist was fractured when he reluctantly visited A&E the following day.

Mr Atkinson’s fall came a matter of days after another man was captured on CCTV tripping over the bollards on the edge of the lane and tumbling onto the pavement, before being treated by an ambulance crew that was luckily waiting in traffic further down the road.

Dawn said that the fact that so many people had fallen over the lane since it was installed made her “very angry”.

“Something definitely needs changing with that cycleway,” she said. “It needs to be made a lot safer, or else people will continue to get hurt.

“It’s a white barrier that is holding the bollards and it’s incredibly hard to see against the outlines of the road - maybe it needs to be raised so people can see it, but it definitely needs to be made more visible, whatever happens.”

Kaivan Forouzan, owner of Luxor clothing store, was one of the first to help Mr Atkinson up after he tripped over a lane marker.

Mr Forouzan said a similar incident a couple of weeks earlier had left another man requiring treatment from paramedics after also tripping over one of the raised lane markers

A spokesman for Cardiff council said: “A stage three road safety audit was carried out on Wellfield Road in March this year, and the necessary steps have been taken to address the issues that were identified.

“Until last week, the council hadn’t received any reports of people tripping over the lane separators or the bollards on this road, but due to these two recent reports, the council will be increasing the visibility of the bolt down bollards using coloured spray paint.

“The bolt down bollards are in place to segregate the pop-up cycleway from the traffic lane and already have white reflective banding on them. By using coloured spray paint on these units, we hope to make them stand out to the public even further."

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40 comments

Avatar
The _Kaner | 2 years ago
0 likes

I watched the video, both 'fails' could have been avoided/prevented...the pedestrians did not fully look where they were going.
Both crossed the road/cycle lane at opportune spots, not the pedestrian crossing.
The issue is that the end of the 'armadillo' section is painted white, the same as the white road line marking.

It should be painted Black to give a contrast. Unless this contravenes some road traffic act/section of the Highways Codes...(or whatever it is called in the UK).

So it's a poor infrastructure compounded by inattention on both pedestrians behalf.
But the posts marking the structure are very visible...to someone with good vision, someone with poorer vision, well they'd probably use the correct crossing...and not cross between stationary vehicles.
 

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hawkinspeter replied to The _Kaner | 2 years ago
4 likes

Okay, well that looks like the yellow circles are the actual problem. Why do the bollards need them?

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Captain Badger replied to The _Kaner | 2 years ago
4 likes
The _Kaner wrote:

I watched the video, both 'fails' could have been avoided/prevented...the pedestrians did not fully look where they were going.
Both crossed the road/cycle lane at opportune spots, not the pedestrian crossing.
The issue is that the end of the 'armadillo' section is painted white, the same as the white road line marking.

It should be painted Black to give a contrast. Unless this contravenes some road traffic act/section of the Highways Codes...(or whatever it is called in the UK).

So it's a poor infrastructure compounded by inattention on both pedestrians behalf.
But the posts marking the structure are very visible...to someone with good vision, someone with poorer vision, well they'd probably use the correct crossing...and not cross between stationary vehicles.
 

That's not how H&S works. The orcas are unnecessary and presenting a trip hazard. This could have been foreseen by any competent designer with half an eye on H&S (the designers are responsible for risk assessing their own designs, and should be IOSH trained)

The risk has been demonstrated to be high (eg it's happened more than once in a matter of weeks), and the outcomes are medium in severity. Therefore the resultant risk is unacceptable. 

Ultimately the designers have a duty to ensure that risk is minimised to residual (The designer is responsible for their design - should the implemeter alter the design prior to installation they then have an obligation to refer to the DRA to ensure that any changes don't exacerbate or cause other risks).

As this is an uncontrolled (eg public) space used by people right across the disability spectrum, "look where you're going, we've place trip hazards on the floor" is utterly unacceptable as a mitigation.

The reporting is crap though. The cycle lane is not the hazard (in this case), neither are the bollards. The orcas are, and should be removed.

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janusz0 | 2 years ago
1 like

The road has also to changed, from two way to one way.  Pedestrians may be falling over bollards, but I wonder how pedestrians are faring on the street as a whole after these changes?  Does a one way flow of cars make it easier to judge when to cross a road and thus reduce pedestrian injuries?

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Captain Badger replied to janusz0 | 2 years ago
0 likes
janusz0 wrote:

The road has also to changed, from two way to one way.  Pedestrians may be falling over bollards, but I wonder how pedestrians are faring on the street as a whole after these changes?  Does a one way flow of cars make it easier to judge when to cross a road and thus reduce pedestrian injuries?

Probably. Peds now only have to be aware of traffic coming from one direction, and peds crossing (especially shorter people, eg kids), are not masked from drivers by oncoming vehicles. 1 way is always safer than 2 if it can be achieved. Better still is none...... 

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quiff | 2 years ago
0 likes

A shame - I was there at the weekend for the first time in years, and thought the street changes had made a wonderful difference, with the one way street making space for a two way cycle lane and pavement cafes. We crossed (not at the designated crossing) and managed to stay upright, but I can see how a trip could happen. However, the other images on the Wales Online article suggest that the furthest extreme of these orcas (where they meet the road) is black (so would contrast with the white line) and that they are not placed on the white line, but inside it (in some places, significantly so). Here's hoping a bit of spray paint fixes it and they don't get calls to rip it all out.    

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Mungecrundle | 2 years ago
4 likes

I think we need to apply the same set of principles to pedestrians, perfectly legally, using the road as we expect as cyclists. I.e don't blame the victim for not using provided infrastructure, in this case was there a nearby crossing? Don't blame the victim for not seeing a trip hazard, just like the potholes which claim our rims or worse and don't blame the victim for being a bit elderly or infirm. The problem here is surely a stupid curb or method of mounting the wands demarking the edge of the cycle lane which is more of a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists than it ever is to a wayward driver.

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HarrogateSpa | 2 years ago
4 likes

This article would be improved by a picture of the offending bollards.

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Sriracha replied to HarrogateSpa | 2 years ago
0 likes

See below.

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HarrogateSpa replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
0 likes

Yes I did see below, although I still think a relevant photo at the top of the article would be helpful.

Bollards are mentioned, but does he mean the wands?

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Captain Badger | 2 years ago
5 likes

Remove the traffic, then you can remove the bollards...

Edit - looking at the vid, it's not the bollard that is the issue, but teh orca. The orcas are unnecessary with the presence of the bollard. Of course as I said above, the bollards are only necessary at all due to the presence of the vehicles....

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CXR94Di2 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Pick your feet up and look where you are going.

Both looked drunk walking.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to CXR94Di2 | 2 years ago
3 likes

Yay, way to age disciminate.

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hawkinspeter replied to CXR94Di2 | 2 years ago
4 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Pick your feet up and look where you are going. Both looked drunk walking.

I was completely unable to walk unassisted for at least a year* so I can empathise with people who may struggle with unexpected kerbs etc. It just makes sense to have changes in height contrasted rather than hidden so that people who struggle to walk don't have to fall over and get injured as well.

*when I was a baby

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grumpyoldcyclist | 2 years ago
9 likes

I think I've found thw problem. In both the incidents I saw on the video, the bollards are hidden behind long lines of the boxes on wheels, vehicles I think they cal them. If they moved them out of the way then those pedestrians would have a much clearer view of where they were going and potentially these incidents would have been avoided.
Simples

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Hirsute | 2 years ago
1 like

They will need to paint that camouflaged kerb too !

Has rich_cb tripped over it ?

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Rich_cb replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
1 like

I have, so far, negotiated the orcas both on foot and bicycle with no injuries!

I've probably jinxed myself now.

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Philh68 | 2 years ago
1 like

White bollards, black and white base on grey asphalt - how are they not visible enough? Are we so uncomfortable with the idea that sometimes people make mistakes where they put their feet because they're not looking where they put them that we have to blame someone else?

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hawkinspeter replied to Philh68 | 2 years ago
5 likes

I'd say that the issue is with the white line on the road (not raised) and the white base of the bollard (raised). Seems like an easy fix to have the bollard base a different colour.

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Awavey replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
0 likes

does the bollard base have to be that big at all ? its a bollard its not exactly a load bearing structure for it. The ones Ive seen installed, well they are orange for a start, but have no base at all they just sit flush with the road.

does make you think, among the many other standards for cycling infra, why isnt there just an agreed standard for these pop up bollards ?  as else we just keep getting these things where someone installs some badly, it causes issues & the cycle lane gets the blame, rather than the not well thought installation.

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hawkinspeter replied to Awavey | 2 years ago
1 like
Awavey wrote:

does the bollard base have to be that big at all ? its a bollard its not exactly a load bearing structure for it. The ones Ive seen installed, well they are orange for a start, but have no base at all they just sit flush with the road.

does make you think, among the many other standards for cycling infra, why isnt there just an agreed standard for these pop up bollards ?  as else we just keep getting these things where someone installs some badly, it causes issues & the cycle lane gets the blame, rather than the not well thought installation.

No idea on why the bollards have a long base, but I suspect it's cheaper to ensure that the base contrasts with the road (and the white line) with some paint rather than replacing the whole thing.

There does seem to be a lot of variation with cycle lanes and I suppose different roads/situations may have different requirements, but councils do seem to be making lots of mistakes with these so I'm thinking it's more a case of incompetence amongst councils than anything else. It doesn't seem beyond the wit of people to just look at successful designs from other countries and copy them.

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Awavey replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
0 likes

Yes, I'm not saying ripping out what's there and starting again is the solution.

I'm just perplexed how every council seems to have come up with their own unique solution, as I'd naturally assumed they all worked with the same boxes of bits, but even more so when as you say there are successful designs out there we just need to copy them.

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Philh68 replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
1 like

Colour makes no difference if people don't look at them. Are you saying that these people are incapable of seeing a 3 dimensional object on a 2D background?

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hawkinspeter replied to Philh68 | 2 years ago
8 likes
Philh68 wrote:

Colour makes no difference if people don't look at them. Are you saying that these people are incapable of seeing a 3 dimensional object on a 2D background?

Well, people with only one eye would certainly have a harder time spotting them, and even those with an above average number of eyes (two) would still use cues such as different colours to avoid needing to stare at the ground. The direction of lighting/shadows can also make a big difference as to how people perceive whether a surface is flat or not.

I can't see any benefit from putting hard-to-see trip hazards around the place when we can just draw attention to the objects by having them contrast. Would you want to have all staircases use this carpet pattern?

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brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
3 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
Philh68 wrote:

Colour makes no difference if people don't look at them. Are you saying that these people are incapable of seeing a 3 dimensional object on a 2D background?

Well, people with only one eye would certainly have a harder time spotting them, and even those with an above average number of eyes (two) would still use cues such as different colours to avoid needing to stare at the ground. The direction of lighting/shadows can also make a big difference as to how people perceive whether a surface is flat or not.

I can't see any benefit from putting hard-to-see trip hazards around the place when we can just draw attention to the objects by having them contrast. Would you want to have all staircases use this carpet pattern?

Now those stairs are nasty!

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Sriracha replied to Philh68 | 2 years ago
0 likes
Philh68 wrote:

Colour makes no difference if people don't look at them. Are you saying that these people are incapable of seeing a 3 dimensional object on a 2D background?

But it does if they do, which is kind of the point.

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joules1975 replied to Philh68 | 2 years ago
4 likes

Agreed, but there is a question of accessibility - i.e. is there sufficient colour contrast for those with visual imparements to see that there is something raised?

My guess is the base is coloured in a way that complies with regulations regarding road traffic use, and not pedestrian use.

It could be argued that perhaps the guy should have crossed at a designated pedestrian crossing, but to make active travel more 'normal', crossing the road anywhere should be encouraged.

Therefore, perhaps the bases should not extend beyond the end bollards, and additional bollards be placed in between the end bollards. Either that or the base should be painted a much brighter colour to ensure there is a clear contrast between it and the road surface. Or both of those.

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Bmblbzzz replied to Philh68 | 2 years ago
2 likes

I think the problem is not the bollards, it's the black and white base, which is effectively obscured by the white line. If the base were a different colour, say red or blue, or even if it were all black, it would stand out more. Or even if there were bollards without an extended base, which is probably what most people assume they are.

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Sriracha replied to Bmblbzzz | 2 years ago
3 likes
Bmblbzzz wrote:

Or even if there were bollards without an extended base, which is probably what most people assume they are.

I think that's it exactly.

I've seen it done in France where they just lay a continuous white kerb to demark the cyclepath from the road, and no bollards.

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matthewn5 replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
2 likes
Sriracha wrote:

I think that's it exactly.

I've seen it done in France where they just lay a continuous white kerb to demark the cyclepath from the road, and no bollards.

Can be done super easily with a slip form kerbing machine, too. That sounds far too simple and cheap for Blighty, though...

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