A very much overlooked part of bicycle infrastructure…

Was in Milton Keynes today on unofficial business. I’d heard rumours it had cycle paths, but I wasn’t expecting much. So my folding bike came with me on the train and we were both pleased by what we discovered. A wide, high-quality cycle network alongside most of the roads. Almost Dutch-style, but on a grid system seemingly dreamt up by tic-tac-toe fetishist. (Most of the network was put in place when MK – a planned city – was built back in the 1960s.) 

However, I can’t say I was at all impressed by the next-to non-existant signage. Trying to find my way on my own proved impossible. And where signs did exist, they looked like this: 

 

Two obscured signs

Two nearly unreadable and one missing

 

Two missing signs

One obscured and two missing

Until today it hadn’t dawned on me how completely essential good signage is to a cycle network.

The silver lining was of course meeting some of the friendly locals via the tried and true technique of asking the way.

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2 thoughts on “A very much overlooked part of bicycle infrastructure…

  1. That’s the one thing we do have in abundance here- signs for bike ways so you can usually navigate between towns or to places within a town fairly easily. Only problem is when the sign directs you onto a busy road

  2. The problem with describing it as “Dutch Style” is that actually it really isn’t. MK’s paths have too many blind corners, cycle paths tend to take longer routes than the roads, and you have to give way all the time. Also, the signs are definitely better over here. I found MK a little difficult to navigate and a bit wearing.

    Also, somewhere I found a cycle path which lead directly to a set of steps downhill. You could cycle to the side of the steps, but it wasn’t particularly well indicated so that you could so easily have ended up going down the steps instead.

    Sadly, it’s a bit lacking in design quality. And maintenance.

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