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Photo number:
Photo #174660

[Image taken 7.10.21] Bootham Terrace, York. Many people know each other at least on 'passing the time of day' terms here. Likely because many are regulars - same time, same reason, same companion/s (dependants, dogs, cared-for people). But one of the reasons cycling, walking and wheelchairing spaces are so important is the sociable element. At the pace you are moving in these modes and because you are not encased in metal you can communicate. These tiny interactions create community and are crucial to mental health as well as the physical wellbeing of people who use them. They make moving actively more attractive and are therefore important to encouraging people to be more active. Wider areas off the 'main drag' need to be built in to new routes and preserved/expanded - adding benches and water fountains - on existing corridors. The space here is now under pressure as you can no longer enter into or exit from a gap (see: #36893) on the far left of the railings the dog walker in blue is leaning on (see: #174657). I asked an adult cycling (who used this crossing from the right, turning the passageway in which I was standing to take this photo) with firstly two children cycling independently, then passed back with one "she goes to a different school", this time using the underpass, for her views. She pointed out that people trying to turn left into the passageway from the direction of Longfield Terrace, as she had done, have to wait in the road until there is space to (bump up) the pavement - the corner of which is visible bottom right in the photo, ie until other users have cleared the pavement/exit from/access to the passageway. This puts her and her children in the road and in the direct line of oncoming motor vehicles who have gravity and a steep downhill on their side but limited sight lines and seemingly just as limited knowledge or understanding of who uses this space (despite it being access only: #171139). This is exactly my concern for people coming down from Bootham and wanting to turn into the underpass. I hadn’t been aware that people in the opposite direction are exposed to the same risks for the same reason. She suggested removing or realigning some of the railings on the passageway side to enable people to get out of the road/to cross more quickly (and reach a place of safety faster). She said one line of parking should come out on Bootham Terrace to provide space for people cycling. She said she teaches her two children to listen as well as look when moving around here. Other images today and a user count: #174657, and links.

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