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I've blogged about this intersection before, but hearing today that it's not going to be resurfaced for at least another year has driven me to it again.
|King's Junction courtesy of Andy Arthur|
It doesn't help that cars waiting in the turn lane opposite regularly gamble on slow starts and nip across, even though vehicles coming from Tarvit street onto Gilmore Place have priority. But anyone who rides or drives it frequently knows that their light is short and that only the first 2 or 3 cars will make it across, so they feel pressured to bully their way through. And, if you are lucky enough to approach the light while it is green and make it through, inevitably a pededstrian walks out in front of you. One day I hit the jackpot and had pedestrians wander out on the west side of the intersection AND on the east side as I tried to navigate my way through.
But it's not just that direction that is dodgy. Coming along Gilmore Place you know it's going to be a bad intersection because of the ferocity with which other drivers overtake you, just so that they can reach the red lights first.
You can't go straight-ahead, so the road divides into two lanes: a left turn lane that gets an advance green and a right turn lane that has to wait for oncoming traffic. (Except that usually it doesn't.) The left turn lane is also usually splayed out into the putative right turn lane because of badly parked cars and a bus stop, as you can see here.
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If you're in the right turn lane, as I usually am, you then have to decide whether you want to be in the ASZ or not (assuming there's not a car or a number 27 bus in it). I usually do sit in it, unless there's a queue of cars. But a lot of experienced cyclists I know avoid it, because vehicles turning left from Home St tend to clip the ASZ. Steel-capped boots recommended.
The intersection's not too bad if you approach from Leven Street or Home Street but fast and busy with too many lanes. If you try to come down Home St and turn left onto Gilmore Place in the evening, the pedestrian gamble hits you again - they're usually trying to catch a bus.
On the other hand, if you are trying to come from Tollcross and turn onto Gilmore Place, you have to do one of those fun fast lane changes, usually surrounded by buses and taxis. But let's face it, if you cycled through Tollcross to get there, you're probably tough enough to handle it.
Thing is -- this is one of the city's main commuter routes. It's part of NCN75. It ought to be a nice route to do some shopping in Realfoods, Provenance wines, and Lupe Pintos, to name only my favourites. But it's horrendous, and anyone in their right mind avoids it.
Plans are afoot to provide a safer, more family-friendly access from the Canal to the Meadows. I'm hoping to get some insight into what that will look like soon. But a good proportion of the city's cyclists will still be heading through here most days. Surely we can come up with some way of improving it?