Gorski Consulting continues to gather data from the Blackfriars Bridge Traffic Study (BBTS) in London, Ontario. A fifth videotaping Session was conducted on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 commencing at 0918 hours. This video has now been analysed and this article will report the results of this study.
The table below shows the results of volumes of all traffic units in Session #5 compared to the previous 4 Sessions conducted earlier this year.
As suspected, Session #5 resulted in substantially more non-motor vehicle observations as compared to motor vehicles. Although 66 motor vehicles were observed (lowest of all 5 Sessions) there were 358 observations of cyclists, pedestrians and non-pedestrians. The ratio of motor vehicles to non-motor vehicles is well more than 1:4, more like 1:5.4.
With respect to the speed of motor vehicles the table below shows the completed table: an incomplete table was shown in a preceding article.
We speculated earlier as to why only about 7.6 percent of motor vehicles were “speeding” in Session #5, the lowest of all 5 Sessions. We suspected that larger numbers of non-motor-vehicles were slowing the speed of these vehicles. Another possibility is that the shadows existing at the pedestrian crossing at the east end of the bridge caused drivers to be more cautious as they approached from the bright sunshine on the bridge.
With respect to cyclists the table below shows the travel directions they took in Session #5. As explained previously, the column “Source” is the direction from which cyclists entered the study area and the other columns indicate which direction the cyclists travelled upon exiting the study area.
And the next table takes all the cyclists from all 5 Sessions and groups them together.
About 83% of the cyclists in all 5 Sessions were observed riding on the TVP. Of those TVP riders only about 6.7 percent turned off the parkway to travel onto Blackfriars Bridge. In terms of the 80 cyclists who were eastbound on the Blackfriars bridge their exit directions appeared to be somewhat equal (SB TVP=23, SB Ridout=33 and NB TVP=24), although there was a slight increase in numbers continuing southbound onto Ridout Street.
Next we look at pedestrian motions in Session #5 as indicated in the table below.
And again we combine all the pedestrian observations from all 5 Sessions in the table below.
With respect to pedestrians their approach into the study area was not as dominated by the TVP as they were for cyclists. A substantial number of pedestrians (NB Ridout=163, EB Blackfriars=247) came from either northbound on Ridout or eastbound on Blackfriars Bridge. There seemed to be a slight increase in the number of pedestrians southbound on the TVP (332) versus northbound (275). In terms of departures, 302 pedestrians of the total 770 chose to exit from the other three travel directions (SB TVP, NB TVP, NB Ridout) to travel westbound on the Blackfriars Bridge.
Recent notification by the City of London indicates that the Thames Valley Parkway will be closed from August 22 to September 30, 2022. This development will likely mean that observations at the Blackfriars Bridge study area will likely be affected and no further Sessions can be completed during this time of construction. For cyclists it can be noted from our previous tables that 331 cyclists were observed travelling northbound on the TVP in the 10 hours of our observations or about 33 cyclists per hour. A detour map suggested by the City of London is shown in the image below.
This detour will take cyclists through the busy and narrow areas of Talbot Street south of Oxford Street. This is not a safe route. Readers have suggested an alternate route taking cyclists westbound/eastbound across Blackfriars Bridge and along the path on the west side of the Thames River. It is not clear where this route might take cyclists back onto the TVP. Either way cyclists and perhaps some pedestrians will experience some dangerous situations during this construction period.
It is unclear at this time whether a sixth videotaping Session will be attempted before the construction begins on August 22nd.
A map showing an alternate route was posted by a reader on Twitter and this map is reproduced below.