Detours that create chaos should not be taken lightly. While users can be accommodating to them, improper detours heighten the probability that a serious accident will eventually happen. This is the case at a detour of the multi-use pathway of the Thames Valley Parkway in London Ontario. Highlighting this chaos needs to result in changes to how detours are planned for vulnerable pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motor-vehicle travellers.
The General Safety Problem
Certain unknown individuals at the City of London made decisions that led to the creation of a detour around the construction site of the Thames Valley Parkway between Blackfriars Bridge and Gibbons Park. Users/cyclists proposed an alternate (and safer) route that would take cyclists along the west bank of the Thames River, through Gunn Street and Gibbons Park. The City initially accepted this change. But subsequently individuals at the City of London decided that both detours ought to be publicized as acceptable routes.
Review of these decisions by Gorski Consulting indicated to me that the creation of the original detour was a poor decision from poor planning and/or a lack of understanding. Shortly after the two detours were in place, Gorski Consulting began to conduct video observations along the original detour route. As expected these observations revealed some serious safety issues. Those issues rest at the three locations of the detour route shown in the map below.
A Chaotic Example
As an example, the following three images are frames taken from video that was taken on August 24, 2022 on Talbot Street between Oxford and Ann Streets. This date is just 2 days after the TVP was closed and the detour became an advised alternate route. The images show a cyclist following the originally recommended detour.
From my analysis it appears that individuals at the City of London failed to understand how cyclists behave in urban environments. This lack of knowledge or understanding has created the chaos along the detour that is about to be discussed. Given the extent of detail that is required, this discussion will be broken into three articles, each article focusing on one of the three areas of concern shown in the above map. These articles are now being assembled and will be posted on the Gorski Consulting website shortly.