Gorski Consulting is conducting a variety of testing involving bicycling on vertical alignments on roadways and bicycling paths. Testing is being prepared along a new section of a bicycling path completed in the summer of 2018 in east London, as shown in the above graphic of London, Ontario.
The graphic below shows the general alignment of the new path which is approximately 1 kilometer long and extends southward from Trafalgar Road in Kiwanis Park.
The graphic below is a Google Maps image looking south from the bridge at Trafalgar Road that crosses Pottersburg Creek. This view was taken in July, 2016, before the construction of the path was begun.
It has been observed that steep vertical alignments of roadways and bicycling paths pose a challenge to cyclists. Data is needed to examine how cyclists travel up and down such alignments and what safety hazards may develop. In preparation for this study the 1 kilometer section of the new path has been marked at 25 metre intervals, north and south of the Canadian National Railway bridge which is approximately in the middle of the new path. This new bridge was chosen as the starting point of testing because of its high altitude. Riders would be descending from the bridge whether travelling north or south.
The photo below shows a view of the CN railway bridge looking south. A typical marker showing “25” metres is with reference to the north end of the bridge.
The photo below shows the bridge from the south side, looking north, or opposite to the view shown above.
View looking north from 25 metres south of the CN railway bridge.
The photo below shows the section of the bicycle path looking south from 25 metres south of the CN railway bridge. The downgrade along with a sweeping left curve provide some challenging conditions where cycling speeds are likely to be elevated.
The photo below shows a view looking south from 75 metres north of the CN railway bridge. Again riders experience a significant downgrade while traveling toward the camera and this will create significant speeds of bicyclists.
A particular concern and interest relates to the conditions of the new path as cyclists travel northward from the CN railway bridge and toward the underpass at Trafalgar Road.
The photo below shows the downgrade of the path at 75 metres north of the railway bridge. The path meanders in the background and reaches the Trafalgar Road underpass at approximately 300 metres north of the CN railway bridge.
Elevated speeds of bicyclists are expected as they continue to travel northward along the downgrade. As shown in the photo below the path levels off near the 200 metre location north of the CN bridge and then it makes a right turn to travel toward the Trafalgar Road underpass in the background. Even though there is a leveling off of the downgrade it is expected that cyclists will still be travelling at an elevated speed in this zone.
As shown below, the path makes a right turn toward a bridge that crosses Pottersburg Creek just before making a dramatic left turn to go into the underpass of Trafalgar Road. The downslope is increased slightly in the vicinity of the bridge and this should make the left turn challenging at the expected higher cyclist speeds.
The photo below shows how the path comes to a “T” terminal point and riders must turn sharply to the left to go down into the Trafalgar Road underpass.
The change in direction of the path for northbound cyclists into the underpass is challenging due to the downgrade along with other factors. The photo below shows some of the problems. The line of sight to travel into the underpass is very limited.
View looking north at the Trafalgar underpass.
The photo below shows the extent of the downgrade, curvature and the lack of sight lines for northbound cyclists travelling toward the camera. Persons walking within the underpass will not be seen and corrections by northbound cyclists could direct them into the railing at elevated speed.
The photo below provides an overall view of the bike path as it approaches Trafalgar Road and the “T” terminal of the path.
View looking south from the Trafalgar Road bridge showing the bridge crossing Pottersburg Creek and the “T” terminal point where northbound cyclists must make a sharp left turn to go into the underpass.
These photos provide some of the reasons why Gorski Consulting has chosen this site to conduct the bicycling testing which we hope will be discussed in further news items and articles on the Gorski Consulting website.