Sometimes it is just the little details that can make a difference to the feel of residential streets, and this is one such situation. As part of the Local Sustainable Transport Funds (LSTF) works along Pershore Road, the junction where Ribblesdale Road, Warwards Lane and Pershore Road meet has had an central island built to prevent motor traffic from turning right out of Ribblesdale Road onto Pershore Road. The result is that a rat-run route (see map below) that by-passed part of Pershore Road for motor traffic approaching from Bournville has been cut off and Push Bikes campaigner, John Bennett, has told me that Ribblesdale Road has been made much more pleasant to cycle along.
Although the original plans did not include it, filtered permeability for cycles has been provided for by a small cut-through to allow cycle users to make the right turn that motor vehicles can not. There is a design failure, however, in that cycle users coming down Warwards Lane have to go onto Pershore Road and then immediately turn right back onto Warwards Lane, in order to turn down Ribblesdale Road. When I took this photo, I had used the pedestrian crossing to avoid joining Pershore Road, which works well but involves dismounting to remain legal. Marks out of 10? Probably a 8 - good intervention but with a design flaw for one desire line for cycle users that could have been avoided.
Small interventions like these will form the core of the work needed to make Birmingham's residential roads welcoming places to live by cutting out rat-runs. If you know of other streets that would benefit from a similar intervention, let us know or highlight the issue on Cyclescape.