Avoid the Queues of cars and take the Quiet net.

This is a network of routes that have tolerable levels of motorised traffic.   It works by linking residential roads together using existing paths.   The technical name for this is filtered permeability, since such routes are impermeable to large vehicles, but permeable to cyclists and pedestrians.   Since the routes are not greatly useful to motorists, they are relatively car free.

In cyclophobic Britain, many of the routes here are forbidden to cyclists, but the inspiration from this came from cycling in Germany, where every path is shared use unless there's a really good reason for it not to be.   Contrary to what you might expect from the letters pages in certain British newspapers, pedestrians are not being killed and injured by reckless cyclists using footpaths, but what this arrangement does achieve is making cycling feel acceptably safe to a significant proportion of the population.   It also makes cycling practical, because there's a network of routes.   Of course Germany does have far more than this, but making a network like this legal would represent an easy start for the city council.   The Dutch also link residential roads with paths, but they never expect pedestrians and cyclists to share the same path.

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Harborne 1

Old Church Road is narrow and twisty, yet some motorists see it as a good place to travel at speed and overtake. To avoid it, try riding through Bishop's Croft. It would be nice if the Bishop of Birmingham could be persuaded to encourage people to walk and cycle along here. There is a gate at one end, but it is rotten and could be replaced with a half barrier gate, to create the required filtered permeability.

Bournville 15

Willow Road and Raddlebarn Road are both far too busy with through motor-traffic, and need the Dutch filtered permeability treatment.   However, this route segment is mostly quiet.   Many cyclists (including myself) will prefer to use Willow Road, as it trades with-flow excess motor vehicles for the Sycamore Road / Laburnum Road junction, which is tricky whilst heading uphill.

Stirchley 2

BCC recently signposted this for cycling and made the path between Sparrey Drive and Raddlebarn Farm Drive shared use.   Unfortunately Raddlebarn Road is unpleasantly busy with motor traffic.


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