Ok, this is going to make me the Katie Hopkins of the Belfast Cycling Community but I don't care. If you're not already offended, read on........
As it stands, the new cycle lane along Alfred Street is the biggest waste of money since the KLF burnt a million quid back in 1994. That is my take on it so far, Cyclesaurus, although pretty much a REALLY shite bit of infra, has died in vain in the quest of providing a new lane for cars to park in.
Exhibit A, M'Lud.
All these photos were taken over about a week since folk had access to the cycle lane, they were taken at random times when I happened to be passing with a camera phone. No particular pattern in taking them, it was entirely random.
Now what isn't entirely random, is that there is someone either parked in the cycle lane, or they have blatantly driven up a one way street the wrong way. In every photo.
The last picture with the red Merc is particularly interesting, taken today. I had spotted the Merc on my way into town, I went into town, did some shopping then returned to see it still sitting there, so it's not like they just popped in for a latte. I spied an NSL Redcoat walking towards the cycle lane, would he be writing a ticket? No, he took one look and dodged round the corner. The same Redcoat, only minutes previously, had harangued a van driver unloading on a double yellow because the Arthur Street loading bay was full on construction equipment.
I know that there are bollards going into Alfred Street, but already drivers are parking in cycle lanes by default, knowing that NSL WILL NOT ENFORCE THEM. Likewise there seems to be reluctance on the part of the PSNI in enforcing the new one-way system in Alfred Street. I also suspect the no left turn onto May St will be similarly ignored.
Hopefully bollards will help, and maybe, just maybe, someone in a position to actually do something will have the gumption to stand up to the inevitable "WAR ON THE MOTORIST" spewing from the usual media gobshites.
Until then, it's money down the drain.