The retention of the ‘at-grade’ toucan crossing is intended to cater for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists. Subways require 3m headroom, have to be at least 1m below the carriageway to avoid services and therefore would have ramps leading into them at least 60m long on each side. Unfortunately we do not have the available space to construct this. We also know that subways are not popular with pedestrians and cyclists, due to the effect of level changes and personal safety issues amongst other concerns.
The project includes relocating the crossing to the northern side of the canal, and due to the existence of the wide grassed central island here, this means that the toucan crossing has to be staggered with a separate set of traffic signals for the northbound and southbound traffic. In effect the ‘not green’ time to vehicles will be decreased compared to the existing situation, representing a small increase in vehicle traffic capacity. In addition, the provision of the second lane southbound will reduce queue lengths.
The proposals represent the best compromise between demands for all users.