Terrain - % on road
Having just completed my first survey, I'd like to clarify what "% on roads" actually means. I've interpreted it to mean the percentage of a route for which one has to walk on the road surface of a public road. This means either that there is no footway/pavement/verge or there is something about the footway/pavement/verge that means it is unsuitable for walking on (it might be too narrow or too uneven - an unsuitable footway/pavement/verge may still be capable of proving a refuge from traffic).
A public road is a road that is maintained by a highway authority. I exclude private roads, such as farm access roads, forestry roads, golf course access, reservoir access etc. I might make an exception to this if the private road was in relatively frequent use (for example to provide access to a car park).
Is this a correct understanding of what the percentage means? It means that most road usage in rural areas will contribute, but that usage in urban areas will not (because there will usually be adequate pavements).
Hi David, thank you very much for checking in and asking. This is about the terrain itself and is about the % of the route that is physically on the road, but it's not a comment on how busy that road is or who owns it. It could get quite complicated to building in all those factors too. So, if you can literally estimate the % on all kinds of roads that would be great.
That all said, I think you raise an interesting issue about people's experience and the nature of the roads.. maybe we need to consider a % that takes in the spirit of your point?
Sorry, but to be absolutely clear. Are you saying specifically about four of the eight "Roughly what %" calculations:
1. A road - would have a metalled finish and a major purpose would be to carry motor traffic. It might or might not have an associated pedestrian pavement? Or is this, with 3., an attempt to identify just those roads with no footpath where vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians are obliged to share?
2. "Discomfort" relates primarily to the safety - most importantly perhaps where traffic may share common space with pedestrians i.e. a busy road with no footpath.
4. "Paved" refers to where pavement exists alongside a road giving separation to a pedestrian from traffic and therefore would also be counted under 1. OR "paved" refers to pavement slabs being used as end dressing to the route to distinguish it from say a grass or gravel footpath or perhaps where used in a pedestrianised precinct? i.e. where the route is not also a "vehicle" road. Dan, this latter is what you seem to be saying?
6. "Rough" would probably apply to any unmetalled surface ie grassy, earthy, sandy, loose gravel etc even were it a relatively smooth finish?
I'm a bit afraid I may have misinterpreted. An urban route and a country route easily bring a different perspective to the "category".1
My understanding of your questions is:
1. I think this is just about roads where you share the road surface with the motor traffic. Obstacles and Features includes "walking on paths besides roads" and "walking on verges beside roads".
2.. I agree 'discomfort' is mainly about safety though it might also include air pollution, spray from vehicles and noise (of course, these may still be issues if there is a pavement. We don't capture this anywhere)
4. I've taken 'paved' to mean any hard surface, tarmac or paving stones. On this basis the percentage paved would alway be greater than the percentage on road.
6. I've taken "rough" to imply that there is no discernible path (the route goes over rough ground rather than following a discernible path). This is obviously dramatically different from your assumption!
Thus an urban route from A to B along pavements and surfaced footpaths would usually be
0% on roads (all on pavements)
0% on roads I am uncomfortable with (since none is on roads)
100% lit (or slightly less if some footpaths not lit)
0% muddy after rain, or over rough ground, long grass or bog (a logical consequence of 100% paved)
A rural route from C to D along rural roads might be
100% on roads (assuming no pavements anywhere)
50% on roads I am uncomfortable with (some roads are busy)
0% muddy, rough ground, bog
A mixed urban/rural route from E to F might be
50% on roads (presumably rural roads)
25% on roads I am uncomfortable with (some rural roads are busy)
15% lit (urban footpath or pavement sections may be lit)
70% paved (including both rural roads and (probably urban) paved footpaths and pavements.
muddy, rough ground, bog as appropriate.1
If it’s of any interest, the way I am currently interpreting four of the questions about “what percentage of…“ in the terrain section of the survey are:
Q1. (% of the route on roads) : Like David, I am inclined to take this as meaning the percentage of the route where the route requires walking in the actual roadway of a road, shared with motor vehicles. On this basis I wouldn’t personally include roads with pavements.
I can see that if I count only “in the roadway” in my percentage, and if then a user of my survey takes the figure given as meaning all roads with or without pavement, then they may experience walking along more roads than they expected.
Q2. (% on roads you would be uncomfortable to walk down) : I would take a simplistic view on this - is the road uncomfortable for any reason at all, which could be about road safety or the health / environmental issues that David mentions, or even a personal safety concern.
Q4. (% of the route that is paved) : I count here any part of the route which has a hard surface, such as paving slabs, tarmac, asphalt, or any hard bound surface.
Q6. (% of the route over rough ground) : I wonder if it might aid consistency between surveys if the question could be answered by what percentage of the route is over ground rougher than one of the path grades specified in the path-grading section of the survey. My own feeling is that the question could perhaps be answered by what percentage of the route is at grade 3 or rougher. I accept that the detail of the criteria for each of the path grades is being discussed elsewhere.
Sorry for the slow reply.
Thanks for your responses Tony.
Walking on road = literally walking on the road (not beside the road on a path). We've not defined the material the road is made of. That level of detail starts to make things more complicated.
I can see from this conversation that we have not been clear enough on the difference between the meanings of paved and pavement. The intended spirit of the question was inline with David's interpretation - that a route might be paved but not include pavement.
Perhaps the survey needs a new question to include pavement as an additional question and "paved" needs to be qualified and/or reworded when we next review the survey?
- Dan Raven-Ellison1
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