Saturday, 21 March 2009

Safety Feature

The van K329PHW parked in the bike lane just by the Stokes Croft/Ashley Road junction is making the junction safer for bicycles.

That lane is a way to die, as the left turn lane is to the right of it. If a bike turning left comes up the inside of a car which turns over it, death. If a bike tries to go straight on while a vehicle turns left, death. The safe option for this junction is to acquire and retain the entire left hand lane, then either turn left or go straight on (into the bike lane there), as appropriate. Yet the signage misleads bicycles and sets up the wrong expectation in cars
  1. By parking where it has, the van makes it clear to cyclists that they should not be in that lane.
  2. By taking up half the left turn lane, the van stops cars, buses and lorries from using that lane
  3. Therefore, it the lane becomes a bike-only lane. This is exactly what you need to get out of this junction alive.
Some people may be worried that the sudden appearance of vehicle across a bike lane and half the traffic lane may catch traffic out. This is why another vehicle is parked half on bike lane, half on pavement further back along the lane. This will push the bike out into the traffic lane, which is where it belongs.

2 comments:

Martin Parkinson said...

Glad you brought this one up. I often cross the road there on my way to work and wince at how appalling the junction is for cyclists.

From a foot-borne perspective it's really obvious that many cyclists are manoevred by the junction design into putting themself in a dangerous positon whether they turn or go straight on.

(and from a saddle-borne perspective, I know you're a bit tongue in cheek, but yes, I do sometimes find that all these wretched parked cars force me to do all that assertive 'take the lane primary position' business, when my natural, timid, inclination is to hog the curb ...)

Bristol.Traffic said...

The whole lane system goes out of its way to push you out of the lane -and sets up the cars to expect it- when it's a lethal place to go. Take the full lane, it's for your own good.