Tuesday 31 March 2009

Sustrans route 4 open again

Woodland road, full of walkers and bicycles

Because the roadworks are gone, the cyclists dismount signs gone, the path open. Now students can walk or cycle all the way to the university, which is on the other side of Tyndall's Park Avenue

Some people -and we know who you are- will bemoan the lack of safe crossing facilities on a busy road leading to Clifton. Given the traffic lights at the junction of Tyndall's Park Avenue and Whiteladies road, 200 metres to the right of these pictures, lack a pedestrian crossing period -and that for a route used by taxpayers as well as students- there is no reason to add any safety facilities to this crossing.

Students are young, fit and fast. On the person with luggage is going to be at risk.

Over in London, Boris wants to shave six seconds off every green man crossing. This is to reduce congestion and increase traffic flow, possibly handling the consequences of his rollback of the western congestion zone and the big-car premium tax. The official walking speed is now 1.2 metres/second. Anyone going slower that is either a tourist or someone elderly or unfit.

Over in New York, campaigners are pushing for longer crossing times, to help the elderly, advocating a speed of 0.75 metres/second.

But that is the US, with privatised health care. In Britain, with the NHS, the old, the frail and the unfit are often a net cost to society -they cost in health and pensions, and bring in little tax. Having a crossing policy that penalises the slow with death reduces the long term costs to the state, and so saves money.


Ben S said...

"Having a crossing policy that penalises the slow with death reduces the long term costs to the state, and so saves money"

This may be the single greatest sentence you have ever written on this blog.

SteveL said...

We appreciate your appreciation.

I can't actually cross the road at this point -knee injuries keep my speed below 1.0 metres/sec, and now know that it is harder to walk round the city than cycle -if you can't sprint, you don't get across. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

Smoking, drink and other drugs could admirably fulfil the same purpose, and on a purely opt-in basis, if only the government would see sense.

Anonymous said...

great post. Anyone like Steve who uses or would like to use this junction on foot and would like a crossing here, should contact the local living streets group, at livingstreetsbristol@gmail.com

Unknown said...

People do actually get hit by cars here pretty regularly. The most dangerous thing about it is probably the ambiguity. Negotiations between cars on Tyndall Pk Rd and Woodland Rd are then mixed with pedestrians hoping to cross and drivers anxiously maintaining a high (illegal) speed to discourage a critical mass of students from crossing in the morning. Would it be better to block off Woodland Rd on both sides to remove one factor?