Tuesday 3 November 2009

Troy Atkinson update

We've recently seen some more comments on our page covering the death of Troy Atkinson by a hit and run driver in April.

It turns out there was progress in the driver's prosecution: Mohammed Ahmed, 19, of Eastville, plead guilty on Friday to :
  • taking a vehicle without consent
  • causing death by dangerous driving
  • failing to stop at the scene of an accident
  • driving without insurance
He took a car that wasn't his, ran over Troy Atkinson at Cabot Circus, then drove off. The court case is covered in the BBC and Evening Post. There's not much to add on the case except that one teenager is dead, another teenager's future not going to be what they dreamed of.

What we can do is get a quick video of what it is like to travel down Cabot Circus from one of our instrumented cyclists,. We believe this is the route that Ahmed took.

The BMW the bicycle is tracking is driving fairly sedately down the road, looking for somewhere to pull in. You can see pedestrians running across the way of this car, including at 0:19 a small child calling back to a parent on the other side of the road -if this journey had a risk of a pedestrian running out, this would have been it.

At 0:55 there's a wave of pedestrians heading out of Cabot Circus towards Quaker's Friars; they've had to wait for a bus and a car, and are now sprinting across the gap between those vehicles and the bike. There may be a build out, but there is no zebra crossing and shoppers are expected to wait patiently. Note how the pedestrians wave a little thank you to the cyclist for stopping, they are clearly grateful.

The junction which Troy was crossing when he was hit is at 1:17-1:20.

This video was taken on a weekday morning, admittedly during half-term. It's a mixture of shops, buses, pedestrians and cars, and you have to look at it and think "is this a good mix?", and "if so, why don't pedestrians have right of way at any of the crossings?" Yes, there are bits of a speed bump there, but why no zebra crossings? Why on a weekend do crowds have to queue up waiting for a moment to sprint across the gap? The only possible explanations are (a) to remind pedestrians of their place in society and (b) FirstBus resisted the idea of zebra crossings.

As well as mourning and remembering Troy, then, consider this: what if this road was made bus, bike, taxi only? And pedestrians get zebra crossings on all of the build outs?


Chris Hutt said...

Zebra crossings sound like a good idea but in some locations, particularly here in Brooadmead, there would be many times when the flow of pedestrians was continuous and there would be no gaps for motor vehicles to get through.

Such locations need something different but not something as formalised as a Puffin/Pelican type crossing. Something that made vehicles slow right down but still retain a degree of priority. If it were only buses and bikes on the road the current arrangement might be satisfactory.

green tomato said...

even better, make that road entirely free of all vehicles and join up the old and new shopping areas. There is delivery access at the rear, and you could allow vehicles in out of shopping hours . Then there's no need for crossings.

SteveL said...

I think primark and thereabouts do need vehicle access. but you could make that stretch two way in what would become a dead end stret.

Bristol Traffic said...

On a related note, US National Institute of Health paper on coverage of crashes -focus on a victim/villian theme rather than cover complex things like underlying structural and safety issues

Downfader said...

Will be interesting to see what sentance this young man gets. Sadly a lot of people plead guilty as they know it will get them a lenient conviction :-( I think judges need to realise this is a tactic and address the matter more seriously.