Thursday, 28 January 2010

bike/car conflict in the centre's bus lanes

Look at this video from one of contributors "AF". It got a mention on Crap Waltham Forest, but they don't know the background and were criticising it.

  1. MM52SKJ is forced to use this bus lane, and has to swerve round a bicycle in the way, an action which that traffic island doesn't help.
  2. The big problems here are the narrow-to-one bit of the bus lane, where two lanes of bus traffic comes in. The bike cuts up the car as it goes through here, stopping them from getting past until through the lights.
  3. We don't see the cyclist looking round, if they had seen or heard the car they should have let it past.
  4. The cyclists shouldn't whine about it as the thing that threatens them is not a car like this, it is the buses on the route. Indeed, the cyclist, AF, who took this photo ended up clipped by a bus on Jan 17 and is now apparently trying to get the local police stations to not turn him away and follow up the incident.
The real question is why bikes are here where they get in the way of buses, taxis, and cars? In a Q&A article in the local newspaper, the infamous James Carmichael, Highridge asked this very question:

Q. How does First intend to deal with the fact that it is currently obliged to share bus lanes with cyclists, leading to delays in bus services?

A. The definition of a bus lane is not ours, it is the city council, they put out traffic orders which say it can be used by taxis or cyclists.
We don't necessarily see cyclists as a problem.
The biggest problem is motorists or delivery vans parking in them.
Well, FirstBus are missing a point: shoppers and vans need to park, whereas cyclists could use different routes. Banning bicycles from this bit of the centre would reduce the danger to bikes and pedestrians, and improve bus schedules -while letting cars through.

This is important, and it something we will return to soon. The council has a proposal to make the centre even more bus and less car. We aren't actually against this, provided the council can keep the bikes out of the bus lanes, where they are needlessly endangering themselves.

No comments: