Saturday 31 May 2008

Kingsdown Pavements are for parking

Here is an interesting question. If you are parked on the pavement, do double yellow and keep-clear lines apply? All the -presumably commuter- cars on Kingsdown Parade are clearly parked on roads with double yellow lines, but the lines are not underneath the car. By putting all, or nearly all of the car on the pavement, they are in fact no longer parked illegally.

How can we determine this fact? Its because Bristol commuters, including the driver of the green Renault Clio S540NTP and Silver Ford focus Y506TGV are all law abiding citizens of the city. They would no more park illegally than they would speed down a road without cameras.

If they were parked illegally, they would be ticketed -and as they are not, even when they park here, day after day, they can be confident that this is in fact a legitimate activity.

One way streets are optional when parking

One-way streets. No entry signs. These are meant to say "do not drive down here". But if you listened to them, if you drove round the square here, the parking space might be gone. What can you do? Well, you could be sneaky, you could reverse down the road and park -nobody would no anything better. But why do that? Why hide. If you are going to drive the wrong way down a one-way street, you should show off to everyone how brave you were! And how better to do that than to park, facing the wrong way? Even better, at the end of the day, when it is time for this green kia V489 ETC to head home from Fremantle Square, you get to carry on down the wrong way down the one way street -as it is the direction in which your car is pointing!

Learning to Park, Bristol Style.

Professional instruction in pavement parking on Whitehall Road.

Think it's easy? You have to be careful as hitting the curb too fast and you may damage your wheels, ensure that you are far enough away from the wall to get out of the door, but close enough to force pram pushers and disabled buggies out in to the road to oncoming traffic so your car is not scratched or damaged.

Perfect front row seating to watch head on crashes as the road narrows on the bend. See how a perfect right angle is achieved and uniformity to the other illegal parker on the junction in keeping with continuity of Bristol parking.
{car: WR57yBK; location: whitehall}

Corner Parking

The theoretical rules for parking at corners say "No parking within 50 feet of a corner"

Clearly this is wrong, because if that rule were followed, there would be no parking in cities. So what is the minimum distance from a corner that you should park, given that the goal of the legislation is to provide a safe cornering experience?

The answer, as these vehicles in kingsdown show is that the minimum distance from a corner is 0 metres; you can actually park on the corner itself. This can provide a form of traffic calming, as it encourages turning vehicles to slow down.

All these cars are parked across the lowered part of the pavement, the bit to be easy for pedestrians to cross. Again, in theory, this is a violation of parking rules. In practise, making it hard for people, especially those with children in push chairs, from crossing roads is in fact beneficial.
  1. By making it hard to walk across roads, it discourages walking. This keeps the extended parking zone (historically this was called a pavement) clear of pedestrians.
  2. It sets the childrens' expectations up, so they expect to be driven everywhere. This is beneficial on the school run, as they are no longer exposed to the risk of being run-over by parking range-rovers.

Notice also that both these cars are super-minis. The Vauxhall Corsa WU04NDN and the VW polo OV55DWW are small vehicles. This is important: long cars would not have managed to fit into the tiny spaces available; they would have stuck out at the corners.

This is why small cars are ideal for the city -they can fit into places, like corners, that big cars don't.

Friday 30 May 2008

The School Run

The Bristol School run is a time of chaos, as you have to drive across town, children wailing in the back, you on the phone. And once you get there, where you are going to park? Especially in a big 4X4.

Fortunately the council provides a special area in front of each school purely for 4X4 Parking. Here a range rover demonstrates its use. You approach the double yellow lines, and get up on the kerb, so as not to inconvenience other 4X4 drivers.

The nice thing about this area is that because it is kept clear of little cars, you don't have to worry about reverse parking a vehicle with no visibility, on the way in or out.

The main inconvenience of this area is the fact that there are sometimes schoolkids milling around, on the designated parking zone (historically this was called a pavement). These are children whose parents are too poor to afford to bring their children to school by 4X4, either they have parked and walked from their little car, or, heaven forbid, they have walked all the way from home. Don't their parents know that is dangerous? Don't they know how polluted the air can be at that time in the morning?

How could they expose their loved ones to such pollution and risk, when they could be driven to school in comfort and safety in a filtered airconditining, high viewing position range rover? And that's apart from the inconvenience which children on zebra crossings cause when you're running late and need to get to school in a hurry. Here they are, still in the way. Can't they see the indicator? Don't they recognise how important someone who owns a car like this must be?

Something should be done. Either the school or the council should come up with a transport plan to help these deprived children get to school by a proper form of transport - a 4X4, here LX05ATN.

Keep Clear means "Keep clear for me"

There are some people who think that Keep Clear signs and the related white markings on the road are there to provide safe passing places in busy roads, safe access to buildings or schools, and to make junctions easier to negotiate. This is not true in Bristol.

As can be seen here, in Somerset Street, Kingsdown, the Keep Clear markings provide extra parking for important drivers, such as the silver Volvo LS02MRY above,

The Red Nissan K299 RLC
A Black Toyota W433XDL

And black Saab S177SFU.
These vehicles are all important enough to park on Keep Clear lines.

How do you know you are important? Well, if you need to park, and there is nowhere else to so, you can declare an emergency and park in these regions. Incidentally, there are some discussions about making this area residents parking only. These proposals should be opposed because people from all over Bristol clearly need right to park here on a weekday, especially if they have had to drive a long way to get into the centre of town. This area provides valuable free parking for commuters. The only argument in its favour would be if the plan increased the number of double yellow lines, as it would create more parking spaces for important people.

Welcome to Bristol Traffic!

Welcome. This site was created by some of the drivers in Bristol to show how all our problems come from anti-car policies of government, encouraging bicycles, pedestrians, buses and even horses to get in the way of us, the tax paying drivers who are central to the economy of the city.

We welcome contributions!