Wednesday 8 October 2008

A Wall of students

Here are a few hundred students walking up Cotham Hill; presumably all trying to make 9am lectures.

Today an insurer has been blaming "podestrians", pedestrians on the phone or an MP3 who step out and don't hear traffic. That is a dangerous action, though in a city with bicycles and the odd hybrid car, actually looking before you step out is safer.

At the same time, any vehicle heading up this hill should not be surprised that students are going to step out; they are a critical mass on foot, walking from their accomodation across the downs to their lessons. They aren't driving, they are saving on bus fees, and they aren't cycling on the pavement, which must keep the Evening Post letter writers happy.

The main people who don't like this surge appear to be FirstBus, who are pushing for a design on Blackboy Hill that tries to stop the students using the zebra crossing, and hence slow the buses down. Yet our data clearly shows that the relevant pedestrians will step out on the road anyway. Moving from a pedestrian first to a vehicle first junction will only cause collisions and blame the pedestrians.

As for this road, maybe we need a new "students warning" sign; something involving a statue with a traffic cone on its head, perhaps, to tell drivers to calm down and recognise they don't have the right of way.

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