Thursday 4 December 2008

University Approach

Starting to collect some data on the university. A key finding is that walking is the primary way students get to university, something they do despite the effort the city goes to run them over. This is the Tyndall's Park Road/Woodland road junction.

Up until about 1992 this was open to cars, making Woodland road a high speed alternative to Whiteladies Road. It certainly made cycling down T-Park-Road trickier as cars were prone to pulling out in front of you while you came down at speed. Then the junction got closed of for a year or so while a storm drain was constructed underneath the city -car access never came back. Instead we got a road that is intermittently available to pedestrians and bikes. Currently the roadworks are being anti-bicycle. Cyclists dismount, the sign says. These signs are a stock requirement of all roadwork sites in Bristol, as the alternative would be thought and effort. If they could have a sign "pedestrians go away" they would use them too.

With the roadworks and the scaffolding truck, its a kind of edgy junction. You can get half way out and with no visibility, have to assume that when a car goes uphil (to the right in this picture), its safe to pull out. We are fortunate all students are fit as you need to be able to sprint across.

We are also grateful that most cars in Bristol don't deliberately set out to run over pedestrians and bicycles in their way. Here a car graciously slows down to avoid hitting a bicycle head on.

Where are the students going? To their 9am lectures. Where are they coming from? The halls of residence, other side of the Downs. This junction is not only part of Sustrans national network route 4, it is the primary by-foot commute for a few thousand students. Clearly it is not felt necessary to provide safe road crossings here. Further up the hill, there is a zebra crossing, but that will be replaced at considerable expense by a light controlled crossing so that buses can regain priority over pedestrians.


Chris Hutt said...

Wooodland road to the north of Tyndall's Park Road was closed off to motor traffic in the late 80s I think, long before the drainage works occupied the site.

There was originally a central refuge on T P Road which allowed walkers and cyclists to make the crossing in tow stages, taking account of only one direction of traffic at a time, which is much easier.

Then (I think around 2000) the Council in its wisdom took out the central refuge and extended the footways at either side instead. This greatly complicated the problem of crossing the road since walkers and cyclists have to wait for gaps in the traffic from both directions to coincide.

This is a hugely important route for cyclists and pedestrians (despite the efforts of the council to degrade it) and the lack of a safe and convenient crossing here is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or is 'Cyclists Dismount' A really silly sign that should be banned. Mercifully there is only one local to us: To obey I'd have to stop my bike on a hill and in an entrance, walk over the road, stop in another entrance and start, again on a hill. Not only am I longer in danger on the road, I'm inconveniencing people on each side.

Fortunately Germany are sensible people by and large: everyone ignores the sign.

WestfieldWanderer said...

Typical Sustrans route then. Half baked and inadequately implemented. A box ticking exercise by the council.

"Cyclists Dismount" signs. They're rectangular which, the Highway Code tells us, means that they are advisory only. Which means that you can ignore them at will. They're there as a legal arse covering exercise by the council. Another box ticked. Nothing to do with the real world - council officers and politicians can't cope with that sort of thing - no boxes to tick...