Thursday 30 April 2009

Bike parking for St Michael's Hill Somerfield

Somerfield supermarket, at the top of St Michael's Hill, is the primary place to buy food to take home. They have a good discount beer collection, and reasonable petit-pain-au-chocolat. No bike parking though. There is car parking, but as we have seen before, it overflows.

Two racks are planned for Somerfield, which, if placed on this build out would be ideal for bike parking that does not get in the way of pedestrians. There is one bike locked to a lamp-post here already
Only, are two racks enough?

If a cycle city is to succeed, more people will come home from work or college by bike, hence more bike parking. A supermarket with no bike parking is an ideal place to add some. How many is appropriate?

These photos were taken on April 29, 18:20. This is the peak way-home-from-work-or-school shopping rush, when many city supermarkets run out of hand baskets, and you have to carry your 6 bottles of UK-manufactured-Kronenbourg-1664 to the checkout in one hand, the box of coco pops in the other.
There is one bike locked to a sign, three bikes to the fire exit from the flats -the final one will block the exit, so hopefully there won't be a fire in the next fifteen minutes.
Across the road, two more chained to a roadsign

And two more on another road sign. Ten bikes! A success for cycling city.

These figures imply you need five racks, even for today's workload. For a doubling in cycling: ten racks. Where to put them? How about they go where cars, like the ones above X81FBN and R738ZNA, park on double yellow lines?

St Michael's Hill Cafe Gusto bike park

Cafe Gusto is actually the cafe in the distance, but as it is the most popular cafe on this stretch (free chocolate croissant with every coffee, and free wifi), this is the "cafe gusto stretch". It is where students come to eat at lunchtime -peak times for these cafes is 12-2 Monday to Friday.
We've seen this bus stop before -as short-stay parking.

You could get two bike racks in here, but the pedestrians and bus passengers may be unhappy.

There's also plenty of room round the corner in Paul street.

This pavement gets used as paveparking by minicabs and others (locals?). But not pedestrians. If a bike rack could go up here in a way that kept it visible to people in nearby cafes (theft protection) but not in the main route to the university, it would be handy.

Bike Parking options for St Michael's Hill Chemist

The bike park plans imply two racks will go down in front of the chemist on St Michael's Hill.

There is narrow bit of pavement in front of the row of buildings, used as a primary student footpath weekday mornings, peak times 5-10 minutes before 09:00 and 10:00. There is no room for a rack on the pavement proper.

The chemist does have its own sheffield rack, too close to the other fence to be much use. Usually, the parked car blocks access to the single bicycle that would fit in.
The estate agent has a phone box, and alongside it a big clear space with signs in the window that parking is enforced by a private company.

If this forecourt is council property, yes, bike parking could go here. Otherwise, well, there is little space on the pavement, the estate agents clearly value their parking spaces.

Look how much it narrows further on too -on one of the key walking routes in the city. That is a really hazardous stretch of pavement to try and walk a child, especially during peak traffic hours, as vehicle wing-mirrors often end up overlapping the pavement, even when the car stays on the road. The signs from the shops are not exactly helpful either.

Proposed bike parking on St Michael's hill

What should come into the inbox today but a PDF of some proposed new bike racks along St Michael's Hill, that parental school run traffic jam that turns into a pedestrian overflow of a morning. These are part of the plan to provide bike parking on every stretch of shops, to make it easier to pop round for your supplies.

This little area has names that appear in our database regularly -Highbury Villas, the Homeopathic hospital, St Michael's Hill itself. Yet we aren't sure how many of the vehicles which appear there are shoppers. Daytime its commuters and students, evening residents taking up space, with the area outside Somerfields being the main parking area
The proposal is for:
  1. Two racks at Clarence Place, by Somerfields, not far from the wonderful Highbury Vaults.
  2. Two racks on the opposite side of the road, in front of the chemists.
  3. Two racks just south of Paul Street, near the cafe stretch.
Having sent one of our reporters over to check out the evening shopping rush, and having checked our databases, we'd like to recommend:
  1. Place the Somerfield racks on Clarence Place , and build at least five racks [link].
  2. Consider whether the proposed racks outside the chemist's are viable [link].
  3. Move the bottom pair round onto Paul Street, where they can still be seen but which don't stop passengers getting on or off buses [link].

Wednesday 29 April 2009

Mercedes Hit and Run - Fishponds

While Bristol mourns the tragic loss of Troy Atkinson in the city centre, it is worth noting that the day before there was another hit and run involving a Mercedes, this time at the junction of Alcove Road and Fishponds Road.
According to the Evening Post
"A 40-year-old man was riding a black racing bike towards Bristol on Fridaywhen the incident happened.

At around 7.45pm, a blue Mercedes turned into Alcove Road and knocked him to the ground, causing him to suffer minor cuts and bruises."

We checked out Alcove Road to see if there were any blue mercs on the pavement. Not today. Two vans on the corner, providing a lovely bit of traffic calming by hiding all chances at seeing oncoming traffic.
And a car, WN56ULM, proudly sporting its "baby on board" sticker to let people know that this car has to park on the pavement to get its small child in and out the house.
Overall, not a nice place to walk or cycle, which is a shame, as it is one of the access points to the Railway Path.

It is probably a quirk of statistics that two hit and runs collisions involving Mercedes cars happen in the same week, but it is also worrying. It is nice to get onto the R.P. and enjoy the safe chaos of the evening traffic up and down the path.

Troy Atkinson, 15, killed by a car on April 28, 2009.

Stopping by Cabot Circus this evening was really sad. There's a big tower of flowers growing where Penn Street turns into Lower Castle Street, all remembering Troy Atkinson, a fifteen year old schoolboy from the city.
The flowers are from his friends, his schoolmates, his family.
In the street, traffic and people carry on. Some look at the flowers, but then they get on with their lives. The buses and cars go by as usual.
For the people standing by the memorial or chalking on the ground by it, it is not so easy. These are Troy's friends, and they are showing the world that he will be missed, that he will be remembered. And he will be, but those memories of happiness will be darkened by the pain of his loss - a pain that may fade with time, but never go away.

We in the Bristol Traffic Project -and others in the "cycling and pedestrian transport activist" community- extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to his parents, family and friends. Nobody should die in our streets, and for a fifteen year old to be lost is particularly sad.

This another dark day on Bristol's roads

Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems

This is the A4174 Ring Road heading from Emerson's Green to the M32. It is a weekday evening, so even the high-occupancy traffic lane is full of single occupant vehicles not moving.

Campaigners for the removal of the 2+ lane during the morning rush hour dream of this exact same situation on their morning drive in.

This jam is pretty predicable; morning and evening: traffic jam here. There is no cause other than traffic volumes on the ring road, caused by M32 congestion, caused by an inability of vehicles to get off the M32 at Muller Road, St Pauls and the city centre, which is caused by buses and bicycles taking up space, and the excessive number of pedestrian crossings, according to our strategic partners the Association of British Drivers.
The ABD have recently flagged up a new concern, that the EU is building a new in-car spy network -CVIS . For those of us building city-wide vehicle spy networks, this is news, as EU funding would be very handy. This led us to the CVIS home page, and a recent workshop on intelligent roads. At this point we feel we must disappoint our ABD fellow-travellers with the bad news that this is not an attempt by central government to track everyone's movement. That can already be done by monitoring mobile phone movements across cell quadrants; no need to force upgrade-every car, as it covers old vehicles and pedestrians. No, this is actually an attempt by the car manufacturers to render the entire current fleet of vehicles technically obsolete.

A key problem with today's vehicles is that they last too long -hence the German and UK old car scrappage scheme -people just aren't buying new cars at a rate that sustains the EU car industry any more, and there is a limit to what can be done on the mechanical engineering side of car design and the appearance of cars to make them obsolete faster. By adopting a high-tech interior, from MP3 and SatNav to DVD players to children, you can introduce an obsolescence rate driven by the lifetime of technologies, not engine longevity. The CVSI scheme takes that idea and raises it, by having the in-car computing communicate with peers (warn vehicles nearby of ABS-hard braking, ice conditions, crashes), and with roadside infrastructure.
The best summary of the work is New Transport Paradigms of the 21st century. Ignoring the fact that new Transport Paradigms of the late 21st century are likely to be a horse and cart and a sailing ship, it's an interesting read. On P28, for example, a key feature of the system will be that it will tell you that you can drive down a bus lane. In Bristol, we do not need to wait the rollout of an EU-wide car-to-car communication infrastructure to do that.

From a datacentre-state, the CVIS infrastructure isn't that interesting. We can already track vehicle movements, so the only issue here is that the city is trying to provide data back to the cars, such as where there is a parking space, then reverse parking for you. But how do you prevent non-CVIS vehicle owners from ignoring your rights and stealing that space first?

The other amusing entry is from the French Autoroute Operators, which on page 17discusses their objectives: profit

Factors of success of cooperative traffic management
  1. New actors in traffic management (automotive industry, telecom industry, equipment and content providers,…) work with road operators.
  2. The business model recognizes the economic value all along the chain of the information production.
  3. To give evidence that each driver need on board reliable traffic information and pay for that as he does for tyres, energy or airbag.
This is pretty profound. It implies that the road operators view the road safety data -traffic information- that they collect as their property, and only something that should be shared with the cars if the drivers are prepared to pay for it.

This is not a police state, no, its just another source of revenue for the road operators and the car manufacturers.

Corner work in Henleaze

Carrying on our search for the car doing the most ambitious rule breakings in one go, is this one sent in by "PMB", showing how someone solved the problem of getting to the newsagent:

Seen in Northumbria Drive Henleaze last Friday
This driver of WM07 GXJ seems to be attempting some kind of world record for multiple offences -
  1. parking across and obstructing the pavement
  2. obstructing a bus stop
  3. parking on zig zags for a zebra crossing
  4. trying his best to block someone's driveway
and probably all to buy a newspaper - pure genius
This parking makes sense. It's raining, and with the car right up against the bus stop, you could nip out the passenger side and get under the bus stop without getting wet, then into the newsagent. This would make the location ideal for a "multi modal transport interchange with shopping facilities". Furthermore, everyone buying a copy of the Evening Post helps support the campaign against bicycles.

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Gloucester Road Secret Parking

Continuing our guide to secret parking, today is the turn of Gloucester Road. There are lots of convenient places just off it, like the bike lane, the corners and pavements of North Road. But that involves walking.

What we have today is a secret parking place that is closer than any other, because it is not near Gloucester Road, it is Gloucester Road. The wide pavement on the other side of the road from the Bread Store, near the fancy new patisserie "Tarte", is a secret parking area.

The trick is to know that Taurus Recruitment. whose shop you park in front of, has apparently closed down, with a a Shop Lease available sign above it. While it is seemingly unoccupied, there's nothing to stop you just parking in front of it, popping out, then going into the shops that are open.

Access: just drive along the pavement the way this van WN07ERX did.

Footway Closed

There is a new activist group forming/reforming to push for pedestrian rights in the city, Living Streets
Hi, we are mailing you as you are listed as a supporter of Living Streets in the Bristol Area.
We are going to rebuild the group in Bristol: this is much needed. Transport dominates the agenda locally and all forms of transport except walking seem to have strong lobbyists.

* The bus network is receiving long term attention and investment through the 'Greater Bristol Bus Network'
* FOSBR and others have successfully won improvements to local rail
* Cyclists are no longer just a 'loud and articulate minority', but an organised and highly effective loud and articulate minority, who have won millions of funding through cycling city
* Even the ludicrous 'Association of British Drivers' has a regular media presence

Who is speaking out locally for pedestrians? No-one, well not in a co-ordinated way.
This is odd, given that we are all pedestrians to some extent. We can see with our own eyes and through blogs like Bristol Traffic, Southville Parking, On the Level and Green Bristol blog that pedestrians are increasingly marginalised.
Current issues include:
· There are unacceptable delays to pedestrians using the light controlled crossings at the new road arrangements at Bond St and Cabot Circus.
· Changes are planned to Blackboy Hill which will include replacing zebra crossings with light controlled ones, to favour traffic and delay pedestrians.
· Pavements are blocked by vehicles in the inner city for days on end as the owners know there is no enforcement.
We think it will be relatively easy to get a better deal for pedestrians and are asking you if you want to help. The door is part open: the new transport executive Jon Rogers states that they will be improving enforcement of parking regulations, supports 20mph limits in the city and is committed to an open style of government. We will not only keep him to these promises but ensure pedestrians are properly represented in all road proposals.
This is an interesting idea, though sadly inconvenient for the rest of us. Take, for example, these roadworks on Cotham Brow, primary foot route from Gloucester Road to the university and Clifton. The pavement is closed for roadworks, pedestrians expected to cross the road.

Where another set of roadworks ensure that there is no safe route on that side either.

This level of anti-pedestrian activity is not an accident -it is done this way to ensure that no cars are held up. If this Living Streets group had their way, these roadworks would have required the road to be shut down, returning it the quiet and peaceful lane it was last summer -and so preventing anyone from commuting through this route. Commuters bring money into the city! Shoppers spend cash in the city! Pedestrians take up valuable space that can not only be used to park cars, it can be used to house mobile phone masts and electricity substations. These are effective uses of pavements. Not this walking thing.

Anyway, the announcement continues
The plan
At the moment we want only an expression of interest - ' yes, count me in'. Please respond to this e-mail if you’d like to be kept informed about the activities of Living Streets’ Bristol branch.

We will have the minimum of bureaucracy and will not flood you with emails, promise.
Please let us have your comments on what the problems are where you live, and ideas for tackling them. In two weeks we will mail all those interested with a summary and an invitation to draw up a strategy.

You can find the national Living Streets strategy here

We look forward to hearing from you!

Steve Meek
livingstreetsbristol at gmail dot com
Living Streets Bristol Branch

So there you have it. Either a militant pedestrian group to push for pedestrian rights, allies with Association of British Drivers in the war against bicycles, or an attempt by the cycling campaigners to create a mock dissent group, like an Eastern Bloc trades union group. At this point in time, it's to early to tell which.

Monday 27 April 2009

School trouble

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, an event that not only brought tragedy to many, but is why whenever police and ambulance get called out to a school, everyone worries, especially the parents.

For an as yet unknown reason the paramedics came screaming up to the top entrance to the St Peter's and Paul's primary school in Cotham at:16:50 this afternoon, -and hour later there was a row of police cars.
Access has been fenced off, the police were removing a few paper bags of stuff
Meanwhile, up on the roundabout, the local commuters where helping to calm traffic by blocking the junction.

There's no news yet on why the ambulance/police were round, hopefully it's something minor.


No, not daffodils.

These are the locations of cycling 'incidents' in Bristol during 2007. If you have Google Earth you can download the kml file here. Britain will glow yellow - not mid Wales, though!

H/T to Tom Taylor

Sunday 26 April 2009

corner parking offences competition

There are two topics for the next few weeks photo contributors to keep a special eye on.
  • Carol Voerderman parking in Clifton or elsewhere, especially somewhere she shouldn't, like outside the Tesco mini-mart.
  • Cars not just parked on a corner, but going for a set of extra violations.
To begin then, the Fiat Punto X352DEP

  1. corner parked
  2. a long way from the corner
  3. sticking out into the road
  4. having possibly just driven down a one way street

That puts the count at: four. This part of Fremantle Square, incidentally, is outside the proposed RPZ, so the vehicle will be able to continue parking this way even as a non-resident.

contributions that equal or better this to bristol.traffic at gmail dot com.

Saturday 25 April 2009


The council is asking for input on the idea of camera enforcement of driving offences in bike lanes.

Bristol Traffic feel that it is an ambitious idea, but surely it can only be attempted once there are bus lanes free of parked cars, hence it is technically possible to actually commit driving offences in bus lanes.

In this picture, the whiteladies road bike lane should be Live, it being 08:47 on a weekday morning. But the van AK53PKU is parked in the parking areas that don't permit parking until 10:00. Hence: the bus lane is free from cars abusing bus lanes by driving down them. And free of FirstBus buses. this makes it a safer place for bicycles, such as the one seen happily gliding past the van.

Friday 24 April 2009

Technical Edinburgh

I've been known to say that sitting down with my primary school-age son to watch a mountain bike video creates a kind of father-son bonding that most don't get to experience until the son is a teenager and they sit down to watch dad's pornography video collection. The middle-aged dad gets to reminisce about things they've done in the past but never as dramatically, while the boy gets unrealistic expectations about what is possible.

This statement is even more poignant when looking at this absolutely incredible video of Danny MacAskill doing trick riding through Edinburgh.

As a resident of the city while in my late teens, I have actually had both successful and unsuccessful sexual encounters in some of the buildings in the background of the video. The student's union and some halls of residence crop up, the Marchmont party-district and the George Square summer-drinking area all crop up, all places where I recall having my attempts at getting to know various girls better being rejected. The park with trees that appears a lot is The Meadows, where an acquaintance of mine once woke up after a night on the town wearing nothing but another man's underpants. That has never been explained.

Prosecution or Persecution

This commuter will come to their car to find a ticket on it for being parked on two of the zig-zags of the Cotham Road zebra crossing.

What is odd is this crossing has very long zigzags, compared to the one on Cotham Road South. A car parked where this one is does not obstruct any visibility of crossing pedestrians on the wide zebra crossing, nor does it inconvenience car or bus traffic. bikes turning have to swing out a bit early, that's all.

Why then is it being harassed when cars park with impunity round the corner? Presumably they've made the mistake of parking here during the day, for the whole day. Whereas the vehicles visiting the shops round the corner are short stay, popping in on their drive home, hence not parking on the zebra crossing during the hours that Parking Services functions.

Thursday 23 April 2009

Greenery of the inner city

Contributor "A" sends in this picture of Bright Street, Redfield, which apparently forces the push chair of their little one into the vegetation.

Last month a paper was published claiming that children don't get exposed to nature -inner city children especially. The driver of golf P601LKP must have read this, and decided to make their personal contribution.

Contributor "A" -next time you push your child through the hedge, take a moment to look down a it and see their eyes light up in joy and wonder at the greenery which is in their face, as their little hands reach out to try and grasp those child-friendly branches. And cherish that moment!

Secret Plans of the WoEP

Here is a bit of Fig 2 on Page 4 of the Executive Summary of the BRT proposal for Ashton Gate, the one that is causing the Prince Street Bridge controversy -the one where it turns out the WoEP have been secretly planning to take one pavement and one lane of the bridge and ban bikes from the bikes+pedestrians area created last October.

Look at the route from the centre to Emerson's Green. That is the railway path. Have the same team that has been secretly planning to take over from a bridge, been planning to run buses down the BRT? Isn't that what they promised to stop doing last year? Well, I don't think we can trust them.

For anyone not involved in that struggle, remember that the WoEP had been secretly planning this for at least a year, made a commitment to focus on the railway path route not because it made economic sense, but because it would be less disruptive to cars. It wouldn't just remove a park from east bristol and destroy the best footpath and bike route in the inner city, it wouldn't solve the congestion problems in/out the M32, and be surprisingly useless. Yet this diagram, seemingly prepared in Jan 2009, shows it is still a dream of the WoEP.

And so it begins -again. Have they not learned their lesson? Do they not know fear? Do they not realise that the protest group hadn't even begun its direct action campaign? In particular, the "let's try and get a bike on a FirstBus bus" event was going to be hilarious, a proposal to show that the claim that BRT+bikes could be combined wouldn't work by having everyone try and get their bike onto buses all round Bristol. Then cycle to the next stop ahead of the bike and try again. Some of us were looking forward to this.

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Avonmouth from above

Here is a photo of Avonmouth docks taken in March 2009, camera focal length 55mm
All those built up areas on the edges of the docks are car parks full of cars that have been unloaded and are now sitting, awaiting purchase -purchases nobody is making.

Here is a photo of Bristol from above, focal length still 55mm. That green strip is Purdown camp; the M32 is to the right of it, Lockleaze and Horfield to the left. The proposed new north-fringe cycle city route comes through there.

Without altimeter data there is no way to be sure, but unless the plane was losing height after take-off, the amount of space dedicated to unsold cars at Avonmouth, is about the same as Horfield and Lockleaze combined.

No doubt, then the owners of Avonmouth Docks will be pleased by the announcement that the government is offering 2000 pounds for scrapping an old car when you buy a new one. Why not offer the same amount for anyone who scraps an old car and joins a car club? Or gets a year-long train season ticket? Or even, dare we say it, a bicycle?

The best bit is that it doesn't matter how bad the CO2/mile rating of the car is, any new car will do. If this was to be a green budget, then restricting it to low CO2 emission vehicles would be the way to do it.

St Werburgh's Path -the BRT option.

A bit more detail on the works.

Here is where they've cut away into the bank -that stone may be part of the original wall of the Station. Because there was a station -now only the streetnames remember it -Station Road, Station Lane. And here in the ground, the stone.

The council now owns the land at the corner of the path/road where the station lay -it gives them the option to introduce a new station if things ever came to it (though platforms and trains that stop would have to come first).

Further down, they've drilled into the earth with their thunderbird kit, and stuck these giant rawlplugs in to it.

Coming down the hill is a digger carrying a new bit of mesh. This stuff is going to go against the earth and be bolted on. This will leave the earth alone, remove the risk of landslips and such like.

One thing that hasn't been spelt out is that a path that is wide enough for a digger is wide enough for a bus.

That station park could be used as a bus station, and by running buses down here, we'd integrate St W's with the rest of the city. Otherwise a bit of a lost village. No buses to into the St Werburgh's "past the tunnel". If a BRT route came off Muller Road at the far end of this new bike route, it could go into St W. and then head over to the M32/Newfoundland way bike lane, or, once the bus route was extended to Ashley Hill, bring BRT to Montpelier. With the bus station at the Muller Road end of the route, it would integrate with the existing infrastructure and provide a new bus route to the city that would not take away any valued car capacity.

The team planning the new route, and the councillors all seem to believe that we are the only people to have dared to have this thought, and that this is nothing to fear. And we believe them. Yet how can we be sure that the engineers in the West of England Partnership don't have a CAD design being prepared for BRT-down-path, ready to submit for government funding -just as they are now doing for the Cycle-city funded "improved" Prince Street Bridge?

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Bristol Cycling Chic

Over the last month, two Cycling Chic blogs have appeared

  1. Bristol's Cycle Chic. This is currently a fetish site about a fairly old-school bike. An obsession with a specific vehicle is perfectly natural, though it may not be something one wishes to share
  2. Bristol Cycling Chic. This is an collection of pictures of bristol cyclists on their day to day rides, to show that you can get around town in your daily clothes

Both are, sadly, flawed -if their ambition is to be as popular as Copenhagen Cycle Chic.
Copenhagen chic is the incredibly popular web site showing photos of Danish women cycling round their city in their fur suits and boots or high heeled shoes -it is now one of the most popular European city cycling advocacy sites. Or is it? Because the main driver of web traffic is not the bicycles, it is the tall, blonde beautiful scandinavian women on them. A web site showing the same women pushing shopping trolleys round the city "Copenhagen shopping trolley chic" would be equally popular. A nokia-backed mobile phone service delivering a photo a day of Finnish women using the latest nokia phones on their daily Helsinki travels would sell better than their music subscription service. It is not about the bikes, its the women. Which is fine for many of us -although it is unfair that there is not a sibling site showing all the danish men on their bikes.

Now, why does Copenhagen Chic show the women in fur coats and the like? Because they are practical in that city. Copenhagen is one of the North sea cities -like Amsterdam it is flat, and in winter dry but bitingly cold.

Compare with Bristol. We have wetter weather, can do with being seen by car traffic, and the people just aren't as pretty. Sad but true. In our city, we also get rain all too often. A waterproof and visible top is very practical -and not just for cycling. It is good when walking round town, as are a nice pair of gore-tex hiking boots. That is Bristol Cycling Chic: a phrase we first used, and lay claim to. We just don't normally photograph people cycling around in the rain because it gets the camera wet, and we don't normally photograph people cycling around as they are ugly and it isn't that funny. But if needs we, we can adapt.

Here then, is someone cycling through a red light on Cheltenham Road at 17:44 on April 21. They need that high-viz top as they are picking their way through gaps in the traffic of cars coming off Arley Hill.

Similarly, when the Bath Buildings road gets the green light, that traffic has to deal with the next person running their red lights, here wearing a fairly grubby pullover that will look the same after a few more months of use. They are both wearing a helmet, because that may save your life if a car pulling out of either of these junctions were to hit the cyclist.

One more bit of cycle chic, here in Bath Buildings, watching all of this.

White van WN58HWW has pulled entirely into the bike ASL lane while the light was red, and is sitting their watching these bikes with amusement. But a mellow look on his face and fairly cool pair of sunglasses. He didn't try to run the lights. And for all those Bristol Cycling Chic bikes running the red lights, the fact that this van is in the ASL is unimportant -if you don't stop, you don't need and Advanced Stop Line.

St Werbugh's Path

Some members of Bristol Traffic Civil engineering team visited the ongoing Cycle-City works on the St Werbugh's to Muller Road path. Bristol Traffic snuck in as the semi-official reporting channel of urban improvements.

Here is the view looking from the Station Road underpass towards Muller Road. Eventually this will become tarmac, which is good for commuters. But at the same time, tarmac is eternal: once a piece of open ground gets covered over, that's usually it. Another piece of rural mud, lost.

Heading the other way, we can see how widened the path has become. This corner was always mildly dangerous, as bikes heading to St W. had a bit of speed from the gentle slope, but absolutely no visibility round the fence.

Now it is wide, and that slope would make a nice place for a berm for the BMX-ers to take at speed.

This is a machine to drill holes in the slope; it looks a bit like "the mole" from thunderbirds.

Here is the view looking over the allotments towards the narrows. Here the path will return to that strip on the right; the trees are precious elms. The big track on the left is for the machinery; it will be returned to allotment afterwards.

One of our team asked for the fence to stay away, to get a nicer view -and even have a bench put in so that people could stop and enjoy it. Sadly, railtrack needs the fence to keep people off the railway lines, so it will go back in. A bench would be nice though.

Summary: work is ongoing, it looks wild now but once the fences go back it will be a bit more urban. A wider urban. That leaves the problems of the path at both ends, namely the fact it doesn't connect to Montpelier legally for bikes or safely for pedestrians, and at the other end -there's Muller Road to deal with.

One more thing: schedule slippage due to feature creep. The bane of all engineering projects -along with management changing their mind. Look for this to open in May.

Forward Planning

This lorry (WX05NHL?) is blocking the Bath buildings/Stokes Croft junction, where there are some hatched lines telling you not to do that

There is also a red light saying "do not go", but this lorry decided to also ignore that when it pulled out.

Some people might thing: selfish, reckless, dangerous, light-running , etc, etc. But the reality is everyone else at every junction does exactly the same thing. The only way you will get across the junction is to pull out and block it. It waited until the light went red as it was trying not to block the junction, but then, after the light changed, the driver realised that it was the only way to make progress. Not much, but progress. At a rate of 50 metres every three minutes, it will be at the St James Barton roundabout within an hour.

Sunday 19 April 2009

University Bike Parking

There are unsubstantiated rumours that the cycling and walking group in the council are talking to Bristol university, and that some of the spaces on the road allocated to parking cars will be reassigned to on-road motorbike and bicycle parking. Presumably with the sheffield racks that are needed to keep cars out.

For now, the sports facility on Tyndall's avenue has some nice signs telling you to use the bike sheds.

Because locking bicycles on this fencing, which looks like it has been designed for parking bicycles, is not allowed.

All that is approved of today is the closed bike shed (which we have not seen), and this open one, which is decorated with big warning signs telling you not to come to the college with a bicycle you value.