Monday, 31 August 2009
More horse trouble
It is waiting on the double yellows, yet the rider is not waving their hands up and down in a hand-signal version of flashing yellow lights. With the police on their side, they will soon demand their own lanes and parking in the city.
Ban these horse people now!
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Bank holiday bumper (to bumper) quiz.
Why not pass the time with the Bristol Traffic bank holiday quiz. Answers on a postcard to the usual address.
1. When is a school not a school?
2. When is a car not a car? ( Clue: BMW SN9BMX is giving you a hint in the photos below. )
2. How many traffic lights and pedestrian crossings can you have the luxury of waiting at if you are arriving at Bristol's new shopping centre Cabot Circus on foot? (Extra points if you know how many pedestrian footbridges there used to be before the new layout.)
3. How many glass covered bridges to guide you swiftly from the new car park if you arrive at Cabot Circus by car?
4. True or False. All you need for safe cyling is separate cycle paths. Cycle paths that are separated from motor traffic by a barrier are guaranteed to keep cyclists 100% safe from cars.
5. While you're at it see if you can identify what this symbol is for in the picture puzzle below
Bonus question - Spot the irony in the logo pictured below, seen on the recent e-flyer promoting the "Cycling City Freewheel", Sunday 30th August 2009, Ladies Mile, The Downs, Bristol. Clue
Quiz brought to you by Newlyn Junior and Infants School, Penzance and St Phillip's Causeway, Bristol.
Friday, 28 August 2009
Resisting change at Colston School
Those parents have been complaining that the council should act on this, and they are doing so, but managing to do this in a way that still retains benefits for parents coming in by car
- The school will have their school-keep-clear zone made enforcable
- There will be some disabled parking across from this
- The corners will be double yellow lined to mean "no parking"
- A bit of redland grove will have double yellow lines to mean "drop your kids off here"
Here, from an attempt to provide a safe route to school, the plan fails. We have evidence from Clifton and Cotham that says "all double yellow lines do by schools is provide a guaranteed place for parents to park", while it doesn't encourage driving to school, it certainly doesn't discourage it. Any parent that turns up hoping to use the two car lengths of allocated space on Redland Grove is going to have a problem when they turn up and discover two other parents there. What are they going to do? That's right, they will use the other allocated spaces -the corners. These will have the same markings "yellow lines" on them, and so will be equally legitimate. Until those once-a-term days when Bristol Parking Services turn up, and you have to argue your case.
If, by some miracle of consideration these corners aren't occupied by parents, and are in fact kept free, the parents who walk are left with a problem. whereas historically the road was narrowed by parked cars, making it one lane wide, is entrance will be two vehicles wide, making it harder to cross safely. This will discourage them from walking, so stop them getting in the way of tax-paying parents.
We dropped a note to Cllr Neil Harrison, who is one of those safe-walk-to-school subversives we are keeping an eye on, to make sure he wasn't planning to surprise us.
Did the engineers look at having some build-outs on the corner instead, with enough bollards to keep cars off them? This would keep the road one vehicle wide at the junction, yet offer good visibillity to parents trying to get across.His reply was informative
With yellow lines, except on the two days a term when they are
enforced, they are going to be a parents-only parking area.
We did talk about this, but his view was that it would create dangerous traffic tailbacks around the corner.You see that? The traffic engineer is doing his best for us, the car drivers. If they had added any form of build out, the effect would have been exactly the same as if there were parked cars on the corner, which is what you see every single weekday. Buildouts would not create any more tailbacks than normal, yet they would take away two or more parking spaces away from us commuters and parents.
We thank this anonymous engineer, and close the posting with a photo to show that we know he was making things up when he said that build-outs would create tailbacks, but that the councillors don't.
Update 15:30 august 28, Neil H now says
Consultation done now at request of parents Travel Action Group, all of whom are walkers and cyclists. They want to try to get works done by start of year. They devised the planned works thenselves. Build outs now planned too. Some reason why single yellows not suitable - can't remember.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Learning to Park
We hope a student is picking up these valuable lessons, and it is not just the driver in WM09FJE doing some errands.
Elsewhere, on Kingsley Road -parallel to Gloucester Road, behind the arches- we see a P-plated car showing it has understood the lessons
Yes, they have parked so as to not interfere with passing vehicles on this one-way road.
Yet poor R852UWO has somehow got a ticket? Why? Who is persecuting innocent drivers merely for choosing safe and convenient parking? When will this anti-car program of an anti-car council ever stop?
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
What does it say?
When you park here please pull right
up to the telegraph pole. In order that I
can get in and out my home with my
bike, buggies or Kayak.
Its probably honest, pragmatic, and may produce enough guilt for the driver to consider following the request. But what it does not produce is fear, not for the driver of P583HAN. Kayaks? Bicycles? Baby Buggies? Nothing to fear from those.
No, better to say something like "It is very hard to get my chainsaws and hunting rifles in and out of the house without damaging your car. This upsets my son, who, being on remand for attempted murder, does not need to get upset. Please park in a way which does not cause more problems ofr my household?
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Fear the Angles of Death
This is profound. Up until this moment we hadn't understood why anyone in Paris would pay the premium for a 4x4, even as a status symbol to keep up with your peers, when by doing so you sacrificed the ability to park in a busy city.
However this video shows that yes, the vehicle size may make mini parking spaces unusable, but the higher ground clearance of the machines makes it easier to get your car over the raised separation between road and bike lane, and so park in bike lanes -that are unreachable by "legacy" cars. It opens up more parking than ever before. Having a status vehicle that saves you 30 minutes of snow-chain work on your annual ski trip is an added bonus.
Similarly: SmartCars. By producing a car so small, so nimble, it has managed to get cars into those places that were forever forbidden to cars. By investing in small urban vehicles, Mercedes have freed our European cities' pavements from the tyranny of pedestrians!
Monday, 24 August 2009
Bristol Cycing Chic? Enemy of the economy more like!
Don't be fooled. Not only is she out and about without hi-viz clothing and a helmet, or even waterproofs, she is singlehandedly undermining our nation's economic recovery. We pulled her over to offer her one of our emergency hi-viz tops, for a nominal fee. Not only did she turn us down, she went on to explain that these plants were flowers she sold, and that they are running a flower business -Bella and Fifi Flowers. These flowers are being organically grown in a St Werburgh's allotment, then picked up by hand and resold in the area, from their little flower van.
This is a van that is over ten years old, yet these people are doing nothing to help car salesmen in need by buying something newer. They are selling flowers, yet are doing nothing to help the long-haul freight industry by sourcing them from abroad or elsewhere in the country. They may think that they are being green, and environmentally friendly, but in reality they are the people holding back this country's economic recovery. People like this, who are trying to make-do and go-local instead of getting into even more debt supporting the great-motor-economy, are the source of Britain's financial problems.
Sunday, 23 August 2009
They didn't have any choice
The reason? Virgin Media working on one of the houses in remantle Square. The van RA54EVR is parked as close as you can get to this house without turning round, driving onto stokes croft by way of Jamaica Street, wait at four traffic lights and then go up Cotham Brow. That's a big detour, and even once they'd done that, there would be no parking in the square, other than blocking the bike lane from the other side.
Some subversives may argue that the van could have parked a bit further back, but why? Bicycle access is not the van driver's problem. If you can't handle the small problem of a vehicle in the way, you shouldn't be out and about on a bicycle.
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Extending the road
It has chosen to park up behind the other cars, and so rely on nobody noticing that to its left, instead of some paving stones and a wall, there is a large gap then a driveway heading up to some garages.
It appears to have worked.
Sadly, if this area does become a controlled parking zone, then this is exactly the kind of semi-official parking space that not even residents will be able to use. And if all these "corner-case" parking areas disappear, that is a lot of the parking capacity of the city is going to be lost. Forever.
Fight for your right to park in the middle of the road! Join the campaign to keep the streets free!
Friday, 21 August 2009
Horseriders -they think the road was made for them
This is an even more dangerous and antisocial form of dodging road and petrol tax than cycling. Dangerous: no helmets or hi-viz wear, and when you run into them they do more damage to your car.
Antisocial, because they leave more mess on the road, which makes washing your car down on a Sunday morning nastier than usual. And they say our cars are polluting!
The worst part is the way these tax-dodgers act like they own the roads. Here they are, taking up enough space for a car, once that's over they will pootle down the road, slowing down important people and getting upset if you sound your horns at them.
They don't realise, roads were built for cars, not pedestrians, bicycles or horses!
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Road Spelling Test
Have you ever sent that email or post and only afterwards realised that there's a spelling mistake you missed?. Well, don't feel embarrassed. The font can only be about 36 points high in Outlook Express anyway. Unlike the three foot spelling mistake above.
A ticket? On a sunday?
This shocked us -if Bristol Parking Services are going to work on Sundays, next they will be out after 5pm on a weekday. But a closer check of the photo revealed there was nothing to fear. This picture is from Bath!
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Stokes Croft: Hi Viz is power
When asked "how did they get their cars onto the pavement without driving the wrong way down a one way road", they said "We have dispensation". Clearly doing a traffic survey not only allows you to park on pavements -seen that before- but drive a car down a one way street, all for the sake of the experiment. This must be a very powerful dispensation.
What could be so powerful as to give the cars HD02OVG and X636FWP the ability to drive and park where they like? For that is a power that everyone in Bristol would love to have.
Only one thing has that power: Hi-Viz tops. Admit it -if they weren't in the shiny yellow, they wouldn't be people in positions of authority, they wouldn't have respect from the population. This is why everyone should embrace the yellow tops -they are the first step to achieving power and influence in this city.
Banksy Parking Logistics
"It's something that is really popular that does no-one any harm. Let celebrate this rather than complaining about a perceived traffic inconvenience."
Finally, can we close by reminding the locals not to mention the fact that Boston Tea Party at the top of Park Street does the best coffee, cakes and meals of all the cafes in this area, because if word does get out its lovely garden at the back will fill up. Point the turists at Cafe Nero and Starbucks, it is all they expect and deserve.
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Avoiding the Heisenberg Problem on stokes croft
One of the big problems in any scientific measuring experiments are the effect of the observers on the behaviour of the system. In particle physics, the Heisenberg Problem surfaces -measuring something's mass slows it down; measuring something's velocity stops you weighing it. With humans, it is often the Hawthorn Effect: the act of being monitored changes people's behaviour. Either way: the observers get in the way. For this survey, the risk is that the survey cars will impinge on the flow of traffic, so altering the number, placement and velocity of the vehicles.
The survey team have anticipated this, and yet still managed to park their survey cars as close as they can to their deck chairs, by driving both their vehicles V127LEU and GK57YZS the wrong way down the Nine Tree Hill one-way section. They have not approached Stokes Croft at all, not even before the experiment began.
This leaves road unmodified; the bike lanes in Stokes Croft in their "raw" state, unobstructed by any more vehicles than normal.
Tax-dodging cyclists reading this blog may wish to save and print out a copy of the survey team and vehicles contraflowing the road and nipping up on the pavement. That way, when they are stopped by the police for illegally mimicing the same operation, they can declare that they are part of the Bristol Traffic survey team, and merely following the same scientific rigour when approaching the Stoke's Croft junction: to observe without interfering.
The war on cars continues!
Hopefully it is just temporary, a left over from some harbour event or something, or put in while BT need access to their manhole. If it does not, then we will have to write a stern letter to the Evening Post, complaining about this anti-car madness.
Monday, 17 August 2009
The Marlborough Street bus interchange
A taxi wants to pull up to the taxi-only dropoff zone but can't; a car waiting for arriving passengers is there. Other vehicles are going up to the "short stay" pavement and not blocking through traffic.
The taxi has no option but stop in the road to unload, causing some tension in the vehicles behind. But all of them are just trying to do the same thing: park here to pick up or drop off passengers.
There is an option for parking round the corner, by the new magistrates court, but for some reason (security?) a perfectly wide pavement is bollarded off.
There's still some space opposite; only one vehicle is using this. It is worth remembering about though, if every you need to pick people up from the bus station in a car.
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Build-outs are for Builders
Build-outs tend to be for the exclusive use of residents, delivery vehicles and people working in the houses. This means that they provide a small amount of resident parking spaces without any of the overhead of creating resident parking areas. No need to sticker up cars, paint over roads, enforce pavement or road parking rules. Just leave the build-outs for vans such as Refresh Painting and Decorating and their van KM53RVY. Problem solved!
(This is on the junction of Hanbury and Pembroke Road, outside the (proposed) Cliftonwood CPZ. With build-outs like these, there is no need to expand the proposed zones.)
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Contra Flows 2
Thursday, 13 August 2009
For Immediate Release
A press release from the cycling campaign reaches our inbox.
The Bristol Cycling Campaign wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the cyclist who died following a collision with a lorry on Winterstoke Road on Tuesday August 11.
This tragedy is part of a series of bicycle/lorry collisions in the city over the past week.
- Thursday August 6th, A collision at the junction of Perry Road and St Michael's Hill, left the cyclist in a serious condition in the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
- Tuesday August 11th The junction of Winterstoke Road and Brunel Way. The cyclist, struck by a Mercedes Sprinter van, died.
- Tuesday August 11th Old Market. A DAF lorry cab turning left collided with a bicycle outside the Evening Post. Again, serious injury -this time pelvic, leg and head injuries, and again, another customer for the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
- Wednesday August 12th Stokes Croft/Ashley Road - a female cyclist left with a suspected broken leg.
This week of tragedy comes exactly three months after two teenage children were killed walking in the city by hit and run drivers in separate incidents.
The Bristol Cycling Campaign calls for Bristol Council to come up with a design for the city's roads that ensures that pedestrians and cyclists can get to their home, work or school without having to travel in fear for their lives.
It is impossible for Bristol Council's targets of doubling cycling to be achieved without increasing the numbers of collisions, unless there is a step change in the way that all of us in the city treat the most vulnerable road users.
Here of some examples of ways that we could improve road safety in the city:
- Bristol must follow Portsmouth's lead of slowing down the speed limits on the approaches to the city, to stop drivers coming straight off 70mph roads and into the narrow streets of the city - and to stop them speeding up as they get closer to the motorway.
- Roads, and especially junctions, need to be designed to reduce the risk of collisions. As a specific example, the Stokes Croft/Ashley Road collision involved a bike lane which is on the left side of a left-turn only lane. The collision here is not "an accident", it is the inevitable consequence of the design of the road.
- As lorries appear to be disproportionately involved in the recent incidents, Bristol Council needs a plan to make their movements less hazardous to other road users. In London, for example, Transport for London is running a special cycle/lorry share-the-road training and publicity campaign.
- Everyone needs to be encouraged to attend the Council-supported cycle training courses. As well as teaching cyclists how to cope with dangerous road designs, they will give drivers better understanding of the dangers that cyclists face.
Martin McDonnell, secretary of the Bristol Cycling Campaign said: "With rising obesity levels, congestion and road pollution, encouraging cycling is more important than ever. We call on the Council to fulfil the Cycling City vision by making the city safe to cycle around."
We wish a speedy and full recovery to all the Bristolians who are currently in hospital because they chose to cycle around a cycling city. We also wish to express our appreciation to the emergency services, who have responded excellently in all these incidents.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Bike under Lorry on Stokes Croft
The reporter "S" says:
I was heading out on stokes croft, had turned right and was in picton street when the incident happened, so didnt see it. I did see that the vehicle in the front of the left turn lane was the orange truck involved. I think there may have been a bike in the ASL, but my memory is vague as I do that route too often. If I am correct, that bike was somebody else anyway.
The lorry was turning left from cheltenham road and the arches, but as it wasn't moving I could catch the green light first and turn into ashley road, then left into picton street, where I was busy feeling smug that I had cleared the junction so easily today. Suddenly there is really load screaming, that doesn't stop. Everyone nearby starts rushing up, saying whats happened?, looking around.
There's a woman on the floor screaming, not much blood. A PCSO runs up and starts to look after her, and calls for support. The nearby shop brings out a blanket and everyone comfort the cyclist until the paramedics and then the ambulance turn up. I'm not giving you any photos of her -the lorry driver is the man in orange to the left of the photo.
The ambulances came fast(ed: 6-minutes from the first photo to the one with two ambulances)
The ambulance took her off, there was some suspicion of a broken leg/ankle. The bike is toast. By comparison, the cyclist seemed fairly uninjuredThere we have it then, three bike/lorry collisions in a week -one on Park Row, one outside the Evening Post, this one. We all hope that everyone involved recovers rapidly.
It's too early to assign blame here; the reality is that in any bike/lorry collision, its the person on the bike who loses. What is obvious, when you look back at the route they were using is that the bike lane leads people on bikes into exactly the wrong place -inside vehicles on the left turn lane. We've been here before, praising vehicles for blocking it out of safety concerns, and here you have evidence that it really is something to avoid. This is a pretty hazardous junction all round, its where the same reporter had their A&M Motor Road Rage incident, heading the other way.