Monday 31 May 2010

They have stolen our Bemmy

A quick drive to Asda Bedminster, best car park near the city centre.

Only parking for six bikes, not under-cover, unlike the trolley parks. Keeping trolleys dry: important. Keeping bicycles dry: not important.
Even the access system makes it hard for bicycles to get back towards Southville afterwards without forcing them to encounter Coronation Road or North Street.
Yet look! Just round the corner: a 20 mph zone!
One that covers the area. The whole of Bedminster and Southville south of  Coronation Road, is now 20 mph. This is so wrong.

Fortunately, Asda's one-way system forces bicycles onto the 30 mph roads, so discouraging anyone from shopping that way. Customers who don't drive can't buy as much, yet still take up resources in the supermarket: space, queue time. They should be discouraged on the grounds of commercial profitability.

Sunday 30 May 2010

Cycle Chic? No, we want cyclistes miserables

Our calendar reminds us we haven't criticised Copenhagen Cycle Chic for a while, so it's time.

Driving to work isn't really that much fun. You are always stuck behind some other vehicle, and while you can make phone calls, the end of the month bill to latvian sex-chat lines can be pretty steep -lucky both the phone and the car is paid for by our employers.

What takes the edge off is seeing everyone not in a car looking more miserable. Pedestrians, traipsing along. If can spray them with a puddle, they look even more miserable. Bus users, standing by the bus stop, looking folorn -always heartwarming. And then the cyclists.

We know they can get across this town faster than driving, we know that it's cheaper. So how to retain the edge over them. Usually the rain does it for us. But what if it's not raining? Easy: make them dress silly, make them look different: an outgroup.

We want them to wear helmets and hi-viz clothing not just so that when someone goes under a lorry we can absolve the lorry driver of all blame "Were they wearing a helmet", as if that makes a difference when a 14T vehicle comes up behind the bike at the lights and sets off, over them. No we want them to look silly. We also want them to look silly when they get off the bike, so everyone laughs at them, so everyone knows they chose a silly form of transport as they waddle round in waterproofs and funny shoes.
This is why this photo of this couple on matching his- and her- single-speed bicycles is so depressing.

This is a sunny day in May. A couple like this, they should be aspiring to go somewhere in a T-reg vauxhaull corsa, a first car, learning to deal with the problems of car maintenance and traffic. Instead what are they doing? Enjoying themselves at the harbour. Looking happy. With each other. With their bicycles.
You see that. Cyclists. Happy. The two words should not go together

If the harbour had been turned into the four lane motorway that commuters from the M5 and portishead really need to get into the town centre, we wouldn't have had scenes like this: there would have been a proper motorway right behind them, feeding into the centre, where they are standing would have been more multistorey car parking -parking without which the tourists won't come to the city.

Yet what does the council do? Encourage them. Only Australia, with its newly increased fine for cycling without a helmet, is cracking down on tax-dodgers trying to cycle round cities in normal clothes. Let's hope this new government learns a lesson from the Aussies and comes down hard on these criminals.

After seeing this scene in the harbour we had to look at Crap Cycling in Waltham Forest for half an hour to feel better. Now there is a town that keeps cyclists and pedestrians in their place!

Friday 28 May 2010

The Friday Quiz Returns

After a break, and now that we've had a bit of summer, it's time for some fun again.

So here's a picture.

Is it just me or is there something wrong here?

Thursday 27 May 2010

Delivery is everything

We know this van. We've seen it more than once before, but never on Redland Road

As we reflect on our new political landscape, it's worth remembering that, promises are one thing, but delivery is another.

Clearly the driver of YA55VDY is destined for a seat in the cabinet. Note the tactics - delivery accomplished, careful positioning, blocking, get-out strategy (front or rear), and all without affecting the very important people that drive up Redland Road. Genius.

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Muller Road bike path issues

We popped down to Muller Road to make sure all was well with the new path, to see how cars and tax dodgers were using it.

What shocked us was how many of the tax dodgers weren't it. First someone careers off from the Farm Pub path at speed

And goes down the road, smirking at us. We don't know whether to praise him for at least having a helmet, or condemn him for the headphones.
Eventually we decided just to ignore the helmet issue and denounce him for being on a bicycle, but at least he isn't holding up traffic.

Unlike the bicycle a few minutes later.
Note also the bicycle heading towards the pub path: no helmet, no hi-viz. And how do these tax dodgers get there? Well, apparently the council is going to tweak the lights so they respond within a few seconds of the buttons being pressed. Currently they take about 30s to react -like all other pedestrian crossings along Muller Road. That 30s wait has a valuable function: it let's people know their place -at the bottom of the food chain.

It also lets us denouce scenes like this:
Rather than wait 30s for a crossing light, a reckless cyclist has veered over the road to get on the path. And without a helmet. These people should not be encouraged!

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Parking Police Persecution in Kingsdown

Kingsdown Parade, nice little parking area for commuters. The residents are trying to make it RPZ, but someone from Clifton has been round pushing Keep-parking-free leaflets through every door encouraging them to resist, to give visitors from Clifton somewhere to park.

One reason: in an RPZ, there will be more yellow lines and tickets, and who wants that? Not us, obviously, yet even before the RPZ decision is final, someone is ticketing cars for being over dropped kerbs.

The car on the right NC54RXO, yes, it's a dropped kerb, but it's not blocking the corner. As for the car on the left, L693CON, well, that's the funny one. Its got two tickets, but if you look at that side of Kingsdown Parade, the entire pavement is only a centimetre high. There is no raised, therefore: no dropped. It seems to us the ticket is on pretty week grounds here, as its only the funny road markings that hint this is a pedestrian area, not the kerb.

Monday 24 May 2010

Business as Usual in Stokes Croft

Summer arrived in Bristol on Saturday.

Which meant that the first ever Stokes Croft Street Festival went well, if you like that sort of thing. We prefer driving down to Cabot Circus for a bit of shopping, of course.

This was not your ordinary festival, though, as it was done without closing roads. Which allowed us to drive up and down, checking out what the Great Unwashed get up to (and there were many of them, yuk...).

Here we see Turbo Island filled with street drinking revellers, or we would do if the 4x4 in the ASL hadn't stopped in the view.

In fact, ASLs seemed a very popular as a viewing area for the "festivities", as RF55AMO demonstrates.

And here, WR57WZE, checking out the activities taking place in the Canteen in Hamilton House.

In fact, the ASLs proved so popular that they even attracted visitors from abroad, as Polish BMW KTT86LT demonstrates.

It wasn't all about stopping and looking, though. For instance, the driver of car L14OUT parked up on the pavement was there for the sound system near the TO LET shop. Outside "Feed The Children".

Which may be why, just opposite, the food outlets were still open for business, as GY53FGO parked on the double yellow lines in the cycle lane illustrates, whilst the driver nips into Slix for a quick burger and chips whilst ignoring the hand-made BBQ offering from the Canteen.

All in all, though, the festival took place without interfering with the traffic. Which we liked.

Unfortunately, the organisers needed one real intervention which was ad-hoc crowd control to limit pedestrian access to the Bear-Pit.

Here in North Street this was, in true PRSC creative fashion, done using a white van, KV07KJK, which doubled as a delivery vehicle for the Blue Mountain Club. Outrageous!

Anarchists, all of them, apparently.

Based on our observations, we'd recommend our readers to avoid Stokes Croft until they stop having these sorts of festivals (unless Tesco manage to open a store there, of course).

Sunday 23 May 2010

York Road Montpelier is Closed!

They have stolen our Road! York Road, from the Thali Cafe up to Fairfield Road, the secret locals-and-minicabs-only route from Stokes Croft up to Ashton Vale, is closed with a diversion onto an even narrower road.

What's worse, bicycles are still being allowed through.
As well as doing something to stop bicycles, they should take away the bollards closing Richmond Road off to traffic, which would give us an alternative. Instead the build-outs get abused as a place for small children to play.
With no road, and less parking, Montpelier residents are being forced to park across the city and walk home. How can you recognise them? Wherever they have to park, they do it Monty-style:
You soon recognise it: as far up on the pavement as you can get without damaging that wing-mirror; with the roadside wing-mirror folded in. Shown by Monty refugee X931BFB, forced by the York Road closure to park on Duchess Road, Clifton -over a mile away!

Saturday 22 May 2010

Ninetree Cider: the rumour is true

Photographic proof that there is now a Ninetree Cider in existence, as the locals in the area get together to mutually convert their locally grown produce into a form that is more easily consumed.

While a bit of discreet agriculture is fairly common in the city, the fact that this group are doing it so blatantly as to have their own web site is unusual. There is no "Montpelier Homegrown" web site, no "St Paul's Ganja" pages, where other urban farmers can get together to discuss their issues, to refine the harvest.Yet these Kingsdown people -home of the dark tree festivals- will happily celebrate the spring by taking their garden apples and turning them into alcohol.

Apparently St Matthews Church -where the pressing takes place- is on the site of the original Ninetree Field, and there is a milestone in the back garden directing people towards St Pauls, where those other needs can be met.

We hear also of a Stokes Croft Streetfest on Saturday May 22, which means that, along with the Bastard Hills of North Bristol event the following day, the whole area will be somewhere either to avoid or cut loose in this weekend, depending on your mood.

Friday 21 May 2010

BT Openreach at Hampton house

We love Hampton House: a bit of the hospital at the top of the hill, a bastion of Bristolness. A Mock rural architecture with plenty of pavement to park on.

But what's this? A sign?

Hampton House is not
responsible for cars parked on
public highway
thank you

the management

Where is the sign? On the pillar between the staff car and the BT openreach van, to the right of the near-empty car park
You see, it's not just that people need to park on the pavement because they have no choice, or because a BT openreach van wouldn't have been allowed to use one of the parking spaces in the car park.
No, we park on the pavement to show that we are in charge, not those pedestrians who are always whining about something like no safe way to get over the road to the hospital. Let them drive! That's why the driver of FD55KMU parked here: to leave space for patients!

Note at the back of the van a sign, how's my driving, 0800 876 6699. No number to call with parking issues. They aren't relevant.  

Someone is stealing our photographs!

This web site exists to document the way that Bristol oppresses us, the tax paying motorist. That is why we were so pleased to read in both the papers last week, the Mail and the Telegraph, that "the war on the motorist is over": that the new government will push back on anti-car activities like speed cameras and parking tickets.

We particularly like this comment on the Daily Mail page:
When cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians actually pay to use the road they might be considered equals, until then car drivers who do pay to use it and who drive the whole economy, mean the car IS king
Matt Munro, Bristol, UK, 13/5/2010 19:50
That's our kind of Bristolian: one who recognises that pedestrians and horse riders have no more right to OUR ROADS than any of those cyclist scum, and that it is we, THE DRIVERS, who keep this mess of a country afloat.

We are sad to see, therefore, that someone has been using our photographs, our documentation of the one pro-car part of Bristol, the North Fringe, and used them in their response to the cycling city route 10 proposals.

The main point of this tax dodger's commentary appears to be that the continued widening of roundabouts, ring roads, new roads from the A38 to Cribb's Causeway and the like are the real transport plans for South Gloucester, and all proposed cycle routes are simply window dressing on the main plans. To which we have to say "and your point is?" The purpose of the proposed routes 7 and 10 is to keep the students out of our way. Once everyone recognises this the plans make some kind of sense. For one of these transport activists to go back through our North Fringe coverage and rather than celebrate the one council that is holding out against this cycling city movement, the one Avon council where the sustainable transport councillor drives to his meetings with the cyclists, is wrong. We put those photographs up praise that part of the city, not to criticise it.

Our lawyers shall be in touch.

Thursday 20 May 2010

Cyclist Harassment of Hospitality Industry Training driver on the A4174

Last week's focus on Abbeywood and the nearby area should have been enough to show cyclists they were not welcome in this part of the town, the car city. Yet shocking coverage comes to us of a cyclist in this very area, harassing a car driver on the A4174 ring-road for using a mobile phone. We will let the contributor, "A", speak for themselves:
One of the big advantages of driving a car is that it leaves your hands free for other things like reading some papers, or talking on your mobile. Or in this case both (steering can always be conducted using your knees). Never mind that talking on the phone might occasionally distract you from the actual job at hand (driving) causing you to collide with the odd pedestrian, cyclist or anyone else.

That's why we were so upset to see this video of an unknown cyclist accosting this poor employee of the very appropriately named HIT (Hospitality Industry Training) on the A4174 near Coldharbour Lane, Filton.

There he is trying to have a conversation on his phone, whilst looking through what looks like his appointment book when this cyclist has the cheek to ask him what his employer thinks of him driving using a phone. Just for the record again, that's Hospitality Industry Training Limited,, tel 0800 093 5892, the vehicle a white Renault van, registration number AY09ZNP.
The driver with the phone doesn't shock us -what else can you do in the awful traffic jams there- but what shocks us is how the cyclist shows no shame at all. Not a bit. In fact, we suspect they are proud of what they did.

Wednesday 19 May 2010


We don't normally comment on how close vehicles are lined up to the kerb, because normally a bit of angle is what you need to fit into a space too small for your car. But today, opposite the BBC offices, we have to highlight this vehicle.

From the approach, you can see it is perfectly lined up with the car in front, nothing wrong there.

It's only when you get closer that you see that the road bends here and that by aligning themselves so well, the car FM57ZSX sticks about two metres out at the back.
This doesn't endanger anyone, and if it forces passing cars to slow down, is a form of traffic calming. What it does do is make double parking here harder, and for that we must denounced it, as this road, Belgrave Road, is the official BBC and university overflow parking area.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Learning to park properly

Petherbridge Way. Just off Muller Road, B&Q to the right, the Ford accident repair centre up ahead. To the left, the cycle-city money will be frittered away on some crossing, rather than spent funding PCSOs to beat cyclists soundly the way they deserve.

And what do we see today? The car transporter AY05BVE parked up on the pavement.

This is quite profound. It means that cars get their first "paveparking" experience before they even get unloaded and used in our city. This is their induction into the way that we, the citizens, have to park to protect our vehicles, and even then we worry about cyclists on the pavement. This is why the proposed bridge over to Dovercourt road concerns us: if cyclists really do cut left here then they may endanger the wing mirrors of cars that haven't even been bought yet. Who is going to pay for that damage? Not those uninsured tax-dodging cyclists, that we know.

Monday 17 May 2010

Resisting the RPZ

There are now signs up in Kingsdown discussing the details of the proposed RPZ. Looks like it is going there after all.

Where it is not going, as the locals rightfully resisted it, is here, Hampton Park, behind Whiteladies Road.

As the keep-parking-free campaign points out, any imposition of an RPZ would take away traditional parking areas, such as the pavement in front of the house used by N11AMO on the left, or the double parking area on the right of the photo, in use by M910HPJ and a builder's van. Unless an RPZ proposal can be made that grandfathers in such traditional parking options, the RPZ proposals will take away parking spaces from the residents.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Abbeywood Week: the Lockleaze connection

On the west side of the MOD site is this path. We don't know where it goes, as that would involve walking or cycling it. Presumably it comes out by the A4174 behind the ex-woolworths. It is marked as shared use, but as it is unused, perhaps it could be used for MOD parking instead.

To the left, there is a route to Lockleaze. But not for bicycles -despite this being marked in green on the cycling city map!
And look! when we went there, some teenager trying to cycle over. That is despite the money invested in a no-bicycle barrier!
These cyclists are selfish and dangerous. They should recognise that money spent adding no-bicycle barriers to cycling city routes shows that South Gloucester isn't on their site, and aspire to the dream we in the North Fringe live: to spend 45 minutes every evening stuck in the A4174 ring road in a high-performance car. It's not about the fastest or most cost effective form of transport, it's about visible displays of wealth and status. Cycling on back paths behind Lockleaze achieves none of this, and does not contribute to the national economy either.

Thursday 13 May 2010

Secret Stokes Croft Parking

This car, T806LRJ has a ticket just for parking entirely on the pavement on Ninetree hill, just off Stokes Croft.

This is exactly the same penalty that you'd get for parking in the bike lane round the corner. In a cycling city, the council should have a lower penalty for parking out the way of passing traffic than for making it hard for bicycles, but no, they don't. We don't know whether to celebrate this fact, or mourn the needless oppression of cars. Yes, one car takes up as much parking space as ten bicycles, but you can clearly see that it helps someone important get around.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Abbeywood Week: Mod Abbey Wood Bicycle Access

Someone warned us about changes at Abbey Wood, with the famous "gated" bike path, the one where whoever designed the bike path wasn't in touch with whoever was designing the gates designed -during the 1990s- to stop an IRA-class of attack. The gate would prevent militant cyclists from attacking the car park, and while this may seem unlikely, it is folklore that on the day Michael Portillo and the Queen opened the facility, there was in fact a cycle police unit spotted fixing their puncture on this very bit of tarmac.

We drove over there and yes, someone had closed the gate, so pedestrian and bicycle access was now possible. This worried us, as it could imply that S. Gloucs cycling city money was actually being wasted on encouraging cycling, rather than forcing them out of our way on convenient rat runs.

We waited for a cyclist to come by, and rather adopt than our usual technique of setting a pitbull on them while shouting "It's OK, he just gets a bit scared by bicycles!" as our pet dog, Roadkill, savaged their lycra-clad legs, this time we filmed the tax dodger who could well be the first person ever to make use of this bike lane. That is, if you consider cyclists to be people.

Sadly for this particular government-funded tax dodger, because the gate was closed, he was unable to enter the Abbey Wood MoD facility, that being his place of employment. We left him there -pleased that by closing the access route to work, the cycle lane was still without any value whatsoever.

Since this path opening event on April 8, the gate has been reopened and the path has returned to its normal state. You cannot walk or cycle out of it, but if you could, you could get into work.

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Abbeywood Week: Advertising on the A4174 in a cycling city

This is on the A4174 looking towards the Abbey Wood roundabout, behind that UWE and the M32. The right is a post-post-industrial landscape, such as a closed down Woolworth superstore.

The piece of tarmac with some fading red stripes in front of the camera is the bike lane. Yet predictably, the cyclist is in the pedestrian area.

One might think it is a bit odd to have a bus lane in the middle of a bike path, but this is part of the S. Gloucs integrated transport plan: bicycle and bus. More importantly, if the North Fringe commuters are to embrace cycling, the existing business plan of advertising agencies "adverts at junctions where cars get stuck" goes away; we drivers stuck in our cars are their target market. To deal with cyclists, it is not enough to have adverts where they can see them, the cyclist needs to spend time in front of the advert. Putting the advert precisely where they will run into it achieves this.

Monday 10 May 2010

Abbeywood Week: Filton Abbey Wood station

While visiting the abbeywood area (we drove, obviously), it seemed appropriate to check out the Abbey Wood station. We had heard of this, MoD backed station put in for commuters, offers fast travel from Wales and templemeads. Fortunately, no functional connectivity from the Severn Beach line, as that would actually make it possible for commuters in that part of the city to get in by train rather than by car -so threaten the entire economy of the city.

There are some signs of it being used, and that bicycles are a problem. All along the signs up to the station: no bicycles, and cycles dismount.

Coming down the hill, in the other direction, the same signs, in case bicycles come from that direction.
what kind of criminals do people here fear?
Ones who ignore police warning signs, although the fact the 1835 law they cite is about pavements beside public roads, doesn't cover footpaths, railway bridges and probably not even the bit of railway car park by the sign may be one cause.
There are also cycles dismount signs on the footpath signs, again, presumably disregarded.. We were not aware that cycles on pavements were such a threat to society in this corner of the Abbey Wood sprawl, but clearly it is. 

After a bit of research, we identified a potential cause. If you look at the abbey wood area on the council-supplied map (large PDF file), it's clear all the footpaths and footbridges are marked as green, places bicycles are welcome. There is a small note "Bridge please walk", but it doesn't say how far, and it doesn't cover the footpath with the cycles dismount sign.

The fact that the councils are giving away maps encouraging cycling is leading to this problem of bicycles on pavements, one the police are left to deal with.

All money enforcing cyclists dismount signs should come from the cycling city budget!

Sunday 9 May 2010

MOD Abbey Wood Week

We have some coverage of Abbey Wood this week, to make sure that the green bike paths shown on the maps don't match up with changes on the ground, because this part of Bristol is our part of the Great Car Economy, and we want it to stay that way. Before the coverage begins, note that our coverage of abbey wood parking problems bring in a lot of visitors, here are the keywords in the last month that brought visitors to our page on site parking issues.

abbey wood mod
abbey wood
abbeywood mod
commuting bristol filton abbey woods
abbey wood parking
bath to abbey wood cycle path
abbey wood bristol parking
car parking near abbey wood bristol
cycle bristol to abbey wood
m.o.d staff parking abbeywood
mod abbey wood parking
abbey wood + mod
abbey wood mod address
abbey woods mod
abbeywood mod bristol
abbeywood parking
bristol mod site
buses to abbeywood bristol
cycling from bath to filton abbey wood
parking nr filton abbey wood
trains to abbey wood bristol
It is reassuring to see that more people seem concerned about parking nearby than bicycle or public transport access.

Saturday 8 May 2010

NHS: Protecting people from themselves

Having recently spent some time at the BRI, one of the B.Traffic correspondents was pretty appalled by how all the patients in the respiratory and heart clinics took a fire-alarm evacuation as an opportunity to go outside and have a cigarette. In one way it's poignant: these are why these people are in here, in another, painful. If, under a new government, the NHS needs to make "economies", one way to do so would be to discourage anyone who ends up with breathing or heart problems from smoking.

The same rules would apply to physiotherapy. The bits of the UBHT hospital portfolio that deals with exercise-related injuries up at Hampton House needs to stop people from engaging in physical exercise. Certainly they know the risks themselves: that's why they drive. They also park so as to discourage people from any form of physical exercise, and so stop them becoming patients. But still people walk and cycle past. How to prevent them becoming customers?

Here we see the NHS Facilities Estates at 09:34 on May 5 doing their best to stop anyone cycling by contraflowing the top of Cotham Hill, then stopping so as to block the bike lane.

That should have been enough to stop a late-running school-run family from getting down here, for them to realise the error of their ways, return home and drive in, but no, the parent and attached child with a flag coming out their head choose to go on the pavement instead -shamelessly!

From the front, you can see how WR58UMS not only blocks bike access, it tries to stop pedestrian crossings via the dropped kerb, and of passing pedestrians; there not being any gap between it and the staff cars all parked up on the pavement by the double yellow lines.
The driver also opened the door to catch anyone trying to sneak past on the bit of the bike contraflow lane which it was not blocking.
Our reporter also says that the driver warned "if a photo of them appeared on the web site, they would be prosecuted".
In this instance, the driver is sadly mistaken.

Photographs of people taken in a public place are legitimate -and a van driving the wrong way down a one-way street to park across a dropped kerb on double yellow lines is technically in a public place!

There has been some debate about whether the Human Rights Act provides some assumption of privacy, but if a new government repeals that it becomes a non issue. We do not know whether to extend our sympathies to the driver to have their expectations so rudely shattered, or hope that when a "British" version of the human rights act comes in, it will return some assumption of privacy to members of the house of lords, everyone with hereditary titles, or who are important in some other way. Assuming that the notion of "importance" is both relative and transitive, all drivers of motor vehicles would be more important than cyclists or pedestrians, so both would be denied the right to take photographs.

Friday 7 May 2010

Safe Phone use

The usual complainers will be whining about vehicles like this van, stopped in the Park Row bike lane. They are misguided

  • The bike lane has dashes -it's only advisory and any vehicle is allowed in. It's a hint only.
  • The double yellow lines have no restrictions on waiting, only parking.
  • The driver is parked there to make a phone call.
  • Behind the van there are a line of parked cars, so nobody is going to run into the back of it.
  • They aren't taking up that much pavement, and by parking that way they make it easier for bicycles as well as cars to get past.
Which would the troublemakers rather have -a van waiting legally in a purely advisory bike lane to make a phone call, or the driver to drive while actually talking on the phone? By pulling over, this driver is in fact being far safer than anyone who drives round talking on a hands free phone, according to the latest research -and way better than anyone trying to text.

Certainly we in the Bristol Traffic Project have had some near misses while trying to post some of our articles from an iphone while driving. Such near misses are unwelcome, as they give the bus company which employs us a bad reputation.

Thursday 6 May 2010

Controlled Halt on Ninetree Hill

In 2009, an out of control car slid down here, saved from serious injury by the one-way sign.

This winter, someone else slid down here in a car and died.

The driver and passengers of this van VE03HLA must be grateful, therefore, that their unplanned contraflow work could be brought under control and that they could come to a halt without hitting any street furniture, Stokes Croft vehicles, or the cyclists and pedestrians on their way up the hill.

It still must have been quite a fright, to have your vehicle slide through the no-entry signs as you try and halt it on a steep climb. The Bastard Hills of North Bristol Ride will be coming up this way on May 23, so we hope the weather conditions are safe enough for cars and vans to descend safely.

Wednesday 5 May 2010

If they can't use the pavement, they jump the lights

When the politicians were in town, they blocked off the pavements to bicycles, and early on in the evening, Prince Street Bridge. We got complaints from some of the Southville folk, for which we say: if you had a car, rather than walked, it would have been less of an inconvenience. Therefore, no sympathy, not even a little bit. And don't say there's nowhere for you to park, we all know about the Coronation Road pretend bike lane, you have no excuses.

What the police did do, and for which we are grateful, is close off the pavements to bicycles. We would have hoped this would have been sufficient to stop them cycling, but no, one chose to use the bike crossing of Prince St Bridge. Only now, no pavement option afterwards. What does he do? He runs the red light, a few seconds before it actually changes.

Unfortunately for him, an Airport bus coming from The Grove is executing a turn, and also ignoring the red light which they must have seen, unless the lorry in front blocked their view.

The tax-dodging cyclist almost got clipped by the bus, and you can be sure the green party or some other bunch of troublemakers would have been blaming the real politicians for the death that would have resulted. And we drivers would have been held up.

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Breaking news: Muller Road crossing in final test phase!

We have been sent some photos and a video showing that the new Muller Road crossing is nearly ready -the council's subcontractors are just checking everything is good to go on this, the showcase cycle city route.
  1. The lights are changing and someone is calibrating the timings
  2. Someone else from the team is verifying it is still OK to park on the zig-zags.
  3. The van is blocking the bike lane to test that people on bicycles feel unwelcome in the city

As any frequent visitor to this site will know, being able to park on the zig-zags by crossings is considered important, so we are grateful that the Siemens team did check there were no problems. Sadly, this time the troublemaker of a reporter, "S" had a different opinion, and did apparently ask them WTF they were doing, but they gave the correct answer "I've got to park somewhere, mate". More to the point, this is the only place on the road you can park where you know that you won't get clipped by cars, so it's invaluable that parking rules here aren't enforced.

Our reporter did get a bit of on path video, showing that it doesn't inconvenience cars or pedestrians, merely bicycles trying to head up Muller Road. One schoolkid actually opts to cycle on the pavement -so endangering a jogger coming the other way.

If the kid is old enough to get home from school on their own, they are old enough to start aspiring to motorised transport. They should recognise that the Siemens Traffic signalling van (BN59YEC we think) is parked here for their own good, and start saving up for a scooter, at the very least.

Roundabout work

There's nothing more frustrating than being held up at a roundabout by one of those idiots who doesn't pull out just because there is a bit of oncoming traffic they are required to give way to. This usually happens when there's a police car or an L-plate driver up ahead.

How do you cope in this situation? S937JHY for JGSF removals shows what to do.

You switch into the left lane, go past the right hand lane then pull out in front of them. You mustn't signal when doing this, as it would give the game away.

Now, some troublemaker will say "isn't that lane OK if you are going straight on?", for which the answer is: only if there is a straight on. This is the mini-roundabout at the junction of York Street -where the van is- Sussex Place to the left, and Arley Hill to the right. There is no straight on. What the van has managed to do is sneak past about five or six slow moving cars and pull out aggressively, so coping with the coward at the front who wasn't being aggressive enough. Fast, effective, not that illegal.

Monday 3 May 2010

The Elton Road Park-out: Official Opening

We've covered the Elton Road double parking area before, the one that, if not occupied by vehicles, would encourage cyclists to use a contraflow lane down to the Zetland Road/A38 Junction.

What we haven't had until "Slug" emailed us, was evidence that this was really a legitimate place to park, and that you wouldn't get persecuted by the parking police for using it. Today we have that.
Council van WM060GP, parked here at 15:05 on April 22, shows is that it is acceptable for the council in our Cycling City to park here, so anyone else should feel free to as well.