Monday, 1 November 2010

Bicycles on the A38, vans in Monty

We are secretly recording cyclists through the city, then buying them beers and finding out how their day was -as a result, we are starting to understand their (invalid) reasoning better.

Here is Stokes Croft of a morning, the cyclist is waiting to turn right, and watching the two incoming lanes.

Note how two cars get their lane choice wrong and decide to go straight on in defiance of left-turn signs for that lane. Yet still some tax-dodger decides to RLJ their left turn onto Stokes Croft.

At 1:00, the cyclist gets their turn in, skids left onto picton street, passing a van on the pavement to their left. Some people think parking blocking the pavement is wrong, but in this part of the city it is that or block the road entirely. At 1:14 you see someone doing that, and you see the bicycle proceeding to the left of the van, despite the fact that in our post-mortem we can see the door opening, and the passenger forced to retreat by the passing bicycle.

We understand why you wouldn't wait for the van; in monty that could be a few hours waiting. But why not go up on the pavement, the way most tax-dodgers would do.

The answer to that becomes clear on a later video. You can be sure that a van isn't going to veer into the parked cars, but you can't be sure that they aren't going to swerve up onto the pavement and drive along for a bit. We see this hear on the "Richmond Road shared space", an area to the side of roads that would elsewhere be called by its old name, "the pavement"

The van graciously waits for the parent and pushchair blocking this pavement, and once gone gets up on it and carries on, before eventually parking. The cyclist then passes them, continues down to Bath Buildings and Cheltenham Road, where we can watch the chaos with bemusement. The first cyclist, the BMX-er dodging a turning car probably just ran orange, or was past on red but, well, slow. The second one, the one that nearly takes our our tax-dodger as they ride across the road, he has had 10 seconds of red before he goes. That's three cyclists and three vans in our camera. All three vans are trying to find somewhere safe to park, which anti-car montpelier makes excessively hard. Of the three cyclists in the video, two of them seem blatantly oblivious to red.

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