Saturday, 12 October 2013

cyclelanes4cash: has the traffic department "gone rogue"?

A subversive becoming known to us, Wheels on a bike, alerted us to this: cyclelanes4cash. A story he broke and which made the online cycling press. Well, with the Evening Post outing itself as nothing but an entertainment magazine, the online press, including bristol24x7 and the bristolian (also in print at various fine drinking establishments) are the news -news the post follows 2+ weeks later.

Anyway, Colston Street -from the centre to Park Row. The easiest cycle route up this hill, and so a popular alternative amongst the tax dodgers to "death by park row", which is not only steeper, it abandons you at the triangle with a forced left turn: precisely the wrong direction and option to reach the university alive.

It is also Sustrans route 4, London to Wales for the same reason. Due to its popularity, the council provides a cycle route up the hill.

Or to be precise: provided.

five car lengths worth of the bike lane were painted out and turned into paid parking spaces. why? So the council can raise money.

We don't support this. Why not?
1. We can already park for free in a bike lane
2. Paid parking spaces use up free bike lane parking
3. it forces cyclists into our way, be it the pavement or the road.

As it is a climb, keeping the marxists out of our way actually increased journey time, yet instead the council here is forcing them to get in front of us. And for what? £20K/year?
You can see where the paint has been melted over to create the spaces

Up the hill the red paint returns, showing that if the council were serious about revenue, they've got a lot left. This is a fact that must concern the cyclists, as now the traffic department has declared open season on every bike path in the city.
Specifically: if there is a bike lane along a road where there are some clear revenue opportunities, the bike lane is doomed.
The senior council management -Mayor George Fergus and Cllr Mark Bradshaw have claimed that they are reversing the change. Presumably it was that or face public ridicule and the need to update the 2014 bristol cycling maps by removing (more) of the bike lanes.

Maybe so, but it shows that the Traffic Planning department has gone completely rogue: looking after its revenue interests ahead of any other concern: not just the needs of those cycling tax-dodgers, but the needs of those of us driving up the hill who don't want to be held up by subversives who can't get above 6 mph on this hill.

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