Sunday 10 July 2011

Institutionalised Indifference

On the approach to the M32, the A4174 ring road cycle path has an option to turn left and head to UWE via Old Filton Road. That's "the pleasant option".

There's a sign saying "cyclists, please give way to pedestrians"

It's as if the key fear of the council is that someone walking may get hit by a bicycle.

It isn't. The key danger for anyone walking or cycling is getting hit by a car. Yet down by the MoD roundabout, anyone on foot or pedal is left to fend for themselves on many of the crossings. No "motorists, please give way to cyclists and pedestrians" signs.

Some have a bit of green: meaningless. If you get run over using one of those, it'll be dismissed as "they chose to die"
Within the MoD premises, even the green lines go away, and you expected to run or cycle over two-lane wide roads to get to the narrow little traffic islands in the middle.
When the Bristol Rovers grounds opens, there will be two lanes of cars sprinting up this hill to get to the match; somehow we suspect cycle parking and safe cycling nearby will be "forgotten about", or pushed to one side the way each supermarket always has six bicycle stands looking forlorn in a far corner of the car park.

The presence of cycle-city funded roadsigns show that this a recommended route.  Not recommended by UWE, who are most pleased that the new football stadium will add an extra 1200+ parking spaces during the daytime. Who the fuck for? Students? Not the vice chancellor, he has his own space for his shiny jaguar. Staff? We have no idea, we just know that this seems to be what they wanted. Not better buildings. Not the building of a public transport hub with secure bike parking (compared with today's "where do you want your bike to get stolen from" facilities). No, 1200 parking spaces. A university that cares.

This isn't what you'd get the Netherlands. The only reason the crossing is survivable today is that stadium isn't open and the people who cycle over the crossing it are today's cyclists: adult men, going to work or university. It's not a "kids cycling to school with their parents" path -and at this rate it will never be.

If the number of people cycling increases, so will the risk of collisions. You can say what you want about drivers "expecting more cyclists" when there are more of them; S Gloucs council gives drivers the right of way at these roundabout junctions, and you can be 100% sure they will take it

Putting in zebra/cycle crossings now will keep expectations of people driving down, rather than having to wait for some deaths. Maybe, just maybe it could be made a requirement of the UWE/Rovers deal, but somehow we suspect that it's not something Cllr Bwian Allinson will be pushing for.

No comments:

Post a Comment