Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Quality Streets

Now that Christmas is over, and most of the left-overs eaten, only the least appealing of the Quality Streets are left in the packet here at Bristol Traffic (we've got some Celebrations, but we're hanging on the them for the New Year).

It was the thought of Quality Streets which reminded us of our favourite Bristol example, Gloucester Road. This was the first 'Showcase Bus Route' in the city, and has apparently been a great success - to such an extent that one of the bus-stops near the Prom Club is no longer in service.

Here's a view of this Quality Street, just up from the Prom Club. Note the quality.

We like:

- The Tree. Street trees are good, reflecting proper civic pride.
- The Signage. Important information for motorists is essential.
- The Litter Bin. Vital, with facilities for smokers, too, which is very inclusive.
- The Wheelie Bin. Vital if traders along the road are to survive.
- The Telephone Box. Not everyone has an iPhone, after all.
- The Street Light. Keeps us safe at night.
- The Street Paint. Good for helping us spot the traffic lights, which we also like.

Unfortunately, all this quality is let down by the useless cycle stands, installed as part of the cycling city fiasco. Surely that space could have been used for a decent advertisement display board?

A similar 'Quality Street' scheme is currently proposed for Whiteladies Road. We look forward to it.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Distorted Reality

We've been emailed a peculiar image. We're unsure whether it reflects the state of the photographer's mind at the time, or is just an attempt at being arty.

We note, however, that the yellow car is parked at an angel in the 'Disabled' parking bay in Caledonia Place, Clifton.

On closer inspection, though, it becomes clear why Fiat R368MMW needs to park at such a jaunty angle. Some selfish soul has obviously put a traffic cone in the bay to prevent parking here. We suspect this would be someone with one of those really useful blue badges that allows us to park on double yellow lines (we've got a pack of them here at Bristol Traffic  -  if you'd like one just ring the Bristol Traffic Help Desk - most major credit cards accepted).

Luckily for the Fiat, this is Clifton where the standard rules of behaviour do not apply, especially when it comes to parking. So it's possible to park here without a blue badge with impunity. He who dares, wins.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Bristol Engineering Projects - Merry Christmas

This is the season of Christmas cheer, so spare a thought for Bristol City Council's "Bristol Engineering Projects Team". This secretive bunch are the people who put the traffic lights in our roads and re-design our junctions.  We do wonder if occasionally, for a little bit of fun, they are behind all those particularly dangerous and annoying cycle lanes, installed as part of Bristol's failed attempt to become a 'Cycling City'. It’s sad to say but in these straightened times they seem to be running out of road “improvements” to carry out.

How nice, then, to see to see them busily working in Redland Green (a park) and discover that they are now finding new places to practice their art.  We love the fence that they are building across the park to make life difficult for cyclists, especially as there is a real chance that the fence might eventually injure or even permanently incapacitate a few of these freeloaders.  The fence on the Green really represents a great achievement because it has been constructed in such a way that it will make it hard for baby cyclists to learn their despicable habits. Quite literally, it cuts them short in their tracks.  Hopefully, they will all learn to drive instead with Second2none.  That is, if they haven’t been too badly injured by crashing into the fence, or crushing their driving fingers in the finger trapping gates (the gates are particularly impressive and may even prevent a few mothers and buggies from even making it to the playground).

The Bristol Engineering Projects Team appear to have cleverly managed to do the whole thing without even telling Bristol Parks. Let’s hope they can do it again and again so at last we will get some of these scruffy areas fenced in and preferably paved over.

Bristol Traffic applauds councillor Sylvia Townsend for her spirited defence of the fence at a recent Neighbourhood Partnership meeting, especially as she was entirely alone. We don’t attend such things but our spies tell us that the miserable local community objected to the fence one and all and have written hundreds of letters and emails against these forward-looking proposals.  Can you image that some of them even had the audacity to ask what the fence was for?  How mean spirited and narrow minded of them.  Clearly these residents are deluded in thinking that Redland Green is meant to be an open area of park for people to enjoy when we know it represents a great opportunity for highways thinking.

At the other end of the Green some road construction is already happening and a forest of railings going up to catch unwary cyclists and even a few small children.  We’ve been disappointed to see railings and bollards disappearing from roads because the nanny state panders to the whims of busybodies who pretend to care about the serious injuries to pedestrians and cyclists.  Well, we at Bristol Traffic are made of sterner stuff and we salute you councillor Townsend.

Pushed out of the highways maybe, but we are happy to report that highways engineering is alive and well in our parks.  

We feel that parks offer many opportunities. The area inside the fence must have already been earmarked as a car park which will at last make some proper use of this redundant space and who knows, there may even be a traffic light or too. Modest maybe, and we realise that this is a far cry from the major road schemes of the past, but there are so many things to be done in parks that we can be sure that the Bristol Engineering Projects Team won’t now run out of work.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

RAC visiting the White Bear

We like coverage of pubs, today, the White Bea, which:
  1. is in the student quarter
  2. has free wifi
  3. has a big white bear statue in front of it and one painted further up the wall.
  4. has an RAC van up on the pavement in front of it next to the "no parking" signs

What's interesting about the RAC van VN07KYA is it is parked over new double yellow lines, as this area becomes residents parking in three weeks time. This will make driving to the White Bear trickier, except that as you can park free for 15 minutes in the zone, if the bar staff are nippy you've got time to park, grab a couple of pints, then carry on.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Family Cycling vs S Gloucs

Shocking footage of an entire family's collection of bicycles, up in the North Fringe, at a secret (as in "official secret protected by the official secrets act") location.

What's surprising is that they managed to get there, despite the efforts of S Gloucs council, who strategically positioned a lorry over the bike path to stop anyone who wasn't bold enough to cycle along a dual carriageway from getting to the bike racks.

Come on S. gloucs, please try harder!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Push back the darkness

Today, December 21 is the solstice, when the night is longest, the day the coldest.

This year we are reminded, as it is as cold and grim as places north, like Birmingham and Leeds.

The Christians have been saying we, the British, have forgotten the reason for their festival.

We, the Bristolians, say they have forgotten the real reason for the midwinter festivities. It is to push back winter, to give us our day back.

Many of us remember this, but not enough, not this year. That is why it is so dark, so bleak.

But do not fear! Together we can bring back the sun. All it takes is for every reader to spill a drop of blood on the last relics of the Elder Gods in our houses, the so-called christmas trees, and together we can regain spring. Do it for the sake of the city!

As we in B.T. have to do more advanced sacrifices, we shall be a bit distracted over the next few days. Expect intermittent coverage. And if the days get longer, thank us.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Feedback and the implications for SITA S788NNK

Our coverage of one truck driver giving the pedestrians the abuse they deserve has proved very poplar. We know this as Youtube sent us an email saying "your video might be eligible for the YouTube Partnership Programme, which allows you to make money from playbacks of your video.", which implies more than eight people saw it.

We also got many comments on the video, some of which were sadly negative towards us. luckyeightball said
the only crime here is decent hard working blokes trying to earn a honest living, get pin pointed by some p**ck who walks around filming people, i bet he takes the videos home and masterbates in his garden shed to the thought of knowing he's caused someone grievance, probably lives with his mum too, gimp
Bristol Traffic is a team project, everyone in the city participates. Those of us who work in the Bristol sex industry supply chain don't need to sneak off to the garden shed as we have discounted "access" to the professionals who provide their services down in Stokes Croft. As we are regulars we even get rebates when things don't work as expected. Plus the wifi doesn't get to the shed.

Humpski2817 said
If I was this driver I would go to you tube and quote their Privacy Complaint Guidelines as I am quite sure you do not have permission to use his image and as the say in the account policies "let us know if videos or comments on the site violate your privacy or sense of safety."
We've discussed this before. You have to give up some expectations of privacy on the streets. Public Place = public. Private place = private. It's an interesting issue though, with Google Streetview being the cutting edge. To launch that service in Germany, they've had to remove the houses and gardens from the view, which means that street views have entire houses missing, so limiting their value. We are glad therefore for your awareness of these issues, though feel you have some more learning on this topic before your statements come off as well-informed. But it's a start.

The most insightful comment came from SuperJonah2010
"i personely believe as a hgv driver that bristol is a hard town to be in.and that the actions of the guy with the cammera are intimidating and the driver would of seen him as a threat!as he said he chased him down the road in his own posting!i would of thought about my load and is that guy pulling a knife or a gun out of his rucksack!it happend to be a camera!my actions would have been the same if not alot worse!what planet is the idiot who posted this video on!"

That really explains some of the issues HGV drivers have in the city. Our taxi driver acquaintances fear late night customers to the edges of the city, bus drivers are scared to stop on Crow Lane (update: plans to sell of the greenery may make it safer). What we hadn't realised up until now was that HGV drivers are scared of pedestrians.

Up until now we viewed them as a hazard. Admittedly, mostly to cyclists, but such incidents close off busy roads for hours, even to vans, - and parked cars. And, because they have better negotiating power in narrow roads, we aren't that fond of HGVs . But we hadn't realised that they were scared of pedestrians! That changes the whole view of things. They must be terrified of doing any of the "shared space" roads like Cotham Hill or Picton Street. Anyone walking down the middle of the road may suddenly get out a firearm or knife and hijack your load! This continuous fear of pedestrians must make the entire city a stressful place to do deliveries -far better to stay in Avonmouth where you don't see people walking around, and if you do, you can call the police and report them.

This fear of highway robbery must also trigger the use of classic military tactics, the key ones being: keep moving and take the high ground.

We can see an example of this at the bottom of Cotham Brow, looking towards the Arches. Our white van is stuck at the lights. We aren't worried about anyone stealing our load as we'll just report to the police that someone else has stolen a "Edmond and Cheggers Inflatable Doll Party Pack" and they'll drive up the A38 following the laughter on the pedestrians until they find the culprits. The Nisa Today lorry was facing the same direction when it swung left into Kingsley Road and got into that debate with the pedestrian about whether they should have indicated before the turn. The answer from a game theory perspective is of course: no, don't signal your intent -it makes it harder for them to plan their attack.

Today we are held up by some lights, cars coming from Cromwell Road are heading up from the Arches to Cotham Brow. This is a narrow road with parking spaces on either side of the road almost deliberately laid out to create conflict -conflict the parking review will leave in. For example, those cars on the left? Short stay parking, with only 40cm of pavement alongside there's no room to get wheels on the pavement, so it creates a choke point -a bit of traffic calming. And a place where a malicious pedestrian could attack a lorry driver and make off with their payload.

The small cars, like the council car, don't have a problem, they pootle up the road. But what of the SITA van S788NNK? The choke point here exposes them to attack -anyone could pop out from the side road hold a knife, a gun, a rolled up newspaper (we've all seen that Bourne Identity film -we know newspapers are weapons), and take their valuable payload of ready-for-recycling cardboard.

How will the SITA drivers handle it? With Military precision.

They seize the enemy territory by going straight onto the pavement. Notice how they do it. No halfhearted "protect the wheels" actions, but a full "take the high ground" operation to get along the pavement and then drop down once they get past the narrowness.

By keeping the forward momentum, the oppo team is left on the defensive, and without the pavement they can't hang back and hope to jump up into the cab as it goes past.

Together, this ensures that the SITA cardboard will reach its destination securely.

This whole notion that lorry and HGV drivers fear pedestrians is going change some of our thinking. In fact it's profound. It explains a lot of city design -like the pedestrian underpasses of the Bearpit, St Paul's and Lawrence Hill roundabouts. They must have gone in not just to keep motor traffic speeds up, but to reduce the risk of pedestrians attacking trucks. It also explains why money needs to be invested in making pedestrians and cyclists feel unwelcome in those parts of the city popular with HGVs -because the drivers don't want them there.

The implications of this discovery are still trickling through our brains, so expect more coverage of the topic in the new year. Until then, all those pedestrians whom we now suspect read this blog -remember, the HGV driver is more scared of you!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Harbour Frozen

The view by the Nova Scotia pub this week shows the harbour has a hint of Auld Scotia in it.

The ice is not quite thick enough to walk or drive on. Which makes us realise that it is time to get out the old plans to tarmac over the entire harbour, now we have a still-expanding one to the west. There will be room for a fast route for Portishead commuters to get into town, and the spare spaces could be used for parking. We could have a bus to take people the final half mile, call the parking Park and Ride and then even the vegetarian eco-hippies would have nothing to complain about.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A local driving school discusses the highway code

Our coverage of the anti-car streets of Horfield generated some comments from 2nd2none driving school, who seemed to misinterpret our photos of one of their instructors cars parked on the pavement as some form of criticism. Nothing could be further from the truth! We are merely jealous that the instructor who lives in the area has some empty pavement outside their house that they can call their own. In the inner city we can spend twenty minutes driving round looking for some space on a buildout or zebra crossing, yet in the suburbs, there is a bit of pavement every household can call their own. The only time we've ever said anything mildly critical of this driving school was when we caught them parking legally in Montpelier, because that's failing to teach people the local skills. Robbies driving school never gets caught doing that.

First, they say:
by this comment you dont actually drive and are simply a busy body with nothing better to do than ride around complaining about trivial things like this.
Bristol Traffic is a community project that exists to document, not take sides. You appear to have taken our coverage as some form of criticism, for which we must apologise.

Anyway, the driving school made some valid points, the first one being:
we teach our pupils to park correctly but anyone can clearly see that these roads are far to small to do that.
at times parking on the pavement is unavoidable as to keep the road clear for other users.
Exactly. There is the theory "don't park on places you aren't allowed to", and practice "park where you need to" -and its the difference between the two which we find fascinating, and why driving school and L-plated cars get extra coverage that normal cars don't usually merit. We aren't criticising, merely observing and documenting.

Now, -and this is where it gets interesting- some people replies to the driving school's comments, not agreeing with them, but instead pointing out the bit of the highway code that discusses parking on pavements! This is shocking! Even more so when at more than one of the people replying claimed to be a contributor to the site! We shall have to pay more attention to who we let submit photographs and videos, as some of them clearly hold different opinions from our own -and the rest of the tax paying motorists in the city who subsidise their pedestrian lifestyle. See that? Pedestrian. It's come to mean "slow". There's a hint there.

Fortunately, the driving school replied and made a key point that wins the argument:
as for the highway code, this is a rule book that was written in 1931 with approximately 2 million cars on the road and the motor car being a non essential commodity, not the 27 million cars that now exist on this small island. There simply isnt enough road space for driving or parking and Bristol has one of the worst managed road systems of any city's.
This is precisely what we think, which is why we exist to document how utterly out of touch the highway code is, such as its complete lack of exemptions for anyone like us doing deliveries in town.

Look at this white van, WP57WGW, parked over a zebra crossing at the bottom of Cotham Hill December 8 2010! Zebra crossings and belisha beacons are a 1930s idea -time to move on!

Look at N&C deliveries truck N6MOV, who know that unloading pallets takes priority over solid white "do not cross lines" and double yellow lines alongside them on the Cotham Hill on December 8. Yellow lines? Obsolete! Time to move on!
Again -what a coincidence- here on Cotham Brow, December 8, Falafel King's delivery van WR58GWG is parked up on the pavement on double yellow lines. Yes, the old highway code says you must not do this, but if you need to get falafels into van, what else can you do? Double yellow lines? Pavements wide enough for pedestrians? Obsolete! Time to move on!
We close, however, with this video of the streets in Horfield round where the 2nd2none car was spotted, giving viewers from outside the city a harsh introduction to this area's problems. The roads aren't wide enough for cars to park two abreast, and the alternative -park on one side walking a bit- would involve walking a bit. As for double parking -forget it! These aren't the wide streets of Clifton.
The 2nd2none driving school must feel so proud as they drive round these streets, seeing what may be many former happy customers, not only having got past the test, but parking in the streets the way people in our city really need to do -even in the parts of town where there are still spaces on the other side of the road.

And of course, if you want to get new customers for your motor vehicles, there is the tilleys tactic, namely co-opting the bike path, footpath or pavement to sell your wares. Every pedestrian whose route is obstructed by a driving school vehicle will realise that driving not only gets them round town better, it lets them park conveniently afterwards, and so will be more tempted to spend the money to learn to drive.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Safe Protesting during the winter months

Given the fact that the students and the schoolkids are now out protesting -often after dark- we need to think how to deal with more pedestrians on the road.

Here we see some of the students outside the Senate House, Tyndall's Avenue, which they have occupied part of.

Not one of them is wearing a hi-viz top!

Across the road, there is a minor police presence: one horse.
The police know how dangerous the city streets are -which is why both they and the horse are wearing hi-viz, though we are saddened to see that the rider isn't wearing a helmet.Do they not realise how dangerous horse-riding is? It is from the fort at the end of the path that Prince Rupert of the Rhine surrendered Bristol to the Parlimentarians -the people- and then rode off to wales for safety.
Fortunately, we are aware of such safety issues, and in conjuction with the local councils and the Evening Post, we are pleased to announce a new Christmas Gift: discounted high viz tops. These are available at discount rates, and different sizes. Imagine how your children's eyes will light up when they get their first hi-viz top! As for the students, well, if they are to get in the way of cars driven by important people, they need all the hi-viz they can afford!

Sense at last

Common sense seems almost to have returned to Bristol City Council following their unsuccessful attempt to turn Bristol into a 'Cycling City'.

Whilst we object to not being able to park the Bentley in Boyce's Avenue during the day, we note with glee that a proposed new 'Pedestrian Zone' will also exclude cyclists, who will not be able to nip under the arch and so get into victoria square safely. With the moving of a taxi rank to a currently wasted double yellowed lined area on Clifton Down road for the installation of new loading bays and disabled parking, even cyclists not trying to use the short-cut will find their life less pleasant, which cheers us up.

We'll have our roving reporters out there, 10 - 6 every day, ticketing any cyclists that dare to disobey. 

Unless, of course, they object in sufficient numbers by 17th December to

citing "Proposed pedestrianisation scheme, Boyces Avenue, Clifton" as the subject.

Luckily we know that very few cyclists read this blog, and we know that they're unlikely to ever find the Consultation Document on the web as they're probably to busy making lentil sandwiches for Christmas.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Nisa Today's drivers shows their awareness of pedestrians

While in London the cyclist campaigners mourn the fact that HGV drivers are often oblivious to cyclists, in Bristol the large delivery vehicles are aware of more vulnerable road users, and rather than use their indicators to warn of impending actions, use hand signals and voice calls to ensure that everyone is aware of the issue.

Here we see FJ59DFF making their intent clear to pedestrians crossing the road, using hand and voice, and by engaging in a dialogue, understanding that their manoeuvres will be carried out, such as the turn from Cotham Brow into Kingsley Road, and from Kingsley road to Zetland Road, where we see the driver adding some voice and eye contact, to make sure that they have been seen.

You could indicate before your truck turns, but then you may not be sure that the pedestrians planning to cross have actually seen it. Hand signals and shouting are more effective.

Note that Nisa Today's are a community set of shops who work together for better pricing; their deliveries are all handled by DHL -hence the little DHL logo on the side of the van. The driver is paid by DHL, so their impact on Nisa Today's branding by appearing in such videos is of little direct consequence.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Wouldn't hang around the student quarter in a car like that

Dru Marland emails us to say she spotted this important car parked outside Clifton Down shopping centre at Whteladies Gate on Friday, less than 24 hours after an uncontrolled mob of students attacked a Royal Family RR in London.
it's getting out of hand, I tells you
Given this car is parked in the no parking area directly adjacent to the bus shelter where we recently saw tens of students waiting for a bus, that's a pretty risky place for 6CWB to park while nipping into the supermarket. This is why we like our van better -it blends in with the rest of the city, including the Out of Hand van parked over the zig-zags by the pedestrian crossing to the left of the camera.

Interestingly, that RR's registration number, is open to offers. Perhaps the economy isn't recovering quite as well as were are told, not if important people are willing to sell their car's registration plates.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Tiley of Bristol embrace Cycle City Hartcliffe Way

Hartcliffe Way, the southern bit of the A4174 ring road. Now, with the cycle city program, with a bike path along it.

How will the people use it? Well, we don't care about pedestrians or cyclists, because, well, they aren't real people.

What we are pleased to see is Tiley Motors of Hartcliffe Way recognising that anyone walking or cycling is deficient, but there is an obvious solution: get a car.

Tiley's have parked their budget vehicles on the bike/foot path, so attracting the attention of the underpeople, while clearly making the point that for just £795 the poor unfortunates could get themselves a motor and join the grown-ups.

Now, when the cycle city money turned out to only be 4X that spent on a single slip road to the Cribbs Causeway shopping mall, yet these new paths offer shopping opportunities, then even we cannot denounce this cycling city initiative any more. Tiley of Bristol! We salute you!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Student Coverage

Someone sent us some photos of horses -and you know our feelings about them- blocking Park Street while some pedestrians argue with them. We aren't going to put them up as the process of anonymising the pictures is too tricky to do reliably, however it is depressing to see people on foot and horse slowing our van journeys round the city. Apparently over in London they even got in the way of some important people, which we feel is unfair reporting by the BBC. For us, the white van drivers of the city, every journey is critical to keeping this vast city alive, whereas some jolly to the theatre by some royal family members is just that: entertainment. Furthermore, we aren't sure that the royal family pay road tax, and you know our thoughts there: no road tax, no road rights.

It's interesting to hear the audience, especially the "off with their heads" chants. Presumably those are history students who do understand the traditional rituals of regicide in Europe, as practiced in Britain and more recently across the waters in France and elsewhere.

We don't do bias -we report the real issues of the city. Here we see a row of students waiting by a bus stop, all with their orange supermarket shopping bags. We don't care that they are government funded, because looking at the long term return on investment/tax revenue opportunties, they have more chance of paying their way than, say, old people with free bus passes and prescriptions. However, the students walk, they take buses, they get in our way.

We are grateful for the new governments plans to reduce the free cash future students will have, so reducing the likelihood of them shopping in supermarkets, or getting buses home afterwards.

If there is one thing we have complaints about, however, it is the policing, especially the horses and the helicopter. That helicopter is noisy! We understand now why over in Co. Armargh they used to shoot at them. It was to get some sleep. 

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Aberdeen Good, Bristol Stupid

Here's a photo one of our roving reporters took.

Of Aberdeen.

Notice how carefully, and sensibly this city has been planned, unlike Bristol.

There's a railway for poor people to use, a proper road for real people to use, and a pavement for the bins. Luckily, there are no cyclists in sight (unlike Bristol).

Proper job.

Unfortunately, Bristol is full of idiots.

Luckily, the gene pool cleans itself, or so we're told.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Fraternal Greetings to our Aberdeen Franchise

The BBC has some excellent coverage of the anti-car experience in Scotland, where some people are being forced to use the (minimal) underground system round Glasgow, rather than drive. This saddens us.

We are pleased, therefore to announce our own contribution to helping Scotland's transport issues, by opening up the Aberdeen Franchise of our community service. We consider this the Big Society in action.

Apparently in Aberdeen, oil is so central to the local economy as car imports are to Avonmouth, so anyone not driving is rightfully viewed as some kind of social subversive threatening the entire existence of the city. In Bristol, this truth is not reported outside of the Evening Post, and its readership figures are so bleak we fear for the paper's continued existence.

Aberdeen Cars promises to explore the PaveParking opportunities of the city, as well as how to effectively drive and park in the area. Apparently also pagan era midwinter solstice rituals do take place on nearby standing stones, so in exchange for some of their "black haggis" we shall be sending up some "local food for local people" food from a well known stokes croft takeaway that provides special meat products for those they know well.

Aberdeen! Welcome to the Team!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Making Echelon Parking Safer

A lot of cyclists complain about "Echelon parking" as the cars and vans reversing out can hit cyclists. Our solution: ban cyclists, isn't being taken up, here on Whiteladies Road, so alternative solutions are being investigated.

We are pleased to see that the Saab KC03TKN and the Range-Rover behind it are doing their best to reduce risk here by double parking alongside the echelon-parked vehicles. Any bicycle that can get past them will be confident that no vehicles will reverse into them during the operation.

Such cyclists may be pleased to know that some extra echelon parking will be provided behind the camera, so ensuring that the roll-out of a bus lane doesn't remove any parking spaces from the urban realm. Indeed, when combined with the double parking option seen above, there may actually be more short-stay parking than ever before.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Roundabout work #3: WR08ADK pays the wing mirror tax

Here's the next in our St Michael's Hill Roundabout series, this time looking at how a single cyclist trying to use the route can cause mayhem and destruction.

Normally when the bicycle/wingmirror collision is discussed, it is the cyclist complaining about how they get hit by a car in a hurry. Nobody ever looks at it from the motorists perspective. We may have damaged a wingmirror, but do the cyclists ever compensate us? Most aren't even insured.

Take this scene from a video of our secretly instrumented cyclist, apparently as the car squeezes past them at the traffic island, the car's wing mirror bashes against their handlebars.

The vehicle WR08ADK is lucky to escape from the enraged cyclist, who will probably commit more acts of violence against their Toyota Aygo, and again, without cyclist insurance, it'll be the motorist who picks up the bill.

We would say the motorist's insurers, except for one small detail: WR08ADK doesn't appear in the insurance database. Askmid denies it, while the AA refuse to give it a breakdown quote, "the car is not in the database", they say.

By not being in the database that this car driver not only has to pay for their own vehicle damage, be they wingmirrors or that caused by pedestrians, they cannot even get breakdown cover from the AA. This is unacceptable.

(Incidentally, this isn't a case of misreading the reg #, the car was seen cutting in front of a bike on Cotham Hill last week. It's a car whose # isn't in the database, a "ghost car").

(update: replaced Toyota Auris with Toyota Aygo. Nimble round town, though the wingmirrors and body coloured bumpers put it at a disadvantage when parking or working narrow streets).

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Roundabout work #2: 08:17

Once the mercedes that blocked vehicles getting off the roundabout had cleared it, vehicles wanting to get onto St Michael's Hill could pull out, and here see the correct tactic: stop cars getting onto the roundabout. It's the only way to reduce demand, and so ensure the junction clears.

Which vehicle do we see here? Yes, its YA55VDY, the cult van of Bristol Traffic

Notice how the vehicle following this car is also in the mini-roundabout, but it hangs back to actually allow pedestrians to cross at the traffic island. Of course, this will prevent vehicles turning right to pull out, which is a bit selfish, but it does allow the roundabout to clear by reducing vehicle ingress rates to match that of egress rates.

The key point here is that it shows that those fellow-motorist-activist groups who advocate removing traffic lights are either missing the point or hiding the truth. On a junction without lights -like this one- the only way to get through is to be aggressive: drive the big vehicles, the 4x4, or even better, the battered big-vehicle, such as the white van. Now we, as white-van drivers, are happy with this, but we think the harsh truth should be discussed in the open, not discovered once they remove lights from the city centre: whoever values their vehicle least wins.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Roundabout work #1: 08:15

08:15 to 08:16 on the top of St Michael's Hill.

First a car with a Montpelier-MOT wingmirror duct-taped into place. Someone just horned it as to get to this part of the junction (see on the dashed lines) it had to sprint up the oncoming traffic lane.

But by doing so it gets to pull out where the mercedes stuck in the middle of the mini roundabout has left a gap, follow the van through to the right and hope that there isn't anyone crossing the zebra crossing, which would block up the roundabout some more.
It does clear, the gap allows a car coming up Cotham Hill to pull out and turn right into St Michael's Hill.
Or it would, if the Mercedes hadn't stayed where it was.

Do you see what's wrong here? By staying back on the mini roundabout, by allowing cars out of Cotham Road, the school-run-driver is, sadly, making things worse. All the vehicles who are held up on Cotham Hill will see this and drive more considerately.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Slix Week 5

OK, so we know Slix is good (and to avoid any press complaints of bias we'll probably cover the other eateries and massage parlours of Stoke Croft in future editions).

We know that, as a convenient and iconic food outlet, Slix has great parking facilities (courtesy of the bike lane which deters commuters, but welcomes the brave).

We know that Noel Edmunds may or may not have eaten there. In his taxi.

We are impressed, though, that it is being protected by the State.

We found it reassuring that Police vehicle WX09EKU had parked-up in the cycle lane to ensure Stokes Croft was safe from errant taxi drivers, mini-cab deliveries and cyclists. We were just disappointed that it hadn't pulled up on the pavement, as that would have allowed us to complain, in true Daily Mail style, about the sort of low-life that populate this part of Bristol scratching the paintwork as they squeezed by.

Of course, it may be that they're there to arrest Mrs Lovett, but her pie shop (and others) still seem to exist on the Croft, so we doubt it.

Luckily, as can be seen from the photo, Stokes Croft is perfect for a new road widening scheme. Here at Bristol Traffic we reckon we could get at least five lanes of traffic in here, probably six if we narrowed the pavements. We will be lobbying our MPs.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Absolute Vehicle Care Ltd, selling Alloy wheels to outsiders who inconvenience us


Thank you for posting your comment on our alloy wheels are for outsiders posting.

We are aware that we are the highest ranked site when you search blogspot for alloy wheels, and therefore that a comment with some banal chat and back links to your own site would help your page rank. However, as well as using nofollow links to remove them from google's PageRank scores, we have a policy that says if you spam us with attempted to links, we only make fun of you. Therefore, please accept this posting as a gift, but note that the nofollow tag above renders your link worthless and all that you will get is more spam to your email address. Sorry.

There is no point trying to push alloy wheel services to our readers, despite our broad readership in Bristol, because (a) you have a Southampton postcode and are therefore unimportant, and (b) we don't think alloy wheels have a place in the city.

Every driver who has alloy wheels values their wheels. Not only does this prevent them doing operations in the city, it holds up other traffic. Takes this video of the bottom of St Michael's Hill from last month.

The car in front of us is waiting to turn slide into the left turn lane -which has a green light onto Park Row. But it cannot do that as the car in front of it values their wheels too much to scrape against the kerb or to commit more aggressively and get both wheels entirely on the pavement, and they still have a driver-side wingmirror to lose. The selfish decision of the first car to have alloy wheels not only slows them down, it slows down the rest of the city's traffic. And this is on a Sunday! Imagine how much congestion one selfish alloy-wheel owning outsider would cause on a busy weekday morning!

Drivers who value their vehicle's bodywork and paintwork are as much an inconvenience to us locals as pedestrians on zebra crossings and cyclists pootling along. You may not realise this as you live in the provinces and dream of day trips to Portsmouth where you can see three cars in a row, but we city folk know the harsh truth: from a game-theory perspective, alloy wheels place you at a disadvantage. They are easily damaged and, as they are a visible status symbol, everyone else sees that you value your car, therefore are more likely to give way on high conflict roads, such as here, the Horfield Road/St Michael's Hill junction.

Please do not bother posting any more spam advertisement comments, as we will only continue to criticise you for your naive lack of understanding of modern driving techniques and issues, as well as your complete ignorance of game theory and its application in city driving.

Thank you,

The Bristol Traffic Team.

Slix Week 4

Mini-cabs are one thing, but they are nothing in comparison to real cabbies.

A real taxi can use a bus lane, park in a cycle lane, and even go through no-entry signs (if you know the right routes).

Here though we see one visiting Stokes Croft, outside our feature takeaway of the week - Slix.

This taxi - T332MOA - is a frequent visitor to Stokes Croft, but we do wonder whether it's for real. We know of a famous and important person who lives locally and drives a taxi to get around bus-lane restrictions.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Slix Week 3

We're covering Slix in Stokes Croft this week, and we've noticed that it attracts some interesting clientele. It also sells burgers and chicken.

Yesterday we looked at the corporate appeal of the area, with cars such as WP06XTR using the cycle lane as a convenient stop-off to do a bit of business in the area, or pick up a burger and chips.

These parked cars, though, are actually an inconvenience, as they restrict the ability of mini-cab drivers to pick-up, drop-off and park-up to re-fuel.

Slix is an essential part of a central Bristol taxi driver's life-style, and, we hear, a destination of choice for many of their passengers, as YY05WEF and FB57KDF illustrate.