Thursday, 25 June 2015

RPZ comes to Monty: Oh the Inhumanity!

  • First they came to Kingsdown, and everyone celebrated.
  • Then they came to Cotham, and nobody complained
  • Then they came to Redland, and the main complaints were from people just outside the zone.
  • They they came to St Pauls, and people were upset about the cost, rather than the parking
  • Then they came to Clifton and the shopkeepers who wanted to drive to work were more focused on their convenience than the revenue gains on having customer parking, they paid for tanks to make their point, still lost —and now have signs up everywhere saying "30 minute parking is free, please come and shop despite all the horror stories we put out"

And now: Monty

It's fascinating to see how the Evening Post has finally managed finda an agenda they can get people even in the inner city to care about. Up till now, what the BEP wrote about was irrelevant. Like who cares about congestion in Westbury on Trym or what's happening in Stapleton.

No more. Instead they've managed to stir up horror stories and build a whole agenda which everyone wanting to be elected as a mayor is using as their core election theme.

It's almost as if the paper has found a way to stay relevant in an era of free news over the internet.

Well, unlike the Evening Post we've spent time in Montpelier and have a dataset going back years. On a road-by-road basis, such as Richmond Road.

This is what it used to look like

A road where the pavement was exclusively used for parking, yet still so tight that only the bold drove down it.

If you were, say, trying to walk your kids to school, you'd be in the same roadway, keeping a tight rein on your four year old in case they ran ahead and ended up under an oncoming van or a car pulling out from their parking space on that pavement.

It was essentially a "shared space"

Yet look now? Someone has painted double yellow lines up one entire side of it! You can now drive up this road without fearing for your paintwork!

Incredibly, you don't have to commit to that journey hoping you wont meet anyone coming the other way —as if that did happen, one of you would be reversing up a road so tight that you had to get it spot on or hear a scraping sound.
  1. It is now possible to drive up and down Richmond road safely.
  2. It is now possible to walk up richmond road on the pavement, and even send a small child to run ahead of you without worrying about it being run over.
  3. It is now trivial to for a car and a bicycle to pass.
That is what the RPZ has brought to Montpelier: not just white lines, not just yellow lines —but pavements people can use.

Anyone who says "its destroying Montpelier" clearly has a vision of the area where nobody walked, where scenes of two drivers out their car shouting at each other as to who was going to reverse were viewed as quaint traditions.

And what does the Evening Post do? Rather than highlight how it has now become safer to walk or cycle, how it has become more convenient to drive through, they've pointed to the yellow paint that someone has thrown onto the ticket machine at (00:48). That's the machine on the pavement which was never visible before.

And while the BEP condemn the vandalism, they don' t really, they are proud to report it —and blame the mayor for making the protesters do it.

So for all this "evening post represents the people" fuss they are really fighting to preserve a time when pavements were for parking and children couldn't walk round Montpelier safely.

Why should we, the residents of the inner city care? We are just being mislead by a paper that is happy to manufacture controversy, and happy to find it in the lives of people who are unable to adapt to change. Tough.

At this point the RPZ-haters will be going "So where did the cars go, eh?" The answer there is: the council added extra parking spaces round the corner by marking St Andrews Road for echelon parking.

In this photo you can just about make out a car coming up behind the parked van blocking the view. Which highlights the issue with echelon parking: its got a higher collision rate, and is particularly bad for cyclists.

In order to make the RPZ rollout less controversial, the council chose to make cycling on St Andrews Road more hazardous.

That's something for the haters to consider.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

HD06NZY texting school runner

You can spot a car when the driver is texting. Rather than pootle along with the car in front, they leave a gap, then, when they look up and see it, finally jerk forwards, before repeating the manoeuvre one SMS interval later.

Here you can see HD06NZY doing precisely this in the oncoming lane, a queue on Cotham Road to get to the roundabout which is blocked by school parents.

It being school run time, our expendable reporter opted to turn round and ask them to stop it. As you can see, they're a school running parent themselves. Presumably one of those parents who thinks it is too dangerous for their kid to ever walk or cycle to school -so instead they drive. And as anyone who ever has to do that school run by car in Bristol will know: its not fun. It's slow and boring. Hence the need to do something other than talk to a small child in the back.

The mum doesn't seem too happy about the other school parent telling her off. It's bad enough having to sit in a traffic jam without having some sanctimonious tax-dodger complaining that they are endangering all children trying to walk or cycle to school. People like that should,

If those parents who let their children walk or cycle to school really loved their children, they'd drive them to school. It's too dangerous to do anything else!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Leigh Woods: nicer cars, more polite twats

One of our Bristol Traffic expendable tax-dodging reports was tasked to head over to Leigh Woods on a weekday morning, to see what all the fuss about the Clifton RPZ destroying the prestigous mock-rural suburb. It doesn't appear to be.

Watch this video and consider that all inboud traffic is paying £1/vehicle to drive into Bristol. The Clifton RPZ rollout does not seem to have discouraged this flow of traffic from the "nice but dull" parts of N. somerset, and the "simply dull" parts like Portishead. All the vehicles here will have come down the A369 from Portishead/Gordano M5 junction, or from Clevedon via Beggars Bush Lane. Yet despite the inner city waging a war on the hard-working motorist of the mock-rural suburbs, there's still a line of cars heading in.

What is notable, compared to inner Bristol, and even more so the Glasgow of Magnatom's videos, is

  1. All the cars are nice, shiny and relatively new, with a bias towards the overweight SUV.
  2. They all have their wingmirrors. This shows that they neither drive nor park in much of the city. These vehicles do not cross Whiteladies Road to points east.
  3. There's nobody texting except P277FAL. This implies the flow rate of the traffic is higher than Gloucester and Whiteladies Roads.
  4. When the self-important twat driving Mercedes EH03DHJcomplains to a cyclist that they are holding them when there is a bike lane, it's done in a genteel, polite, "could you use the cycle lane", rather than the stream of Glaswegian abuse or a screaming fit of the kind you'd see in Richmond.

That said. EX03DHJ is still a self-entitled wanker. He's just pulled out from the residential side road and is immediately on the horn because the cyclist is in the middle of the road in the line of slow moving cars, then comes up with the "I'm a cyclist myself, you see" cliche, while politely asking the tax-dodger to please use the cycle lane. It being nice sunny morning in Leigh Woods, the cyclist politely says no, rather than telling them to fuck off, the way you'd be expected to do in inner Bristol.

For those residents of the inner city, we have provided a translation