Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Obstacle course

In the London Borough of Waltham Forest all kinds of random clutter block the pavement for pedestrians and block cycle lanes for cyclists. For able-bodied walkers it's usually not a problem (unless you are forced out into a busy road) but it is if you are pushing a wheelchair, or a double-buggy, or are blind, or on a mobility scooter. For cyclists, clutter in the road or cycle lane represents a potentially serious collision, because you can't be sure that a driver approaching from behind will be alert to your need to move out round the obstruction. This kind of thing is never discussed by anyone, it seems to me, yet it represents a daily reality for pedestrians and cyclists.

(Above) This is lethal. It's just beyond the brow of a hill on a fast two-lane section of Forest Road on a stretch which has been the scene of multiple crashes, just beyond the junction with Hale End Road E17. There are no roadworks ahead; the contractors just left the sign behind. Yesterday.

(Below) Just beyond The Bell junction on Forest Road, heading towards the junction with Hawthorne Road E17. Yesterday.

(Below) Church Hill E17, Sunday.

Had enough of the roads? Why not use an off-road cycle lane, like this magnificently designed and maintained new westward lane (below) outside Waltham Forest College. Full width shown. You can just see the cycle logo underneath the four Kier street sweepings bags and the 'quality environment' litter bin. Yesterday. (And the positioning of that lighting column was obviously inspired by this!)