Saturday, 7 November 2009

Anti-social hoodies

(Above) The hooded cycle signals on Hoe Street this week.

On 7 September I noted that

Cyclists have long had the benefit of a cycle lane through the road closure at the junction of St Mary Road and Hoe Street. This photograph shows it, facing west towards Selborne Road. It’s a major route for cyclists. And at the moment the cycling phase has been shut down and the lights hooded. There is no advance warning for cyclists.

There were bitter protests in the local paper from pedestrians, who complained that temporary traffic lights were only supplied for drivers and they were expected to take their chances. There were also complaints from drivers, grumpy about the long tailbacks. The temporary lights for drivers were removed and the lights switched back on for pedestrians and drivers almost three weeks ago. There were no complaints from any cycling groups and the dedicated cycle lights at this signalled junction (St Mary Road E17/Hoe Street) remained hooded until Wedneday, when just one hood was removed, even though the cycle lights were working (you could see them shining through at night). So that's no lights for cyclists over a period of two months - a perfect symbol of the contempt for this marginalised means of transport in a culture which continues to prioritise motor vehicles, and regards cycling as a fifth-rate travel mode. Even today, all the hoods but one remain over the cycling lights.

(Below) Last Monday. A cyclist risks it and heads towards the cycle lane in the middle of the carriageway. A pedestrian follows. Although pedestrians have a signalled crossing to the right of this picture, it is widely ignored by pedestrians who naturally prefer to take the most direct route to Walthamstow Central, rather than have to follow a circuitious route which involves cattle pens and long waits at three separate sets of signals. This shambolic junction is a classic example of the idiocy of transport planning which prioritises motor vehicle flow over walking and cycling, or the convenience of those who prefer to use public transport rather than the car.

(Below) The pedestrian makes it to the cycle lane just in time...