Saturday 13 November 2010

Another barrier to cycling

In another post, I described the somewhat mysterious broad lane bypass cycle route. The mystery being whether or not a cycle contraflow existed - Haringey council teased us with vague clues, but never gave the game away.

Even more mysterious was the fact that I happened to snap the contraflow exit when no cars were blocking it. This is indeed an amazing co-incidence of timing. It was like getting indisputable photographic evidence of the loch-ness monster, or the Yeti, and getting this by complete chance. I will always remember where I was when I saw this contraflow free of cars (there, taking a picture of it, of course). For those that missed this event, I have reproduced the picture below.

However, having the contraflow exit completely free of cars and usable felt wrong somehow - the natural order of things had been upset. So imagine my relief when I went past today and saw that the photo above was just a fluke chance.

Yes, normal service had resumed, the strange alignment of the stars to create a clear cycle infrastructure had now passed. I almost breathed a sigh of relief.

The thing is, the black corsa blocking the cycle-lane isn't illegally parked. The red route double lines stop at exactly the end of the concrete island. Where the car is parked is actually not marked at all, unlike the bays opposite which have parking restrictions.

This is yet another piece of cycling "infrastructure" that makes matters worse for the cyclist, not better. If it wasn't there, I could cycle along the left hand side and avoid potential conflict with cars turning into the road. As it is, with cars allowed to park so close they block the entrance, the cyclist has to move out to the centre of the road to avoid the concrete island and hope that nothing comes around the corner too quickly.

There is a school at the park end of Crowland road. The reason for the one way system was that the area got gridlocked with parents on the school run every day. Occasionally when I cycle along the road at school finishing time, I see some hardy school children cycling down Crowland Road, presumably also having to move out into potential conflict with turning vehicles. Haringey could have helped the congestion problem by providing some really good cycling facilities on these roads to enable parents and children to use cycles. Instead they implemented something that actually makes matters worse.

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