Little bitty “fuck-you”s

My grandmother lives next to a mosque, she doesn’t mind this so much as the fact that when the mosque was built it was built in a silly area. This is not petty NIMBYism, more sensible practicalities, the mosque is one side on a busy road with limited parking and another on a residential street with even less parking. The mosque is busy, more so than any other religious building in London I’ve seen and prayers call causes traffic chaos and my grandmother resents the blocking of her driveway. When the council gave permission for it to be built they factored in a car park with 8 spaces, it is woefully inadequate for the demand and makes the street hard to go down. Croydon Council have sensibly decided to make some alterations to the road, whereas before it was two-way mayhem it now a one way queue, and this seems like a good idea to at least reduce the faffing on the street to find car parking spaces.

This happened in the last 3 months, I have turned into the road the same way since forever, and as long as I remember we came from that junction. It being changed through me off guard, it shouldn’t have done.

As I went to visit my Gran for hot cross buns on Good Friday, I timed it perfectly with midday prayers, and it being a Bank Holiday, people were going there on mass (there was also a wedding party), going along the main road was a pain with worshippers doing bad turns and not indicating, anyway, my concentration was on the cars around me and the buses behind and I missed the small orange sign  on lamp post saying “no access to ___ Rd”, I carried on and made signals to go into the road (there weren’t any “no right turn” signs out) and I went down the road like I always had, there was a load of people crossing the road for prayers and I asked to be excused, and someone informed me it was one way. “no it isn’t” I cried out doing a pseudo track stand to not plough into a small child. I then took a look back and saw the new road markings on the junction, complete give way lines across the road. I apologised and dismounted and explained this was a new change for me and walked the rest of the way down the now one-way street. I am entirely at fault in the matter, and I hope my apology and explanation doesn’t make the those I crossed peddle the misconception of cyclists going where-ever they please. On the way back from hot cross bun fun I had a good look for signs of the change, as I said there weren’t any right hand turn prohibited signs, and the road layout looked the same as it always had done, the no entry signs are positioned so you’ve already committed to the turn before you see them and the only indication is the small orange sign which isn’t seemingly demanding your attention considering the quite substantial changes made to the priorities. The junction is between a bus station and a hospital, and there are a lot of signs related to ambulances and buses, and while it is visible if you’re looking out for it, the new sign isn’t emboldened in any way and no red circles or triangles to let you know you’re about to fuck up. Thanks Croydon Council, I appreciate not knowing that. To counter this, a junction was changed in Birmingham a few years ago into a crazily badly designed monstrosity, but at leas there are several big signs saying “warning: changed junction ahead”, and that’s what’s needed in these situations, appropriate warning.

Talking of appropriate warning and one way streets, H&F are tinkering with Hugon Rd and I don’t think I like where they are heading. Hugon Rd becomes one way half way down by a school, there used to be a segregated (ie a kerb between you and parked cars) path that wasn’t on the pavement which took cyclists the length of the one way part and onto the two way street. It was a useful path to avoid some shitty junctions near by and got me close to my home. As I mainly used it on the way home, I didn’t mind so much the frequent blocking of the path by doors, and while council workers tended to be quite polite about it, the parents of the school on the road tended to be quite rude about their blocking my path. Anyway, I could live it.

Recently cycle path works occurred, which essentially blocked the entire path, there was no signs put up warning cyclists that their path was now blocked and I turned into it once to brake hard to not hit a fence. This is the kind of inconsiderate nature that is really annoying, no warning that you should take a different route or even a diversion sign, the signs directing cyclists to the path were uncovered and proud. Then I saw how they redesigned the entrance to the path. It was dangerous.

Before the cycle path had a separate entrance from the road way separated by a small pedestrian crossing, then they extended the path across where the cycle path entrance used to be without moving the kerb on the outside of the path, so to get into it you turned a sharp left and a very quick right to avoid hitting the kerb with your front wheel. It was shit and the first time I went into it I nearly came off, again no signs telling you about the changes and the changes themselves were shit and will cause an accident, my girlfriend was also nearly caught out the first time she went down it.

Maybe they realised it was shit so thought about changing it, they removed the segregated cycle lane last week. Entirely. It is no longer there, the kerb? Gone. Retarmacked, to become an even worse cycle path. One that blindly sends you into oncoming traffic, that’s right folks: some supposedly one way streets have counter current cycle lanes going up them. I avoid them like the fucking plague because they are stupid. Kensington trialled a borough wide “all one-way streets are two way for bikes”, I have seen several comments pissed off at bikes going the wrong way up one way streets in the area and now they removed safe and functional infrastructure (although by no means good) and made it a farce. The farce is made all the more laughable when you consider the road is in front of a school with parking both sides of the road and cars stopping to pick up and drop off in the middle. There will be no room to get past the cars and I imagine people are going get shitty about bikes going up the wrong way. I can imagine they thought the bike lane was unsafe because people can open doors into cyclists paths, but they were facing them and should be able to see them and this issue will not have been addressed by the redesign. Cheers H&F.

Being my ward, and my MP being a councillor of the school, I hope they are ready for some e-mails!

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One Response to Little bitty “fuck-you”s

  1. T says:

    regarding the first part of the post, yeh they should really have signs warning you about changed road layout or whatever. in a similar way, i realised recently how important road markings. well obviously there important but i think only once they aren’t there do you realise how important they are. we were cycling in stockholm, there was a cross roads with no road markings so no one knows who has right of way. it was only me and ashwin on some shitty boris bikes on relatively quiet roads but two cars could easily be fucked over. then in blackheath yesterday, they seem to have resurface a part of the road but not repainted the road markings. it’s like a T junction except it’s not really a T in that the vertical part of the T is more like \ so without road markings it almost looks like it is just a curve in the road, only it ain’t a curve in the road, it’s a junction with reasonably fast moving traffic.

    regarding the second part, those contraflows do seem fucking stupid unless they are separated as you say. also i remember my dad always getting pissed off with mums in fucking tank-range rovers obstructing the road outside school just so little johnny didn’t have to walk more thann 10 yards

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