Abbey Street junction for cyclists

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Thursday 1 March 2012 5.40pm
I am starting to really hate Boris johnson. Anyone who cycles by the abbey street junction knows that the lighting system is dangerous, for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. The lights change far too quick and their needs to be a pedestiran option. The boxes news is a total cop out and i am really upset to read that he is still not doing anything substantial. If I hear "for the olympics" as an excuse in the face of NECESSARY safety measures one more time I will find the man himself and kick him in the b*lls.
Friday 2 March 2012 12.12am
Agreed.
Friday 2 March 2012 8.51am
Boris considers most of inner London somewhere that people work in and drive through, and, along with TFL, consider car traffic flow to be their top priority.

It's obviously been decided that a pedestrian phase would hold up traffic. If you live here, or cycle along that road, tough, deal with it. There's plenty of other roads you can cross, just not this one, and not at this point. Car trumps pedestrian and bike in most of the UK.

If only we had an upcoming opportunity to get rid of Boris...
Friday 2 March 2012 10.06am
With you guys! Have to cross that wretched junction pretty much every day and I've nearly been squashed too many a time.

Your reference to the Mayoral Election is an interesting one mikec... must admit if there was a General Election tomorrow I'd probably vote Tory. Haven't always, but I'm getting old and miserable! But I probably wouldn't vote for Boris. That isn't becuase I dislike him personally, but I simply feel that he doesn't represent the interests of those living in central London. And the clearest evidence is that junction...
Friday 2 March 2012 10.21am
Hmm, well, it wouldn't be my choice, but far be it from to tell you who to vote for.

I do think putting up Ken is a mistake - while it's clear he's obsessed with London, and does want to represent Londoners, a new broom would definitely have been preferable. Personal fiefdom is the phrase that comes to mind. But he will almost certainly represent inner London much more than Boris, and he has shown clear commitment in the past to public transport, whether you like him or not (personally I've little time for either of their personalities).

Maybe we should ask him what he'd do with that junction? Democracy in action?
Friday 2 March 2012 10.39am
It would indeed be good to know what the candidates plan do with that junction. Think we'd have to recognise that it's easier to make a commitment when not in office, but it would be useful indication.

As it happens I also agree that putting up Ken is a mistake. Thing is I don't think the Labour Party has much choice. If he wasn't their official candidate he'd probably stand anyway and split the vote.
Friday 2 March 2012 11.34am
The heart of the problem is the 'smoothing the traffic flow' policy, which is set by Boris, but interpreted by TfL as not reducing the number of cars that can pass through on green at any junction.

So if you have a nice orderly junction already, your fine.

But if you have a dangerous one, like TBR, or an insane one (like E&C) from a previous era, it's not going anywhere until that policy changes, or until TfL starts realizing that people walking or on bikes are traffic too.
Friday 2 March 2012 11.41am
mikec wrote:
Boris considers most of inner London somewhere that people work in and drive through, and, along with TFL, consider car traffic flow to be their top priority.

I think the title Transport for London explains it very well. It isn't TFP (transport for pedestrians) or TFC (transport for cyclists).

Buses, the Docklands Light Railway, major roads, traffic controls, taxi & minicab regulation and the Underground all fall within TfL’s remit. TFL is also required to promote the interests of cyclists, pedestrians and other forms of transport. They also have to reduce congestion and reduce emissions.

So no top priority but a huge responsibility to keep everyone happy, yes, including car drivers...It will always tick off some minority groups along the way, like cyclists, but I doubt if they are deliberately trying to encourage car use, I see no evidence for this, quite the contrary.

I think a top priority for all mayoral candidates is how they would go about supporting TFL, and this junction is a good example of one where there needs to be some action, it really doesn't work well for any of it's users.
Friday 2 March 2012 12.11pm
Jerry,

Good points there, it's definitely a tricky balancing act. I'm criticising the priority (in my opinion) given to vehicular traffic. You may currently view cyclists as a 'minority', but, as the city grows and grows, there simply isn't going to be space for many more cars, so we need cyclists to become a majority.

Don't bike myself, it's way too dangerous for a wimp like me, and the provision for bikes in London is terrible. I don't agree with you on that individual junction, I do think cars are well served at that junction, it's pedestrians and bikes that lose out (at this specific point).
Friday 2 March 2012 12.16pm
I do emphathise with your argument Jerry, but the examples of their decision making I've looked into (blackfriars, bow, elephant) don't show a body wrestling with competing interests - they show an organisation with vehicle capacity at the top, and anything that can be done without reducing that is ok, but reducing it is never an option, not matter what benefits for other users and concerns.

I had a 2.5 hour meeting with TfL about the Elephant, and this was exactly the case - achieving the masterplan aspirations would require a reduction in road capacity of 30%, that was not an option, neither was anything else that reduced junction capacity, no matter the other priorities - they had to be accommodated around the roundabout as is.
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