Saturday, September 25, 2010

Six years to get one traffic island refuge for pedestrians

Yesterday I met several interesting people. One had a story to tell about getting a traffic island on a Bristol street to help pedestrians cross safely. She noticed mothers with children standing on the white line in the middle, with traffic and lorries passing either side of them. She began lobbying the council for an island. She counted the number of pedestrian movements, and the volume of traffic. The numbers were significant. The council did its own counts, and confirmed her figures. The council put it out to consultation, and slowly the local shops came round in support, apart from two who would lose parking spaces immediately outside their shops. Eventually, after six years (6 years) of campaigning, she won, and a traffic island was installed.

Six years of effort on the part of one intelligent and efficient woman to get one traffic island, because the presumption of the council is for cars and against pedestrians. During those six years, traffic flow increased by 20%.

Statistics like this are a bit depressing. The council should have popped a camera up on the area immediately, analysed the data, and if the numbers crossed a threshold, should have put up an island immediately.

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