Traffic Calming - Seems To work
Yesterday on the way back from taking our Huge Dalmatian for a walk, Daughter & I stopped off at the local Coop shop to pick up the paper. There’s always a parking problem here, with drivers ignoring the double yellow lines along Huddleston Street, so as to minimise their walking to the shop.
Anyway, the scene was particularly comical yesterday, with cars at either end partially blocking the street even more than normal. So I snapped a few photos with my phone (if you’re interested in the details - I was standing on the big green letter ‘A’):
Now, we could use this as an opportunity to pick on the hard-pressed motorists who were driving these vehicles. But they’re all such open goals, that it would just be too easy, and another example of people on bikes / on foot deliberately setting out to antagonise drivers.
So instead, I watched the effect these three vehicles had on others trying to use the road. This was fascinating (I so need to get out more), as they were effectively acting as temporary traffic calming measures. Drivers trying to get on or off the roundabout had a hard time understanding what that silver Mondeo was doing there; drivers coming past the people carrier were more cautious, as they could see a hint of me lurking behind it, and were unsure if I was an anarchist pedestrian about to leap out in front of them; that dark car abandoned on the other corner was another area of uncertainty, forcing drivers to negotiate their way around the bend. Actually, the driver of the people carrier found the perfect solution to get past this new pinch-point: he drove on the footpath. But that’s OK, because he was in a car, and not on a bike.
As a result of all this, traffic speeds were lower.
Of course, the necessity for all this craziness is another matter entirely. If you look at the map of the location, you can see a car park just behind where I was taking my photos (it’s got 2 blue, a red, and a yellow car in it), and yes, it was empty yesterday. Then there’s the issue that this Coop corner shop probably has a catchment radius of around 3/4 of a mile. Why people would choose to drive such short distances is something that I may never understand.