Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A24 London Road/Central Road junction, Morden

Now here's a real brain-teaser. See if you can figure this one out...

This is the view looking north up  A24 London Road from the Central Road junction. You can't cycle onwards on the pavement up London Road - there's a No Cycling sign. You can't join the road because a) there are metal barriers blocking your way and b) even if there weren't, you would have to cross four lanes of traffic and the central reservation. So your only choice is to do a smart turn round back the way you came (helpfully indicated by the direction sign). Enjoy your trip.

Let's take a look at  the same signpost, looking south...

.So that's clear enough. You can cycle to the left of the green triangle. Or maybe to the right of the green triangle. But you can't get to this signpost in the first place, because it's No Cycling up to that point.You can't just hop onto the pavement here from the road either because of the metal barrier. In other words, you have to sort of magically appear at this point. That's why Merton Council have connected the signpost to the Floo Network. The other end comes out at Wimbledon Station, Platform 9 3/4 . That's magic.

Looking back north up the A24 from where the railings end, here's the view...

You can see the road is wide enough to accomodate parking spaces outside the school. But not wide enough for a mandatory cycle lane of recommended width - the lane is just about a metre wide, and advisory.That's not magic. That's crap.
In fact, it's dangerous. What do you think is going to happen if you're cycling up the hill towards this parking space, with two lanes of traffic doing 30MPH (really officer?) outside of you? The cars will probably be accelerating towards the green light at the junction, just as the hill has slowed you down. Pull out to get round the parked cars, giving them a wide berth - you don't want to get doored - there could be a car in both lanes bearing down on you, neither giving way and you get rear-ended. You'll notice the pavement is plenty wide enough to accomodate a shared path, and the road is wider than it needs to be. And don't forget, just to the right, at the entrance you can see in the picture, is a school. A school, the kind of place fat kids go by car every day because there's nowhere safe for them to cycle.
So there you have it. Dangerous, illogical, useless. Cycling, Merton-style.
(Oh, and things get no better round the corner in Green Lane)

No comments:

Post a Comment