Sunday, 31 October 2010

Road work - job well done

My daily commute takes me over the Lower Lea Crossing bridge. This bridge sported a very narrow yet very useful cycle path. It was very useful, since this bridge is used by big rigs and dumper lorries from the nearby industrial estates in high volumes. Although not well maintained (the surface is cleaned yet not very even) the cycle path makes it possible to climb the slope of the bridge and then ride downhill without having to worry about being crushed. Some people do however use the road there (mostly wearing lycra for some reason) which always amazes me, more-so since I've actually seen the aftermath of an accident, where a cyclist has been clipped by a lorry and his bicycle turned into a very interesting contemporary sculpture. Anyways - the Tower Hamlets council decided the time came to broaden the cycle path. That's something to praise them for. However what I really want to write about is the way they are doing it. Usually you'd have CYCLISTS DISMOUNT signs, or pedestrians and people on bikes would be forced to use the road on their own risk - perhaps even look for a detour. This time it's been done differently. Namely - one of the car lanes has been closed. YES it happened. The car traffic had been inconvenienced to make it more convenient for pedestrians and people on bikes. And this is amazing. One whole lane has been coned off and turned into a bicycle path (shared with the few pedestrians that use it).
I am actually going to write Tower Hamlet Council to praise them for this - I mean we like to nag about this or that not being done properly, so I guess it's only fair to praise people when they do things right.

Another observation is that removing one lane does not in any way hindered the traffic flow. There are no jams, everything is running smoothly. Which makes me wonder - in how many places a whole lane could be made into a nice cycle path without any inconvenience to the drivers. What do you think.

A couple of photographs below. Sorry for the quality - I have yet to but myself a decent camera.

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