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This is my /RoadRageDiary page for June 2003.


Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Garden Walk
Background: While cycling North up Garden Walk (which is a two-way road with a no-entry-to-cars plug at the South end, and is wide enough for a row of parked cars and a single lane), one goes through a region where the parked cars are on the right-hand side of the road, then a small gap, then the remainder of the road has parked cars on the left-hand side of the road, with very few gaps. Numerous times I have been travelling North through the region where cars are on the right-hand side of the road, when a car comes South down the road, emerges from the part of the road where it has right of way into the part that is wide enough for a car and bicycle to pass, and swerves into the part where I have right of way, where I happen to be in the way.
Description: Anyway, I was cycling North up Garden Walk, through the region where oncoming cars have right of way, and I saw a car coming. In plenty of time I went into one of the gaps between parked cars, and waited for the car to go past. Nice, polite gesture. What was not so polite was the car, whose driver glared at me menacingly, and held the horn on from about five metres in front of me until about ten metres behind me.
Classification: Annoyance. Incorrect criticism of road users based on false knowledge.
As in, he thought it was a one-way street?  Yes, a lot of car drivers seem to think Garden Walk is, because (only to a motor driver) the differences are pretty subtle...  --AlexChurchill
That's right. However, as it is said, ignorance of the law is not an excuse... I have been nearly crashed into more times than I can remember on that road. --Admiral

Is there a lookup of license-plates to owners addresses publically available?  --Vitenka
[Yes], by snailmail, if you can show reasonable cause. - MoonShadow


Time: 9:10 am
Location: Junction between St. Andrew's Street and Downing Street.
Background: St. Andrew's Street is a narrow two-way street running North-South, with a turning West onto Downing Street. Downing Street is a one-way street for cars in the Eastwards direction, with a contraflow lane for bicycles in the Westwards direction. There is a right-turn lane for bicycles turning right from St. Andrew's Street onto Downing Street - it is a special narrow bicycle-only lane. Each of these roads has a no parking policy (double yellow lines) on the junction and for a considerable distance around it. On the Westward side of St. Andrew's Street, just North of the junction is a set of shops, including a flower shop.
Description: There was a flower van parked outside the flower shop, on the double yellow lines, about two metres from the junction, with its hazard lights on. Now, apart from being illegal (I see it there most days on the way to work), it makes that particular junction very dangerous for cyclists turning right from St. Andrew's Street onto Downing Street, because all the oncoming traffic travelling North on St. Andrew's Street swings out into the middle of the road to get past the parked van. For some reason the parked van seems to be a more important obstacle to avoid than cyclists. This is exacerbated by the fact that a large proportion of the vehicles travelling North up St. Andrew's Street are busses or similar wide vehicles. On a side note, even if the van isn't there, the problem is still often caused by the bus letting-down stop a bit further down the road.
Therefore, I shall write out here a few guidelines for those oncoming vehicles:
Classification: Illegal, and a serious danger to road users. In my opinion, vehicles which park outside the flower shop should be fined several hundred pounds every time. After all, what price is the safety of road users?
On an incidental note, has anyone else wondered how stupid it is to park somewhere illegal, and then put your hazard lights on? It's like shouting down the street "Hi. I'm parking illegally. Can one of you traffic wardens please come and give me a ticket?"
On this incidental note, I always took it as a (token and insufficient) attempt at absolving the guilt of the driver who parks on the double yellow lines.  It's like "You're entitled to expect nobody to park here, but at least you might notice I'm here if I flash some lights at you..."  Like I say, totally insufficent because of dangers like the above-described which such parking creates. And unfortunately, I don't think traffic wardens tend to ticket such parkings if they're only for a short period of time - witness the way you can state above that you see it there most days...  --AlexChurchill
Um, it's not anything to do with guilt or illegal parking. It's in the Highway Code. If you are forced to stop in a place where you are causing a hazard (e.g. a motorway hard shoulder), you should turn on your hazard lights. There's also lots of stuff about red warning triangles, but no-one ever bothers with those for some reason. - MoonShadow
May I take the opportunity to stress the word forced in that previous paragraph... Admiral
I can explain the triangles - unlike on the continent, it isn't a legal requirement to carry such a triangle.  And much like seatbelts (were), it's only a legal requirement to use them if you've got them.  But yes, hazard lights are blatantly abused - it ought to be made clear that they aren't an excuse to park illegally, and should, in fact, only be used if your engine has exploded or similar.  --Vitenka
A trafficwarden of my aquaintance once told me that there's a (possibly unwritten, but well-understood) rule that you can stop on double yellow lines for up to about 10 minutes if you're loading or unloading.  Hence the reason for the "no loading" stripes you sometimes get on pavements (and which are in the driving theory test). Hence, if you are loading or unloading, and thus causing an obstruction, you must put on your hazards. --M-A
PeterTaylor is given to believe that if someone remains in the vehicle, it's waiting rather than parking. In London, doesn't double-red mean "No waiting"?
Just for reference, there wasn't anyone in the van. Admiral
Reds mean Absolutely No Parking Ever, Even If It Is An Emergency.

On a completely unrelated matter, I was in front of a couple of American girls in the queue in Sainsbury's this evening. One of them had bought a jar of peanut butter. And nothing else. Anyway, they started talking about a new squeezable tube of peanut butter that could be bought back home, where you squeeze peanut butter over your slice of bread, then spread it around a bit.
Then one of them said that it would be particularly wonderful if someone would produce spraycan peanut butter, so you just spray the stuff on, with the added advantage that you could have peanut-butter fights like you have never seen. Takes a bit of imagining, doesn't it?

TravellingHomeFromWork? tallies:


TravellingToWork? tallies:

Time: 9:05 am
Location: North end of Garden Walk.
Background: Garden Walk is a very narrow two-way street with a no-entry plug at the South end, with a cycle path to let cyclists in. At the North end it is slightly wider, and actually painted as a two-way street. Garden walk has a T-junction at its North end with Bateson Road, which is also a two-way road.
Description: I was travelling East along Bateson Road, and turned South onto Garden Walk. A car followed me. And completely cut the corner off the junction. I noticed that the same car was very careful about not cutting the corner when turning right from Victoria Road onto Holland Street a bit later on.
Cutting that corner is dangerous and illegal. I see it very often, and the main reason I'm relating such an uneventful incident today is so that I can tell the story of a slightly less uneventful incident a year and a half ago, in exactly the same place. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.
About a year and a half ago, if you'll cast your minds back, it used to be dark in the evenings after work, when I would cycle North up Garden Walk, and turn left onto Bateson Road. Anyway, I stopped at the junction, just in time to see a cyclist with no lights, talking on a mobile phone, careen around the corner in the opposite direction, cutting the corner so much that he went over the pavement and straight into my left handlebar. I was alright (having stopped and put a foot on the ground, even though I did only have one hand on the handlebars to indicate left), but the other bloke came off his bicycle in a most impressive manner, and rolled along the road a couple of times. What was most remarkable was that he was still talking on his mobile phone after he had stopped rolling. He was quite drunk.
PeterTaylor has never seen anyone cut it that badly, although he's seen cyclists cut it to within about 6 inches of the kerb, and almost hit one of them.

WanderingAroundCambridge tally:
Sidney Street?
Yes, and Market Street -- Admiral
How many pedestrians walking down the middle of the road?
Well, this was during the pedestrianised time of day, so huge numbers -- Admiral

TravellingHomeFromWork? tallies:


TravellingToWork? tallies:

TravellingHomeFromWork? tallies:


TravellingToWork? was a little more complex this time - so many different types of things happened that tallies don't really work.

WanderingAroundCambridge tallies:


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