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This is my /RoadRageDiary page for July 2003.

Just like to note, that this looks like the page for the 20th of march, 2007...  --Vitenka



Tuesday 1st


Time: ~ 5:45 pm
Location: Junction between Malcolm Street and Jesus Lane.
Background: Malcolm Street is a narrow Northbound one-way street with a contraflow lane for bicycles. At its North end is a T-junction with Jesus Lane, which is a two-way road, and reasonably busy. The traffic lights that let vehicles out of Malcolm Street onto Jesus Lane are notorious for being slow and not noticing bicycles, though they seem to have improved recently. Oh, and all sorts of people tend to park all over Malcolm Street, even though both sides have double yellow lines all along.
Description: A car drives Westwards along Jesus Lane, and goes past the stop line of the traffic lights for the junction with Malcolm Street. That's alright - the lights were green. A split second later, the lights turn, and the car puts its brakes on hard, and stops in the middle of the junction. It then attempts to back up until it is back behind the stop line again. Luckily, there wasn't anyone close behind them, or it might have been a little messy.
Classification: Having had a brief look at the [Highway Code], I can't see anything specific about backing up over the stop line at traffic lights. So perhaps the best thing I can say here is DUH.
Um - if it's similar to the rule at a roundabout, once they've crossed the line they are committed to continuing.  But as you say, I don't think there's anything specific about reversing, other than abject stupidity.  --Vitenka



Thursday 3rd


No less than four vehicles parked in Malcolm Street this morning.

I have just sent a complaint by email to Stagecoach about one of their busses. Rather than describe the whole incident here, I may as well just copy the email:
I wish to lodge another two complaints against the stagecoach busses serving Cambridge. Again, one is minor, the other major.

Minor complaint:

I was cycling Southwards down St. Andrew's Street, and came to the junction with Downing Street, where I wished to turn right. I stopped at the cyclists' advanced stop line in the right-turn lane. Meanwhile, a bus was stopped in the Southbound straight-ahead lane, but well over its stop line and into the cyclists' advanced stop area. While I waited for the lights to turn green, the bus drifted forwards until it was well over the cyclists' stop line too. Then, just before the lights from red to red and amber, the bus sped up and went through the junction. The time was 9:30 am on Thursday the 3rd of July 2003. The bus was a red double-decker Stagecoach bus, however I did not see the route number.

Major complaint:

The back number plate of the bus was far too dirty to read. I would have otherwise provided the number here.

Glad to see your usual skewed definitions of Major and Minor are still with you.  --Vitenka  (Where were you positioned in the stop area?  And where are you supposed to be positioned - when it's one of those lanes that extends over the front of the straight lane.)
I was positioned in exactly the right place to turn right:
Image: 93 -- Admiral
Right-ho, wasn't sure of the arrangement of that junction.  I was thinking the leadin lane for you would be on the left.  Personally, I would have thought that the major problem was that you weren't carrying a heat seeking missile...  --Vitenka
Well, at that range it wouldn't exactly have to be heat-seeking, would it? -- Admiral
You want to be sat on a bike next to a bus while it explodes?  Wait until you have recovered from its evil maneuver, calm youself, check that you are in no other dangers, steady your aim, and blow it up once it's a couple of hundred feet further down the road.  --Vitenka (Many TagLines? suggest themselves here - "It's called RoadRage? for a reason" "Why do you think those little zappy noise boxes sold so well" and "In the spirit of inventing a computer game")
Mmm. It's a nice long straight road too. I could blow it up just outside that hotel that burnt down last Autumn. I'm sure noone would mind. -- Admiral



Friday 4th


I almost forgot. I was tailgated all the way down Garden Walk this morning by a school bus type vehicle with a loud scary diesel engine. Not nice. I mean, a vehicle that wide shouldn't in my opinion be travelling down a street that narrow at the speed I was going, let alone a few feet behind a bicycle. I remember my driving instructor telling me to stay a foot away from objects you're passing for every 10 miles per hour you are travelling, and to add a foot or two if the object has a door that can open or a place for a person to step out of. Makes one wonder if some people paid attention at all, doesn't it?
PeterTaylor was simply told to keep a metre away from parked vehicles - which would make it impossible to cycle down Garden Walk, let alone drive down it.
Nah, it's quite possible. The width of the road is just about enough for a school bus to pass parked cars. Cars are only parked on one side of the road at a time (usually). I was travelling about 18 miles per hour (it was an otherwise empty road and I had a school bus breathing down my back), so I should have kept about 4 feet away from the parked cars and 2 feet away from the curb. Now, a school bus I believe is about 6 feet wide, so cycling down the road at that speed should be fine. -- Admiral

This morning, there were no less than seven (7) vehicles parked illegally in Malcolm Street. Some on the pavement, most right over the cycle path, and one lorry making the junction with King Street completely blind.

Another example of the flower shop on St. Andrew's Street this morning. I'm afraid I have to eat my words a bit - I haven't seen the flower van since I reported it here. However, this morning there was a large lorry parked in its place, half over the bus stop too. The driver hadn't even bothered to park close to the curb. Admittedly, he was loading/unloading, so if he hadn't been half over the bus stop he would be legal. However, as you can see in the images, it made the junction dangerous. The triangular dotted zone just to the left of the cyclists advanced stop area is meant to be a waiting area for cyclists wanting to turn right - but as you can imagine, vehicles coming the other way drive straight through it quite often.
This image shows a small lorry attempting to go around the parked lorry, even though that would involve ploughing straight through me.
Image: 94
As you can see, I was forced to go around the oncoming lorry in MY lane. I have to admit here that the Bus did exactly the right thing - it didn't try to go around the parked lorry while there was oncoming traffic. It stood behind the lorry and hooted instead. Maybe it needed to stop at the bus stop - I don't know.
Image: 95 -- Admiral

TravellingHomeFromWork? tally:
Vehicles over the stop line: One car.
Vehicles travelling the wrong way down a one-way street: Six bicycles.
Vehicles travelling on the pavement: Two bicycles.
Vehicles travelling on the wrong side on the road and nearly being crashed into by me: One bicycle.



Monday 7th


TravellingToWork? tally:
Vehicles over the stop line: One car.
Cyclists going where signs say "NO CYCLING" and "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT": One.

TravellingHomeFromWork? tally:
Vehicles over the stop line: Four bicycles and two cars.
Vehicles travelling on the pavement: Two bicycles.
Vehicles travelling on the wrong side of the road: Two bicycles.
Vehicles going through a red light: One bicycle and one car.
Vehicles going through a zebra crossing when there are people on it: One car.
Cyclists going where signs say "NO CYCLING" and "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT": Two.

On the way home, I was just cycling North up Stretten Avenue, when two little kids on bicycles were cycling on the pavement on my left, also Northwards. One was five metres in front of the other. Anyway, they had obviously reached the part of the road where they needed to get to the other side, so the one in front turned onto the road, and went across it at an angle - right in front of the car in front of me. Of course, the car had to brake, and hooted at the cyclist, but it was alright. And then, the second cyclist did exactly the same thing, in front of me! You would have thought they had got the idea the first time. Anyway, I had to brake, and since I don't have a working bell at the moment, I did a nice controlled back wheel skid, just to let the cyclist know that I was having to brake. But really! Either teach them how to cycle safely, or don't let them onto the road!
Squeaky brakes are a wonderful (and far more threatening) subsitute for a bell. I once borrowed a bike that had one squeaky brake and one non-squeaky, so I could adjust the level of squeal as I approached tourists. That was fun. I keep thinking about buying a large horn to put on the front of my bike.. - SunKitten
PeterTaylor changes down gears with a couple of loud clicks, and if he feels like it a grinding sound. That proves quite effective.



Tuesday 8th



WanderingAroundCambridge tally:
Vehicles the wrong way down a one-way street: No fewer than eleven bicycles.
Vehicles travelling on the pavement: Four bicycles.
Vehicles travelling on the wrong side of the road: One bicycle.
Vehicles parked illegally: Four cars.

TravellingHomeFromWork? tally:
Vehicles over the stop line at lights: One bicycle and three cars.
Vehicles travelling on the pavement: One bicycle.
Cyclists going where signs say "NO CYCLING" and "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT": Two.
Vehicles parked illegally: One car.
Vehicles forgetting to indicate before turning: At least two cars.

Remind me - what does the HighwayCode say about indicating (who do you indicate for and when)? IIRC there was something about you only had to do it to provide information to someone behind you, though clearly this seems a little insane. Again, AIUI there's nothing spectacularly wrong with being on the wrong side of the road (solid lines aside, and providing you're overtaking or intending to overtake something), in the same jist (again AIUI) as there's nothing wrong with cycling 3 abreast. -- ColinT
Have look at the HighwayCode page... --M-A
Mmm - thanks for that pointer. Lots of recommendations and very few rules. Unfortunately this means it comes down to Magistrates' definitions of DangerousDriving?, which IMO can be quite questionable. I very very strongly feel they should at least be educated in PythagorasesTheorem?, and then be educating that driving at 80mph down a 30mph road really isn't all that sensible. Similarly, I think that not having policemen qualified in understanding RTAs attending them is equally stupid. As for sole witnesses emmigrating to Australia and the Police or CPS forgetting about it, well, just don't start me there. (End of personal rant!) -- ColinT



17th


Last night, on the way home from work, I thought I saw a really badly parked car. This in no way prepared me for the car I saw in about the same place this morning. It was parked about four feet away from the curb, like this:
Image: 99
And yes, the car was parked - there was nobody in it, etc. The picture makes it look less drastically in the way than it was. -- Admiral

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