Great News about Bow but..

Have just seen the news in the times about the redesign at Bow roundabout going live. It seems great the sepearated approach for cyclists to the ASL and the 4 sec delay at a green light for cyclists to get a head start.

The reason for the "but" is I have a query which maybe someone can comment on. Part of the reason for making these sorts of junctions more cycle friendly and safe is, unfortunately, because some cyclists are their own worse enemies, e.g. going up the inside of traffic.

My question is what happens when the green cyclist light changes to green and a cyclist is not quite there and makes a mad dash just as the traffic lights turns to green for vehicles. A left turning vehicle may well therefore have a cyclist in their blind spot and this may be more dangerous than before. Does the cyclist light turn to red when the taffic light turns to green to prevent cyclists accidentally being caught?

As I said it is great news but there may still be hidden dangers.

This post was edited by raymondox at 6:20pm 20 November 2012.

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Apart from which, when holding child, grandchild, shopping, zimmer, or in a wheelchair or pushing a pushchair ,propelling a wheelchair, how the TfL do I cross the road?

  • The eastbound section was open as I came through last night. Nice big gap but still the risk of motorists turning across your path. Still no provision for pedestrians heading east or west and westbound approach to the junction has no sign of change.

This innovative Early Start was a temporary safety measure by TfL.  They are seeking to introduce the same facility post-Olympics to the west-bound exit (i.e., out of Stratfrod High Street where Svetlana Tereschenko was killed).  In the longer term the whole junction needs a radical redesign.

A previous attempt to get an ASL at west-bound lights foundered on opposition by LB Newham, who are the road authority for the eastern side of the roundabout.  An ASL, as the cheapest and quickest solution, was the recommendation of the expert police witness at Svetlana's inquest.

The ES facility will always hold a cyclist on red, either in the feeder lane to the advanced box or in the advanced box (now repainted black).  Meanwhile MVs are only held on red when traffic from the right is on the roundabout plus the few secs (forget the exact number) of the 'head start' that cyclists have from the advanced box.

Some cyclists in the feeder lane may think that the can ignore their red light as they are seeing motor traffic moving through on their right onto the roundabout and it may not be clear why they are being held.   They then place themselves in danger of being caught by a left-turning vehicle.  The bulk of large vehicles are turning north or south at this roundabout, bar the buses.

The issues are clarity and compliance.  Hence TfL repainting the blue black, as MVs were entering on their red as they would an ASL - as the penalties for doing that are never enforced. (This was raised with TfL at the first meeting on this project (compliance and enforcement)).

Plus the bus stop problem ...

Tower Hamlets Wheelers, and the LCC office, need monitoring feedback over the next fortnight (at least) from cyclists who are regular users of this route:  How clear was the layout when you first used it?  What about the positioning of the traffic lights, on approach and at the facility?  Did you get the hang of it by the next journey? What was happening around you (MVs/other cyclists)?

No doubt other questions I've forgotten!

Please email gerry&wheelers.org.uk cc charlie@lcc.org.uk

As to the lack of provision of crossings for pedestrians this was the sticking point in the discussion with TfL for Tower Hamlets Wheelers (putting aside whether design of facility did improve cycle safety). 

As a borough group we are more than cyclists as we are also residents with communal responsibilities and we had campaigned as such.  The driver of the truck that collided with Svetlana could have hit a pedestrian attempting to cross there (he accelerated into his blind spot aware that someone was/had been in the vicinity of his cab; he was chatting to his dad on a hands-free call throughout his journey).

Hope that clarifies a few issues.  Please feedback your experiences or pass this request on to colleagues/friends/family who use the route.

Thanks Gerry THW

This post was edited by gerry@wheelers.org.uk at 2:59am 11 June 2012.

I've never cycled Bow roundabout, but when I saw the proposed redesign I thought (similar to some what was said above) that it was just asking for cyclists using the segregated facility to be left hooked. Even if the headstart is long enough tfl should know they can't rely on all cyclists to stop at red lights. Yes, it is their own "fault" if they delibrately jump the light there and get hit (provided the meaning of all the different lights and their applicability is clear, which it may well not be) but it's still not nice for anyone involved. And it doesn't look like they've particularly thought about how people not following the route of the superhighway should interact with they cycle path (or may be "forced" to use it in unsafe ways by agressive drivers)

tbh they should either introduce segregated facilities around the whole roundabout with a completely seperate traffic light phase (and crossbow armed police on hand to shoot any driver who says "you must be in the cycle path" to cylists who choose not to use it for whatever reason :p) or remove them entirely.

Demolish the whole thing and install one of these…

Pyongyang traffic officer

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