False Friends Again

This is what happens to too many cycle lanes. The paint, the money, or the easy access runs out and the false friend lets you down, again. Even the redundant sign that says “END” has faded away. And mind that sunken rain gulley.

But off you go, unshielded, to the next set of lights with not even a lead-in lane to get you safely past a queue and into the ASL.

If you stop to wait for the next green and look to the right, there is a one-way street feeding traffic onto the road you have just come down. It looks a handy exit from here if you could get to it and there does seem to be some kind of cycle facility. Maybe even a contra-flow lane? But it’s not obvious and there’s no sign to help.

While you dither, someone avoids the confusion by sailing on across the junction, on the pavement. Much safer. Only four pedestrians to navigate and by the look of it at least one of the four has seen her coming.

Nevertheless, you look to the right again, in search of inspiration. There is a light there, next to the pedestrian lights that could just be…

… could just be… er, well  this is on your side of the road, offering some good, if slightly illegible, advice.

Then this happens over on your right when you weren’t paying attention. A pioneering cyclist has turned right, across the end of the one-way street in front of a bus coming out, ignoring the no-entry sign. He seems to know where he is going.

… and a taxi invades your ASL, so things are getting worse. Maybe it’s time to dismount and have a look round?

Yes! That paint beyond the pedestrian crossing brings the good news that you can ride your bike down the side of that one-way street. Progress!

And beyond it, paradise! A cycle lane that isn’t just advisory. It has a coloured surface and a solid white line. Steady on the turn though, it looks a bit tight given the proximity of the on-coming traffic.

Not too bad at all then. I’m not sure where you’re going, but you’ve got a clear cycle path to follow, so why not?

However, if you could have seen your route from the other end you would have noticed that your new False Friend guides you alongside a row of parked cars and you might find that oncoming traffic is not too worried about crossing your protective white paint.

And guess what? Looked at from the section you are just coming down, this dodgy cycle lane ends in the middle of a junction, with nowhere to go. This is how the story began.

And so it continues: one lane ends and another (is it another?) appears out of (and in) the middle of nowhere.

There’s another half-journey coming along soon, so stay in touch.


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