This was the scene I saw, walking from my house last night.

The reason is that there are some over night closure of one side of the road (behind me in that view), so one way and traffic lights, for resurfacing (something we all want done).

So what's the problem? Interestingly, posting this on mastodon, there was almost entirely very understanding response (contrary to the arguments that would have instantly ensued on 𝕏, and why I avoid it). Indeed, some pointed out they would ask the council to move the obstruction to the footpath, or take in to their own hands (not ideal). But is there a problem and what is the solution.

My main issue here is that those placing the signs probably did not think for one second about what they were doing. They presume that (a) they cannot possibly inconvenience drivers by putting the signs on the road itself, and (b) that this would be no inconvenience to pedestrians or that pedestrians simply don't matter somehow. It is also very common when there is a cycle lane for signs to appear in the cycle lane, totally blocking its normal use.

What is weird here is that these signs are to announce a serious inconvenience to motorists - a blocked lane and traffic lights, so considering not inconveniencing them with signs in the road seems a tad odd even. It's a 20mph road, with good street lighting, so not like they need lots of advance warning.

For pedestrians, many of us can walk around them, but a lot harder for wheelchair users, or blind, and so on. Not a single thought given to them.

Is there a solution? Well the main thing is consider all road users. It may be that the signs could have been placed in the gutter and partly on the pavement leaving space for both cars, and pedestrians (even in a wheelchair) to pass with minimal inconvenience. It would depend on the road/pavement in question, but this pavement may be wide enough. When not the case, well, these signs are not related to pedestrian use, so simply put them in the road, surely?

But whatever, someone putting up signs needs to actually think - simple as that!

1 comment:

  1. I had a blazing argument with a builder as I was walking home last week. His small lorry was parked entirely blocking the cycle lane, pavement and grass verge so you had to step into the road to get past. His argument was "well I can't block the road can I?". Well actually he could have since it's a local road through a village not a main road, and there are no yellow lines. But no, he chose to completely block everything else. When I asked what blind people, wheelchair and child buggy users were supposed to do he said cross the road, there's another pavement on the other side. By which time the blind person has already slammed straight into the back of his lorry. etc.


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