Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Temporary Deathtrap. Thank You for your Understanding.

Spring's springing and although that means more pleasant temperatures for cycling, it also heralds another season of road work. A recent post at copenhagenize.com tells how in the Danish capital, the temporary traffic restrictions associated with street projects are de facto bigger hassles for motorists than they are for cyclists or pedestrians. In that city, human-powered transport gets priority over the loud, smelly variety. In fact, it's against the law to shut down a bicycle lane.

I couldn't help but think of the Margit Bridge renovation, underway since August 2009 and several months past schedule. The work on the Buda bridgehead shut down the north-south cycle passage through the underpass by the BKV ticket window at the HÉV stop. I remember how I learned the passage was closed. One day, I biked into the underpass and by the ticket window and then came to a big black wall. There were no signs advising me where to go, no detour. The work crew hadn't considered cyclists. Or if they had, the conclusion was apparently that we could go fuck ourselves.

By now, the regular bike commuters who pass by here know the score. With no designated bikeway, they ride in fast-moving traffic through a bottleneck under Margit bridge. I went out this evening to take some snaps of the brave souls riding through here, elbow to fender with motorists who are probably as nervous about killing cyclists as the cyclists are about being killed.

I wish the mayor, or transport department head, or whichever no-account politician is responsible for this deathtrap, would try cycling through here with their children. I did this one time and nearly had a heart attack trying to keep my boy to the right and out of harm's way. Never again. We take long detours to avoid it.

1 comment:

Peter said...

What the ... Photo of the girl in purple tights is ridiculous. Great photo work. I'm coming to Budapest this year. Looks like a confident rider can go anywhere. Any other tips/recommendations would be appreciated.