Wednesday 28 October 2009

Traffic can be murder

I don't see a lot of cars on my commute, as most of it is done on bike tracks or quiet side roads. Cars are generally not a problem for me. My biggest problem is pedestrians.

The Pyrmont Bridge is a scene of chaos every day as hordes of pedestrians and bikes flow into the city in the morning and home again in the evening. In between the peaks, the bridge is flooded with tourists ambling between the city and Darling Harbour.

I have no problems with going slowly and sedately across the bridge - unlike some fools who see it as a slalom course and thunder furiously across the bridge at 100mp/h, scattering grannies and prams and tourists in all directions. If a pedestrian sticks an umbrella through the spokes of one of these loons, I will not weep for them.

But what totally shits me is the utterly incoherent walking methods that some pedestrians use. If you are going to walk across a bridge from end to end, try picking a line and following it. It's ok to meander from side to side if you are drunk; but if it is 0730 and you are sober and on your way to the office, then WALK IN A FUCKING STRAIGHT LINE.

And try not to adopt a staggered formation where a gaggle of six unconnected individuals walk in such a way to fill all the road space from side to side, rather than collecting themselves into some sort of file.

But the worst are those who walk on the right. This is Australia. We drive on the left. There is a great big dividing line down the centre of the bridge formed by the Monorail. When things are busy (as they always are), people should keep to the left. If they did that, all the contention on the bridge between cyclists and pedestrians would evaporate overnight.

Funnily enough, at the city end of the bridge, everyone is squeezed onto a narrow walkway about six feet wide. Once all the meandering pedestrians hit that, they immediately start walking on the left and they get into a single file and they walk in a straight line.

It just goes to show that the more space that you give to some pedestrians, the sillier will be their walks.

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