Friday, May 20, 2005

A guide for London's pedestrians

As someone who regularly scoots through London's West End, I am amazed on a daily basis by quite how little the average pedestrian values their limbs and lives.

So, in the interests of the public good, here's my green cross code for next time you cross the road:

1) When you're on your mobile phone, the world of cars and bikes goes on. I've lost time of the amount of times I've nearly ran into pedestrians staring vacantly into the distance as they waft across the busy roads.

2) Road users do not just consist of cars and buses. Bicycles are shooting up the inside lane and motorbikes and scooters shooting down the middle lane (most of the time). At least on a scooter you'd think people could hear you coming. Nope; they stride confidently through the traffic looking in the opposite direction leaving you with 3 options:
  • Emergency stop and hope you can keep upright
  • Plough into the oncoming bus at 30 mph. Ouch.
  • Pedestrian meets scooter. Ouch all round.
3) When you cross at a pedestrian crossing, red man or green man, we can at least anticipate you'll do so. Cross at random and we have no idea you're coming. This is really important if you ignore points 1) and 2)

4) Note for our American cousins: we drive on the left, guys. Keep an eye out for those little arrows they paint on our roads and that's the way we're coming. Better yet, let's just all drive on the left, OK?

Friday rant over. I decided to get the train in today.

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