One man who commutes by bike across the notorious Bow roundabout has decided to document this part of his daily journey for a year, uploading his helmet camera footage on YouTube.
From red light jumping (by both drivers and cyclists) to the occasional toe curling near miss, the cyclist who posts on Twitter and YouTube as @SW19cam, embarked on the project, 365 days of Bow Roundabout, to show how unsafe – and confusing – Bow Roundabout can feel first hand.
Since Cycle Superhighway 2 received the blue paint treatment in 2011 six people have died on it, and @SW19cam says cycling facilities at Bow Roundabout, which lies on the route, are anything but safe for cyclists.
“I’ve been commuting over Bow Roundabout for a couple of years now. ‘Over’ would be the most appropriate description for the first year – as before the segregation was built along Stratford High Street, Bow Flyover was easily accessed and so I would use it. Once the cycle segregation was built, it became much more difficult to get on to the flyover.”
“Interestingly, I see a worrying amount of bad behaviour from all road users, but certainly the video evidence suggests an inability for motorists to stop at red lights.
“Ever since the first days it was obvious it was, at best, an unusual place where anything can happen.”
“My intention is to document the daily oddities at Bow Roundabout. Thankfully viewers can experience this without having to cycle it! Bow Roundabout is most dangerous for the most vulnerable – people new to cycling or new to cycling over this specific roundabout.”
CS2 from Bow to Stratford is largely segregated save for at junctions. Vastly improved designs for segregating the section between Aldgate and Bow were released last month by Transport for London, designs which were welcomed by cyclists. However Bow Roundabout itself, which has claimed two cyclists’ lives, remains unchanged since advanced cycle lights were installed, and still feels intimidating on a bike.
SW19cam’s footage shows the advanced stop area before the roundabout, with early start signals, that give cyclists a couple of seconds to set off before traffic waiting behind is given a green light. However the area is not marked as for cyclists and footage shows vehicles entering and waiting in the stop box on both green and red lights, at times turning left across the path of cyclists when lights go green.
The project started on May 21. On September 11 a lorry proceeds through a red light at speed which you can see in the video below.
While on August 22 there is a near left hook when a van waiting in the advanced stop area turns across the path of cyclists going straight ahead.
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