BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘traffic’

#365daysofbiking Courtesy, the lack thereof

March 14th – At the traffic lights on the junction of Hatherton Street and the New Ring Road, Walsall, lunchtime. Waiting at a red to turn right.

Why is it so often the most uncourteous drivers are those charged with teaching newcomers to the road the tenets of good driving – respect, obeying the law and consideration for others?

I despair sometimes. Not indicating, either.

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#365daysofbiking Following the herd

March 9th – A terrible long range photo in awful light but a huge herd of red deer were loafing in the fields near Gains Lane, between Pelsall and Great Wyrley. In total I think somewhere around 40 animals were there in total – more were appearing from the scrub behind as I watched.

Wonderful to see of course but only a short distance from the M6 Toll, the A5 and a major junction complex.

It’s great to see the deer around but I do worry about them.

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#365daysofbiking Everything counts

March 7th – It’s time for the periodic traffic survey in Walsall, and the sheer number of traffic counter units fitted across the borough’s roads is causing some comment on social media.

They aren’t sinister at all: By law local authorities have to take traffic counts for planning and other reasons and like most councils now, the work is deputised to a specialist contractor.

These Metrocount units – that use the familiar, traditional rubber air tube and pressure switch technique are surprisingly sophisticated and the manual for them was found online by The Stymaster – you can read it here.

I crossed at least eight between Brownhills and Darlaston. Just setting them all up and gathering them back must be a mammoth task, let alone analysing the data…

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#365daysofbiking Downtown lights

February 16th – Another long exposure experiment, Morris from the front of the Parkview Centre (the old Council House) gives a different aspect with the light trails from passing traffic.

I need to try this again when it’s busier – maybe panned out to get the curious saddleback contour fo the roundabout to show.

But its nice to get this wonderful statue with less of the usual blue light tint to the image.

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#365daysofbiking Ring around

January 31st – I shoot around Walsall’s new ring road all the time, and it’s not a road system I like at all. The junctions are complex and often, badly thought out; it’s unfriendly for bikes and the signals are only just seeming integrated with each other after ten years of being fiddled with.

However, it does have it’s plus points. Sweeping over the hill and canal bridge from Place Road past the old Smiths Flour Mill and up towards the Magistrate’s court is a delight, which flows well on a bike if the traffic lights and drivers will allow.

It’s also rather beautiful.

Don’t be deceived though; despite the marking and seemingly wide cycle lane there, it’s shared use, full of obstacles and soon Peters out to nothing.

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#365daysofbiking No ifs, The Butts:

November 15th – Riding home again on a late one, I swung a shortcut through the area of North Walsall called The Butts. One of my favourite parts of town, I love the dense, busy terraced streets, frantic rooflines and the way it all looks so warm and homely at night. There are real architectural gems here, and also usually cats, wandering dogs, people taking the air.

Sadly I don’t come here as often as I perhaps should do, as the dense parking makes for many a close shave on a bike, but it’s so worth it fro the brisk, handsome urbanity.

#365daysofbiking Ooh matron:

November 14th – Coming home from work, late. Diving off the main drag onto the canal at the unfortunately named Black Cock Bridge, which takes it’s name from the adjacent pub, The Black Cock.

Subject of schoolboy humour for over a century or more, this steep, precarious canal crossing probably hasn’t got many years left in it’s current form. decidedly too steep for many vehicles, weak and narrow, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to The Black Cock Bridge in the long run, as the geography has changed so much since the bridge was built that and undebridge with an aqueduct would no be more suitable.

In the mean time, at night, it’s wonderfully photogenic.

#365daysofbiking The last obstacle”

November 8th – Returning from Birmingham that evening, the weather was still grim and I stopped to take a photo of the traffic at the Shire Oak crossroads.

Shire Oak Hill is like a homecoming to me. it’s the last obstacle to sanctuary before a gentle and lovely roll downhill into Brownhills. Light or dark, good weather or bad, cresting this hill is always and absolute joy.

At night, in rain, it’s also a fascinating collage of reflection, light and hard surfaces. It fascinates me. 

365daysofbiking I am traffic:

October 8th – A snatched photo on the way home in the dark. This is a normal commute at the normal kind of time and I’ll have to get used to this now. Rushall Square is always kind of beautiful at night. Even when traffic free, it appears busy with traffic signals, street and shop light mingling.

These commutes are the hardest of all, the first in unusual darkness. But their urban beauty is hard to ignore.

Ah well, down the hatch…