Someone’s been drawing on one of the roads on my route to the station. Either Lambeth has got the world’s least imaginative graffitti artists, or the surveyors are up to something – something that involves drawing lots of straight white lines across the road. My guess, given that the road contains a school, is that we’re about to be traffic calmed, whether we like it or not.
As a cyclist I’m agnostic about speed bumps. Of course anything that slows cars down around children has got to be a good thing, even if it does mean turning my formerly flat route into one with lots of hills albeit tiny little ones. But speed bumps only slow the average speed of the traffic: at any given moment any car you encounter will either be braking or accelerating furiously – and probably hitting (I chose that verb with care) a speed well over the speed limit between bumps in an attempt to make up for the time spent slowing down for the actual bump. Especially if there’s a cyclist around. When I used to cycle between Ealing Broadway and Kew there was a long long stretch of really vicious speed bumps. The cars just had to overtake me in between each bump (because that’s what cars do) never mind that I was cheerfully overtaking them every time they had to slow down for the humps or risk cracking their exhaust.
But the main problem with putting them on this road is that nobody speeds on it anyway. For a start it’s only about 100 yards long, and besides it is already pretty effectively calmed by dint of having lots of nice but narrow houses on it filled with nice people with nice but long cars so parking is at a premium and there is barely room enough for one car to pass through at a time. The only place a driver can speed without effectively de-wing-mirroring their car is … outside the school. For about 30 yards. Which, if I’ve read the runes correctly, is the only bit of the road they’re not planning on filling with bumps.