A plea to Christchurch drivers

Last updated 05:00 16/06/2014

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I used to cycle to and from work, but as the mornings and evenings get darker with winter, it is no longer safe.

Even with hi-vis and lights I have had too many close calls. The roundabouts along Johns Road in Christchurch are not safe for cyclists and pedestrians at night, and there's no alternate route.

Every evening after work it takes me 15 minutes to drive 3km. I spend 10 of those minutes waiting to turn right at a two-lane roundabout which is consistently blocked by traffic from my right driving into the roundabout when there is no room for them to exit it.

The direction I wish to drive in is always free of cars - there's no traffic jam where I'm going. Just a continuous line of cars queued across the roundabout that make sure that, even when I have right of way, there's no way I can go anywhere.

Occasionally, someone will get half-way around the roundabout, then stop just before me to let me in, but there is zero visibility of the other lane of traffic from such a position, and I have heard much honking of horns and squealing of brakes as a result of trying to take advantage of this way of 'letting me through'.

So this is my plea to those driving home in heavy traffic: I beg you, do not enter a roundabout if there is no space for you to get all the way to the other side.

If you're waiting to turn left at a roundabout and traffic is backed up in the direction you're trying to go, please don't queue in the roundabout. Sneaking forward and sitting on the corner to ensure your place in the queue is causing half the problems.

If everyone let one person from the other queue go, then went themselves, the roundabout would remain clear and be safer, and you wouldn't add 10 minutes to the journeys of those who are just trying to cross your path and get out of your way.

I don't know if anyone has thought this through, or if they're just that desperate not to let one car go in front of them.

Some people realise their mistake once they've already made it, but no one learns from it.

Short of making a giant poster and putting it up on the approach to the intersection, I just don't know what to do!

Please Stuff Nation, help me reach out to the people sitting in their cars approaching roundabouts, not just on Johns Road, but all over the country.

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