Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bajcsy Bicycles

I've written about bikes in Budapest before and I'm going to write about them again here. Some people see cyclists as pests to pedestrians and cars alike, but I have great respect for the people that pedal their way around the streets here. Most drivers in Hungary have a fairly low regard for their fellow motorists but it's almost zero for people on bikes.

Read moreThe cycle lanes that exist on Andrassy are risky places to be. Even though they're protected by small, flat metal mushrooms, most motorists treat them as optional, extra parking space. An area that can be used when they're in a rush and park diagonally, sometimes rolling up onto the pavement as well. Which is probably why a lot of cyclists just use the great, wide pavements and weave around the walkers.

The council must have got wise to this and formed a different plan. After Bajcsy Ășt was resurfaced they decided to add a cycle lane. Not on the road, but on the pavement instead. The lane runs the length of Bajcsy and is highlighted using red tarmac.

However, they didn't just stop at crayoning in the lane. The powers that be have then gone a step further to erect railings at various points, though I'm not sure whether they are to stop pedestrians from wandering onto the lane or stop cyclists from wandering off. Plus, there are mini-zebra crossings so the kids can practise on cycle lanes before they get to the road.

I think the new lanes are good and although it keeps the bikes on the pavement, there's plenty of room. But the mini-zebra crossings are harmless but plain silly. What I really don't like are the stupid railings that pop up at seemingly random points. I'm 100% sure that I'll be nursing a groin injury from not noticing them one evening.

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At 6:12 PM, Anonymous a gonosz torpe said...

Cyclists in Budapest are self-satisfied, sanctimonious twats who care nothing about the environment but merely enjoy grinding all the poor, spaced-out tourists off Bem rakpart as they silently whizz past, slicing off foreign ears. I tried walking over Lanchid the other day and some little cyclist-prick had a whistle like they use on demostrations (sadly, magyars are usually too apathetic to demonstrate and wouldn't know what I mean), which he blew at full volume, scaring the shit out of all the elderly Japanese visitors who were tottering across. Why do all cyclists think "Me first, I'm so important" ?? explain that one. Sad old pedestrians don't even get a sidewalk/pavement to stagger about on in Bp, as they are all occupied by those selfish gits who buy a motorized metal shield from society, think they are automatically Schumacher-shegfey and refuse to travel with the rest of us plebs on public transport. Some sympathy for the saddos with (worn-out) shoe leather, please.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Timbo said...

Sod the environment, I don't associate cyclists as being greenies, just people who have figured that bikes beat traffic jams. Or perhaps they're fitness freaks. Maybe there are some that are trying to save the planet but I don't think it's a direct relationship.

As for the tourists, at least they'll have another story to take home about how they almost got thrown into the Danube. Much better than their other story about the ladies patroling Vaci utca. I don't think any cyclist in their right mind would try to bike it over the Chain bridge. It so narrow for traffic it's a 50-50 chance that they'll reach the other side.

I have no pity for the pedestrians, simply because they don't need it. Walking around the city really is the best way to get from A to B and see everything in between. If I want to spout some purist crap, then I'd say that you shouldn't even be listening to your iMusicPlayer while you walk. Those things just take you a step further away from the reality surrounding you. Maybe that's what people need but if you take a look around while you're on the beat then you feel a lot more involved with the city, and when that city's Budapest, it can only be a good thing (8th district and suburbs not included). At the very least, without the headphones on, you'll be able to hear that cyclist with the whistle before it's too late.


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