Two second cyclist/ped green
The glorious development that was the removal of the barriers to Clifton Backies has revealed another problem: the green light (or phase, as highways engineers call it) for pedestrians and cyclists crossing from the east side of Water Lane to the west side of Water Lane just south of the junction with Green Lane has been dialled down to the absolute minimum. I swear it used to be a leisurely five seconds or so, allowing for parents with buggies to amble and cyclists to roll across with little fuss - their reward for having waited their turn to cross. Now however it's more like a blink-and-wasn't-that-light-green-a-second-ago two seconds: you glimpse the long-awaited green, start moving off and before you've even travelled a metre, it has disappeared.
I know why this has happened: this junction gets really congested, particularly at peak times, largely because the new housing being built nearby was seemingly given the go-ahead without any consideration for the impact that it would have on the road network. Doubtless the Council has received a series of irate communications from frustrated motorists, and Council officers have responded not by acknowledging maybe giving permission to dozens of houses without considering the transport implications wasn't such a good idea, but rather by depriving cyclists and pedestrians of valuable seconds on their 'phase' of the crossing. It's utterly pointless, of course. I very much doubt these seconds 'solve' the congestion experienced by motorists, or whether they even have any real impact. But losing them does have a real impact for pedestrians and cyclists, who are pretty much guaranteed to find themselves in the stressful situation of being stranded on the crossing without a green light reassuring them they're safe.
It's horribly undemocratic too: the decision to deprive pedestrians and cyclists this reassurance of being able to cross safely was, like other traffic light timing decisions in York, made without consulting pedestrians and cyclists. Rather, it was decided by a lone highways officer that motorists were being unduly impeded, they should therefore have longer green phases, and this time should come out of the pedestrian/cyclist phase. So much for the Council's transport hierarchy, which puts pedestrians and cyclists respectively at the top. So yeah, this is something to discuss with the Council...