Re: Re: There will be Blood

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๐Ÿ˜€ ctesiphon, I know what you mean. But it’s like an itch – I just can’t resist. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Duh! Which is more breakable? How many of us see pedestrians launching themselves off the sidewalk in front of an on-coming car? “It’s my right to cross the road right now” (Seems to be a phenomonen of the adolescent schoolgirl!)

So what? Pedestrians and cyclists do not kill other people by their mistakes. Motorists do. The stats back up a very simple and uncontroversal claim that pedestrians and cyclists, at worst, endanger themselves. The mistakes of motorists kill others more often than themselves.

There are at least 20 times as many pedestrians and cyclists using the city centre streets at any point in time as there are motorists; sometimes 100 times as many. Therefore priorities have to be set by modern approaches to the situation and not by Le Corbusierian ideals of universal private car ownership, the razing of tracts of city centers to accommodate dual carriageways, confining pedestrians to stinking subways or marshalling them behind metal barriers and the dismantlement of public transport.

Giving giving priority to someone in a car over someone on foot (which seems to be the full time objective of the roads dept in DCC) is an urban design philosophy which will be fully dead in a few years; so you’d better to get used to having to work your way around pedestrians and cyclists if you want to bring your car into a city. This shift of power will be resented for sure – particularly by motorists – but it is inevitable.

The idea of giving right-of-way on 90% of the surface area of a city street to less than 4% of its users (motorists) is ludicrous. Legislating for this or trying to impose it by physical alteration of the cityscape is futile or immensely destructive. What is amusing is the indignation on the part of motorists if their priveledged position is not revered by everyone else. On the rare occasion when I drive through the city, I know I am lucky to allowed to do so; I do not get indignant.

The period is over where supremacy was granted to the motorcar in cities; historically it’s been a blip – just the last 50 years or so. It’s no accident that its reign has coincided with universal urban decay. This experiment will be terminated and we will return to a more egalitarian approach; the streets will be once again shared equally by pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, buses and trams. If that means everyone has to slow down and show some consideration for others, then all the better. This is already starting to happen in other cities – we’re just a few years behind.

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