The Ranty Highwayman)
SUNDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2018
It’s a very short post this week, because I have very busy (more at the end), but I want to recount a conversation I had with a colleague earlier in the week.
We were having one of those “if I was in charge” discussions and inevitably, the subject of cycling came up. Both my colleague and I cycle to work and we are in agreement that an infrastructure-led approach is the only one which will enable everyone to cycle who wants to.
At one point, they commented that I was one of the greenest people they knew (because I cycle to work) which made be chuckle. I explained that in terms of getting to work, being green is way down the list after journey reliability and saving money. For me, it’s probably even secondary to having some daily activity and just getting out in the fresh air!
It’s funny how we always feel the need to slot people into pigeon holes, whereas people are obviously far more complex than their mode of travel, their politics, their beliefs and so on. Clever people have done lots of research into this and how we end up with the “othering” of minorities (depending on which pigeon hole is being used).
Active travel could be a great leveller in the UK. We could transfer so many local journeys to foot and cycle to the point where our urban places would be transformed. But all we seem to hear on an almost daily basis is the dissonance of new road schemes and people getting killed on our streets. This isn’t about being green, it’s about being rational, logical and practical; traits which have largely been abandoned in political and media discourse.
Anyhoo, ignore my ramblings, the important news from me this week is the release of the draft version of “Making Streets Better: The Joy Of Kerbs” over on my City Infinity website. Hopefully there is something in there to inspire you that change is possible. Perhaps if the skeleton of our streets could be changed to enable active travel, then we could all be green people!