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Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 18th 04, 11:31 AM
[Not Responding]
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Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling

This makes for interesting reading.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/transport/...125748,00.html

I'm not sure how much credence to give him but surely Trafalgar Sq
can't be *worse* than it was?
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  #2  
Old January 18th 04, 12:22 PM
Frank X
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Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling


"[Not Responding]" wrote in message
...
This makes for interesting reading.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/transport/...125748,00.html

I'm not sure how much credence to give him but surely Trafalgar Sq
can't be *worse* than it was?


It's utter rubbish.

Here is a taster.



I am not an idle gas-guzzling pro-car throttle-blipping lobbyist. In
principle I would walk or cycle, but it is not that simple. Deplorable
street management means that walking is hazardous and arduous.




  #3  
Old January 18th 04, 01:15 PM
Richard Goodman
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Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling

"[Not Responding]" wrote in message
...
This makes for interesting reading.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/transport/...125748,00.html

I'm not sure how much credence to give him but surely Trafalgar Sq
can't be *worse* than it was?


Why not? If there were problems getting round it before, how is it going to
make it better by not being able to go round it at all? Frankly, I agree
with the article. There are too many traffic lights and speed bumps serving
no useful purpose. Take the bottom of the hill, for example, near where I
live and just beside the Nursery where my wife works. There are now three
sets of traffic lights within a space of 100 yards controlling a pedestrian
crossing and two junctions where before there was only one. You might think
the light-controlled pedestrian crossing would be safer when my wife has to
cross the road with a group of children than the zebra crossing it replaced
but no, she finds it isn't. The extra sets of lights make drivers
frustrated and impatient, and as soon as the lights start to flash amber
they go, what to speak of green. Before they used to show some patience and
respect the fact that pedestrians have priority on ordinary zebra crossings.
Traffic lights remove discretion and judgement from the driver and turn
brain exercise into robotic colour-coded decisions. There was nothing wrong
with the give way signs, ordinary zebra crossing, and regulation of traffic
from the one set of lights that existed for at least the last twenty years -
despite any increase in traffic volumes in that period.

Speed bumps - we have them in the street where I live, and surrounding area.
What for? The main limiting factor on speed is and has always been the fact
that the streets are narrow, cars are parked either side, and drivers need
to coordinate and cooperate with traffic going the other way, pulling in to
let opposing traffic pass in order to move at all. Excess speed is a
problem on the main road where there are no bumps, albeit that there is one
camera, but not in the residential area off the main road. We just suffer
the discomfort of them for no good purpose.

Another gripe I have is 24/7 bus lanes. In the centre of London, fine, but
outside the centre (zone 3 where I live) they are unnecessary. They used to
be peak periods only and fair enough, but now they're all day every day and
that adds to congestion too.

So there are complaints that congestion is getting worse, so something needs
to be done about it but the _reason_ it is getting worse seems to be at
least partly what is being done! It just seems that someone thinks the
answer to congestion in London is to deliberately cause more of it, and even
as a cyclist I don't like it.

Rich


  #4  
Old January 18th 04, 01:38 PM
James Annan
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Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling



Frank X wrote:

It's utter rubbish.

Here is a taster.



I am not an idle gas-guzzling pro-car throttle-blipping lobbyist. In
principle I would walk or cycle, but it is not that simple. Deplorable
street management means that walking is hazardous and arduous.


But you missed the punchline:

"Take my journey to work. From house to office is only 0.7 miles"

FFS, I walk that far to catch the bus when not cycling.

James

  #5  
Old January 18th 04, 03:01 PM
Zog The Undeniable
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Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling

[Not Responding] wrote:

This makes for interesting reading.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/transport/...125748,00.html

I'm not sure how much credence to give him but surely Trafalgar Sq
can't be *worse* than it was?


He *drives* 0.7 mile? I'd never buy a secondhand car from him - it
would never get off the cold start cycle, so the cylinders will be full
of carbon and the oil full of water.

  #6  
Old January 18th 04, 03:35 PM
Simon Brooke
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Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling

"Richard Goodman" writes:

"[Not Responding]" wrote in message
...
This makes for interesting reading.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/transport/...125748,00.html

I'm not sure how much credence to give him but surely Trafalgar Sq
can't be *worse* than it was?


Why not? If there were problems getting round it before, how is it going to
make it better by not being able to go round it at all? Frankly, I agree
with the article.


[scythe: more whinging about living in urban Britain]

You know, this is all so much nonsense.

Yes, our cities are hoplessly overcrouded, miserable, stressful places
where no-one in their right minds would live and work. I agree wth
you. Why do you still live and work there? Well, of course, you need a
large salary to pay for your huge mortgage, and you can only get a
large salary in an urban center. Why do you have a huge mortgage?
Well, because you need to live close enough to your job to commute
through the filthy overcrowded tubes or the filthy gridlocked
roads or the filthy overcrowded unreliable railways.

It doesn't matter what you do in London; it doesn't matter how much
you earn. Your quality of life is poorer than the guy who sweeps the
streets in Kikcudbright, your liesure opportunities more impoverished,
and your actual disposable income - what you can really spend after
you've paid for all the things needed to support your metropolitan
lifestyle - probably less.

If you don't like it in London, don't whinge, leave.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

[ This mind intentionally left blank ]
  #7  
Old January 18th 04, 03:55 PM
[Not Responding]
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Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling

On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 14:35:03 GMT, Simon Brooke
wrote:

"Richard Goodman" writes:

"[Not Responding]" wrote in message
...
This makes for interesting reading.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/transport/...125748,00.html

I'm not sure how much credence to give him but surely Trafalgar Sq
can't be *worse* than it was?


Why not? If there were problems getting round it before, how is it going to
make it better by not being able to go round it at all? Frankly, I agree
with the article.


[scythe: more whinging about living in urban Britain]

You know, this is all so much nonsense.

Yes, our cities are hoplessly overcrouded, miserable, stressful places
where no-one in their right minds would live and work. I agree wth
you. Why do you still live and work there? Well, of course, you need a
large salary to pay for your huge mortgage, and you can only get a
large salary in an urban center. Why do you have a huge mortgage?
Well, because you need to live close enough to your job to commute
through the filthy overcrowded tubes or the filthy gridlocked
roads or the filthy overcrowded unreliable railways.

It doesn't matter what you do in London; it doesn't matter how much
you earn. Your quality of life is poorer than the guy who sweeps the
streets in Kikcudbright, your liesure opportunities more impoverished,
and your actual disposable income - what you can really spend after
you've paid for all the things needed to support your metropolitan
lifestyle - probably less.

If you don't like it in London, don't whinge, leave.


Wrong answer.

There is no reason why "our cities [should be] hoplessly overcrouded,
miserable, stressful places where no-one in their right minds would
live and work" or where you "commute through the filthy overcrowded
tubes or the filthy gridlocked roads or the filthy overcrowded
unreliable railways".

The fact that they are is a result of mis-management and a culture of
earning enough to get out. If our cities and urban centres are to
become the centres of cultural, environmental, educational and
commercial excellence that they should be then we need the brightest
and best to stay, not leave.

Re-invigorated city and urban life is the key to a sustainable future.
People have to want to live there rather than choose lengthy commutes
from the suburbs or the country.
  #8  
Old January 18th 04, 04:45 PM
Succorso
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Posts: n/a
Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling


"[Not Responding]" wrote in message
...
This makes for interesting reading.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/transport/...125748,00.html

I'm not sure how much credence to give him but surely Trafalgar Sq
can't be *worse* than it was?


I knew there was a reason we moved away to the boomdocks.

I hope London gets fixed - it could be a fantastic city if there was
sufficient will to make it so.

--
Chris


  #9  
Old January 18th 04, 07:05 PM
Simon Brooke
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Posts: n/a
Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling

"[Not Responding]" writes:

On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 14:35:03 GMT, Simon Brooke
wrote:

If you don't like it in London, don't whinge, leave.


Wrong answer.

There is no reason why "our cities [should be] hoplessly overcrouded,
miserable, stressful places where no-one in their right minds would
live and work" or where you "commute through the filthy overcrowded
tubes or the filthy gridlocked roads or the filthy overcrowded
unreliable railways".


You'll agree that they are. And, speaking as one who has visited
cities on every continent except Africa, I think it's pretty much in
the nature of cities so to be, although I'll agree that London is
worse than some.

The fact that they are is a result of mis-management and a culture of
earning enough to get out. If our cities and urban centres are to
become the centres of cultural, environmental, educational and
commercial excellence that they should be then we need the brightest
and best to stay, not leave.

Re-invigorated city and urban life is the key to a sustainable future.
People have to want to live there rather than choose lengthy commutes
from the suburbs or the country.


Packing people together is not an end in itself. Just because our
Victorian ancestors who lacked modern telecommunications technologies
needed cities in order to be able to condict business efficiently doesn't
mean we do. If you overcrowd people, you have great difficulty dealing
with the filth they generate, and you have great difficulty in
providing free-flowing thoroughfares for them to use. And one way of
reducing the crowding, the dirt, and the stress of cities is for those
who don't need to be there to leave them.

However, if you like living in cities, your choice: just don't whinge
about it.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
Das Internet is nicht fuer gefingerclicken und giffengrabben... Ist
nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen. Das mausklicken sichtseeren
keepen das bandwit-spewin hans in das pockets muss; relaxen und
watchen das cursorblinken. -- quoted from the jargon file
  #10  
Old January 18th 04, 07:35 PM
Richard Goodman
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Default Another Guardian Article - Tangential to Cycling

"Simon Brooke" wrote in message
. uk...
"[Not Responding]" writes:

However, if you like living in cities, your choice: just don't whinge
about it.



Country dwellers have their whinges too. Cyclists have their whinges. If
people don't complain, nothing will change - except so far as the passage of
time changes things anyway. There is no reason why complaints should not
be made against things that don't acheive their purpose or work against
communal (and not just sectional) interests.

Rich


 




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