August 30th, 2011

Save old trees in the city, or build more car parking?

As a car hating, bike lover, it is clear what side I would take on this local debate. Reading between the lines, it does seem as though trees are being sacrificed to protect cars, car access, and the future building of more carparking in the center of town, precisely where thinking people agree we need no car parking at all. Our local council is arguing these beautiful fig trees pose a hazard to people below them. Well, people are far more likely to be hit by cars on this street, than have a branch land on their heads.
But I recal plans mooted just before the trees became "dangerous", to build a carpark beneath the whole park. The plan was abandoned when they realized the tree roots were under the park. Then, the trees became dangerous.

Here's a quick vid I shot today on a trip to the chemist for Primrose. And here's the blog of the "save our figs" group.

Imagine if...

Imagine if, just for one year, the money they spent building roads was used to build bicycle infrastructure. Every cycleway would be roofed over, and back-drafted. The ground plane would be sculpted to naturally accelerate and decelerate riders, with gravity. We would get our own tunnels, not these hand-me-down ones from ancient industries, but tunnels built where we need them. Cycle path maps would be a thing of the past: we would have signs! Steep hills would have bike lifts. Lego would have to add a whole new range of kits to their City range: bicycle parking stations, box-bikes and flyovers. Imagine if cyclists were pandered to for a year, as though they were drivers. Wouldn't drivers feel jealous and switch? In my uncharacteristic, perhaps "youthful", state of sanctimony this evening, it seems strangely fitting to post an apt song, that captures this feeling of hopelessness: