Tuesday 27 January 2009

Building Work Priorities

This is where Woodland Road meets Tyndall's Park avenue. Due to the fact that a very large water drain tunnel goes underground here, there have been ongoing roadworks for some years, right across Sustrans NCN route 4, and a popular walking/cycling route. We've discussed crossing this road before.

Cyclists dismount, the red sign on the left says, which is a request, while the sign on the right says Cycleway Closed Ahead. This is technically untrue, unless you have a very loose definition of "ahead", because the cycleway is actually closed in front of the sign -not behind it. And what, play tell, lies behind the sign?

This is where it gets interesting There is some crane, some building work. But also, a large stretch of pavement fenced off. Why? So that the people who are working on the site have somewhere to work. They know that if the pavement wasn't fenced off there would be nowhere to park, and hence alternate transport options to and from work would have to be considered. Like, foot, bicycle or even bus. All of these options would be unacceptable.

Therefore, a large stretch of pavement has been fenced off for car parking. What we have here, then, is a longstanding roadwork that takes away the primary walking/cycling route to the university, is covered in no-bicycle signs, yet quite happily takes away a stretch of pavement so the people who work on it can park their cars. Why? Because it is more important that these three people get to drive to work than have the thousands of students who cross this junction on foot or bike get across safely.

Priorities, see. The priorities you set provide an implicit message on who is important, and who is not -and students come near the bottom. The only hard question is who comes out lower: students walking to college, or students cycling there?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you mean "Why? So that the people who are working on the site have somewhere to park." not "somewhere to work."