Decluttering

*sigh*. I was at another of the local street design stakeholder meetings (what can I say, they serve cake). All was going well until I suggested that pavement cycling along one particular busy road might be reduced if people were signposted to the leisure centre via a safer route through the residential streets. Someone from the council piped up: surely you’d only be going to the leisure centre if you actually lived in Bigtown, he pointed out (showing a distinct lack of confidence in the council’s flagship sporting facility and venue) and then you’d know how to get there. As the whole project is trying to create a nicer environment, a heritage feel, and less street clutter, wouldn’t a sign just defeat the point?

Erm. Quite apart from the fact that after five years I’m still finding new routes to get to places on my bike, there is a big, shiny, glaring elephant in the room here. We can put in all the railings, cobbles, gas-effect street lights and heritage street signs we like and none of it will disguise the fact that the streets themselves will be completely cluttered up with cars. Which aren’t very Victorian, or indeed very attractive at all. So I can’t see the problem with one little directional sign, clutter or no clutter.

I am prepared to compromise though. If the council will just ban through traffic in the area, unless you’re in a horse-drawn Hackney carriage, and ensure that the coal comes delivered on a dray, then I will quite happily only cycle through it on a Safety Bike, wearing Rational Dress.

You can’t say fairer than that.

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5 Responses to Decluttering

  1. oftpaster says:

    But tourists do go to Leisure Centres – at least if they are related to me! When my kids were small they could be a life-saver on wet holidays (we often visited the Highlands). My now grown-up son still deliberately builds in visits to Leisure Centres. Surely we can’t be the only Leisure Centre tourists?
    (and I agree with your point about cars – clutter).

  2. commuterjohn says:

    Well, leisure centres themselves are interesting venues.
    They have large car parks for the unfit people to park their cars in.
    They have great exercise facilities.
    They have lovely coffee shops that sell you cakes and bicuits and if your in a bigger venue it will have its own bar to serve you refreshing beers.
    So as you leave feeling good with yourself on the way back to the car you just know that you will be back next week to spend your hard earned money again there!
    So cycling tends to be done more on exercise bikes inside rather than on ‘dangerous’ roads outside.

  3. disgruntled says:

    In fairness to the Bigtown Leisure centre’s clientele, the bike rental station outside it has the highest rate of use of all the points in town.

    We too have been known to use the Leisure centre facilities for entertaining visitors when the weather has been particularly unrelenting (although they didn’t cycle there)

  4. fonant says:

    Are they going to remove all the direction signs for motorists too? After all, exactly the same argument applies to them, doesn’t it: most car drivers are locals, and know where they’re going without silly signposts!

  5. disgruntled says:

    There actually aren’t any signs for drivers as it’s a residential area and they are trying to cut through traffic.

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