Free to Move
Often cited as places where drivers behave considerately are car parks, because they are not part of the regulated road network. In a Tesco par cark yesterday, when I was on foot and asserted my equal right to the road space, I was given the finger not only by the male driver, but by his wife. They were in a big car with a personalised number plate, whatever that tells us. The unpleasant experience reinforces my belief that street redesign – while an essential component in the quest for civil road-user relationships – is not enough on its own. Equally essential (arguably more so) are re-education, culture change, and legal reform – to put the onus on motorists to beware pedestrians instead of the other way round (as the current system has it). We need to zap the anti-social habits instilled by the priority-based rules of the road. Meanwhile, a hex on the houses of the traffic engineers and policymakers who support those unspeakable rules!
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