Currently our local paper is full of stuff about pollution. Our market town is choking on the fumes of the endless streams of cars, trucks, buses and motorbikes almost constantly queuing through it. It feels like a revolution is starting with people on one side and vehicles on the other.
I wrote a letter to the paper a fortnight ago on the issue of dependency. Essentially I claimed that a desire for independence had reduced most people to being dependent on their cars (and vans and bikes and…). This week I had a response from someone who, while agreeing with me, said we needed to find out why people are driving into our town before condemning everyone.
I’m going to respond to this response and suggest that anyone serious about reducing the amount of pollution in our town wouldn’t care about the why but should concentrate on the how.
Something else that was suggested in the local paper was that people could be a bit more considerate and not leave their engines running, a point I would extend to not blocking footpaths, like this:
The car on the left and the second van on the right both have their engines running. I suppose this is a further signal that they’re not going to be very long. It is also an indication of how important they think they are in that they can flout the road rules and inconvenience everyone else.
My favourite today, however, was this fellow who is not only parked half on the footpath across double yellow lines with his engine running but was also eating his lunch. I guess he must be incredibly important.
There were quite a few instances of driver arsholery today.
I witnessed one almost accident caused by a moment of stupidity in West Street when a person in a very big four wheel drive thing suddenly decided they could fit the behemoth into a Fiat sized parking spot on the opposite side of the road. A quick swerve of the steering wheel saw an attempt of the impossible.
What the driver had failed to see was that coming towards them was a cyclist, obeying the road laws for a change, followed by a small van. Both had to suddenly stop. The van missed hitting the cyclist (just) while the cyclist almost fell off the bike anyway.
The insistent parker, completely unflinching, momentarily reversed then, finally convinced of the folly, drove away without a backward glance. The cyclist showed great restraint I have to say, something they don’t always do.
Like the cyclists in the park who feel that the all-weather path was put there for them.
But enough griping. The park looked lovely this morning as I walked to the studio to record the Farnham edition of the Talking Newspaper.
Maybe everyone should just be a bit more considerate.