“What is striking about biking is not that it solves any particular problem but, instead, that it is part of the solution to several.” —

J. Harry Wray

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Is it Wilful Ignorance or Do They Just Not Get It?

The continuing one man barrage of muddled rants against the proposed extension of the Greenway through Midsomer Norton and Radstock gets increasingly irrational. In this week's freebie (and www-shy) "Midsomer Norton and Radstock Journal" a certain Mr. Coward asserts that the new cycle route is a waste of space because:
  1. the school where the path will terminate only has 1.5% of its pupils arriving by bike
  2. the path passes through housing developments
  3. 75% of the users of the existing section of Greenway arrive by car
  4. the last three generations of people have had access to motor vehicles and will continue to use them.
  5. The proposed path ends at a very busy main road
To me the above points are POSITIVE reasons for the path even though all his alleged figures are unsubstantiated:
  1. Building a path to the school might just have a positive effect on cycle use?
  2. Passing through housing developments? Mmm. Going where people need to go then?
  3. A sound reason for expanding the network, then, making travel by bike and on foot that much easier?
  4. So what? They'll still have access to motor vehicle after the path is built. The opportunity to use the things a bit less might be greater, and the need to drive to get to the path reduced?
  5. Cobblers. There's a busy main road at both ends. As has the existing Greenway. Anyway, he's ignoring to proposed highway changes at each end of the new route.
A classic piece of British Bike-Phobia.

Hopefully the NRgy Group will see this gentleman's outpourings of anti-bike angst for what it is.

And treat it with the contempt it deserves.

Ignore it.

7 comments:

2whls3spds said...

Sounds like the same drivel we hear around my part of the States when we want to put in anything other than a roadway to benefit the general public. The last time sidewalks were suggested the property owners claimed it would bring the "undesirables" into their neighborhood...and so it goes.

Aaron

disgruntled said...

Any point in writing in to put across a more sensible point of view?

disgruntled said...

waaaait ... I've just read Aaron's comment properly

Sidewalks bring in undesirables?

I've heard it all now...

Highwaymunky said...

Happy New Year

WestfieldWanderers said...

Thanks Highway - I fully intend to have one!

Disgruntled - there's little point in trying to even have a reasoned discussion with people who have argued themselves into a corner and are too blinkered and obstinate to concede even the smallest point. I do know that the voluntary group who are promoting the scheme went to the trouble in having meetings and guided tours of the proposed route to the objectors and town councillors to help to allay their negative views and have amended their plans to counter the more valid concerns. Even the wildlife and ecology issues have been covered to most people's satisfaction - the promoters, quite rightly, went to the expense of having a professional survey done. I heard that the gentleman in question was totally intransigent in his views.

No. At the end of the day, the hard core of objectors don't want a cycle path at any price and that's that.

After all, when the path is built they won't be able to chuck their rubbish over their back fence any more.

And that, I believe, is the real reason why they don't want it.

David Hembrow said...

You're right that it's bike-phobia, and these objections really are rather silly. However, the problem is that so many British people are bike-phobic, and so this view is normalised.

Here's a cycle path passing through a housing development. In term this carries virtually every child to the schools en-route.

The Dutch used to own more cars than the British, but this was turned around by building sensible infrastructure.

workbike said...

Fascinating stuff- I just wonder why people invest so much time and anergy fighting something they seem to imply won't change anything?