The goons (the unfunny ones)

I diverge on only one point with street designer, Ben Hamilton-Baillie. He thinks street redesign alone can bring about the desired behaviour change from hostility to civility, or danger to safety. I’ve always thought it should be preceded by, or go hand-in-hand with re-education, a new driving test and a new rulebook. A moment in a supermarket car park illustrates the point. I was on foot, struggling with a heavy bag of multi-purpose compost. A driver looking for a parking spot bore down on me even though I was already crossing. I didn’t break my stride, which meant he had to stop. I eyeballed him. As he eyeballed me back, there was no flicker of acknowledgement that he might’ve been in the wrong. Conditioned by the barbaric rule of priority, with its relegation of the pedestrian to serf status, he looked miffed that I’d asserted my equal right to the road space. As usual, I blame him less than I blame the system which promotes such ignorance. It was just a microcosm of the evils perpetrated year in year out, across the globe, by the vile rule of priority. That rule is supported by the law of the land, the unspeakable goons at the DfT and in local traffic authorities, and by successive transport ministers.

About Martin Cassini

Campaign founder and video producer, pursuing traffic system reform to make roads safe, civilised and efficient
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