Tiny rocks in their heads

Since the floods, the cycle cut-through between the Ballardesque gated development on the Burford Road and the roundabout on the Hailey Road has been somewhat dangerous. Some parts of the path surface have been washed away, which makes the road uneven. Not impassable, but you have to take care.

In response the local council—or it might be some sort of confused vandal—have managed to make it practically a death-trap, by filling the potholes with loosely packed gravel. The inverted piles of little stones act as a sort of tiger-trap: from a distance they look like normal gravelly second-class-traveller road, but they give way alarmingly and unpredictably if you try to negotiate them on a tyre any narrower than your palm. Worse, several of them are close to a drop into a drainage ditch some two feet below the road surface. Woe betide anyone who loses stability there!

Has anyone on the council ever tried to cycle through three inches of gravel? More pertinently, have any of these fat, complacent turds ever tried to cycle at all? Given that most cycling provision is based on either the model of cycles being a sort of laminar-thin equivalent of a car that somehow still has a car’s strength, stability, road presence and crumple zones, or that of a sort of wheeled pedestrian, moving slowly and being confined to the relatively dangerous cycle paths, then that seems unlikely.

And as far as I can tell they tend to think of cyclists themselves as weird, comparatively sticklike and gangly creatures that aren’t in need of a Shopmobility and involve themselves in the aberrant activity of Commuting Without Car. Any more of this and they’ll be giving me motorized transport until my spine heals.

This entry was posted in councils, cycles, establishment, opinion, provision, rants, responsibility, safety, society, transport. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tiny rocks in their heads

  1. Jayfell says:

    I understand your annoyance, but have you reported this to the local authority?

    Please don’t assume that someone else has reported the dangerous state of the cycleway.

    When (and if) you do tell them, also add that you will make a claim against them after two weeks – or whatever length of time you decide on (that may get them to do some work on the problem (or possibly close the cycleway ;(.

  2. sbalb says:

    I appear to have missed the tag “rant” off this post. There.

    Technically you’re right, although with no printer at home and currently nine-hour work days (with no lunch break) I don’t have the time to figure out how to figure out who’s responsible, then actually figure out who’s responsible, then find a contact point, then find the real contact point, then put a reasonably professional-looking letter together that makes sense to a car-headed normal-for-North-Leigh council gonk. It’s all I can do to write a blogpost with my poor, emaciated hands, what with the gravel-induced whitefinger and all.

    Sometimes I think that only the unemployed are able to turn up to planning meetings, or have any other kind of contact with local authorities. The lucky stiffs: they’re even able to be in when the post office bring round parcels. I don’t see what they’re all whining about, to be honest. Get off your bike!

  3. K says:

    Jayfell, if only you’d been around in the early part of the 20th century. You could have explained to George Orwell that someone with time to write books clearly has time to write some fairly stiff letters too. And he could have laughed himself into a coughing fit.

    In my experience of community work, the kind of people who write to their local newspaper are the kind of people who write to the council and attend council meetings, are the kind of people who do voluntary work, are the kind of people who write blogs and newsletters explaining their views and trying to change things. It’s not about time; it’s about the kind of person you are.

    The energy that goes into writing a blog post like this one is the same energy that goes into tackling the idiot council. It’s an energy born of the desire to change things and the willingness to create something from scratch. It doesn’t take that kind of energy to comment on someone else’s post, just a desire to score points.

    And as for people who comment on comments…I’ll get me coat.

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