Pedaller

Think! Bridge!

11foot8

Original videos and photos are copyright Jürgen Henn – 11foot8.com and are used under license.

Watching all the people who drive their lorries into this bridge – right below the HiViz flashing-light sign warning of the 11 foot 8 inch low clearance – made me wonder…

Perhaps some government official or politician this very moment is thinking: if just more education was provided – like a “Think! Bridge!” campaign – then none of this carnage on the roads would happen.

Education campaigns have dubious paybacks except perhaps to allow a politician to tick a box to say they’ve ‘done something’.

The proper solution is straight-forward: create road infrastructure that removes conflicts in the first place.

Just think how much is paid out in insurance (and bridge inspections and sign replacements) after each crash. Then add in how much money is lost by companies not being able to make their deliveries to the shops; and having to take their lorries out of service to repair them.

Poor infrastructure costs businesses and the community dearly.

Wouldn’t it be better just to invest in digging out the road a little bit? It would be a minimal investment so that these crashes wouldn’t be able to happen in the first place.

Let’s relate that thinking to people who choose to cycle – parents and grandparents down to the shops, kids over to school, and hardworking people to the train station on their commute.

A safety campaign is not the way to remove conflict between them and people who have chosen instead to drive their car.

The solution is to fix the infrastructure: to create space for cycling and walking which is separate from the space for driving.

People save money themselves by choosing a less expensive way of getting about locally; Governments save money by having a healthier population (less pollution and less obesity dealt with in expensive hospital visits); and communities claim back their spaces for people, bringing prosperity to the High Street and a happier, more attentive generation of youth.

In a nutshell, we must insist that Governments today create conflict-free space for people.

Update: governments launched recently education campaigns in the UK and in Toronto, to name but two places.

Update: just today…looks like London could do with some digging out of roads too: Travel warning as lorry crashes into bridge at Finsbury Park.

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