Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Quote of the Week

“Walking is of no profit, it is only benefit.”

French philosopher Frédéric Gros in his new book on the philosophy of walking, quoted in this piece in The Observer.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Banksy or Not? Giant Kissing Policemen appear in Gloucester Place, Brighton

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Banksy strikes again? Probably not. The original of Brighton’s kissing policemen, stencilled on the wall of the Prince Albert pub in Trafalgar Street (practically underneath Brighton Station) has long since been chiselled off and was sold at auction (fetching $575,000 in February 2014). It was replaced with a replica, protected by perspex. It’s highly unlikely that these giant coppers, who appeared on the front of the defunct Astoria in Brighton’s Gloucester Place, are a genuine Banksy. Particularly as they appeared on or around April 1st. And as for removing this from the wall....

Monday, 7 April 2014

“Why is Britain such a dangerous place for walkers?”

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Worth reading: Nick Cohen’s article in yesterday’s Observer. The hook for the article is last week’s Greater London Assembly report about rising deaths among pedestrians in London – and what can be done to stop it.

The article is about the raw deal suffered by urban walkers (aka people on foot). Even compared with walkers in the countryside. And especially compared with all the other self-identifying interest groups, whether people in cars (aka “motorists”) or even people on bikes (aka “cyclists”).
A pity that Nick hasn’t heard of Living Streets, the national charity that stands up for pedestrians, but the gist of the article is pretty unarguable.

Friday, 4 April 2014

GLA says “20 is Plenty” for more of London

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The Greater London Assembly Transport Committee has released Feet First – Improving Pedestrian Safety in London.  

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This is in response to the risks and challenges for pedestrian safety in the capital: after years of decline, the numbers of pedestrians killed and injured in London is rising - 69 pedestrian deaths and 1,054 seriously injured in London in 2012.

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The report (with its Abbey Road lookalike cover shown above) states that a key policy option is to reduce speed limits from 30mph to 20mph to create a fairer balance between people and motor vehicles, with proposed actions including investigations to consider increasing the percentage of London’s road network that is covered by 20mph limits (from the current level of 19%) to 50% by 2016. More on this at 20’s Plenty.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Lewes Road for Clean Air + Bike Train: Annual General Meeting

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Not only is Lewes Road for Clean Air + Bike Train approaching its fifth anniversary, it’s also getting to be time for the AGM, which will be at 7pm on Thursday 3rd April at the Circus Street Bike Hub, Brighton BN2 9QF.

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All are welcome to join in with LRfCA+BT and celebrate:
  • 1,000+ bike train rides
  • highlighting air pollution and the need for a more sustainable approach to transport along the Lewes Road
  • contributing to the redesign of the City Council's major £1.5m Lewes Road infrastructure improvements
  • helping deliver a shift away from car dependency (-13%) toward more journeys by bus (+7%) & by bike (nearly doubling in 5 yrs)

As LRfCA+BT rightly say, it has been a year which has seen “the biggest positive transformation of the Lewes Road in over a generation.” And some may recall the explosions of outrage from motorists when the scheme was unveiled - are they now watching? The traffic flows smoothly along the Lewes Road,  cyclists are safer, and buses go about their business. All are welcome at the AGM, and there will be refreshments.

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Photos: BHCC, LRfCA+BT

Thursday, 20 March 2014

A Short History of Traffic Engineering

From the always interesting Cophenhagenize.

Short History of Traffic Engineering Copenhagenize

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Walking Men are Go

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This popped up on Twitter – Walking Men Worldwide™ (™ ??), a series of public art installations made up of a photographic collage of pedestrian traffic icons assembled from around the world. The project was conceived as a collaborative effort of international photographers, each adding a piece to the collage.

No doubt if this blog was written by an art critic it would refer to the Walking Man (seemingly always a man, although Corunna and Saragossa may not be) as emblematic of issues of gender, mobility and the iconography of the city. But it is isn’t. So just enjoy the images, particularly the worryingly disembodied Andorra, the improbability of a Size 0 in Marseilles, and the surprisingly camp Istambul.