Sunday, 3 January 2010
The Pillar of Salt
Scenes from car-sick Bury St Edmunds, which has a Tory council and provides a good example of a town which prioritises the car. In other words, the future. Aptly, this car-centric location boasts this historic feature (above), which is is explained below.
(Below) The centre of Bury St Edmunds is given over to fossil-fuel addicts, with cyclists and pedestrians subordinated to car parking and a hideous one-way system that keeps the metal sewage flowing. If I never see Bury St Edmunds again I won't feel my life has been diminished in any way.
(Below) Look carefully and on the left of this toxic street filled with motor vehicles there's a solitary bicycle which, in the absence of any cycle parking, has been leaned against a lump of street furniture - some sort of junction box, plonked in the middle of the footway with the typical car-centric highway engineer's indifference to pedestrians.
(Below) The car-choked centre of Bury St Edmunds, with the war memorial blighted by fossil-fuel addicts. A civilised society would have this area devoted to walking, a fountain, places to drink coffee or something stronger, to pause and read a newspaper, chat to your companion or reflect on the meaning of life. But only those foreigners with their euros go in for nonsense like that. In Britain everything becomes a car park, for the short waddle to the burger and fries emporium.
(Below) Parking for ten million cars (that building on the horizon is a multi-storey car park). Or to put it another way, car dependency gone mad. Britain is a sick nation - literally so, in terms of rising rates of obesity. Hardly a surprise when increasing numbers of people can just about waddle from their front door to their car, and then from the car park to the shopping mall. And car ownership at levels like this makes streets unfit for cycling, because being a solitary cyclist on a dense urban road is NO FUN. Everyone optimistic about the future of cycling in Britain should be made to cycle around Bury St Edmunds for a week.
(Below) Bury has a new shopping centre which is soul-less and dead. It is filled with the same shops you'll find in any modern shopping centre, selling the same stuff - HMV, Waterstones, Boots, Debenhams, you name it. And what better introduction to a pedestrian zone than this sacred object of worship and desire - a shiny new car.
(Below) Bury has those kinds of crap 'pedestrianised' streets where drivers come roaring across from side streets. Note the deference of shoppers as they wait nervously for the vehicle following to cross in front of them.