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"Where the cycle lanes are virtually empty in winter because the cycling culture is TOTALLY differenced. Here we have the lycra clad aggressive speed freaks shouting at anyone who gets in their way because they don't want to lose their speed momentum. These people are doing it for exercise and they demand all the thousands of miles of cycle tracks to do it. You don't see them much in winter because they will be in their 4x4's"I have to say, this made me laugh out loud. A mixture of victim blaming, stereotype and invention in the finest Chiswick fashion.I'm genuinely conflicted on what's less credible: the offensive assertion that, seemingly, all cyclists in London is a "lycra-clad aggressive speed freak", or that no one in Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark or the Nordics wears sportswear when cycling [hint: they do]. Or that cycle tracks are stretching for 'thousands of miles' in the UK, or that they're empty because we're all in their 4x4.Back in my time in Copenhagen, or in the Netherlands, I didn't need to wear the same amount of technical/reflective/protective gear when commuting to work as I do here because of the following reasons:1) distances were shorter. There isn't as much sprawl, because people don't mind living in flats, thus I didn't need to cycle 20+km each way (and I could afford to live near the centre)2) All of my cycling to work was on segregated bike paths where cars did not go. This included segregated roundabouts in NL. Nothing of that kind exists in the UK, where you need to dress like the Yellow Teletubby and still you get hit from behind by a car in a roundabout (been there, done that)3) Even if it rains, the streets seemingly drain the water off and don't remain wet for ages. How they do it, I honestly don't know, but I've never had a wet ar*e in NL and, frankly, the weather is worse than in the UK

Francis Sheehan ● 83d

Anti-cycling campaigners claim that if less money was spent on cycle lanes, there would be more money for social housing etc, implying that toddler Awaab Ishak's death might have been prevented.Yet if you read what the Coroner actually said, it is clear that this sad death in Rochdale was nothing to do with funding constraints.Rather it was down to a mixture of incompetence and lack of concern for this family's plight, including inspections either not being made, or not followed up; lack of communication and buck-passing between the Hossing Association and Rochadale Council; plus the ridiculous situation whereby once the family launcged legal action, then the Council's policy meant that their normal responses were frozen.Worse still, the family claims that Racism was also to blame i.e. that their concerns weren't taken seriously because they are African.All of which means that Government spending eg on cycle lanes is entirely irrelevant.But if people are genuinely concerned about childrens' health, they might consider the sad case ofElla Kissi-Debrah, a 9 year old who died in South London.At her inquest the Coroner noted that her death was caused by acute respiratory failure, severe asthma and air pollution exposure.He said she was exposed to nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM) pollution in excess of World Health Organization guidelines, the principal source of which were traffic emissions.To quote directly: “The whole of Ella’s life was lived in close proximity to highly polluting roads. I have no difficulty in concluding that her personal exposure to nitrogen dioxide and PM was very high.”

Richard Cathcart ● 85d

With another CAF coming up soon there will be a great opportunity for the patricians of Chiswick to shake their fists at the wrong things and people for things happening that they don't like. Here is a ready-made script for those who are too experienced, lucid and right to be bothered preparing a well thought-through argument. You can just replace the American names with some local ones but otherwise it's pretty much ready to go. JUNE 13, 2019EVERY NIMBY’S SPEECH AT A PUBLIC HEARINGby CHAS GILLESPIE Friends, neighbors, it’s good to see all of you. I know you, you know me, and just seeing all of your faces at this city council meeting reminds me why I love living in this town. Because I feel comforted by stasis and regularity, both fed by ignorance, and which combine to perpetuate injustice.I am grateful for the opportunity to speak tonight, and I look forward to contributing to our robust debate by making claims that are floating in an ether of confusion, prejudice, and unearned authority. But for those of you who may not know me, let me introduce myself. I’m a retired professional who rose through the ranks because competition in my field was minimized due to systemic discrimination against women and people of color. My job was well paid, did not punish me for my lack of soft skills, and convinced me that I know what’s best for other people, even if it seems like what’s worst for other people. I grew up here and, after leaving for a time to go to college and start my career, returned to this town, my true home, in order to raise a family and stop time from progressing. I’ve lived in the same house in the Elm Heights neighborhood for the past twenty years, and I just love everything about this town except for the problems that my politics have directly created.Now that we’ve heard from all the members of the city council tonight, I think we as citizens need to make a few things clear. The first is, we aren’t Madison. We aren’t Boulder. We aren’t Terre Haute. So when I hear a member of the council saying, “Well, Waukesha made a few small but substantive changes in such-and-such an area and the results have been very promising empirically,” what that council member fails to understand is that we aren’t Waukesha. We aren’t Tacoma. We aren’t Amherst. We aren’t Portland, Maine. Are we Scottsdale? No, we are not. And so all this so-called “evidence” about how policies have worked in other towns simply does not apply to us. No evidence applies to us. Our town exists in a fog of mystery and enigmatic strangeness, and nothing that happens outside city boundaries should have any bearing on how we govern or exist.The second thing the council must understand is that subject-specific expertise built up through a lifetime of education and research doesn’t mean much unless you are also able to make exaggerated claims that stoke fear and resentment, ideally combined with a kind of faux-folksiness that harkens back to an age that never existed. Am I impressed that you have a Ph.D. in city planning or education or environmental science and are using your expertise to make the commons more equitable, livable, just, and human-centered? I mean, maybe. But the thing is, you haven’t frightened me with your expertise. There has been no “Oh God, the Other is taking over and we must stop them from inflicting their strange ways on our all-American life” moment tonight. And so, I’m afraid, you have wasted all of our time.If I haven’t convinced you yet of my point of view, this surely will: as a middle-class white Christian man who came of age during the most profound and sustained economic boom in our nation’s history, I understand struggle. I never received anything in my life, except a world-class public education that cost virtually nothing. I wasn’t handed anything, except two loving parents, a comfortable upbringing, and the general feeling that our nation’s institutions and structures were designed for the success of people like me.So when the city council talks about poverty, when it talks about affordable housing, when it talks about Medicaid, what we’re really talking about is work ethic. What we’re talking about is a culture of give-me give-me give-me that, yes, I directly benefited from via the university I attended, but now that I’ve benefitted from public programs, I don’t want anyone else to benefit from them. The question is not, “How can we help other people?” The question is, “How can other people help themselves via policies that rely on magical thinking?”Or, to put it another way, let’s make a list of public programs that have directly benefitted me. Those are good. Now let’s make a list of public programs that benefit other people. Those are bad. That’s what small government means, after all: the consolidation of wealth and power in the hands of those who already have those things, because the idea that in a democratic society we are all equals is dangerous and frightening to me.Please, stop talking, folks. I didn’t talk while you were saying things that I wasn’t paying attention to.I’d like to conclude my remarks with a NIMBY rant about how, first of all, we should not take any action on global climate change, because making a carbon sacrifice is something we should outsource to people whose lives would be more greatly affected by that carbon sacrifice. And, second, we need to preserve the character of our neighborhoods, by which I mean prevent immigrants and people of modest means from buying or renting near where I live.Thank you, and remember: you should pay special attention to what I think, because I’ve been saying offensively wrong things about this place for over forty years.

Paul Campbell ● 85d