Wednesday 28 May 2014

Question for any councillor blocking cycle infrastructure as "cyclists break the law"

The recent Cambridge blocking  as cyclists break the law" shows the attitude of councillors to urban change. Yes, they pretend it is a postponement, but they are presumably planning to delay it until the grant expires and then go "a pity. We didn't actually block it though"

For anyone whose councillors ask this -or any press covering such an event- here are the questions we recommend asking
  1. Which transport modalities does this "no new infrastructure without breaking any laws" policy apply? 
  2. Which specific laws are covered by it?
  3. What percentage of a transport user group have to be breaking these law before the policy comes into effect? Equally importantly, if the percentage of a transport user group can be shown to fall below this threshold, will your policy be revoked automatically?
  4. What is the sampling method used to determine the percentages of non-compliant users. Is it a full census of all transport users, a survey of a valid subset of users selected at random across the region, at specific times and days -repeatedly?
  5. If there are transport modes that are not covered by the policy -why not?
  6. If we can provide evidence that a tangible percentage of the users of other transport modes break the same or related traffic laws -will you consider expanding your "no infrastructure without compliance" policy to those transport modes?
  7. What if we can provide evidence that the existing users of that transport mode are -within your region- killing and seriously injuring themselves and more vulnerable other users of the regions's infrastructure -such as pedestrians?"
  8. If it is clear that you are favouring some transport modes with preferential treatment -providing the majority of cash for new infrastructure, allocating most of the finite road-pavement capacity in the region, why is this the case? Why have you chosen to explicitly focus on one subgroup of transport modes -the one shown to endanger others the least?
  9. If you are merely "delaying" a decision, is the plan to delay it past the deadline for a grant and then pretend that this was unintentional, bemoaning the fact it happened.
  10. If the central government funding falls through due to your delaying actions -will you be happy to present this fact to your electorate as and defend this outcome? 
  11. Assuming the existence of this policy becomes a topic for national coverage as well as regional, are you prepared to publish all the data and reasoning behind its adoption -and defend it?
Finally, and this is a followup:

Why are you such a fuckwit that you hate bicycles, assume that all cyclists are criminals -and that are not your actual voters? Do you really think it is wise to step on the toes of a group of road users who are fucking used to being treated like shit, yet still fucking hate it when some wanker politician comes out, paints them all as a group of lawbreakers, then refuses to make any attempt to actually make it safer for the cyclists to get round the city -and so perhaps even expand the number of users

Why are you such a fucking hypocrite given that most pedestrians and cyclists are killed not by their own actions, but by those of drivers? On roads where laws on urban and rural speeding are broken so regularly that vehicles who drive in compliance with the limits are usually resented by the queue of cars behind them? Why do you not block all funding of any improvements to aid driving -even if it is just a "traffic flow improvement" at a junction, while national lobby groups actually advocate breaking laws -speed limits in particular. 

Did you really fucking think that your statements weren't going to be on youtube within an hour, that you were going to come over as the kind of swivel-eye that lurks in the bottom of local press articles or in the team writing the bit of the UKIP election manifesto that even Farage is now disowning as being bonkers? 

Do you think your "delay, not deny" strategy until the grants or financial year runs out is not going to be noticed. Are you hoping to kill the project and then pretend to be sad about the outcome "this was done before our concerns were fully addressed", trying to point the finger at central government instead of you petty and hypocritical actions?

What are you going to do when local campaigners actually put their names in the hat for election in your ward, highlighting your fucking hatred of anyone who rides a bike, using a party name that explicitly calls you out for endangering cyclists by blocking infrastructure improvements funded by central government? Are you ready to have to stand up at every husting and defend your policy -again and again, as people from the audience put their hands up and ask questions that embarrass you to the extent that you start regretting ever having uttered those fateful words?

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