11 Responses to ‘Morally superior’ – Boris’s bogus logic on transport

  1. monchberter says:

    Boris is a dyed in the wool Tory and by referring to ‘artificial’ hierarchy’s, you nail it too. His comment on cycling being safe “so long as you keep your wits about you” is the same line of thinking, he automatically assumes a ‘might is right’ mentality. As in you need to have sharp enough elbows to hack it on the roads as a cyclist. Typical Tory thinking in any situation. Sod the vulnerable, look out for yourself, fight your way to the top.

    Which is why he shouldn’t even be mayor of such a diverse city.

    • Cyclestrian says:

      “Typical Tory thinking” — very interesting point. I had been impressed with David Cameron’s proposal for using a GWB (General Well Being) measure alongside GDP to measure the UK’s happiness. Not sure what happened to that, but if was even possible to measure I’m certain more active travel and more pleasant streets for the majority would provide a significant boost.

      Londoners are not the only people voting on Thursday. I have researched my local councillor candidates against the criteria of the environment my children will grow up in and want to get around. The Conservative councillor has a track record of promoting free flowing traffic and if our streets get too busy he has plans to get funding for a bypass. I pointed out that for the cost of a bypass we could do a huge amount locally for traffic reduction, active travel and more… I didn’t hear from him again. Labour are not popular here so the only real alternative is the LibDem chap. He is really aware of issues that worry local cyclists and parents and will champion a 20’s plenty campaign whether or not he is elected. I am not a political animal and have no natural leaning but this time, I know how to vote. (Btw, great blog, thanks!)

      • Cyclestrian says:

        PS, from 2010:
        Speaking at the Google Zeitgeist Europe conference, he added: “Wellbeing can’t be measured by money or traded in markets. It’s about the beauty of our surroundings, the quality of our culture and, above all, the strength of our relationships. Improving our society’s sense of wellbeing is, I believe, the central political challenge of our times.”

  2. Toby says:

    It’s frustrating isn’t it when the answer to so many problems is staring you in the face, but no-one else can see it. Thanks for that post, I thoroughly enjoyed it; despite the galling sensation that yet another embryo post forming in my mind has been nailed by some other bugger already.

  3. meloncholy says:

    I was trying to track down a great video I saw recently about the huge amount of pavement and parkland that has been given to cars in NYC over the past 50ish years, but instead I found a post by Boston Biker that I think makes the point equally well.

    Below is an argument that some people have used to complain about bicycles, slightly altered to reflect a biker’s point of view

    Today when I got on my bike to go to work there were a bunch of inconsiderate jerks clogging up the road in front of me. They were riding two abreast, sometimes three abreast (when there was enough room, the things they were riding were like 5-6 feet wide each!). I don’t know what the occasion is, but every morning around 7 and every evening around 5 they have some sort of massive group ride. It should be illegal for them to all ride at the same time, it fills up the streets making it impossible to go anywhere, don’t these jerks realize that people have things to do?! I am forced to ride around them as they rudely take up the entire lane just for one person. I don’t understand why they don’t just use the highways, I mean the highways are designed just for them. I don’t understand why they are even allowed to ride on the streets, get on the highway where you belong! The worst part is there behavior, if you try to tell them to get out of the way all they do is honk their horn or give you the finger, I mean how rude!

  4. Luke says:

    I know this is mainly about bikes, but I HATE those pedestrian pens and having to wait not just at the side of the road but in the middle as well. Rant over.

    • Carlos says:

      But the pedestrian pens are there for your own safety dear. (/sarcasm).

    • Cyclestrian says:

      Yes, me too. They are certainly not good for [pedestrian] traffic flow and are demeaning to London’s visitors. As for Parliament Square in general–I have previously tried to show my children the Houses of Parliament, the Abbey “where K married Prince W” on foot. So stressful, so much fast traffic, fumes, so often had to work out how and where to cross lanes and lanes of traffic, pens and pavements overcrowded with tourists, pure fear of letting go of children’s hands for even an instant. Feel so sorry for tourist families that are unfamiliar with traffic driving on the left. Morally superior?

  5. That Conservative Assembly policy is really scary. Basically, a policy of not doing anything. It’s totally illogical and will eventually lead to total gridlock on the street of London. What we need is exactly the opposite: We do need “artifical” incentives to encourage motorists to consider alternative transport options. That should be a key aim of any urban planner…

  6. Paul M says:

    Having met (with Danny of citycyclists) a couple of the London Assembly tories (James Cleverley and Andrew Boff) following the first of their group walkouts, I found them likeable, intelligent and thoughtful people, both of whom were entusiastic and committed cyclists themselves. Both use their bikes to commute from their homes, in Bromley and Hackney respectively, and Bromley is a fair commute. In fact Cleverley seems a bit of an “action man”, being also a territorial army major. Both are a universe apart from that loathsome little ** Brian Coleman.

    What this doesn’t however address is the fact that both of them, like many modern tories, especially those who don’t come from silver-spoon backgrounds, have a highly “libertarian” view of things. You could perhaps express their philospophy in those two old Victorian saws “God helps those who help themselves” and “Fortune favours the brave”. It is how you can believe in cycling, and want it to gain prominence in London, but not want to do anything concrete about it other than tell people to pull themselves together and overcome their fears, perhaps with a little training, a plastic hat and a yellow tabard.

    Following the live updates on the Assembly/mayoral elections this morning, it looks like we are going to have to live with “wits about you” Johnson again – similar political philosophy but a good deal less likeable than Boff – but the Tories may be reduced to too few assembly seats to prevent other parties vetoing Boris’ budget proposals. Let’s hope so, even if it means a nice guy like Boff is one of the victims – and let’s hope the other parties make use of this veto power to good effect.

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