Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rat Runs 'n' Speed Humps

Hoo-fuckin'-ray! I received a letter last week from my local council saying that they will be installing speed humps in my street and two other adjoining streets in the 'next few months'. I hope it happens. The council has known that my street is used as a so called 'short cut' or 'rat run' since 1991, that's when they did a traffic study but didn't implement any action. Although they did replace a stop sign with a roundabout at an intersection in the street which made it easier for vehicles who cut through.

They did a traffic count in 1999 which showed 563 westbound and 427 eastbound movements each day, that is 990 vehicles per day in a street that is so narrow that parking is only allowed on one side and when two cars meet each other its like a game of 'chicken'. I recently had my driver's side mirror destroyed by a vehicle passing too close to my parked car.

This is clear evidence that my local council doesn't carry out its function; that is to represent the residents and use its budget to make the area the best it can for those residents. The candidates put up at elections are not people put forward by the community in many cases but people belonging to political parties who want the responsibility and power to change things according to their beliefs. This is back to front. It is not democracy. Yes residents democratically elect councillors but the choice of candidates is not democratic if a political party puts forward a candidate for the benefit of the party first and the community second.

The speed humps were installed 3rd to 6th March in my street and two adjoining streets. It has been intersting to see the change in traffic. There has been a reduction in traffic but two months after the speed humps there are still drivers who won't go away. There are a few who try to drive as fast as they can in between humps and others who don't slow down enough at the hump and scrap their cars.
There are still the diehard rat runners who drive down my street and connecting streets to go from main road to main road. I think we need to change the streets to one way facing each other so cars cannot continue from one street to the next. Unless you make it virtually impossible to cut through streets drivers will use them.

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