Sunday, March 26, 2006

Spring, dog mess and speed humps

Spring finally seems to be here now - daffodils are out and frog spawn appeared in my pond this weekend. Amazing how much wildlife people are telling me they get in their gardens - newts, woodpeckers, parakeets. Should be able to canvass from now on without feet and fingers going numb with cold.

Busy weekend collecting signatures for nomination papers and canvassing. Several people mentioned the amount of dog mess on hilly fields and the need for more stringent enforcement of law to get people to clear up after their dogs.

One of the topics residents most often raise is speed humps - opinion really does seem to be split on this, with a number of people saying they cause back injuries, others delighted to have them on their street. They certainly aren't the answer to all traffic problems, but they are proven to make drivers slow down and ultimately reduce fatalities. They do need to be carefully positioned though - some drivers swerve to avoid them, which can be intimidating for cyclists. With any luck, in a few years all cars will be fitted with speed limiters, and speed humps will become redundant. Real keenies can see a 48-page report on them from the London Assembly here and a Green response to critics of speed humps.

As a cyclist who doesn't drive but lives on a road which has traffic tailbacks everyday I tend to think that drivers whinge way too much and those of us who breathe in all the fumes their cars emit don't complain enough! I spoke to one person today who said he had been knocked off his bike twice in the past year and both times by an uninsured car - outrageous. I'm glad 4x4s are going to be taxed more, but it's nowhere near enough - if you can afford to buy a 4x4, £210 tax a year is hardly going to be enough to put you off.

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