Playing out in the street. It's the future!

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  • Playing out in the street. It's the future!
  • Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Sure, perhaps they could, I don’t know where they all work.

    My other half’s journey is not viable on foot (too far), bike (perhaps too far, definitely too dangerous, and she also picks our daughter up from nursery on her way home), and not viable on public transport. (I work from home, and almost always push my daughter to nursery, a 3.5 mile round trip, on foot. But I’m a bit odd!)

    Mike’s point is quite thought provoking.

    Premier Icon mattjg
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    It’s not a sin to own a car you know, you don’t have to justify it all the time.

    Wasn’t. I have 2 cars actually. 😳

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    any more than the SkyRides do anything in the long term for cycling other than tell people “it’s not safe to cycle except when we shut the road once in a while”.

    To be fair the SkyRides are more than that – yes they have one big day where they shut the roads and gets lots of people riding that usually wouldn’t, but they use that day to hand out loads of info about riding, promote leisure and transport cycling, and they follow up with free Sky organised rides for months afterwards.

    Cars are the only possession we’re allowed to own without making provision for storing them on our own property, or paying to store them somewhere.

    +1, this article puts it very well:
    ”I’ll Just Leave This Speedboat Here” (Ian Walker)

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    We live in a cul-de-sac and are very appreciative of the fact that the children can play out in the street unsupervised.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    If anyone thinks we can just restrict car ownership and everything will be fine, they are in la la land.

    It’s a lovely ideal and soemthing we definitely shoudl work towards, but cars are totally intertwined with our way of life currently. It’ll take a century to reverse even with concerted effort.

    From that blog:

    Because here’s the question: why should I be allowed to own a car if I have nowhere to store it?

    Because cars are rather useful. FFS.. I can’t stand it when people latch on to one simple idea and act all self righteous about it when the issues are far more complicated. Can you imagine what would happen if you banned on-street parking?

    Re kids playing out – our street is full of kids playing, but then we live in a cul-de-sac. It’s not a co-incidence.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    We’ve got a garage.
    It’s full of bikes.

    We’ve also got 2 cars.
    One lives on the drive & one on the street.

    I feel a bit guilty now.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    From this thread it sounds like the solution is to turn all residential streets into cul-de-sacs.

    There may be some issues with that which I haven’t thought through…

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    From this thread it sounds like the solution is to turn all residential streets into cul-de-sacs.

    They’ve done that a bit in Cardiff, in places, with the old terraced streets. They are pretty quiet, and kids do play in them.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Good point.

    They did something simlar in Harpurhey and Moston in Manchester:
    Knocked down every second row of terraces and refurbed the remainder, turning some of them into cul de sacs.

    The houses had a lot more light, gardens, safe play areas and became instantly much more desirable as a result.

    Whoever came up with that idea is a bloody genius.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Knocked down every second row of terraces and refurbed the remainder, turning some of them into cul de sacs

    That’s an excellent idea for those really run down places you see on the news where the houses are all £5 or whatever.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Our street isn’t a cul-de-sac, but because it’s a 20mph zone with speed bumps, the rat-runners are deterred, and hence it’s pretty kid friendly.

    This appeared all along the pavement this weekend, for instance.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    If anyone thinks we can just restrict car ownership and everything will be fine, they are in la la land.

    We have unrestricted car ownership and things are far from fine. The balance is miles the other way right now. TfL, for instance, have drivers’ organisations listed as statutory consultees, but not cycling or pedestrian groups.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/what_statutory_consultation_list

    It’s all about the bloody car, right now. Yet even people who NEED to drive would benefit from less driving by those who don’t need to.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Rusty – that sounds like what Urban Splash did in Weaste in Salford. It was absolutely grim round there. Rows of boarded up and abandoned terraces. They knocked half down and turned the remainder from this

    into this

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    We have unrestricted car ownership and things are far from fine.

    Quite so.

    But, simply ranting about how stupid everyone (else) is for parking outside their house is not at all helpful, as some people are (not directed at the posters here necessarily). How about some actual solutions? That are actual real ideas that will work not fantasty statements?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Molgrips yes cars are damn useful but the sheer amount of land “given over” to storage of private vehicles is bonkers and is a massive subsidy to the poor put upon drivers that no-one ever seems to remember about. Old housing obviously doesn’t play nicely with multiple car ownership, new homes built out in the burbs a zillion miles away from any employers without inadequate off street parking is stupid. It’ll take a bit of effort to change but

    It’ll take a century to reverse even with concerted effort.

    is bollocks, I’d say 30, 50 at the absolute outside. You show your working out and I’ll show mine 🙂

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Well what other options do we have Donk? (I’ve got an idea but I’ve said it before enough times)

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    Yep, that’s the one binners.
    Must be the same initiative.

    I’m blody sick of hearing about how we need to build on greenfield sites to replenish housing stock.
    Utter bollocks.
    We just need some intelligent thought applied to the issue of the thousands of uninhabited properties and wasted brownfield land in the centre of our existing towns & cities.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    We just need some intelligent thought applied to the issue of the thousands of uninhabited properties and wasted brownfield land in the centre of our existing towns & cities.

    How much of that is there though? Serious question. I don’t know of any stretches of dead houses in Cardiff, for example, and brownfield sites are being developed quite heavily here and apparently up in the Valleys too.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    How about some actual solutions? That are actual real ideas that will work not fantasty statements?

    Proper pricing of on-street parking is something I think should be strongly considered. With money ringfenced and channeled directly into public transport improvement. Getting there would need some serious positioning and messaging, though.

    spacemonkey
    Member

    The village we’re trying to relocate to is proper old skool in that it has greens, football/rugby/cricket pitches, a playground, fields, woods, rivers, i.e the very same things I spent my childhood playing on/in. Fewer and fewer places seem to have these facilities which I just don’t understand.

    Would rather monkey jnr spent his formative years growing up in the same way.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Proper pricing of on-street parking is something I think should be strongly considered.

    It would mess up many people’s lives. Given people’s current jobs and living arrangements, they’d have no choice but to pay the fees. Chances are they would struggle to move because the value of houses without off-street parking would plummet. It’d really hurt people in their pockets, and that’s no way to get people on your side.

    You can’t penalise people into doing the right thing. You have to make them WANT to do the right thing, and give them the means to do it.

    Beyond all this hefty debate and back to the OP, I think this is a great idea and considering the way the world is going with excessive immersion in the digital world (typed ironically 😆 ) it’s great for people to get together and break down the walls that insulate the growth of communities.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    Well, I’d say about five hundred uninhabited properties in the centre of Burnley.
    Along with, ohhhh, twenty or thirty old disused plots that could be transformed into green spaces or more housing.

    Not sure about Liverpool now, but there were a good few hundred sturdy, Victorian properties that had been abandoned.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    It would mess up many people’s lives. Given people’s current jobs and living arrangements, they’d have no choice but to pay the fees. Chances are they would struggle to move because the value of houses without off-street parking would plummet. It’d really hurt people in their pockets, and that’s no way to get people on your side.

    Given that on-street parking is, in its current form…

    a) A major detriment to children playing outside, thus having a health cost impact
    b) A cause of congestion
    c) A big giveaway of land to motorists that could be used for other facilities like bus lanes, cycle lanes, additional traffic flow space, etc

    …then there’s a big economic case for something to change. Like i say, it’s not an easy choice, and it’s certainly not the only aspect of car dependency that is detrimental and ought to be tackled.

    That said, it doesn’t really stop the kids playing in our street. The most important thing to do IMHO is to bring speeds down with properly enforced slower limits in residential streets, something with sends groups like the Association of British Drivers (who reject the existence of “rat running”) into spasms.

    patriotpro
    Member

    The result… kids playing out safely, neighbours out on the street with a brew talking to each other and no cars!

    Happens on my street whenever it’s not raining, (appart from the no cars bit). I’m currently the street curby champion in fact. 8)

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Okay, one constructive idea: Car sharing schemes could be one really good way to improve things. Many people only have a car for the odd drive at the weekend. It’d be good to show people in those circumstances that it’d actually be cheaper to rent a car 30 weekends a year than to own one for the whole year, clogging up a bit of road space.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Not a bad idea – but car rental needs to be really cheap and easy then, like the city car schemes.

    Although, how many people really only use their car for odd weekend trips and take PT at other times? In London maybe, but elsewhere?

    Anything like that needs huge investment in PT. But PT isn’t always profitable, so it needs subsidising. And for that, you need a left-wing government.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    I like the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”, my daughter’s knocking on to 2 1/2 now so I think about that a lot.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    But PT isn’t always profitable, so it needs subsidising.

    We already subsidise the bejeezus out of private motoring, so why not?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    groups like the Association of British Drivers

    Don’t flatter the ABD by calling them a “group”.

    “Pressure groups such as the Association of British Drivers are unduly influential. They have less than 3,000 members, yet they are given enormous attention by the media. They appear on Radio 4’s Today programme. It’s ludicrous — this is a bunch of crackpots being given prime airtime. It’s just because the media love a controversy.”
    — Richard Brunstrom, then chief of road policing for the UK Association of Chief Police Officers, 2004.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    And yet TFL consult them all the bloody time, while ignoring the London Cycling Campaign.

    Premier Icon terrahawk
    Subscriber

    t is NOT progress to tell kids “you can play out there once a year under strict controls”, any more than the SkyRides do anything in the long term for cycling other than tell people “it’s not safe to cycle except when we shut the road once in a while”.

    it is progress when you’ve got 6 hours when cars aren’t tearing along the street. It gives residents a foothold and gradually 6 hours per months becomes more frequent. then it’s a one-way street with calming measures and a 20mph limit. or it’s closed to traffic entirely.

    Entirely possible that none of this would happen, but what we did yesterday is a step in the right direction.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    What really saddens me is the lack of freedom of movement that kids have in this country. It’s not just about playing outside, it’s also about being able to get on a bike and go places.

    That’s what’s so depressing about the SkyRide. I saw a lovely blog about the Southampton one, a few months ago, which showed pictures afterwards of parents and kids cycling on pavements back towards car parks, because the roads had been handed back to thundering traffic.

    In the Netherlands, by contrast, a young kid can get on a bike and ride anywhere they want in safety. Even when there’s not a bike lane on a quiet street, signs and laws make it perfectly clear to drivers that they don’t take priority. It’s no coincidence that obesity levels are much lower there, but it’s just the principle of the damn thing: Kids should be able to move.,

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Terrahawk: I came across a bit strong, and I think what you did was great. You’re clearly thinking longer term than just this event. I tend to feel ranty when media coverage and other commentary portrays it as a great thing while not talking about the future. BUT: I really think there’s a risk that it becomes normalised to both kids and adults that this time is the kids’ time to use the streets, thus reinforcing the sense that it’s off limits at other times. Hence it’s important for all of us not to let this kind of thing let people off the hook at all other times.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    it is progress when you’ve got 6 hours when cars aren’t tearing along the street.

    agreed, perhaps from some people, or kids who’ve not had the experience before, it’s a taste of what’s possible

    ormondroyd
    Member

    Y’know, the “why are these kids in the street, they had their afternoon back in August” effect?

    ormondroyd
    Member

    agreed, perhaps from some people, or kids who’ve not had the experience before, it’s a taste of what’s possible

    That’s a strong argument for it, for sure.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Car ownership is relatively easy and cheap, so people build their lives around them, so cars become “essential”.

    I never learned to drive. (I tried twice, but didn’t ever pass a test.) So, I’ve never built my life around owning a car. I applied for jobs that didn’t require driving and were nearby, I don’t drive to bike rides on a weekend, etc. As a result, we only have one car and it lives on our drive.

    Previously, we’ve been completely car-free for a year or more at a time, including when we had young kids.

    It is possible, and more people could do it. We just need to have incentives and alternatives in place. Unfortunately, central and local government seem allergic to taking any steps that are deemed anti-car. My local newspaper’s comments pages are full of people complaining that they have to pay 1 pound an hour to park in the town centre; we’re happy to pay that, because the alternative is to spend £9 on the bus to get us, as a family, into town.

    ormondroyd
    Member

    My local newspaper’s comments pages are full of people complaining that they have to pay 1 pound an hour to park in the town centre; we’re happy to pay that, because the alternative is to spend £9 on the bus to get us, as a family, into town.

    One challenging thing is the way car ownership’s sunk costs are internalised, so people only see the price of £1 parking and a dribble of fuel, rather than the actual daily cost of owning their car (a tenner in depreciation, say).

    One family bus trip at the weekend: £9
    versus
    Fuel into town: £1
    Car parking in town £1

    When really the other side includes…

    A week’s car tax: £3
    A week’s depreciation: £70
    A week’s insurance: £10
    A week’s service cost: £10

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