The traffic calmers are out in force again. Every time I think that there’s not a single bit of my route to and from either station that hasn’t been corrugated to within an inch of its life, lo and behold, white lines appear drawn on the road where they plan to put in yet another hump, bump, or, possibly, lady lump on the road. Every year I imagine the Lambeth road maintenance spending committee sitting down to discuss what to do with their road budget and the conversation going something like this:
Committee Chairman: So, looks like speed bumps again this year, eh?
Committee (in unison): gosh, yes, brilliant idea, let’s do speedbumps, can’t have too many of those
Keen Young Graduate Trainee: Don’t we have enough speed bumps yet? Can’t we fix some potholes?
Committee Chairman: Don’t be silly, Jenkins, if we fix the potholes people will drive faster.
KYGT: Well what about some bike lanes that aren’t completely bonkers?
CC: we’ll pretend you didn’t say that. So speedbumps it is then.
C (in unison): Hurrah! More speedbumps.
This time the sad part is that the road that they’re calming is in such terrible condition, it’s hard to imagine anyone getting any sort of speed up on it as it is. It’s not so much that it’s a bit patched and potholed – the road surface that’s left looks like it was originally laid as a set of samples of different kinds of tarmac-substitute, to see which one was least crap (answer: none of them). There are no road markings, and the only line down the middle of the road is the one where two different road materials meet. Oh, and the only traffic I’ve ever actually seen on it is me.
Still, I see a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Eventually the speedbumps will be so numerous, they will join up into one continuous long speed bump and it will be as though there were no speed bumps at all…