Memorandum by Michael Aidin Esq (WTC 62)
WALKING IN TOWNS AND CITIES
Walking in urban areas would be encouraged by
making towns and cities more compact, thus increasing housing
densities so that people could walk to their place of work, shops,
doctors, sporting and recreational facilities. Delivery services
for food from shops would reduce the need for car trips to supermarkets.
I have lived in London, New York City and now
in Sussex. My wife and I lived happily in New York for eight years
without a car. We were able to walk to nearly all the places we
needed to visit regularly. We used taxis only rarely and scarcely
ever went by subway or by bus.
Our experience is not untypical. High densities
of population do not necessarily involve over-crowding in cities.
Cities should be re-planned so as to diminish the need for people
to move routinely over long distances within urban areas. An important
method of increasing people walking to work is to make changes
in property economics so as to encourage the provision of accommodation
to rent. This would facilitate people moving closer to places
of work or schools etc, thus reducing the need for public transport.
The availability of property to rent on reasonable terms is an
important means of encouraging mobility.
2. ROAD SAFETY
Creating safer conditions for walking are necessary.
Better protected footpaths and pedestrian crossings are important.
However, I believe the single most important factor would be to
reduce speed limits and to enforce the law. Why not recruit a
force of special constables equipped with photo electric zappers
which could provide clear evidence of excessive speed. It would
not be necessary to take fit able bodied personnel away from the
police service. The officers concerned could be in plain clothes
and might be recruited from active old age pensioners. Any costs
incurred by this special service would more than be recouped by
fines paid by motorists, apart from the cost to the community
as a whole caused by the present level of street accidents.
I write with some feeling as I was knocked down
by a speeding motorist and was exceptionally lucky to escape with