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A Single Finger Salute to “Middle Aged Men in Lycra”

Our cousins in the UK have similar problems with central cities dying and folks heading to shopping centers and Amazon on line. See “Our schizophrenic attitude to driving and shopping” Astrid has linked on parknews.biz.

This chap, Paul Finch, has it nailed.

It is sometimes forgotten that the first out-of-town shopping centres, developed in Los Angeles, were a response to severe parking restrictions established by municipal authorities, heavily swayed by the railroad interest. Bans on street parking led first to the innovation of multi-storey car parks, then, inexorably, to the idea of building malls, where drivers were welcomed, rather than vilified.

The attitude that cars are enemies helps to explain why high streets and secondary or tertiary shopping areas in UK towns and cities are dying on their feet. Street parking is treated as a form of social leprosy, while the surface car parks supplied by supermarket chains are assumed to be a social good, even if they result in independent shopkeepers being driven out of business.

I couldn’t agree more. However the best part of his article follows:

You might also add the scandalous waste of money, at least in parts of London, of providing free facilities for the white ‘mamil’ population (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra) which creates congestion, pollution and frustration for drivers who are the ones paying for the unoccupied cycle lanes.

Too true. Trying to turn our huge cities into tiny Amsterdam, with its gazillion bicycles, just isn’t going to happen. You know about my neighborhood which is in the process of destroying the mercantile activity on our nearby main drag for the couple of dozen a day “mamil” who show off their well-turned thighs while the rest of us duck and dive to try to find parking that was removed for their pleasure.

Kudus to Paul Finch and his moment of clarity. I salute his lack of “twitter” as he says:

(By the way, cyclist trolls, I am not on Twitter, so you can stick any poisonous responses to your Brooks saddle and sit on them.)

JVH

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