Monday, June 18, 2007

Recycling: Bikes in Darlington's Pedestrian Heart

There's yet another letter in today's Northern Echo using the dictionary definition of pedestrian to question why bikes should be allowed in the Town Centre.

COULD someone please direct me to the much vaunted "Pedestrian Heart" of Darlington?

I looked up the word pedestrianise, in the Chambers Dictionary, and the definition given is - an area set aside for walkers only. Well, where is it?

Two cyclists were weaving their way through the walkers outside Marks and Spencer in Northgate one morning recently - one was even doing what I think is wheelies. Amazed by this, I made inquiries and found that cyclists can cycle anywhere in the newly-paved area of our town.

So, can someone please direct me to the pedestrianised area of Darlington? Thanking you in anticipation. - Mrs P Dinsdale, Darlington.


Ok, so they've used "pedestrianise", rather than "pedestrian"... To save me some time the next time a letter like this is published, I thought I would post my reply here, then I can just copy and paste next time:

Once again a letter is published which uses the dictionary definition of a pedestrian as a reason for banning bicycles from Darlington's Pedestrian Heart. Do the writers of these letters appreciate that their definition also excludes pushchairs, prams and wheelchair users? Thank you, however, to Mrs P Dinsdale for a timely reminder to all cyclists that they are allowed to cycle within the area in which most motorised vehicles are excluded.

I myself cycled through the town centre on Saturday, although I was unable to wheelie as I was pulling my 18-month-old daughter in a trailer. The new design makes it much safer for cyclists to use the area, as it has made the streets much wider, and I had no problems getting through the area. I also cycle through the area twice a day when going to and from work, again with no problems.

Do those who object to cyclists in the town centre realise that the majority of cyclists are responsible cyclists? They are parents taking their children to school. They are teachers on their way to work. They are people going shopping.

Responsible cycling in Darlington town centre is safe, pleasant and fun. More people should try it.


Update: The letter is published in today's Echo (Tues 19th June) and on their website.

2 comments:

An Inconvenient Truth said...

Since when was it called the "Pedestrianised Heart"?

Funny, I looked up "pedestrian" in the dictionary as well. I got:

Undistinguished; ordinary.

Steve said...

York & Leeds each have more cyclists & pedestrians than Darlington and they coexist peacefully there.

Maybe we need a "cyclists are people too" campaign.