POLITICS OF ROADS

Lisa Kane Streets which “embody respect”_

We sat in a formal board-room table overlooking central Cape Town just before Christmas of 2012. We were a small, enthusiastic bunch of street geeks (some of whom went on to set up Open Streets Cape Town) listening intently as each took turns to answer the question: “so, what do you want?” I scribbled a …

Streets which embody respect? Read More »

Lisa Kane Four truths about roads and ‘unfinished’ freeways

When exasperated Professor of Transport Policy, Phil Goodwin took to the stage for his inaugural lecture at the University College London, with a lecture memorably titled, Solving Congestion (when we must not build roads, increase spending, lose votes, damage the economy, and will never find equilibrium), he took a well-aimed swipe at the ignorance about …

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Lisa Kane Small is beautiful_ on NMT infrastructure

Picture from ‘Annual Report of the City Engineer, Cape Town. 1984-1985 We are somewhat obsessed with big infrastructure projects. Whatever form it takes, we love those big, sexy (expensive) infrastructure schemes. And yet, if you take a good look at the places where walking and cycling thrives (think Scandinavia, the low countries, small town UK, …

Small is beautiful: on NMT infrastructure Read More »

Lisa Kane A_poster_Victor Bicycles LOC

“Our proposal starts”, said one of the 2017 Foreshore bids “by re-arranging and completing the elevated freeways in a lean and elegant way, thereby resolving the key traffic bottlenecks and improving traffic flows all across the surrounding road network.” ‘Lean’, ‘elegant’ and the resolution of traffic bottlenecks is not text-book civil engineering, but these words …

“Lean and elegant”: The poetics of freeway building Read More »

Lisa Kane “Motorized” normal_

I can’t read “Non Motorized” without thinking “Non White” and “Non European”. Then I’m left wondering what the consequences are of South Africans adopting the term “NMT” (Non Motorized Transport)? “Non Motorized”, like “Non European”, makes one category normal and the other abnormal. With being normal and abnormal come the baggage of acceptability (or not), …

“Motorized” normal? Read More »

Lisa Kane Do roads have politics?

This question – do roads have politics – from Langdon Winner in 1980 has been beguiling me for a (long) time. Winner asked it while describing 1920s ‘parkway’ access routes from New York City to the beaches of Long Island. The routes provided one of the few means for New Yorkers to leave the crowded …

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Lisa Kane A_children_cyclist_Children cycling AK

In an earlier blogpost I wrote about my attempts to make “random acts of kindness” an habitual part of my driving day. Just in case my children should see that post – I have a confession to make. I often get it wrong. I sail past pedestrian crossings which have people waiting to cross at …

The struggle to respect, and street scripts Read More »