3d pan white

Season's Grittings

This cheery little scene evolved from the pun of the title when I was trying to come up with alternative cycling-themed seasonal card / poster / design ideas.


This one does have more of a point to it than my other more whimsical ideas though. Last year in Edinburgh - as with many other places - we had an unusually cold and snowy winter and our council decided to prioritise clearing roads at the expense of pavements and paths. This was despite the fact that the weather was harsh enough that the most practical way around town for most people was on foot, by bus or (for the hardy!) by bike. The effort taken to clear the main bus routes was hampered by the fact that cars had been thoughtlessly parked or abandoned in them, so as usual the majority had to suffer because of the selfish actions of a car obsessed minority.


If the key paths had been cleared when snow first fell, and before it froze, these vital routes around the city and into the suburbs would have remained passable and kept people moving around. Particularly the elderly, without access to cars, who became trapped in their homes because of the levels of lethal ice on the pavements. Apparently there aren't enough resources to do this and it's not a high enough priority - but surely clearing a metre-wide strip of path can be done a lot quicker and cheaper than many metres of car-strewn road...


The council spent a lot of newspaper column inches banging on about it's "fleet" of apparently mythical "mini tractors" that were going to plow the paths, but it was all too little, too late and there were thick, lingering patches of ice all over town for months to come, with access ramps impassible and shady corners lethal.


We're all hoping for (and have been promised) better this year. I've an idea of getting this printed into cards and posting it to local councillors as a friendly reminder.


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Taken on November 19, 2011