As I stared forlornly at the horror that is Brockley Road at peak traffic a question was peculating in my mind. If we wanted to cut traffic, say, in half... how would we do it? It's not my field but busy roads divide communities physically and psychologically, pollute the air and their constant roar is like taking a sledge hammer to your quality of life.
I don't think I have the answer although I tried to come up with three ways that would help cut down the traffic.
If we have a decent alternative that we can rely on to get us where we want with the minimum of hassle it will take us out of our cars. And by us I mean you because I don't have a car.
Second up: tackling rush hourRush hour occurs because our working hours are so set. If we could develop more flexible hours to spread that out we might reduce the amount of time people are sitting in traffic, which means the vehicles spend less time on the road which makes them clearer.
Thirdly: reducing the need for journeysOut of town supermarkets and those good awful shopping centres are, by design, only reachable by car. We should be looking to having most things we need within walking distance. Cities should be perfect for this because people live so close together but often they aren't. Really attempting to tackle why people make journeys could drastically reduce traffic.
However, having said all that I'm not sure my solutions would halve the traffic. Cycle lanes, pedestrianising town centres and the like are all good things but how much of an impact on traffic do they really make?
What am I missing from my plans that could really take this issue on? Bearing in mind I'm not up for punishing people but just encouraging good behaviour I'd be happy to hear what else we'd need for my plan.