Green Ways

Wouldn’t it be great to have 10 miles of relatively straight commuter greenway for cycles, ebikes, cargo bikes, scooters and runners alongside the M1 stretching from Lisburn to Belfast with a connection hub at Blacks Road (where there’s already a Park and Ride) and connector greenways from Lambeg, Derriaghy, Dunmurry, Finaghy, Balmoral, Falls, Malone.

Paths and bridges so human commuters didn’t have to constantly dismount. So that they didn’t have to constantly worry about 1 ton death machines piloted by distracted drivers.

We have to start thinking about the future at some point.

Electric cars are a bandaid to the problems of the future. They’re more efficient and less polluting than ICE cars, but their efficiencies are tiny compared to bikes, ebikes and scooters. The average ICE car has an efficiency of about 3%. (That is, about 3% of the gasoline you put into it is used for actually moving you.) Electric cars are also impractical for the thousands of households who don’t have a driveway. How are they meant to charge their cars? Cars as a whole block pavements.

So what happens in 10-15 years when it’s almost impossible to buy a ICE car? Where’s the alternative transport coming from? Why not plan for it now?

But we can add a six lane road in Belfast and 500 more parking spaces in a Brutalist edifice in the city. Where are the 500 spaces removed from the public domain? Why aren’t we converting on-street parking to cycle lanes wholesale? No demand? Well, yes, there’s no demand while you don’t actually have cycle lanes. There’s no demand while cyclists are murdered by drivers. No demand while cyclists are despised by government as much as they are despised by motorists.