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Wednesday, February 18, 2004


I must admit that one of my biggest pet peeves of living in a city is the noise pollution that assails my ears regularly (the light pollution that shines in my windows at night and prevents me from seeing the night sky is a close second). I often fantasize about how peaceful it would be to live here if all the cars outside magically transformed into bicycles.

When one bicycle commutes, one is able to open up all one's senses to the world around one, unlike when one is in a car smelling recirculated air, hearing the humming motor and radio noise, seeing only what is recognizable at high speeds, and feeling only the steering wheel and if one is unusual the rushing air from open windows. Unfortunately, when biking, those senses are often overpowered by the cars surrounding one on the roadway. Try to hear the birds when the engines roar around you, try to smell the sweet late winter/spring air when the exhaust assaults you, you get the picture.

What hope do traffic calming measures like neck-downs and speed humps hold for me? Thats a tough question. Prohibitions include price, community support, and emergency vehicle delays. Read more at trafficcalming.org. But what I wouldn't give for a speed hump or two right outside my window that would keep cars to the speed limit of 25mph here in town, and a neckdown that would prevent them from gunning it and whipping around cars waiting to turn that inevitabely causes hostilities and honking horns. I think another major help would come from additional vegetation and trees along the streetsides. Of course they are few and far between along the section of Bridge St. I frequent, but I can imagine them absorbing noise and air pollution on a daily basis.

Perhaps someone at St. Theresa's is already leading the charge to consider such measures, as there has been some issue as of late with drivers along Bridge St who fail to slow or stop for pedestrians, of which there are quite a few, with the schools and with the churches lining the route. Let me lend my support to any studies or considerations that are taking place, and may we have a quieter more peaceful Bridge St to look forward to.

Song of the Day: "Blue Suede Shoes" by The King

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