No chance against the bears

True gripes: Brick pavements aren't what they're cracked up to be
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The Independent Culture
There is a new encroachment in our cities, which must be brought to a halt.

I am talking about brick paviors. Brick paviors are the rows and rows of bricks that are slowly being used to replace paving slabs along entire streets and across shopping centres.

They seem to be specified by every planning authority in the land. Wherever you find pedestrians, these days you find brick paviors. Thousands and thousands of bricks, usually red, laid side by side, from kerb to kerb, so pavements become practically indistinguishable from walls.

These brick paviors threaten to rip apart the moral fabric of our society. It is all a question of cracks. When I was a child I was given to understand that it was imperative not to step on the cracks in the pavement. I was told that if I obeyed this instruction I would be safe. If I disobeyed, the bears would get me.

It was never explained exactly who these bears were, but that did not matter. What mattered was that I had a choice. I could step on the cracks and face the consequences, or I could play safe and avoid them.

In this way, I learnt to tell right from wrong at an early age. I shudder to think of all these children today walking across brick paviors and being unable to avoid the cracks (or joins, as they should more properly be called.) What sort of world are we making for them if they can't hop from slab to slab on their way to and from school?

It is even more difficult for people like me who have been avoiding the cracks all their lives. It affects how we walk. How I long for a row of slabs to stride across!

The other thing about all these bricks is that on rainy days they are very dodgy for people riding bikes along the pavement. It is difficult enough trying to avoid old ladies when it's dry, but on wet days the surface is so slippery it's a nightmare. I know that cyclists are not supposed to go on the pavement, but that has nothing to do with me. It's the principle of the thing.

Who asked for brick paviors in the first place? I didn't. It could well be argued that they help to keep the brick producing industry going. Oh yes? Well, what about the concrete slab manufacturing industry? Or the granite flagstone industry? How will they fare? Eh?

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