Word of mouth

Traffic

Share
Related Topics
With a cry of "Reclaim the Streets", surprise attacks to shut traffic out of parts of London are the latest ploy in the anti-roads campaign. The word on the street is that the car, that post-war icon of personal liberty, the passport out of the mean streets of the asphalt jungle, is in the fast lane to Shit Street.

Soon cruising Main Street in your wheels will be as uncool as wearing mink, and laying rubber on the Strip or the Deuce (42nd Street) will send your street cred crashing down the boulevard of broken dreams. Soon no one will watch road movies or listen to Bruce Springsteen.

The ad men of Madison Avenue are running out of road: Wall Street's in a flap and Fleet Street's barking up a blind alley, as from Queer Street to Nob Hill, from Funky Broadway to the Street of Shame, the man in the street is saying: "Park that car." Naturally the politicians are pretty middle-of-the-road on this one, at least when they're not trying to work both sides of the street, but from the backstreets to the burbs, the guttersnipes to the Sloane rangers, all streetwise people want to get the car off the old main drag.

Bad news for kerb crawlers, but pavement artists would get a boost and it shouldn't hurt the streetwalking trade. We might even see the return of the boulevardier and how much nicer the evening paseo in Seville or passeggiata in Rome would be without cars, or a stroll up Broadway, the Great White Way as it used to be, past Tin Pan Alley and, a few blocks further on, Panic Beach, the strip of pavement where performers waited to be called for vaudeville auditions. Even with one foot in the gutter, wouldn't that be right up your alley?

The car was going to put us all on Easy Street but it's left us choking on the road to nowhere instead of the sunny side of the street. We're at a crossroads now where we can either leave the road to ruin at Spaghetti Junction or carry on down a dead-end street. It seems people have already had their fill of running on empty and they're not interested in staying indoors chasing their tail down the information super-highway. They'd rather take a quiet stroll down Quality Street any day.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Network Engineer - CCNP, Hedge Fund, London

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer - CCNP, Hedge Fu...

Senior Network Engineer-CCIE, Multicast, Low Latency

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-CCIE, Mul...

Network Infrastructure Engineer

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Infrastructure Engineer (...

Network Engineer (CCNP, BGP, Multicast)

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, BGP, Mult...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letters: The West flounders in the Middle East morass

Independent Voices
David Tennant as Hamlet  

To vote no or not to vote no, that is the question... Although do celebrities really have the answer?

David Lister
All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition