The Streetscape: Cathedral road
Low volume traffic moving steadily.
Wide avenue, Victorian splendour.
Pavement alive with footfall.
More bikes and Llandaff fields greenery
Even. More. Bikes.
Relaxed people. Shopping, cycling, walking,
Parking, locking, talking.
Heading for the pub, returning from the park. Keepin’ the street alive long after dark.
The green, green shoots of welcome possibility; we all benefit from a People – centric – city.
Cities are for people. Not cars, or delivery vans or mechanisation. But people. This is the essence of cycling and the welcoming street scape. As Armstrong famously (and notoriously) wrote, ‘It’s not about the bike’. At least on this issue, he was right. We could see this truth clear as day on Saturday, returning – ironically – by car from my daughter’s birthday party on Penarth Road. Passing the Westgate pub and travelling in the direction of Llandaff along Cathedral Road, the volume of families and couples cycling, and the labyrinth of parked bikes outside the shops and cafés of Pontcanna presented a welcoming vision. A change is occurring here and benefiting all. The businesses were bustling. The street was alive with activity. With lower volumes of cars on the road, the traffic moved smoothly. It was relaxed, unhurried and pleasant. When critical motorists bemoan cyclists, pause for thought and ask objectively; Do we really want to be stuck in an endless sea of tail-lights? Polluting and endangering, whilst motorists feel trapped by their own vehicles? Or do we want the city to be returned to its true and original owners? Cities after all, are for people. Alongside public transport and public health initiatives, the bicycle plays a pivotal and liberating role in forging a street-scape fit for all.