While the snow starts to clear I wonder if there is anything we can take away from this unusual weather event…..other than that the flour and yeast forgotten in the back of the cupboard is hugely undervalued....
As the snow fell the past few days, roads became covered and the cars we rely so heavily on became completely obsolete and unusable.
Yesterday I walked down to the shop in the local village for the first time in the seven years I had lived in the area. It’s a beautiful 3km walk. The snow allowed the people to claim back the roads – at least for a few days. There is something magnificent about walking in the middle of a road you would normally never step out on and taking over the cars domain for a moment.
For us living in the rural parts of Ireland the car is normally our only option. No matter how environmentally conscious, fond of cycling or health aware me might be we have no other option than to drive to work, school and the shops. The winding 80km/h rural roads are not safe to navigate for pedestrians and cyclists. Letting the kids cycle to school on these roads with cars driving not far from what is the same speed as on the motorways would be seriously risky.
My kids visit their cousin in Denmark and watch him walk or cycle to school every day. He moves himself independently between the school, his home, his friends houses and his after-school activities on secure cycle and footpaths. Not only does it make him highly independent, it keeps him fit and it means that he is not ever dependent on his parents taxiing him around.
We need to create more infrastructure which puts the pedestrian and cyclists first and gives us that same feeling of power as walking in the centre of the road on a snowy day.