"Use it or lose it", they say. At least that's what's said in support of the redevelopment of Aberdeen's Union Terrace Gardens. They say the gardens are unloved. They say they are underused, they say they are inaccessible. And so they will redevelop Union Terrace Gardens.
Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and, we're sorry to say that despite our popular campaign to to "Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway!" ('like' us on FaceBook, 'follow' us on Twitter) this splendid urban asset remains woefully underused and at threat from those who would re-assign road-space to pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, unicylists, clowns and the like when the Aberdeen Bypass is build in 2012.
That photo was taken on Saturday lunchtime. While the rest of the town was heaving with busy keen shoppers, eager to spend their wages in support of economic growth, our city's urban highway lay deserted. Unused and unloved. It's a shame. (No pavements, though - just the way we like it. Reminds us of Houston.)
It all started in 1992 with such high hopes. Aberdeen "City and Shire" nailed it's colours to the mast with a plaque commemorating the work to improve the lot of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars in the city centre. We are not aware of any other city putting urban dual carriageway building so close to the centre of civic life. That's a granite plinth. That's a bronze plaque. It makes us proud. [sniff]
But, it's not like the old days, and unless we can make sure that Union Terrace Gardens is turned into a car-park so that induced demand for car journeys into town fills up the dual carriageway, the motor-centric policies of the past will remain but a fond memory. And unless we can improve accessibility to the Denburn Dual Carriagway by making sure that the forthcoming Denburn Corridor urban dual carriageway is one project that delivers on budget, this next picture illustrates what we will have to look forward to:
Not only does the picture show a huge economically inactive greensward with trees swaying sickeningly in the breeze on BOTH sides of the denburn transport corridor, but it also shows people ON FOOT using the carriageways of both Denburn Road and Union Terrace. What was wrong with these people? Couldn't they afford a nice carriage? They remind us of today's student protests.
So are they perhaps Victorian anarchists? Prussian agitators intent on undermining the British Class System? Suicidal suffragette terrorists? Marxist revolutionaries?
Now, as then, vigilance will see us through these difficult times.