Some folk really do need teaching a lesson.
|Woodside town centre. How vibrant do you want it?|
A few decades ago, in their munificent enlightenment, our City Fathers responded decisively to the decline of manufacturing industry in the Woodside area to the north of our city. That wise response took the form of the very best in modern planning by sweeping away the (former) workers' tenements, wee shoppies, children's playgrounds, town squares and the like to build a magnificent, vibrant, exciting, modern and super new dual-carriageway expressway right through the centre of the former independent burgh of Woodside, thus creating a vibrant, exciting new transport paradigm for the blighted people of that unfortunate suburb. The speed limit on the dual-carriageway is 40 mph, which we all know really means 50 mph. How very exciting! Why walk through the remains of Woodside when you can roar through at 55 mph in the most modern and technologically exciting way yet dreamt up by modern science? The expressway is called "Great Northern Road".
Now, once the pinch points like working-class residences and community facilities and public transport infrastructure are swept away, it's a well know fact that lots of motorcar traffic vibrantly works wonders and makes places nice and welcoming for business activity and vibrant retail opportunities. So the people of Woodside should have been ready to spring excitedly upon the new opportunities brought about by this welcoming transport upgrade. But how did they respond? Did they become entrepreneurial business mavens, energetic captains of industry, aspirational retail magnates, exciting internet billionaires? No, they did not. They stayed glum. They stayed marginalised. Frankly, they stayed working class. Ugh. Some people!
We see them when we sweep through Woodside on the Great Northern Road dual carriageway at 60 mph on our way from Kintore to Union Square to bring economic growth to Aberdeen "City and Shire" through some much needed retail activity boosts. Yes, we see the people of Woodside, spilling out from the Salvation Army Homeless hostel which replaced the workers' tenements which had to be buldozed to build the expressway. Yes, we see them behind the pedestrian barriers which keep them from wandering aimlessly onto the dual carriageway and risking damage to our nice car as we whoosh vibrantly and welcomingly past at 65mph. We see them and we hate them, for they are an ungrateful worthless glum underclass sticking to their old pedestrian habits, walking about like that making the place look all untidy and refusing to just get a nice car and drive about the place taking part in Aberdeen's vibrant economy like everyone else has to. We see them, and they frighten us a bit. We see them and we don't understand them, because they aren't in cars; the marques of which would serve to tell us about the type of people they are: Nice people are in Audis, arty creative people are in Beetles, ordinary people are in Fords or Vauxhalls and pretentious people drive Italian cars. But the very best people own Mercedes 4x4s. So if you're not in a car, you must have something to hide about yourself. Woodside is full of these sort of creepy weirdos hiding what sort of people they are by waking about in the open like that. High time it stopped.
In the photos you'll see that the mistake the city planners made all those years ago when they redeveloped the heart of Woodside was to leave some pavements in place, thus stupidly giving the impression that it's actually OK to be a pedestrian. Luckily, the photos also show that the philanthropic drivers of Aberdeen Cars have now taken matters into their own hands and are altruistically showing the people of Woodside the way ahead by denying them use of the pavements via the gift of that most Aberdonian of pastimes: the gentle art of PaveParking.
Soon - once the bus-lanes (which are nothing but socialist-inspired pinch points for we who drive the much-more-important free-market motorcars) are removed from Great Northern Road, allowing ever greater traffic flow for motorcars at futuristic (yet - we are reliably informed by clever, important people who know - emission free) speeds of up to 100mph; soon - once the Berryden Corridor radial expressway is built, linking Great Northern Road to Union Square; soon - once this integrated transport solution based entirely on cars links with the vast, exciting, vibrant and welcomingly iconic multistory carpark which is planned for the current site of Union Terrace Gardens, then - at last! - at long last! - the people of Woodside will finally get the message. They're bound to. Then Woodside will be really nice and welcoming. Because, d'you see? - the great big road which was gifted to them simply wasn't big and vibrant and connected enough. So we'll give them more, bigger, faster, better and more welcoming better big roadspace. Once it's bigger, faster and better more connected, vibrant and - therefore - welcomingly iconic better, they're sure to gratefully and aspirationally get into their cars, and - like the rest of Aberdeen "City and Shire" join in with the 20th Century!
Oh, and PS.
Since I moved to Kintore, I don't pay Council Tax to Aberdeen City Council, so I'm grateful to the people of Woodside for subsidising my commute via their tax contributions to the infrastructure of Aberdeen City and the hidden subsidy which is their forced tolerance of my noise and particulate pollution - what choice do they have? None! Thanks a lot, suckers!