A Conversation for Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK

The local perspective

Post 1


Cambridge is small town that pretends it's a city because lots of clever people live there.

Such a superb job was achieved of creating this impression that the majority of the world failed to notice that all the clever people left the city 150 years ago to sit on beaches and drink fruity cocktails in the sun.

This left only people who manage to pass as clever by learning a lot about a single subject (for example, the genetic defects inthe eyes of labratory-bred fruit flies) whilst having little common sense about much else in life at all.

This is the only expanation for some of Cambridge council's more 'innovative' schemes. Such as when they attempted to cure the city centre traffic problems by introducing 'trishaws' onto the roads: tricycle-style taxis that are as wide as a regular car but as slow as a man pedalling a bike with three fat people on the back.

Another classic attempt to solve a similar problem was the 'green bike scheme' whereby the council painted a large number of bikes green and left them unlocked in a set number of bicycle racks around the city. The objective was that pedestrians could ride a bike and leave it in a similar rack near their destination.

Naturally this scheme had two drawbacks. Firstly, within a day there were no bikes left. Secondly, many locals who already owned bikes that just happened to be green started to complain of increased incidents of cycle theft...

The local perspective

Post 2


Yes, I was going to take issue with what the article has described as Cambridge's one-way 'system'...

On the bikes issue, though, just come out of a pub at closing time and shout 'Stop thief, that's my bike!' Everyone in the vicinity will thereupon drop the bike they're holding and you can take your pick. Problem solved.

The local perspective

Post 3


I thought that the whole idea behind the green bikes was to try to REDUCE the bike theft - the idea being that the green bikes would be targeted rather than all the much nicer, newer, shiny, multigeared, bikes that the new students bring along on their first day of term in the fond belief that this beautiful thing will be their sole mode of transport for the next few years, not realising that even if they do have one of those huge chunky chains that sort of work, it's going to be very uncomfortable riding a bike with no seat.

It was doomed to failure really - even if it had taken more than a couple of days for the green bikes to disappear.

The local perspective

Post 4


The council is very much separated form the Uni these days. They dolts in the guild hall have nothing to do with the students or fellows. The Uni has little say on dumb ass council policy, that is why the silly schemes are introduced.

As for a bunch of people who know nothing save for some ideas on fruit flies eyes - never met one here. I have met a hell of a lot well rounded very intelligent people studying though. There are a few muppets, but not as many as some would believe.

The local perspective

Post 5


You are of course, absolutely correct. Council stupidity has nothing to do with University stupidity.

University wisdom includes shooting ducks during exam time because they are too noisy (presumably stumbling home drunk late at night and turning their stereos on loud), when in actual fact you can't hear the ducks because of all the tourists splashing about on punts. Note neither of the more sensible options (move the ducks; shoot the tourists) were considered.

Another fine example would be the college that exerted it's mighty influence over the local council to have a burger van barred from the street because it distracted the students.

There is also the college that has the rule that students cannot park a car within 10 miles of the city centre. Firstly, how can they check? Secondly, a ten mile taxi ride to get to your car would cost, what £10-15 in Cambridge these days?

And there is the college whose bar opening hours always used to be 6-7pm 9pm-11pm. As an incentive to go back and do another 45mins work. Like we didn't all just go to the Eagle instead....

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