23 July 2010

How Green is My City

Coventry is a very green city: grass thrives in the gutters alongside the plastic bottles and vomit. Moss and mould adorn the decaying buildings left to rot by the council. Trees are cut and fashioned into weird naked statues with arms outstretched to the grey skies.Traffic is congested in crazy one way systems behind a hundred buses belching out toxic fumes - Incidental how does a tourist know what the exact fare is? - There's the graffiti and picturesque fly posters that adore the walls and of course the flashing blue lights that shoot up and down tower blocks in the city centre telling you what the weather will be like. Well worth a visit.! (Don’t the council realise the weather is available free on teletext.)

The heart of the city, Broadgate used to have green area where one could sit and rest, now it's concrete and paving slabs in keeping with the rest of city, and metal benches ...very comfy. It is of course meant to be pedestrianised (apart from buses) signs prohibit all but them entering Broadgate during the day,unfortunately no one appears to take any notice, which in a way is good because otherwise you wouldn't be able to get anywhere. - On the subject of signs and road furniture, the council appear to have bought a job lot of traffic lights & signs and seem hell-bent on using them all at once. There are several examples of multiple traffic light junctions not in sync and contradictory road signs . "No left Turn" "No Right Turn" - Sorry Coventry Council I have yet to adapt my car to fly !

There is one grand approach to the city which is both beautiful and green, from the Kenilworth side; that despite previous unsuccessful attempts by the council to remove the trees in a road widening scheme. Indeed approaching the city from the Kenilworth road is a pleasant experience, you drive the signs (Here we go again) that proclaims Coventry - Home of Coventry University. Well, I never - Coventry Uni is based in Coventry, I always thought it was in Liverpool or perhaps Manchester. Why not Coventry - the home of Lady Godiva or the London Black Cab, Dame Ellen Terry or The Specials. Do the council have an aversion to history ? The main problem is the lack of identity.The council appear to demolish anything older than ten years in the name of progress, thus losing any link with the past. Coventry did have a very colourful history. It grew up in the Middle Ages and even as recent as 30 years ago, there was a host of medieval shops and houses teetering over the pavement. Most of them had gone now. Either moved brick-by-brick, like some gigantic 3D puzzle, to a ‘touristy’ part of town; or even more curious, packed away in crates deep in the vaults below the Council House. Such is progress. To be fair most of the centre of town was destroyed by Hitler's bombs, but what he left standing the Council finished off. It's the just the sort of place to visit to if your doctor gives you six months to live – It would seem like six years!

Many other towns and cities manage to merge the old historic buildings with new exciting ones, Nottingham & York are but two examples. In Coventry the emphasis appears to be on reducing parkland,replacing perfectly good buildings with ugly ones, and leaving old historic monuments to rot. Money is spent on redeveloping the same areas time and again but always producing something that is no better than it was before. How about an overall plan, a blueprint that recognises a city consists of its people and they need somewhere time to sit rest, reflect and recuperate from the bussle and stress of city life.

Coventry was once a proud place, the most important in the area. It grew into a smart modern city. We have had an unchanged council for many years, have they become complacent? Are they still in charge or have they turned over the asylum to the lunatics, although they might conceivably do a better job. Where’s the soul? where’s the life? and where’s the sense in paying these people to run our city. Just to finish off and so as not to be accused of just knocking down without rebuilding, here's a couple of ideas that that might help reduce traffic congestion and free up the city centre:
1.All buses should go to the Bus Station - There's a radical suggestion. There would have to be of course a shoppers bus for the elderly & disabled doing a circular tour of the centre, free and paid for by the traders.
2.Road congestion is caused by the connecting roads to the Ring Road, that flows pretty well , even though it acts as a restrictive collar around the centre its here now and we must put up with it. On several sides of the city are two connecting roads: Holyhead , Allesley Old rd Walsgrave, Binley & Stoney Stanton, Foleshill couldn't they be made one way into town Holhead road in Allesley Old rd out. Just an idea but no doubt we'll still be sitting in our cars breathing in exhaust fumes in 20 years time!

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