Sous les pavés

The kerb outside runs at a gentle, graduated curve, so smoothing the angle of the road as the cars are driven around the corner. The cars drive fast around the curved corner, or rather, the people in the cars drive the cars fast around the corner.

On the curved edge of the pavement wait two dozen human beings, we have called them ‘pedestrians‘. In London, 77 of these pedestrians died in 2011, most of them killed by cars, or rather, by the people who were driving the cars, whichever you prefer. The kerb is curved, the cars hug the curved kerb, driven fast into the corner. Two dozen pedestrians wait… and wait… to cross the road. Only one third of London’s residents own a car, under half have access to one… if you are a child growing up near Southwark’s Old Kent Road, you are twice as likely to be hit by a car than if you are a child growing up in Chelsea. I suppose some people were just born lucky.

On the edge of the curved kerb, two dozen pedestrians wait… and wait… to cross the road. The city of London is stalling the payment of a £300 million pound fine for illegally bad air quality. The kerb is curved, the cars hug the kerb, driven fast into the corner. Two dozen pedestrians wait, and wait… to cross the road. Beneath the pavement, the beach… beneath the kerbstones, politics.

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