City staff brought a proposal to sign the Walk21 International Walking Charter. It is an effort to use local government to pressure people out of their cars by designing a city to be inhospitable to them. It is from the same fountain as Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030. Considering the fact Dover’s Comprehensive Plan is due for revision in the upcoming year, this is worth noting .
Are you skeptical? Well hold on to your car keys! Here are some gems from the International Walking Charter. This proposal seeks the following:
Put people on foot at the heart of urban planning
Improve land-use and spatial planning, ensuring that new housing, shops, business parks and public transport stops are located and designed so that people can reach them easily on foot
Reduce the conditions for car-dependent lifestyles
Does that sound like a nice way of forcing you out of your cars and into walking in the rain, sleet and snow? Putting people on foot should not be at the heart of planning, Efficient, modern transportation should be. We do not need to reallocate road money funded by a tax on auto fuel to something other than improving and restoring our decaying roads. Forcing a “culture of walking” is not the proper role of government. Government should follow our lead not us their lead.
The City of Dover signing the International Walking Charter would not accomplish anything but divert our planning attention from economic growth and affordable housing.
Help stop this monstrosity between now and Feb, 13. Quotes such as this illustrate the threat. “Design streets for people and not only for cars, recognising that streets are a social as well as a transport space and therefore, need a social design as well as engineering measures. This can include reallocating road space, implementing pedestrian priority areas and creating car-free environments to be enjoyed by all, supporting social interaction, play and recreation for both adults and children.” Did you notice the car-free part and reallocating road space? Danger Will Robinson, the future is not one where you are free to travel if you don’t wake up.