We’re lucky enough to live at the bottom of a wide, airy, quiet cul-de-sac (ok it’s deathly dull, but wide, airy and quiet), so no traffic problems – the cats leap in and out of the garden at will, the woman in the corner house can play in the street with her two toddlers (here’s hoping she moves before they hit 10 years old and become antisocial bastards), all is peace and bliss.

Having lived in Nottingham, Leeds and north and east London, however, I am fully aware of the scourge of motorists who use residential streets as through routes with no respect for the residents. But what to do faced with indifferent local and regional authorities devoid of imagination and unwilling to risk upsetting local “business”?

Road witching! That’s what to do. Reclaim your street by living in it, as happens in Beech Croft Road in Oxford. Anarchism in action and thoroughly effective – but watch out for “Room Rage” when the inevitable phallocentric fool resents your challenge to the dominance of his powerful throbbing machine.

This sort of event has been cropping up in Camden Town, London, since May ’95 and Australia for a few years and never fails to get people thinking, where local government ‘initiatives’ merely get people yawning. Video of Birmingham ’98 “Reclaim The Streets” here .

Always an exception to prove the rule – Portland, Oregon, USA has an interesting project for its residents.

Complementary to the above – Rebar have a delightful little intervention to reclaim parking space as public space (expect tons of “parking rage” with this one, especially on a Saturday).


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