According to m. k. stoskopf "it should be recognised that serendipitous discoveries are of significant value in the advancement of science and often present the foundation for important intellectual leaps of understanding". (wikiepeadia, 2011).
So when i checked on the value of my oysteringcard, for the first time in an age, and then clicked on getting around, i was most surprised to see...
|Switch off your engine - from tfl|
My initial thoughts envisioned dns spoofing and this, pretend site, was lurking on the web with the express purpose of catching the unwary virtual traveller, as they presented oystercard logins, to hear the distant laughter of arch criminal minds pressing their newly minted cards into the paying distribution arms of penny-pinching economic tourists.
But no, it seemed this was the correct site.
Requesting that car users switch off their engines, whilst their own bus drivers (a noticeable night-time minority - a feral hardcore bunch at this particular bus stand), appear incapable of finding the off switch, let alone switching it off*. These particular drivers have residentialhyperopia: the inability to notice there are residential dwellings or people in their immediate vicinity.
For those keeping up with the underwhelming developments, you might (idly when you have nothing else better to do) have wondered at my silence on this topic. Well as we live in an age where everything needs to be recorded and written down or at the very least evidenced in some manner or form, time has been spent on capturing those bits of information to show just how nonsensical, meaningless and downright absurd, tfl's assertions to "good neighbourliness" appears to be. I know it's a large monolithic organisation, but with the modern state of communications i'm still surprised the left toe's blithely unaware the right one's being stamped on.
Of course with the olympics only a few months away, and the influx of people probably outpacing the outflow, it's good public relations window dressing, looking for all the world as though you're earnestly actually doing something, instead of getting boots on the ground to monitor exactly what's going on, or checking cab drivers tachographs - to see when they were motionless, at the stand and so should have their engines off. But that would be "oh just so tedious." I wonder if they they realise doing that would soon pay for itself by the amount of fuel saved?
Perhaps i'm missing the point entirely and things are indeed changing, all it simply requires is a bit more time, and more people in the vicinity of these bus stands (not bus stops, but bus stands, there's a profound difference despite their similarity) to prod. I'll believe something is happening when the levels of pollution start noticeably falling on roads and streets where people live, and not just by edges of busy shopping streets where the nearest homes are a long, long, long, way away.
Wikipeadiea, 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serendipity#cite_note-4, online, accessed 7th january 2012.
* Of course if the weather's really bad, hovering around minus 25 say, then yes, of course engines should be switched on to keep them warm.