When The facts change I change my mind, what do you do?
The quote in the title, from JM Keynes, gets to the heart of the problem that continues to cause havoc in Edinburgh.
Here, in Liverpool, this report shows the council prepared to look at anything that might help their city, and the people who live and work in it.
The point is not that because Liverpool is proposing closing down all it's bus lanes ,so should Edinburgh. Conditions are different in different cities.
The point is that Liverpool Council is prepared to look at different solutions in 2013 because the facts and conditions are no longer the same as they were when previous decisons, in this case those about Bus Lanes, were taken.
"However, we have a commitment to reduce congestion and the harmful emissions associated with this and to keep the city moving, for the benefit of residents, commuters, visitors and businesses.
This quote, from the Liverpool Post article, could easily have come from the City of Edinburgh Council.
But the action Liverpool Council are proposing shows they believe what they say and are prepared to analyse problems anew, and allow no sacred cows to get in the way of whatever may be the best solution.
Failures in traffic management INCREASE pollution, congestion, harmful emissions, noise and degredation to the life experience because the slower the traffic goes the longer the engines are creating pollution on any given journey, (and less efficient they are) and so the HIGHER the pollution is.
This is happening now in Edinburgh, traffic in the city because of the general recession, and, ironcially, the chaos produced by the tram project, is down -- but pollution is higher.
A key ' convenient untruth' at the heart of the Tram project is that it would reduce pollution when the major feasibility study showed it was always clear that it would INCREASE pollution across the city (and by closing down main through routes compound the effects of this increase by forcing this increased pollution into residential streets from the effectively closed commercial thoroughfares).
This conclusion was known, but it was ignored.
Since then, the same preference for hope, fine words, inertia and reliance on public apathy on the part of our Council has continued until Edinburgh finds itself in the desperate position it is in today; still 'driving forward' with the flawed tram project because there is no alternative, even though it is, as was expected and predicted, going to make things worse in the city.
This is why this website is 'against' this tram project: not against 'any tram', and certainly not against public transport.
The tram project we are against was flawed at the beginning by a blinding combination of political insousiance and civic hubris.
A better tram project could have been created - but it wasn't, and trying to wrestle something useful from the ill thought through mess we did try (and fail) to build is simply perpetuating a planning failure.
But of course something has to be done, time doesn't stand still, the world moves on and cities need to as well.
The tram is not the solution to anything in Edinburgh, it's already a big part of the problem.
There's no need to wait for 20 years to recognise that there is no time like the present for new thinking --- like Liverpool.