Lego City In Traffic Chaos

I believe the children are the future so the song goes. And it is true. Let’s face it, the young are the ones that are going more forward than me when I’m cold and dead.

Lego is a fascinating toy. It’s just that it isn’t simply a toy. It’s a learning aid. So much can be achieved from one humble brick added to another and so on. When I worked in the community as an HIV nurse I used Lego as a teaching aid. The choice of colours made it effective. I also used it for a presentation I did for my testicular cancer presentation. Lego is gender proof, ageless and universal.

Now I have a problem with Lego. All is not good in my spiralling Lego metropolis-on-floor. There is enough housing for all living there. They have access to a snack shop by the side of the road and the petrol station is open 24 hours. There are even 2 postal vans doing the rounds no doubt delivering drunken purchases from Amazon and eBay.

I’m catered for every eventuality for I have the 4 emergency services. The fire service might be reduced to one rapid response vehicle and two firefighters but my police force is seven vehicles strong with staffing to match. And with seven vehicles comes maintenance so thankfully there is a little garage on the corner.

Traveling around the city is fraught. There are no traffic lights causing jams. Truth is I haven’t built any. We live in a “give way” city where road rage isn’t a thing.

At the time the picture was taken, my medical team were busy saving a Lego life. The use of blue lights helped the two-vehicle team cut through the traffic. Thankfully there was room for a nurse in the ambulance to get there with the doctor following by car.

Traffic in any situation, fictional and real life, is a nuisance. It slows the path of progression in your day to day life. If public transport was better, we might find ourselves using it more (damn it! I don’t have public transport in my Lego city! Dear Santa…)

We are a lot like my Lego people. We jump in our cars and drive. Usually travelling on our own. Our five-seat capacity hatchbacks all being occupied by one person.

Now, this is where l have a problem with Lego city. There was a time when the vehicles never took a person. Come the 1980s we soon didn’t have to use our imaginations as to where that person went when they drove to work. All vehicles since then have only had one seat up front.

In order to cut traffic in Lego Metropolis-On-Floor, I was thinking of getting my people to car share. If we want to teach the future about cutting traffic, pollution and enabling densely populated areas to work better, car sharing might help. Four people into one car equals three fewer cars on the road. I’m quick at maths as you can see. Even two in one would be better.

Lego doesn’t actually sell such a vehicle so l decided that if l was going to save my citizens of Lego metropolis-on-floor, I’d have to design a new car and then hopefully roll out stiff penalties to those that won’t change or insist on taking their single occupancy cars around my city.

Having a look around the internet and you find that people have made cars to accommodate more than one person so I set about making a car for Dave and Gary. To reflect their preferences it had to be a two-seater, quite sporty looking and that’s about all l could think of at 2 am on a Saturday when making my two-seater for the lads from “Red Cottage” of Fold-Out Mews.

Lego cars are four dots across. Lorries are six. The trouble is two Lego people next to each other occupies about seven if you want an intimate car or eight realistically because then the dots line up with their legs and bums.

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We made, we destroyed, we reinvented and eventually I had the 2 seater roadster for Dave and Gary. It ended up eight dots wide. My thinking was that this reflected actual life because cars themselves have got bigger.

Dave and Gary were overjoyed with their sports car in blue and took to the city. Unheard road rage ensued because it took up the entire width of the road and everything almost ground to a halt. Thankfully the love soon fell out of the sports car for Dave and Gary when they discovered they couldn’t actually get it into the petrol station to refuel. It was then stripped down and made into a garden attraction and gym.

Suddenly I was thwarted in my own thinking. We all have ideas about how to tackle congestion but to implement it can sometimes be difficult. It needs thinking. It’s more than taxing people and adding costs. It comes from learning, exploring, trailing and making small changes one step at a time.

At a time where pollution from the car comes under scrutiny again, let’s start at the beginning, let’s start with Lego and build it up from there.

 

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.