I was at a thing with some people who thought that the Hierarchy of Provision was a good idea. Have campaigned for it, and had their campaign organisations push it.
I've explained before why I think it's worse than useless.
In attempting to defend it, one of them suggested that we should think of it not so much as hierarchy of solutions but as a hierarchy of outcomes. I think that person was mostly rambling, and that there is no possible way to defend the HoP since hierarchies are a fundamentally flawed way to approach the issue.??
But following his line of thinking did at least serve to highlight one of the many absurdities of the HoP. Because some of the items really do make more sense when taken as an outcome rather than as a specific provision — reduced traffic and calmed traffic — while others obviously don't — on-street cycle lanes and shared pavements.
If we were to draw up a proper hierarchy of outcomes — and I don't think we should, because a hierarchy is the wrong way to approach the problem — I imagine it might look something like this:
- Almost all of the motor traffic, including all large vehicles, has been eliminated, and effective calming of that which remains is enforced.
- Almost all of the motor traffic, including all large vehicles, has been put somewhere else where they'll be out of the way (what were all those bypasses and motorways that we built for if not this?), and effective calming of that which remains is enforced.
- Modes have been separated on the street. i.e. proper cycle tracks.
- Bicycle journeys have been accommodated somewhere else nearby without excessive inconvenience (on neighbouring streets where one of the above has been applied, or paths through parks, rail trails, towpaths, etc).
Hierarchy fans can have that for free. Just please don't credit me — I don't want anything to do with such things.