Wildlife get killed in their millions, due to road planners putting profit before animals, and also tend not to educate themselves on the natural migratory routes of fellow creatures (toads to wildebeest will always follow the same migratory routes, whether or not you put a motorway in the middle of it).
There are many types of wildlife crossings including bridges and overpasses, but also tunnels and viaducts. Otters benefit in particular from ledges and crossings near traffic. One bridge engineer writes that if governments spent as much money on building tunnels as they do on cleaning up roadkill, the animals would survive, and save money too, which could be spent on other things that help.
Wildlife crossings are a great way to help, as once installed animals can continue their journey, without harm. They are very popular in The Netherlands where you can find many hedgehog crossings. In the UK, you can become a Toad Lollipop Lady, helping toads to safely cross the road on their migratory journey.
Making Trains Safer for Animals
- Never throw litter on train tracks, as this encourages wildfowl (who often mistake flooded train tracks for rivers). Other creatures making their homes on ‘green corridors’ surrounding train tracks are endangered water voles, deer, slow worms, grass snakes and common lizards). Pipistrelle bats often root in trees, tunnels and bridges near railways. Wildlife bridges can help for migrating animals.
- Blue Cross & Seat 61 have good info on travel with pets. Take care when walking near rail tracks, especially with dogs. Tell National Rail if livestock need extra fencing or planning to introduce animals next to railway land. They will fix and mend fences, if asked.
- Respect barriers at level crossings (get off your bike to avoid slipping, and be mindful of extra height if riding a horse).
Making Roads Safer for Everyone!
Making our roads and pavements safer means not just a more pleasant place to live (and a nice stroll to the local farmers’ market), but also means our towns and villages are safer for pets, wildlife, children and us! To make our roads & pavements safer is something a long time due. Considering we aren’t by nature mad drivers (like Neapolitans – don’t drive there if you have a dodgy ticker, you’ll have a heart attack), yet we have a very high rate of car accidents, often involving pedestrians. We all know about ’20’s plenty’, but it doesn’t go far enough. There are wonderful ideas around the world, let’s take a look.
Handbook for an Urban Revolution is the story of how one woman transformed the streets of New York City, to make them safe for pedestrians and cyclists. This is a real good story, her life story should be made into a film. A real ‘up against the giants’ story, but she won, and now cities worldwide emulate what she did.
Urban Playground is written by a UK author, and looks at how child-friendly design can save cities. Why aren’t town planners and councillors looking at what’s best for young people – walking to school, walking home from school, walking safely to the shops? Why is planning always centred around the car, supermarket drives and motorways?