Positive Outliers


Roadworks have been completed during lockdown, when traffic volumes were lower. Is this a clue to how we have taken this constraint and turned it into an opportunity?

There is a busy dual-carriageway on the edge of our neighbourhood. Children had found it difficult and dangerous to cross the road from where the school bus has dropped them off.

So, our local authority decided to build a pedestrian crossing with lights. And they went ahead and built it …

during lockdown …

when less than 10% of normal traffic was on the road.

The outcome is transforming for children, parents and walkers. And with little added disruption for most motorists who were in lockdown anyway.

A major upgrade

Similarly, a few miles away is a major regional highway (we call it a ‘motorway’ in the UK). Construction has been going on ever since we moved here nearly three years ago to upgrade this stretch motorway. Congestion, lower speed limits. long queues and occasional night road closures have been the norm.

During lockdown–you guessed it–they finished this upgrade, while traffic volumes were a fraction of what they were.

It has transformed the travel experience.

Does it apply at a smaller scale?

Does this play out at a personal level or family level, I wonder?

Many times we have to do major surgery on ourselves and our organisations by the complicated task of keeping business-as-usual running. We build the equivalent of lane closures and temporary traffic lights. Queues and frustration still build.

But what if circumstances shut off your ‘traffic’ for you?

What are your major roadworks? What have you been able to work on that lockdown has allowed? What has lockdown made easier?

What has it transformed? How has this changed your perspective? Your values?

We have changed ‘normal’

For many of us, ‘returning to normality’ is not an option, nor is it welcome. We have changed ‘normal’ during the period of crisis and apparent constraints.

Photo by Miguel Teirlinck on Unsplash

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