‘highway roads commoning on the rise’


I have noticed that our daily humanity is all about ‘commoning’ and for many people in the modernised world, the word “commons” mimic a medieval rural or village grazing land. In this case, the commons are defined by rights to graze their animals rather than ownership.  Yet, it is happening in the cities like London, New York City, Madrid etc. It’s a reality that commons are used to sustain security as tool of governance in political power, economic drivers as in highway roads, independence as in ‘freedom’ from being governed by colonialist. To narrow my blog today, I will focus on the highway roads in UK, a good example of the commons privatised but reflect one common good that embraces interests of all people although this can be argued.

Are the roads open to all or the relevant local communities typically decides who uses it by imposing restrictions in the form of fines, road cameras, barricades, tollgates etc. The highway is one of the open commons but the modernity has commercialised it limiting its access to a few who can afford the fines, pay MOT, high road taxes and new cars recommended for low emission.

London city is today a business conglomerates championing civic dictatorship through its possible dismantling the commons and harnessing the fragments to build up new economic and social patterns. As a local authority, is it not supposed to be responsive to the interests of all rather than to dominant minority? It is clear to me that London city has removed power and control from commons regimes by creating structures of governance from which the great mass of humanity are excluded especially the ordinary people meant to access the commons as a right.

My aim is to explore whether the ideology is meant to transform the territory grounded within the notions of revolutionising the market economy which is expanding but enabling the city and its commercial interests to gain absolute control of the commons territory.


2 Responses to “‘highway roads commoning on the rise’”

  1. u0953238 Says:

    The roads in London benefits a few, if not the business who are not necessarily the residence of the borough. With the introduction of the Boris bikes , its not justifiable to have those roads which a bringing a vast carbon footprint compromising the local people’s well-being.

  2. jpriyarollins85 Says:

    This is an interesting take on the ‘rise of commons within an enclosure’. You’re right, many developed cities do have many enclosures within the road system which may or may not be a good thing. Your post make me think about other approaches to roads as a commons, and if you look into some of the developing countries, you may find that highways and roads are an ultimate common. Literally anybody can use them. There you will see the entire society making use of the road in some way or another– children playing, bike riding, herding cattle, ‘grazing’ cattle (on the trash/tiny plots of grass), farmers on carts, etc… There are literally no road rules as the entire road can be used at any time and in any direction; but at the same time there are many unspoken rules which somehow create an atmosphere of a beautiful ‘traffic dance’. Everyone knows when they should go, or stop, or swerve, or divert without needing lights or instructions. There is a constant hum of honks and footsteps, yells and calls, each of them with their own message. Everyone seems to understand and feel the energy of ‘road rules’ and these rules keep the stream of traffic life going.

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