Monday, 27 July 2020

The Freedom of Union Street

I guess even the darkest cloud has at least the faintest glimmer of a silver lining. 

Although it's only a kilometre from our front door, Gail doesn't very often walk me into the Aberdeen city centre. The main thoroughfare, Union Street, tends to be full of noisy traffic, and with pedestrians crammed on to too narrow pavements.

So imagine my delight when a few days ago, when Gail had a few messages* to do in town and I accompanied her, I came upon a scene transformed. 

Yes, this is post-coronavirus Union Street, where cars, buses and lorries have, in the cause of social distancing, been displaced in favour of two and four legged transport, and bicycles, and flower boxes. 

If I was to let Gail write my blog, I have no doubt you'd be in for a lengthy rant about how it's been obvious for decades that this should be done, that Aberdeen City Council is run by short-sighted dinosaurs, blah, blah, blah. 

Well I'll spare you all that, but I will side with my owner in hoping that these supposedly temporary measures will end up a permanent and positive legacy of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, a place where I can do zoomies unhindered all the way from St Nicholas Kirk to Marks and Spencer and back...

I'm wondering if my friends have seen any similar street alterations in their home territory? 

*'Messages' is Scots for 'errands', a usage which causes some confusion for English immigrants when they first arrive in this part of the world. 


  1. Hari OM
    Bertie lad, this is just amazing - and definitely to be applauded. Long may it last. Wonder if it is as busy today though, if you have the precipitation we have right now... Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

    1. Oh yes, we have the precipitation, and then some...

  2. We're in the suburbs here, so there's nothing like that. Oh well, at least we have a pretty good hike/bike trail.

  3. We're out in the sticks here Bertie, so I don't very often get chance to go into town with my human. (I went in last week to the vet, and had my teeth cleaned!!) She isn't too keen either right now, with things escalating and some more cases of the wretched virus locally.
    We have heard that the streets in the town centre are closed off in the early evening, so that restaurants can have good social distancing and spread their tables out onto the road. It would be nice to have pedestrian streets, but then there would be nowhere for the locals, in the apartments, to park their cars!

  4. That was love from Inca xx of course!

  5. Walking through town is so different with so much activity and so many peeps. Our town here looks nothing like yours, Bertie. I wish that it did!

  6. How fun that you got to go with Gail into town, Berite. Around here some lanes of streets have been blocked off to allow more room for restaurants to have outdoor seating.

  7. Bertie..thanks for the explanation on 'messages'. My first thought was your paws had made a slip on the keyboard as you typed.

    Downtown maind street in Raleigh, Fayetteville Street, was converted to Fayetteville Street Mall about 15 years ago. Then came the push to 'reinvent' downtown Raleigh. They opened it back up....87 million, cafes and shops opened.
    It was booming and 'the in place to be'..for yuppies. Fast forward to May 2020. The cafes and shops had just started to reopen after the worst of the C19. Then the riots and crazy people broke all the storefront windows. To date about 3/4 have still not reopened. They were barely squeezing by financially due to lockdowns for 2 months. Many don't have funds to fix their store fronts. Several have closed permanently some are waiting and hoping for assistance.
    Sorry this was so long,
    I do love the look of Downtown Aberdeen I would be a pleasure to do messages there.
    Hugs Cecilia

  8. Wow, that's pretty pawesome! Momma said she loved how pedestrian-friendly the cities were when she lived across the pond. I hope yours is a permanent change!

  9. How nice to go to town! We love walking the shopping street in our neighborhood, cuz often there's an errant pizza crust to scarf up! But there still are cars here, how nice that you can just stroll about without worrying about cars!!

    Kiki and Rosie

  10. Bertie, you should have seen the look on my confused Canadian husband when one day I said, I'm away to Superstore to do the messages. I have no idea of why it came out that way, lol.

  11. There have been some unexpected benefits that we also hope become status quo after the COVID virus is contained.

  12. We think being a short-sighted is a requisite to be a Council Member. We think that is definitely an improvement. Did you christen the flower boxes?

  13. What a glorious transformation! I bet that you and Gail will be visiting Union St more often. We live on a dirt road in the mountains - no changes here except that we have about 10X more tourists this year than most years.

  14. How wonderful for you and Gail, Bertie!!! Some of the restaurant areas in the business districts here are doing something similar. The streets are blocked off and many of the restaurants and bars can use the streets for safer outside dining and drinking.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  15. We are all for shopping areas without cars. We hope it stays that way.

  16. Oh, that is a FABulous area nows Bertie! I hopes it becomes permanent too! They are doin' some of that around the Bay Area too. Since we live in the burbs, there isn't much need except for downtown, which they are starting to do. I hopes it last there too! Gets peeps out of their cars walking and biking!
    Ruby ♥

  17. Hi hi hi! Ojo here! We are living in the middle of NOWHERE right now, but I hear near our usual home that this is happening to some of the streets also! I like this idea very much, maybe I will get to go out on the streets more!