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What's wrong with MiltonKeynes anyway?
RoundAbout?s!
That's Basingstoke
And not forgetting Bracknell?
Or EastKilbride?
MiltonKeynes is famous more for having lots and lots and lots of UnderPass?es, all looping all over the place, all looking identical in grey concrete and thus making it impossible to find out where you are or, if you climb the grass verge, work out how to get to where you want to go.  It is also, being a planned all at once town extremely homogenous.  I'll leave further explanations up to Jumlian or anyone else who has lived there.  --Vitenka (It also has ConcreteCows)
MiltonKeynes also has RoundAbouts?...

Milton Keynes is what happens when you let politicians design a town where they think one is needed.  Milton Keynes is a very odd place.  Unique, you could say.  Some would say that this is a good thing indeed.  When MK was built, they took a nice area of Bedfordshire, liberally interspersed with small, sleepy cricket villages, and built a town around them, filling in all the gaps between the villages with individual square kilometres of housing estates.  The resulting patchwork is very odd.  Dual carriageways run along the edges of all the squares, dissecting MK with the famous H (east west ish) and V (more northy-southy) roads.  Despite this it is actually fairly quiet, because there is so much dual carriageway it is very rarely traffic-jammed.  MK would be a very hard place to gridlock, because it is, well, a grid.  One of the enlightened things about MK is that there is a purpose built set of "redways" - pedestrian and bicycle routes - that underpass all the dual carriageways such that no cyclist/pedestrian ever has to cross a dual carriageway and thus take their life in their hands.  A good thing.  The bad point is how badly these are often maintained, recessed down embankments making it hard to tell where you are, the fact that signposts are rare, uninformative and due to unfortunate design it is very easy to pull out the panels and insert them pointing at right angles to where they used to point.  Needless to say this practical joke has been performed so many times that a few signs might even point in the right direction but if so it's entirely by accident.  Milton Keynes was used as a test for certain new innovations.  It hosted the UK's first multiplex cinema, the 10-screen point, which is now the UK's first EasyCinema?.  Both of these are probably good things.  It also played host to the UK's first drive-through fast-food joint, though, so their taste isn't impeccable.  The ConcreteCows define Milton Keynes, a place where everything is kind of slung together in the hope that eventually it'll gel.  Largely, this has been successful, although in certain areas it hasn't worked, namely the earlier estates, which are built on rigid grids and frankly are pretty dire and uninteresting for kids.  Once they worked out that roads could be curved, the place got a lot nicer.  It's very strange to walk under a main road from a council estate into a perfectly preserved 17th-century cottage village, but such contradictions are now a part of MK's definition.
Milton Keynes is a "town" of 280,000 people, has one exceedingly overworked hospital, and is (I think) bigger than Cambridge in terms of population.  It contains at the last count over 641 roundabouts, which at old rates of exchange was 3.4 for every PhD student studying at the OpenUniversity, which is based in MK, and is where I did my PhD ... --Jumlian
The population of Cambridge is, I believe, on the order of 100,000 - although this 'appears' bigger, since it is the only major shopping center for a significantly larger number. -- TheInquisitor



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Last edited November 17, 2004 9:42 am (viewing revision 10, which is the newest) (diff)
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