Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Your lucky day in hell

Today has not been a happy day in the land of bike love. It seems to be one of those times where idiocy rules supreme and one wonders if they are slowly falling into a world of paranoid delusional fantasies and developing a persecution complex. Remember bumping into fellow Howard-haters a few years ago and they’d start talking about moving to New Zealand if Howard won another election. Did they go? Of course not, but they enjoyed thinking about the idea of escaping to another place. Well I feel like that right now. Something is rotten in the State of NSW and I’m not talking about the developer contributions or the electricity sell off. To begin with, it was reported that the NSW State Government plans to use 3 billion dollars from the sale of the States electricity to part-fund none other than another friggin private motorway (the M4 East). We’ve only spent the last 20 years building more private motorways (M2, M5, M7, Cross City Tunnel, Lane Cove tunnel, Harbour Tunnel, Eastern Distributor etc), while we've keep a railway system that has barely improved since 1915. All the motorways seem to have resulted in is more traffic and longer commuting times. As this recent report revealed, Sydney’s traffic is crawling, not commuting’. The fact that petrol prices are ticketed to go through the roof is just the icing on cake. What a joy it is to live in such truly unenlightened times.
In other news, a local resident group in Surry Hills has started a campaign against the new separated cycleway that is planned to be built on Bourke Street this year. The cycleway is meant to look like this. Note all the trees.

However, some ambiguity in the planners report, has lead some residents to claim that the entire street would be clear-felled.
Of course, we know that the evil cyclists are really out to destroy the trees. That’s the kinda thing cyclists like doing. This protest has nothing to do with the fact that the residents may lose a few on-street car parking spaces (of course not!). Why would residents covertly aim to protect car-parking spaces when they really love trees?

And so the legacy of the Rum Corps and the Emerald City goes on. If Red Ken' is looking for a new job, please apply here.

Postscript
Hell is getting hotter. Today brings news that the only ‘actual existing’ bike lane in Sydney-town is about to disappear. Sure it will be a bus lane, great for 30km/h bike hoons like myself, but what about everyone else? The Boulevard of broken dreams – Park and William Sts – was meant to be the main east to west access way into the city. Then the state gov. got nervous facing a motorist revolt over congestion heading into the city and anger against the road changes brought about by the now-bankrupt Cross City Tunnel. So, they decided to take three blocks of bike lanes back to make one more westbound lane, leaving only a semblance of a cycleway in disconnected parts at the top of Park Street and the exit ramp head up to Kings Cross. In seems that the saga of bike planning in Sydney is moving from the ridiculous to the sublime.



5 comments:

Jonathan said...

Instead of escaping to New Zealand, you could simply escape to Canberra -- and be in cycling heaven! Lets start the exodus today.

ChrisS said...

Ummmmm.

You could move down here instead?

Adrian E said...

I'm heading to Canberra next week for a short visit.

Brian said...

Get your facts straight before commenting(about the planned cycleway)..the pic posted as an illustration of the proposed pathway is actually CROWN Street Surry hills not Bourke street. So I propose you take a trip to Surry Hills and do a rethink maybe from the point of view of a (non bike using resident of the suburb.
Brian

Adrian E said...

Thank you for you observation Brian. I've corrected the photo with trees.

I'm still puzzled why in your letter to the Sydney morning herald today
(http://www.smh.com.au/letters/?page=3)
you don't even mention the trees when clearly they they are the object of your concern. Why not call them trees instead of the slippery metonymies of 'hacking away' at 'our heritage', and this so-called 'monstrosity'. It looks like smoke and mirrors to me. From what I understand, there is only one tree under threat and it can be replanted. I genuinely take your concern about trees being felled but its not going to happen.

btw: I live in Redfern I ride up Bourke Street all the time. The narrowness is not an issue. Cyclists don't need anywhere near as much space as cars. There is no reason to fear the cycleway. The cycleway has been earmarked as a regional route in the RTA 2010 bike strategy since the mid 90s. The CoS cycling strategy for future development. Its not writ in stone, its not effective Environment and Planning legislation under the Act (perish the thought!).