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roads are for cars folks « Previous | |Next »
August 30, 2010

One negative aspect of urban planning undertaken by our state governments is the way that their transport planning has for decades been focused on building more roads while applying the tourniquet to a moribund public transport network. As a consequence there there has been a negative reaction to urban congestion --meaning gridlock--- and the state government's habitually respond by building more freeways, increasingly with tolls.

They don't seem to get the scenario that if you build new roads then more people drive and they drive overwhelmingly with four empty seats in the car. They allow urban sprawl to continue and make such infrequent invest in public transport and bike ways that there is zero public transport improvement apart from extra buses and few delineated cycleways on central roads into the CBD. State governments and their urban transport planners are in love with the Los Angeles-style spaghetti junction system of flyovers and ramps that is part of the suburbia, automobiles and car culture nexus.

Conservatives (free minds and free markets) are onto the suburbia, automobiles and car culture issue. They are wheeling out their classic form of right-wing argumentation that begins with a set of erroneous assumptions about the current state of affairs in our country, then proceeds to make use of either/or binaries, and generally ignores both the substance or merit of the ‘arguments’ they decisively refute.

From the context of their argument, one would assume that Australia is being over-run by anti-suburban, anti-automobile advocates dressed in lycra, and that this wave of greenie resentment is threatening our intrinsic rights to mobility and freedom. What is usually ignored is the middle ground.

The pro-automobile, pro-sprawl policies advocated by free market capitalists say that traffic congestion, automobile inefficiency and clogged roads can be solved…by more roads and freeways. The Greens, who hate freedom, have an agenda to force people out of their cars, out of the suburbs and into congested, cramped high-rise cities. Public transport is for losers not winners.

So we have the standard either/or binary: you can either live in the burbs’ and drive a car, or you can give up the Australian dream—as well as your personal mobility and freedom—to live in a cramped city with expensive rent and smelly, homeless street people and drunken aborigines. The roads are for cars not bikes.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:53 AM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

cycling as transport---rather than simply recreation and exercise is still not accepted. If you're riding to get somewhere you know that the only infrastructure that goes everywhere is the roads. Cycleways are not given equal consideration in road design planning.

What is needed is removing a lane of vehicular traffic to give to cyclists. Can you imagine the politics over that in a car obsessed culture?

The City of Sydney is steadily progressing its planned network of cycleways, ignoring the outraged screams of motorists as parking places disappear.

This recently completed cycleway in Bourke Street, Alexandria, http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4080/4933925115_306caa641d_b.jpg,shows the type of construction favoured where there is sufficient road width. It comes complete with warning notices for motorists crossing the cycleway to turn into a driveway, http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/4934601990_d4a70f5b7f_b.jpg.