Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tunnel vision

Am I alone in finding the proposal to build two motorway
tunnels under West Auckland at a cost of nearly $2 billion
to be absolutely, lunatically, freakingly insane? I’m sure
I’m not; but the lack of public outcry at this criminally
stupid project is worrying. It suggests that most of us
fondly imagine that somehow we can go on using our cars
as if nothing will change. Newsflash: it’s changing already.
Even the chief executive of Shell Oil has acknowledged
that after 2015 supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas will
no longer keep up with demand. When are our transport
planners going to get their heads around the reality? They
are carrying on as if there were literally no tomorrow. Do
they really think traffic is going to go on increasing
exponentially through 2020, 2030 and beyond?

All new road extensions and developments should be
stopped now and the money poured into public transport
and the reduction of carbon emissions. Road-building is,
like, so 20th-century. The long love affair with the private
car is over. Get used to it.

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