Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Uncommon sense

You’ve got to love those politicians. “Common sense tells
you that the more petrol goes up, the more people will
think about alternatives,” says Wellington Regional
Council chairwoman Fran Wilde, reacting to reports that
the city’s “creaking” public transport system is feeling the
pressure of greater use by people less inclined to drive
their cars. Right. And the same common sense should
have told the council and other public bodies 20, 30 years
ago that this was coming, and to plan accordingly. They
can’t say they weren’t warned at the time. But instead of
putting the planning emphasis on public transport in the
1970s, 80s and 90s the Wellington regional and city
councils preferred to lavish millions of dollars on
motorway extensions, traffic tunnels and new roads,
principally for the use of private cars. Even now, Wilde
and mayor Kerry Prendergast are talking up the need for
a second Terrace tunnel and a second Mt Victoria tunnel,
plus widening of major roads, as if car use will go on
growing indefinitely. Hopefully such vehicular visionaries
will recover from the dizzying effects of petrol fumes one
day soon and realize what planet they are living on; if not,
Wellingtonians should elect representatives who do know.

1 comment:

Steve Withers said...

These politicians, Prendergast and Wilde, are responding to their voters.

Unfortunately, their voters - generally - know even less than they do.

The few who do have some idea, despair at the lot of them.

When the unthinkable happens, the great mass of sleepers will cast about for someone to blame for doing nothing about the problem when it will THEN be so obvious in hindsight that something should have been done long ago (but they didn't bother to vote, never mind vote for people who do anything).

Action stations manned, a study will be conducted and a plan which point no one will want to pay for it.

I'm not sure whether I'm predicting or reciting history.