Watching the passing parade

So I stood on Collins Street.

At lunchtime, during the Grand Prix parade.

And I saw lots of barricades.

And I saw crowds of people.

And they were watching an empty street. Some were even taking photos of the empty street. (It would seem the proliferation of digital photography has resulted in a lot more taking of pointless photos.)

I stood with them for five minutes. And the only moving vehicle I saw was a hotted up car doing laps. Nothing more than you might see any revhead driving any day of the week.

Then I got bored and went back to work.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

8 replies on “Watching the passing parade”

Apparently there were F1 cars doing donoughts in the CBD, with unprotected crowds watching. Aren’t the police meant to arrest people for dangerous driving like that? Would the crowd have been quite so “thrilled” when the brakes let go and the vehicle went careening through people?

I wondered about the safety barriers used. They looked suspiciously like those big plastic ones which have stickers saying “This is not a safety barrier”. In fact in the Hun this morning they mention that the council wasn’t told of the high speeds they’d be driving at, and the barriers would not have been effective.

I have given up on trying to take photos of some things with my digital camera. When I do without a flash to see bands, I find I usually take three times the amount of photos I need as at least some will turn out that way.


The Australian Grand Prix is overrated and overcommercialized. It was a stupid idea to put a motor race in a public park for private profit, and even more stupid to put a Grand Prix exhibition in the middle of city streets. It’s just an exercise in advertising, an event designed to sell tyres and luxury cars, and an event designed to make money for and bring the big advertisers to the TEN network (and Nine before 2002). The Albert Park circuit even has its own temporary McDonalds on race days. Don’t be surprised if Albert Park is renamed “Bridgestone Park”.

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