News and events transport

Frantic day

One of those frantic days.

E Day — the Eddington report came out. Age story. In summary: do we really want to blow $20 billion on tunnels, when one (the road tunnel) appears to serve no purpose (hardly anybody drives NE to W) and the other (the rail tunnel) tries to solve a capacity problem that shouldn’t exist if we run the infrastructure we’ve got properly?

Spending all that money means nothing left for the new rail lines we need to Doncaster, Rowville, Melton… And the report appears to include some major flaws which follow the old “predict and provide” road-supply formula: predict lots of traffic, then build the roads to make sure it happens. Never a good idea.

The crazy weather meant a thing at ABC radio that should have been just after 5pm got bumped to about 5:40. After that I headed home, and having just missed a tram, ended up getting a tad lost in Southbank walking to Flinders Street Station. It’s a pretty big building to lose, but in that area there seem to be zero signs directing pedestrians to points of interest, and the streets are so curvy there’s no line of sight more than a few hundred metres.

Found it eventually, got on a train… and it sat there for a bit. In the rear cab we could hear a Connex bloke on a radio talking about something being wrong, and noting that it was “full of people” and agonising over what was going to happen. Sure enough they kicked us all off (by announcing it initially on the platform, not on the train.. umm.. good one) and we changed platforms, got onto a working train, and headed off.

Not that any of this was as bad as on some lines: the Ringwood, Alamein, Glen Waverley, Frankston and Craigieburn lines all had problems with power and/or falling trees. At the radio station I’d heard John Rees at Connex, also agonising.

Got to my car and found on the way back that police were at one set of traffic lights, which had broken down, directing traffic through slowly.

Eventually got home, to find a tree branch in the front garden had (almost) broken off in the wind. At least we hadn’t lost power though.

Ah, one of those days.

PS. Thursday 9pm. ABC Opinion article: An unhealthy dose of bitumen for Melbourne

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.

4 replies on “Frantic day”

I got back to the station to find that a crappy little shrub had spent all day rubbing up against the bonnet of my 4-week old car damaging the bonnet. Not happy. But at least nothing worse happened, like an entire tree landing on my car or worse still, a wall falling on me…

Cars are money pits, grrr…

I lost five big limbs from a huge gum tree in my front garden. It was the centre piece of the garden and now it’s a spindly wreak. It blocked part of the road. Very sad.

I’m probably the most ‘tree-friendly’ person in the neighbourhood, yet not a single other tree in the street lost so much as a leaf. What does that tell me?

Mind you, my old (and wise) neighbour repeatedly told me that my type of tree was a liability since they always dropped branches. Seems he was read right.

I think that recent rain also helped it load up on water, grow masses of new leaves and ‘gum nuts’ and weigh all of the branches down. Ironic after the drought.

I love tempestuous, cold and wet weather. It has such a beautiful atmosphere and it is this atmosphere that fuels my creativity.

The proposed east-west link is a total waste of money. Last time I checked, most cars were headed into the city – so how does Royal Park fit into the equation.

There were plenty of railway lines once upon a time, as I’ve traced on my Lost & Found blog, with the potential to be extended as required but, ohhhh nooo, most were closed down in the “not spending a cent on transport” era…that we’re still stuck in, apparently.

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