Parton / How about a bit of goodwill?

“To the cranky motorists who don’t believe cyclists should be sharing the road, just accept that they are and get over it,” writes columnist MARK PARTON

‘TIS still the season of goodwill in Canberra, so how about showing some of it.

Mark Parton.

Mark Parton.

If you can’t get a park right at the door of the shopping centre, it’s not going to kill you. Seriously, people, if you have to walk 500 metres before doing your shopping, it’ll probably be better for you in the end, so don’t stress so much about it. It’s holiday time. Smile, even if it’s a fake one. Even fake smiles are infectious.

To the cranky motorists who don’t believe cyclists should be sharing the road, just accept that they are and get over it. They’re not actually hurting you. Nobody’s asking you to wear lycra, but if someone else chooses to do so and if they’re commuting choice gets them out of a car that would have been jostling with you for that aforementioned car park, shouldn’t that be a good thing?

I’m so sick of hearing the old chestnut: “There was a perfect bike path 10 metres away, so why was this peanut riding on the road?”

I’ll tell you why: the bike path network is incomplete. It doesn’t always take you to where you want to go. If you’re commuting on a bike, you want to get to your destination as quickly as you can and often that doesn’t involve a bike path.

Road bikes are called “road bikes” because they’re designed for riding on the road.

Sure there are “peanuts” riding bikes on our roads, but their ratio is no higher than the peanut ratio of regular motorists.

And while we’re on the subject of goodwill… why does it have to be so complicated out on the building sites of Canberra? Why must there be war between builders and the CFMEU? I think when it all started this was about workers’ safety and workers’ rights, but you get the impression it’s now about power and money.

Unions have played a major role in making this country as great as it is today, but I’m seeing and hearing about incidents of late which don’t align with that original vision. I don’t know where all of the money is going, but I do know that, as a consequence of the corner we find ourselves in now, everything costs more to build than it should.

In this season of goodwill, how amazing would it be if we had a “Western Front-style, post-Christmas moment”. Imagine if the CFMEU and the builders and the contractors could come out of the trenches for a friendly game of football.

Maybe that will never happen, but it might be strangely more likely now that the Royal Commission has had its say. I live in hope.

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