Surely now’s the time to reconsider tram stage 2

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Letter writer JACK KERSHAW, of Kambah, reckons cost and circumstance should influence the ACT government to reconsider sending the tram over the lake.

NOW is surely the time to reconsider the critical Civic to Capital Hill section of Light Rail stage 2, especially its cost.

Little cost data is publicly available for the Civic to Capital Hill arrangement, but extensive, costly, heritage-destructive infrastructure works, with prolonged traffic disruption, much of it permanent, will be involved. 

As well, costly special wires-free infrastructure is required from Civic to the western end of Adelaide Avenue (and special rolling stock to go with it). However, it is debatable if it is essential for any part except Commonwealth Avenue. 

From the planning standpoint, the latest ACT government promotional video of Light Rail Stage 2a (Civic to Lake Burley Griffin), doesn’t show any inkling of the associated property development that will be built along Commonwealth Avenue North, and into south-facing West Basin –  even though the developments are integral parts of the overall scheme.

Those developments are virtually guaranteed to be mediocre, once developers have finished with them. Above all, they will degrade and ruin the important open-space character of the precinct, as well as the vistas to and from City Hill and environs.

If and when Stage 2a is extended further south (ruining the integrity of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, and the symmetry with its Kings Avenue twin), there will be more “land-value-capture” mediocre property development in, and upsetting the balance and symmetry of, the national triangle itself.

Jack Kershaw, Kambah

Disgrace of our ‘urban blight’

WHEN I noticed that a long line of natives along Redfern Street in Macquarie had been fenced off, I thought that at last this ACT government has seen the need to start looking after our nature strips and median strips the way they should be.

I was sadly mistaken. 

I was informed that Evoenergy is installing a high-pressure gas main to the new suburb of Whitlam in the Molonglo Valley. The yellow pipes are visible at the bottom of Coulter Drive. They will connect to the existing system in Redfern Street where the trees are fenced off.

In my suburb, Weetangera, residents park all over the median strips and nature strips, and across driveways blocking pedestrian access. It is probably the same across the city. This is illegal and this lazy, inept government does not care less. 

Meanwhile, the vegetation on these areas of public land is largely gone and turned into barren dirt. From an amenity point of view, the result is an eyesore. 

Another example of the urban blight in my suburb involves a residence that has had a shipping container and a large pile of rubbish in the front yard for years and no action taken by the government.

What must visitors think, from cities where civic pride requires residents to abide by parking and waste management bylaws? This is supposed to be the nation’s capital but tourists from western countries would go home, far from impressed with the neglected state of urban amenity in our suburbs. It is a disgrace.

Colin Lyons, Weetangera

‘Keep cups’ ban is ‘ridiculous’

WE are now told that coffee shops cannot accept “keep cups” and must use only their takeaway cups. I would suggest this is rather ridiculous. We at times use a coffee outlet in the Woden Valley. A couple of weeks ago we presented our own cups for coffee, no problem and we got a discount, good for those on a pension. 

Last week we presented our own “keep cups” and were told to read the sign, these are not allowed to be used due to the coronavirus. 

The lady making the coffee said we may have the virus and pass it on to the coffee shop staff!  We must use their takeaway cups, which in most cases are not recyclable. 

I pointed out it is possible that some staff may actually have the virus and pass it on to countless customers, including us with the takeaway cups, further contaminated with the definitely non-recyclable plastic lids, which go directly to the mouth when drinking. Her immediate response “that then will be your problem!”.

So the staff make, maybe in a day, many dozens of coffee in takeaway cups complete with lids possibly contaminated with the virus. Do the staff disinfect their hands after making each cup or wear gloves? In reality it is not practical. So why cannot we use our “keep cups” which we know are clean and sterile? 

Cedric Bryant, Watson

Has God had enough of us?

THE coronavirus has now killed more than 23,000 people worldwide. Some will not agree, of course, but putting Israel Folau’s well publicised outcry to one side, I am of the view that God has nearly had enough of us and our behaviour, and is sending a virulent message “smarten up or ship out”. 

And, with corona mortality so high I think it preferable for the Prime Minister to avoid the phrase “when we come to the other side”.

Colliss Parrett, Barton

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