Reader GIL MILLER has been fined three times for unwittingly exceeding the new 40km/h limits on Northbourne Avenue. He’s having panic attacks worrying if he’s been caught again.
WHEN I read the opinion piece relating to a potential reduction of the 40km/h zone to a 30km/h one, I just groaned (CN December 2).
I drive around 1000 kilometres a week around the streets of Canberra and, as an “advanced” road user, would like to put forward the following.
I feel as though Transport Minister Chris Steel and I are old buddies, even though we’ve never met. He looms large on my mind when I lie in bed at night composing an email to explain how I feel every time I leave the CBD and have a panic attack when I realise that I have AGAIN been through a 40km/h zone along Northbourne or Barry Drive – and possibly incurred another fine.
I have incurred three “speeding” fines – all related to a single intersection and all doing 50km/h or less.
The fact is that this policy inflicts real pain and suffering on thousands of Canberrans – totally unnecessarily.
The 40km/h speed zones in Canberra are an ill-advised traffic control measure that are not only ineffectual, but just plain wrong.
The Minister’s office cited “reports show that by reducing the speed limit by 20 per cent (it might have been 10km/h), you reduce the risk of death by 85 per cent”.
I don’t know if the Minister truly believes this absolutely ludicrous statement or not, but I have to ask: “WHAT deaths is he alluding to?” If you want to REALLY prevent death, lock us up in our homes – or, at the very least, stop us driving on the roads.
Northbourne Avenue is a three-lane, each-way arterial road through the centre of Canberra. Has anyone sat and watched how ridiculous the traffic stream is along Northbourne Avenue with the traffic travelling at 40km/h?
Has anyone realised the congestion that this now causes by driving 40km/h between lights along Northbourne in the CBD? I do because I see it every day. Canberra for the first time in its history now has “peak hour” traffic congestion. Good job!
Do the planning boffins realise how long it takes to travel across the London Circuit/Northbourne Avenue intersection when travelling at 40km/h?
I was going to list the numerous instances of where the 40km/h signs stop and start inconsistently throughout the CBD – and it would be even more impressive if I took the time to create a coloured diagram – but somehow I think I’d be wasting even more of my time.
But I can’t help commenting on at least the 40 km/h zone all the way along Constitution Avenue until you get to Russell Offices – after the millions of dollars were spent on upgrading that whole thoroughfare – and it is then reduced to 40 km/h.
I speak with a tremendous number of people about their angst towards the Minister and the government relating directly to the 40km/h imposition. Most of them are wearing it on the chin. But these same people have not forgotten the fiasco over bus timetables, rate increases, building future slums, budget deficits, fiscal irresponsibility that their grandchildren are going to be paying off and now this totally unnecessary imposition on their hip pockets.
I love this city and I have supported this government in many of its endeavours, but this is beyond the pale and the government needs to be taken to task over the imposition of the 40km/h speed restrictions throughout the Canberra CBD. They are NOT preventing deaths. They are income producing.
One can only hope that the Minister has the fortitude to recognise an error when he sees one.
Gil Miller, via email
The truth is in The Bible, Robert
ROBERT Macklin’s article (CN January 7) at first promised to be a thought-provoking exposition on the response to the rise in Omicron numbers across the country and how truth can be a casualty in the process.
However, it soon degenerates into an offensive and pejorative rant on what he considers to be the truth in the Christmas story and how religion and faith taints every cause or issue in the world, be it covid, world wars or climate change.
Truth is a verified fact and, as Christians, we believe the facts about Jesus are provided to us in The Bible and that answers to life and the truth are in The Bible. Jesus was saying to us, among other things, that it is an indisputable fact that “I am the Son of God”. So, as Protagoras says to Socrates in Plato’s “Protagoras”: “What is true for you is true for you and what is true for me is true for me.”
Angela Kueter-Luks, Bruce
I won’t be a part of that audience
PRESUMABLY there is an audience for Robert Macklin’s pro forma anti-Christian drivel and Clive Williams’ puerile anti-Christian poem (CN January 6) but I am not part of it.
Nor will I be joining Macklin and Williams if they are looking for guidance in their lives via your two-page horoscope feature.
“CityNews” has always seemed a respite from the nauseating left-leaning PC content served up by your competitors. Unfortunately, you now seem to be veering in their direction. Please don’t.
John Farrands, Isaacs
Hypocrisy of staging Summernats
THE hypocrisy of the ACT Greens-Labor government in permitting the annual four days of heightened fossil fuel emissions and noise pollution that is Summernats was staggering.
For those of us who, encouraged by the ACT government, have outlaid hundreds or often thousands of dollars to reduce our transport and household fossil fuel emissions this event was a slap in the face and revealed the real priority of ACT Labor/Greens government.
Inner-north residents were forced indoors for four days to avoid the smell, toxicity and noise pollution this event hits us and our children with. No doubt Woolworths, McDonalds, KFC, gas stations and other non-local businesses benefitted, while the police were no doubt on overtime – but not protecting residents.
Judith Pabian, via email
Time to build a 21st century transport system
RICHARD Johnson (Letters, CN January 6) asked a simple question of the ACT Disruption Taskforce; “How could they top this?” in relation to the so-called “light” rail extension.
It is time we stopped the use of “’light rail” for this heavy, fixed tracked, yesterday’s technology transport in Canberra.
New technologies in guidance systems, scheduling algorithms, vehicle suspensions as well as recognition of the real transport shifts the pandemic has and will reschedule future office work travel need to be considered for future public transport systems.
Any real disruptive thinking for the ACT must be to abandon NOW the waste of that so-called “light” rail expansion.
Time to build a 21st century transport system that meets the needs of all, for all of the week, with a mix of smart, suitable, productive, integrated devices/vehicles that efficiently use the existing infrastructure.
Call that what you will, but not “light rail” which obviously only suits some of the people, some of the time.
Lauchlan McIntosh, Deakin
Freedom will tighten and costs will rise
LIKE many, many others, I have never supported light rail in the ACT. But I have moved past this calamity as I can’t see anything that can be done about it.
I predict we will not see a change of government in the ACT while the Hare-Clark system exists, and this is something the Labor/Greens government knows all too well.
What I foresee is the tightening of the freedom and right of individuals to choose to use private transport.
No doubt, parking costs will continue to rise, travel times will be increased by the lowering of speed limits for cars (with dozens and dozens of speed cameras introduced), car rego fees will hit the stratosphere, expect to see RFID tags introduced for travel down main arterial roads, and all sorts of taxes and rate increases invented (all in the name of combatting “climate… yada yada”).
Expect to see high density housing (with virtually no parking) built around the train line, too.
This will all be done to force people on to this sham of a public transport system by making it so expensive to avoid it. It will all be done so the current government can claim it a success.
Bjorn Moore, Gowrie
Global heating hasn’t stopped
MAX Flint (Letters, CN December 9) is wrong on several issues. “Institutions” such as Climate Watch have no intention of “sowing panic”; that would be counterproductive.
More importantly, Mr Flint clearly does not believe the mountain of evidence for global heating; the cause of climate change.
For example, despite his claim to have carried out “computer simulations”, he does not understand how they apply to the modelling of global heating. This involves direct observations, measurements of polar ice core data (oxygen isotopes), and carbon dating (carbon isotopes) for information on atmospheric composition back to a million years ago.
The following may help Mr Flint understand the science of climate change.
For almost the last million years, Earth’s atmospheric and oceanic temperatures were slowly decreasing in regular variations known as the Milankovitch Cycles, with temperatures between plus 2 and minus 8 from the longer-term mean. At the same time, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration varied between 180 parts per million (ppm) and 280 ppm.
The long-term trend was towards another glacial period (or Ice Age). About 350 years ago, that trend quite suddenly reversed. This coincided with the beginning of the first Industrial Revolution, which was in large part driven by the burning of coal and the emission of huge volumes of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.
This began global heating, which has been accelerating ever since. Atmospheric CO2 level is now the highest in at least a million years.
Earth is now heating at a rate at least 10 times faster than at any time in geological history. Serious action to rein in emissions is needed urgently.
Dr Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Candidate Pocock just helped Zed
BY throwing his hat in the ring, David Pocock is increasing Senator Zed Seselja’s chances of re-election, as the independent candidates will get individually fewer votes.
If David really wants to oust Zed he would be better off supporting Kim Rubenstein and making a run for the Senate at the following election.
Carol Carlyon, Mawson
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