June 03, 2004 | Jeff Wall

Are inner city roads for motorists or developers?



IF you have been delayed by the inexcusable closure of all but one lane in Edward Street Brisbane you have my sympathy, for that is more than the Brisbane City Council, or Watpac, will give you.
When I read that the BCC was closing all but one lane of a very busy, already congested, city street for at least a week I waited in vain for the RACQ, the motorists’ advocate, to speak out against this absurdity. I am still waiting – and so are the thousands of motorists being inconvenienced all day every day this week.
The number of occasions on which one or more lanes of busy city streets are blocked, often for months at a time, to suit the interests of private developers has got completely out of hand.
The former Labor Council sanctioned this nonsense and, sadly, it appears that “Can do Campbell” is doing so as well. His explanation on John and Ross’s Breakfast program on 4BC on Monday was disappointing……………and raises questions about whether he has become a captive of the City Hall bureaucracy already.
One lane of Edward Street has been blocked off for at least 12 months for this particular development – now another two lanes are out of bounds to motorists because the BCC has allowed the developer to carry out disruptive work during the day, and not at night when disruptions would have been minimised.
But that is not the only site, as any cabbie, delivery man, or motorist travelling through the city, will testify. There are two sites on Upper Edward Street that have had one lane blocked off for many months, causing traffic jams in and out of peak hour periods…………and I can name sites on Ann Street, and elsewhere in the CBD where the same thing has been allowed to happen in arrogant disregard of motorists.
Roads are for cars……..they are not meant to be a convenient extension of construction sites. Our roads are jammed enough as it is without the added inconvenience caused by virtually every private construction project under way in the CBD.
It is a pity the RACQ, using the enormous potential – and I stress “potential” – influence of its large membership has done little or nothing about the increasing encroachment on busy roads of construction projects……regardless of the traffic jams that encroachment causes.
The RACQ runs an excellent breakdown service – but its service as a lobby for its membership on such basic traffic issues need to be “fired up”, to put it mildly.
Each of these sites has one or two guys dressed up as “traffic wardens”, stopping even more lanes at will to allow trucks to enter and exit the sites. One wonders just how much real “authority” these agents enjoy?
These are tasks that used to be performed by off duty policemen…………..now it is a little industry on its own.
The delays I have witnessed outside peak hour in Edward Street this week have been disgraceful. What the impact on CBD businesses, and especially on the long suffering businesses on the other side of Edward Street, has been one can only guess.
Brisbane has massive traffic problems for a city of its size. They are worsening year by year. They don’t need the added burden of an arrogant construction sector taking over public roads apparently at whim.
The new Lord Mayor might be adopting the same don’t care attitude of his predecessors.
Perhaps the motorists’ only hope lies in the new State Transport Minister whose hands on, practical approach to a number of issues is winning him plenty of plaudits from friends and opponents alike?



Posted by Jeff Wall at 10:24 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Uncategorized

1 Comment

  1. Can do campbell can’t do sh*t – as i saw some union guys protesting in City hall the other day :)
    Closing buslanes, reducing inner city parking fees? Going to help our traffic situation i think not.
    Coming from a smaller city like Ottawa in Canada, i saw dedicated bus lanes in all directions with an excellent 24 hour service. If you drive into the city it is your own damm fault as far as i’m concerned.

    Comment by alphacoward — June 3, 2004 @ 2:02 pm

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