Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Move over Jesus - Unfulfilled promises become a "Miracle"

The continuing farce of ineffective city Governance on transit and active mode transport reaches ever more heights of absurdity. 

Councillor Yani Johanson moved to speed up a planned cycleway programme, from a five year  programme to a three year programme, so that new lanes and cycleways  can be created as part of the post earthquake roading rebuilt. 

The intended cycleway network is to be funded from a $20 uniform annual general charge (same for every property) on all rateable properties, though it is unclear how this could achieve $70 million in five years ($14 million per year) - A recent letter to The Press pointed out that the total number of rateable properties in Christchurch is only 100,000, enough to generate only about $2 million per year!

However we have long been used to fantasy being a substitute for hard miles research and active implementation on Christchurch transit and active mode transport! This includes the Mayor's misguided ten year plus fantasy on building light rail, a system only ever employed in cities of high density linear population corridors and/or large daily inbound rail commuter customer base and/and great regional and national wealth. None of which apply in Christchurch!!

Another fantasy is that the city's politicians back public transport to a significant degree. 

Before the earthquake the city buses carried over 60,000 trips on a working day, a minimum of 25,000 passengers a day.  Many of these of course are high school students, University Students, and some beneficiaries and handicapped people for one reason or another who can't drive. Not prime voter material obviously and not worth spending too much money on. 

As for getting people out of cars - forget that bullshit! 

The horrific multi-billion damage effects of too rapid climate change, worldwide,  predicted as far back as 1970 don't even enter the thinking of the these thoughtless (or hypocritical) carbodies. This massive increase in the number of killer floods, tornadoes, droughts, and forest fires is clearly and easily traced back to huge amounts of heavy carbon and accelerating levels of carbon dioxide in the earth's relative small atmospheric mantle, generated by cars and oil fired power stations. Is this news? I would hardly think so. 

But it certainly does not motivate Council to actively fight for moving our outdated bus system into the 21st century. Indeed the Chairwoman of the Environment and infrastructure committee put it fairly succinctly last year .....

In a submission to ECan they have suggested that it trial one of the routes before money is spent on building expensive bus shelters and interchanges across the city.  "We want to be supportive but we don't want to do it at great cost to our ratepayers," said [Councillor] Claudia Reid, the chairwoman of the environment and infrastructure committee.            - "Public transport overhaul plan raises cost fears"  LOIS CAIRNS The Press August 3 2012

However yesterday same councillor has surpassed herself, with religious exaltation now!!

But Cr Claudia Reid opposed the fast tracking. "We've already delivered a miracle and that the miracle is this: in five years time we will have 13 dedicated, safe, top-quality cycle routes that will connect neighbourhoods and the city centre in a way they have never been before."

"Cycle track must wait - council" Rachel Young, Lois Cairns The Press June 25 2013

Councillor Reid  is describing a proposed plan, a long term budget allocation in theory,  to be a "Miracle" - not a shovel of dirt turned, not a single guarantee it will not be postponed, altered, reduced, budget cut, or discovered it can not be done, for multiple reasons, or lost in a political  shift in Council.

Most of all not a single guarantee  that the much talk up cycle lane think-big project  will not follow exactly the same dreary, pathetic dismal city performance on bus lanes -  promise default, talking up, promise, default, promise, talking up, default etc across an unbelievable 13 year saga. 

Post-quake temporary road changes are all over Christchurch, but few to assist bus services in any way. 

Deja Vue? Get ready for the real recycling programme?

If the Council is committed is so committed to avoiding spending money on public transport in its environment portfolio, for the 30-40,000 bus users a week - I can't image active mode will fare much better. 

To make a miracle out of a mere promise, or a policy or budget allocation on paper open to alteration ("already delivered"  Yeah right), is indeed itself a miracle. 

Yeah, yeah, that sounds right, that's about the level we are working at. Making miracles out of nothing.

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