Central city speed limit proposal applauded

20:35, May 08 2012

I have to applaud the council's proposal to introduce a 30kph speed limit through the CBD. I have always maintained that if you choose to drive through the CBD you have decided you are not in a hurry. With the humps, lights, give ways, parallel parking and pedestrians, even 30kph is at times unachievable.

Having said this, I was crossing Devon St by Stirling Sports the other day, and even though it is a non-crossing hump, there was time to cross safely were the car approaching doing 30kph. The car chose to maintain its speed, and perceived right of way, missing the pair of us on the hump by about a foot. I was amused to note that it was one of our own council's few remaining vehicles, and even more amused with the irony of the sign writing on the back of the car, Keeping it Down in Town.

I have also praised the council many times in the past for our greatest asset, the coastal walkway. In the last couple of weeks I have had to revise my position slightly. I recently bought a pair of rollerblades, so that I could take in the whole walkway in one go, and to keep my fitness up. I had long thought that the wooden railway sleeper sections were just needless extras, but now find that they are also dangerous if on rollerblades, quad skates or skateboards. Because the wood has worn away over the years, several of these have been relaid in concrete, and this should be the case for all in the future.

I see that a few years out of parliament has not lessened our Mayor's ability in "polilitical speak". There is a saying,"There are lies, damned lies and statistics", and Harry certainly hasn't lost his ability to dress those up. The one factual statistic that remains, is that NPDC rate increases have outstripped inflation for many years, and will continue to do so for many more to come, under the proposals put forward by the LTP. He also claims that the average 5.5% increase in rates is partly due to them having to pay more for things like bitumen and construction materials, and yet the Len Lye Centre is still only costing the same as three years ago. Also, Joe Bloggs citizen doesn't have the luxury of just putting up their own wages, or increasing their income by way of rates, they simply have to choose to buy less of the needs and defer the wants.

I have just had the wooden windows replaced in our house, and ATL did a great job. This project has been in our 10-year plan for about 15 years. So it should be for the council. Something may be on the plan for upgrade, but if it doesn't really need to be upgraded, then defer it. This proposed stadium complex has not even been a part of the LTP until this year, and as such it is obviously a want and not a need. It should not jump the queue on needed projects that have actually appeared on the plan for a number of years. With the way sports are changing, and new sports are emerging, this type of complex may be a complete waste of time ... oh wait ... it already is.

Finally, I see, just like the councils of New Zealand, that Greece and France have voted against austerity, and for bankruptcy, because the gravy train has to come to a standstill some time ... and where will we be then?