Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Politics

Rudd, Character and Judgment

The polls continue to look golden for Heavy Kevvy, suggesting a rebound from the Coalitions mudslinging effort over the last week.

Queensland is looking interesting after three sitting members have been implicated in a corruption inquiry concerning printing allowances.

The last week has been consumed by allegation and counter allegation. The Qld situations was uncovered, then in a pre-emptive strike Kelvin Thompson was forced to resign from the shadow ministry over providing a reference to Tony Mokbel in a liquor licence application.

You would have thought the community would be better off with that bloke selling beer rather than cocaine- but anyhow.

I loved the coalitions take on the Rudd-Burke affair. It's about Rudd's judgement cry Howard and Ruddock.

OK so having lunch with a colourful character shows a lack of judgment, whereas

a) getting tangled up in Iraq (Howard); and
b) Deporting Australian citizens (Ruddock)

are examples of superior judgment.

I don't think the public is really buying it at the moment, and the polls indicate that.

Copenhagen Bikelanes

I got the chance to ride the new bike lanes in Swanston Street and almost got killed by a car flying out of an apartment car park.

Not what you'd call a good first impression.

I’m not sure how safe these new bike lanes are. You have people getting out of the passenger side of cars to contend with. Pedestrians in general floating around. Cars sitting across the bikelanes before they turn and treating the outermost edge of the bikelane as the edge of the street.

Just like the new tram stops where the bikelanes cut around off the road and onto the footpath- I seriously doubt that the new bike lanes are safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

I think the main problem concerns driver familiarity. If the bikelanes only exist on one street in Melbourne, drivers will may not be aware of how riders use these facilities.

I'm not sure they're a good use of scarce resources either. The North end of swanston street is pretty safe for cycling anyway- the reason why is that thousands of people ride to Melbourne Uni- and as a result, drivers know that they will be likely to encounter riders in the Carlton, north carlton area.

As a matter of principle, I don’t think removing cyclists from the road is the best option for enhancing safety.


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