Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Lemming Land


Because I have three sprogs studying in Brisbane, I spend a bit of time travelling in Lemming Land.

Lemming Land is the name I give to conurbations such as the one that stretches from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast, and takes in all of metropolitan Brisbane. I have no choice but to approach it from the Ipswich bypass, well-known as one of the most congested (and dangerous) roads in the state.

Why "Lemming Land"? – Well because when I get caught in the bumper-to-bumper chaos that is a daily occurrence, I can't help but think of Lemmings. Generally, I avoid peak hour like the plague, but I had to get my number one daughter to an interview on the far north side at 8.30am, so didn't really have a choice.

I have, in the past, crashed in my son's digs overnight to get an early start, but that's not always a good idea. Twenty something males aren't always keen on overnight stays from sixty plus rellies – it cramps their style somewhat.

I left Toowoomba at 5.30am to give myself plenty of time. I was still on the road at 8.15. I got her there barely on time (she lives in the inner city) after a journey that was anything but stress-free. On two occasions (on the Ipswich bypass and the Centenary Highway), it would have been quicker to leg it.

Driving a car into the city is not smart, but invariably I have some item or another to deliver to one of the three. Ever tried travelling on a city bus or train with a stick-on mirror? It reminded me a bit of the crew from "Top Gear" travelling the length of Vietnam with paraphernalia tied on their scooters. (Hilarious stuff – I don't know if you watched it).

Can-do Campbell (Lord Mayor of Brisbane) might be advised to set up an infrastructure of large parking stations and a light rail network, if he wants to keep cars out of the city. They're dropping the limit to 40kph in the CBD, which might improve safety, but will do nothing at all to remove congestion. I couldn't live in Brisbane. The farther west you travel, the saner the world becomes.

1 comment:

bikeonaboy said...

We taped that Top Gear episode - utterly hilarious. They really are a trio of school boys.

Even though we live but 8km from the Sydney CBD, during peak hour, the fastest way into the city is by pushbike - there are enough bike lanes and byways to provide an uncluttered route for bikes. But yes, all I can carry with me is a pair of socks and jocks and not much else. You want to lug something, take a car.

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