PLANS for the new uni campus and legal precinct in town certainly impressed the Herald readership. People were impressed with the architecture, going so far as to label it Legoland and Meccano. Personally, I’m thinking Transformer.
Readers were impressed by the number of people expected to flood the CBD.
Four thousand-plus apparently – students, academics, lawyers, brown bombers (tasked with the job of policing the five car spaces allocated to accommodate the new daily demographic).
Locals were up in arms. But what would they know? They only live here. Unlike the people hatching the plans.
Used to be if you had a building DA for a commercial enterprise, you had to sort out suitable parking arrangements.
When did those laws stop applying? Oh that’s right, they didn’t.
But it seems there’s a new trend emerging in civic planning if the development is deemed of state significance. It’s called “deal with it”.
Hatched on Macquarie Street and trickling down to local politics at pace, until something like ICAC intervenes.
When Joe Public gets short-changed by provisions previously considered mandatory, he’s told “deal with it”.
A brutal but potentially effective way to change human behaviour.
Like an inversion of that old truism ‘‘build it and they will come’’.
Don’t build it, and they will still come.
Be curious to see how that works.
Perhaps it could be applied to health.
Don’t build hospitals and people won’t get sick. Don’t build a defence force, and we won’t get invaded. Don’t put up a transparent, viable plan that accords with regulations everyone else in the state have to abide by and maybe we’ll achieve sustainable redevelopment in Newcastle?
It’s just so crazy, it might work. It is local politics, after all.
The scale of the ambition is breathtaking. But then again, the bar has been set pretty high when it comes to hard-to-fathom decisions.
The Tourle Street bridge, the Sandgate bypass turn-off, the high rise bonanza on the horizon and, of course, rail truncation.
It’s a lot for a simple person to digest, but I keep going over it in my mind.
They’re going to build this huge uni thing in town, where thousands of people are going to come each day.
So to facilitate that, they’re going to pull up the railway and provide no parking.
This is going to encourage people to pursue higher education how?
Christopher Pyne is already jacking the price out of reach of most but the rich. And as Joe Hockey points out, the rich drive cars. So, big conflict there.
Parking may become the domain of the rich and superannuated as the consumer meters the market.
I’m all for an enlightened civic blueprint for the 21st century, but it does seem a tad Chairman Mao dictating to the people in this manner without consultation.
The people may need re-educating, but they could go to North Korea for this kind of syllabus.
And don’t mention silly buses, they’re part of the public transport solution, if they can just get them to go where the people are at the times they want.
No pain no gain, say the progressives.
Listen to their painful exhortations about losing the car and you can see we’re in for a lot of gain.
But ain’t that half the problem moving into the future. No bridge, barring Tourle. Just a leap into what someone else tells us is the right direction.
Don’t they understand how many people can’t stand One Direction.
Your standard zealot will conveniently dismiss protests. Sometimes people just need to be told, they’ll claim.
Funny how all that talk of equity and democracy go out the window when it’s a pet project.
Makes you think someone’s already got an allocated car space. Or brown envelope.
One letter writer waxed lyrical about how cyclists reign supreme in Cambridge, England, so why not here?
The old park and ride model, where the inner city is a car-free zone, people park on the outskirts, take public transport into the area and ride a bike. Sounds great in theory, but how will the practice go?
A fair slab of the Hunter population live within a three-kilometre radius of a train.
So maybe they’ll get on board. A bit more than they’re doing at the moment, hopefully.
But when it comes to riding, it may be the terrain rather than the train that hurts. The Hunter is much more hilly than Cambridge. And motorists so much more hostile to bike riders.
Not saying it couldn’t work or that it’s a bad idea, but it’s a hard sell. I’d be willing to buy into it, if it didn’t add too much time to my commute.
They’re talking about putting multistorey car parks out at Warabrook where you park and then slip into town on the train. Only take you 10 minutes, from Wickham to uni. Do your lecture. Take the bike then train back out to Warabrook and grab your car. The whole exercise would only add, maybe a couple of hours to your day?
No wonder they haven’t mentioned it much.
I guess if you don’t like it, deal with it.