Miranda Devine strikes again.

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by geoffs, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    The SMH's answer to Piers Ackerman lets rip at cyclists again today in the SMH

    Sydney is reaching gridlock and motorists are not to blame, writes Miranda Devine.


    THE Cross City Tunnel debacle seems to have delivered more ammunition to the anti-car lobby, alas.

    The new toll road failed because its real purpose was not to move cars from east to west but to deliver $100 million up front to a profligate State Government in exchange for closing down rival routes.

    It wasn't the road or the size of the toll that was on the nose but the Government's nerve in selling free public roads to private interests without permission from the owners.

    But anti-car zealots have concocted a different spin, claiming the Cross City Tunnel proves the logic-defying green maxim that building more roads only makes traffic congestion worse.

    Now they are furious about Premier Morris Iemma's attempt to fix the traffic problems caused by the tunnel, especially his decision to delete the bike lane that was to have gone straight down William Street to allow cars to actually move on what was once a beautiful six-lane road.

    To add insult to injury, wailed the Greens upper house MP Lee Rhiannon, Iemma made the announcement on World Environment Day.

    The Greens are staging a "bicycle protest" against the decision in Martin Place today. "The announcement has … threatened the promised new bicycle route from William Street to Pyrmont Bridge via Kent Street," said Rhiannon yesterday. "Now the future for bicycle lanes for the Lane Cove Tunnel project has been placed under a cloud."

    We can only hope.

    Iemma's sensible decision to restore William Street to the cars for which it was designed so well goes some way towards reversing the disastrous legacy of the former roads minister Carl Scully, the vegan cyclist.

    Thanks to Scully and an influential, pious and often militant bicycle lobby, the idea that Sydney will one day be like a large Amsterdam, with everyone riding to work in shrink-wrapped lycra, took vigorous hold, rather than being mocked as the joke it is.

    Sydney has too many hills, too many narrow streets, too much traffic, too many buses, is too spread out and too hot and humid, to make riding a pushbike to work feasible for more than a handful of people. Bikes need to stay in flat, boring places like Canberra where nothing much happens and a laid-back public service work culture rules.

    But the Roads and Traffic Authority, which was also heavily influenced by Scully as transport minister, has gone from a practical and effective organisation run by engineers to a demoralised, leaderless rabble infiltrated by green activists. Instead of concentrating on building safe roads to move the most cars in the most efficient way around our city, thus reducing pollution, petrol waste, gridlock and frustration, the RTA's mantra has become "The Road is there to Share" - with the rights of cyclists, pedestrians and koalas deemed at least equal to those of motorists.

    The RTA website describes its "mission" as "delivery of the best transport outcomes balancing the needs of public transport passengers, cyclists, pedestrians …", with motorists and "commercial operators" last on the list.

    With so many masters, no wonder the organisation is confused.

    Instead of upgrading the Pacific Highway in a timely and cost-effective manner, the once-proud engineering organisation has been reduced to counting snail shells and building little overpasses and tunnels for koalas (which appear to be used mainly by cane toads).

    The RTA even had a General Manager, Bicycles and Pedestrians, until Michael Costa abolished the position when he was briefly roads minister after Scully.

    To the RTA, car users are simply to be milked, nagged and punished in the name of road "safety". Tougher penalties, lower speed limits, more traffic lights, red light cameras, speed cameras and double demerit point periods all conspire to enrage the most placid driver.

    The result of this warm and fuzzy road-sharing philosophy is that driving in Sydney is now like negotiating a minefield.

    Newly entitled pedestrians and cyclists, and their emboldened lobbyists, behave increasingly arrogantly. Pedestrians wander across roads with iPods and mobile phones stuck to their ears, oblivious to the physics of car braking. They expect instant obedience from motorists at zebra crossings, stepping off footpaths as if cocooned by an invisible shield of righteousness, incapable of accepting that they are at least 50 per cent responsible for their own safety.

    As for cyclists, who believed the mirage of Scully's $250 million bike plan for NSW, with hundreds of kilometres of cycleways lined with tulips and rainbow kisses, stand by for the tantrum as the vision evaporates under the blowtorch of commerce.

    The truth is, jealous as we are of our share of the road, most motorists would probably happily get out of our cars and onto other modes of transport if they only worked as well.

    But instead of pushing for improvements to the bus and train systems, the anti-car brigade insists on pushing the alternative of light rail, whether it works or not, simply because it will steal yet another lane of the road from cars.

    Light rail activists such as Sydney's Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, forget Sydney has already experimented with light rail; they pretend the under-utilised, inexplicably unfashionable monorail doesn't exist, and any murmurs to expand it are quickly silenced.

    But Moore is relentless in her campaign for a whole new light rail to clog city streets, this month releasing two consultants' reports which aim to close Clarence Street and run trams down it. She claims this would halve city travelling times from Central to Circular Quay to just 14 minutes.

    But there is a City Circle train that already goes from Central to Circular Quay in just nine minutes, so what is point, other than removing cars from the city by stealth?

    She and her ilk should face facts. The road is not there to share. It is for cars. Footpaths are for pedestrians. And bike paths are for bikes, if there is any room left.

    [email protected]
     
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  2. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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  3. eddiec

    eddiec New Member

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    And her claim to knowledge of all things transport related is what precisely??

    Even a first year planning student could blow holes through all of those arguments...

    "the logic-defying green maxim that building more roads only makes traffic congestion worse." - hmm... so all those researchers, academics, engineers and planners worldwide are wrong... glad you cleared that up.

    "Bikes need to stay in flat, boring places like Canberra where nothing much happens and a laid-back public service work culture rules." - well, at least she's making her argument sound like comedy now. Bad comedy that is... She should write for the Wedge.

    and the clincher:

    "most motorists would probably happily get out of our cars and onto other modes of transport if they only worked as well." - hmm... she doesn't get out much, does she?


    Shouldn't bother looking at this crap really - it is only written to evoke an angry response so she can feel all warm 'n fuzzy... Will look forward to undoubtedly some much more reasoned responses in tomorrow's paper.
     
  4. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2006-06-14, geoffs (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    >
    > The SMH's answer to Piers Ackerman lets rip at cyclists again today in
    > the SMH
    >
    > Sydney is reaching gridlock and motorists are not to blame, writes
    > Miranda Devine.
    >
    >
    > THE Cross City Tunnel debacle seems to have delivered more ammunition
    > to the anti-car lobby, alas.

    ....
    > Now they are furious about Premier Morris Iemma's attempt to fix the
    > traffic problems caused by the tunnel, especially his decision to
    > delete the bike lane that was to have gone straight down William Street
    > to allow cars to actually move on what was once a beautiful six-lane
    > road.

    ....
    > She and her ilk should face facts. The road is not there to share. It
    > is for cars. Footpaths are for pedestrians. And bike paths are for
    > bikes, if there is any room left.


    That last parapraph is great.

    Comedy, almost.

    --
    TimC
    All Tims are illusions, except for Lunch Tim, who is doubly so.
    --screwtape on RHOD
     
  5. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    eddiec wrote:
    > geoffs Wrote:
    > > The SMH's answer to Piers Ackerman lets rip at cyclists again today in
    > > the SMH
    > >
    > > *snip utter bollocks*
    > >
    > > [email protected]

    >
    > And her claim to knowledge of all things transport related is what
    > precisely??
    >
    > Even a first year planning student could blow holes through all of
    > those arguments...
    >
    > "the logic-defying green maxim that building more roads only makes
    > traffic congestion worse." - hmm... so all those researchers,
    > academics, engineers and planners worldwide are wrong... glad you
    > cleared that up.
    >
    > "Bikes need to stay in flat, boring places like Canberra where nothing
    > much happens and a laid-back public service work culture rules." -
    > well, at least she's making her argument sound like comedy now. Bad
    > comedy that is... She should write for the Wedge.
    >
    > and the clincher:
    >
    > "most motorists would probably happily get out of our cars and onto
    > other modes of transport if they only worked as well." - hmm... she
    > doesn't get out much, does she?
    >
    >
    > Shouldn't bother looking at this crap really - it is only written to
    > evoke an angry response so she can feel all warm 'n fuzzy... Will look
    > forward to undoubtedly some much more reasoned responses in tomorrow's
    > paper.
    >
    >
    > --
    > eddiec


    You picked up exactly the same paragraphs that I laughed aloud at. But
    I had one more:

    "Newly entitled pedestrians and cyclists, and their emboldened
    lobbyists, behave increasingly arrogantly. Pedestrians wander across
    roads with iPods and mobile phones stuck to their ears, oblivious to
    the physics of car braking. They expect instant obedience from
    motorists at zebra crossings, stepping off footpaths as if cocooned by
    an invisible shield of righteousness, incapable of accepting that they
    are at least 50 per cent responsible for their own safety."

    The physics of car braking. Oh is that where motorists slow down on
    approach, in order to check the crossing is clear, before proceeding?

    Er... have motorists not always been required by law to stop for
    pedestrians at zebra crossings? Or is that one of the new pedestrian
    entitlements?

    Tam
    - can't believe how dumb these people are.
     
  6. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    geoffs wrote:
    > The SMH's answer to Piers Ackerman lets rip at cyclists again today in
    > the SMH
    >
    > Sydney is reaching gridlock and motorists are not to blame, writes
    > Miranda Devine.

    <snip>

    Actually it's funny that if you look on the main SMH page:
    http://www.smh.com.au/
    The link to that opinionative piece is right next to a link for a
    positive blog article on cycling.
     
  7. In article
    <[email protected]>,
    TimC <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > She and her ilk should face facts. The road is not there to share. It
    > > is for cars. Footpaths are for pedestrians. And bike paths are for
    > > bikes, if there is any room left.

    >
    > That last parapraph is great.
    >
    > Comedy, almost.


    Somehow I don't think she caught the ultimate irony of her own words
    about there being no room left...

    --
    Shane Stanley
     
  8. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    I'll prefer a chicken schnitzel to a pakora anyday. :p
     
  9. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2006-06-15, Shane Stanley (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    > In article
    > <[email protected]>,
    > TimC <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> > She and her ilk should face facts. The road is not there to share. It
    >> > is for cars. Footpaths are for pedestrians. And bike paths are for
    >> > bikes, if there is any room left.

    >>
    >> That last parapraph is great.
    >>
    >> Comedy, almost.

    >
    > Somehow I don't think she caught the ultimate irony of her own words
    > about there being no room left...


    I was thinking she intended it.

    We all know Andrew Bolt can't possibly believe all the crap he writes.
    He's doing it just to be sensationalist, just to maximimise the
    agreement from his target audience, and get the most ratings. Someone
    I knew used to buy the Shun just to find out what crap Andrew was
    coming up with today.

    I can almost see in Miranda's writing that she doesn't believe
    everything she is saying, too. Some of it is just for a laugh.

    --
    TimC
    We don't need no education
    We don't need no thought control
    -- Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall
     
  10. In article
    <[email protected]>,
    TimC <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I was thinking she intended it.


    Maybe; I got a different impression (pedestrians here, cars there --
    oops, sorry, no room left for bikes).

    > We all know Andrew Bolt can't possibly believe all the crap he writes.


    Do we? I once worked in the same office...

    --
    Shane Stanley
     
  11. eddiec

    eddiec New Member

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    It's wisely said that columnists aren't journalists, they're brands... So anything that promotes the brand is a good thing. Truth, responsibility and conscience of any form don't come into it...
     
  12. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

  13. geoffs wrote:
    > The SMH's answer to Piers Ackerman lets rip at cyclists again today in
    > the SMH


    From: [suppressed]
    To: [email protected], [email protected]
    Date: 15-Jun-2006 12:52
    Subject: Miranda Devine's commentary article, 15 June 2006, SMH
    Dear Miranda,

    Please work harder. Your theme was excellent. Unfortunately, your
    exposition was confused and relied on special pleading. We expect
    more of our conservative pundits: excellent rhetoric; clarity of
    expression; and, the development of strong argument across the course
    of an article.

    Additionally you are factually incorrect about the purpose of the
    roads. This must have arisen as you had insufficient time to read the
    Australian Road Rules, or the various items of NSW Traffic Legislation
    (all available from the RTA website). To help you print a correction
    on this point of fact I refer you to Australian Road Rules 11, 14, 15
    and 17 regarding who may use the road and how.

    I eagerly anticipate the publication of your correction on this matter
    of fact.

    yours,
    Samuel Russell
    [contact details suppressed]

    yours,
    Sam R.
     
  14. [email protected] wrote:
    > geoffs wrote:
    >> The SMH's answer to Piers Ackerman lets rip at cyclists again today in
    >> the SMH

    >
    > From: [suppressed]
    > To: [email protected], [email protected]
    > Date: 15-Jun-2006 12:52
    > Subject: Miranda Devine's commentary article, 15 June 2006, SMH
    > Dear Miranda,
    >
    > Please work harder. Your theme was excellent.


    <snip>

    >
    > I eagerly anticipate the publication of your correction on this matter
    > of fact.
    >
    > yours,
    > Samuel Russell
    > [contact details suppressed]
    >
    > yours,
    > Sam R.
    >

    That's classy :)

    Karen

    --
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day."
    - Slartibartfast
     
  15. PiledHigher

    PiledHigher Guest

    Why do motorists think that their shit doesn't stink?

    The gubberment builds them a completely new road and they won't use
    it..
     
  16. Mike

    Mike Guest

    geoffs wrote:
    > The SMH's answer to Piers Ackerman lets rip at cyclists again today in


    Please don't feed the trolls.

    Sadly, that style of "journalism" is very effective at promoting
    herself, and in drawing eyeballs to adverts.
    Don't think she believes the rant. Maybe doesn't even have a real
    opinion. Just a shock-jock.

    Yeah Sydney sucks for cycling. It also sucks for driving or public
    transport.
     
  17. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > geoffs wrote:
    > > The SMH's answer to Piers Ackerman lets rip at cyclists again today in
    > > the SMH

    >
    > From: [suppressed]
    > To: [email protected], [email protected]
    > Date: 15-Jun-2006 12:52
    > Subject: Miranda Devine's commentary article, 15 June 2006, SMH
    > Dear Miranda,
    >
    > Please work harder. Your theme was excellent. Unfortunately, your
    > exposition was confused and relied on special pleading. We expect
    > more of our conservative pundits: excellent rhetoric; clarity of
    > expression; and, the development of strong argument across the course
    > of an article.
    >
    > Additionally you are factually incorrect about the purpose of the
    > roads. This must have arisen as you had insufficient time to read the
    > Australian Road Rules, or the various items of NSW Traffic Legislation
    > (all available from the RTA website). To help you print a correction
    > on this point of fact I refer you to Australian Road Rules 11, 14, 15
    > and 17 regarding who may use the road and how.
    >
    > I eagerly anticipate the publication of your correction on this matter
    > of fact.
    >
    > yours,
    > Samuel Russell
    > [contact details suppressed]
    >
    > yours,
    > Sam R.


    That was so beautiful, it almost brought a tear to my eye...

    Tam
     
  18. dtmeister

    dtmeister Guest

  19. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    Maybe she's attempting to channel Ann Coulter? Ann, Oh dear Gawd, she's a horror too.

    Miranda! Miranda, don't go up there. Come back.....!
    http://cfsmtb.blogspot.com/2006/06/cileo-twunt-of-week.html

    Bloody Squid are everywhere these days...
     
  20. dave

    dave Guest

    TimC wrote:
    > On 2006-06-14, geoffs (aka Bruce)
    > was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    >
    >>The SMH's answer to Piers Ackerman lets rip at cyclists again today in
    >>the SMH
    >>
    >>Sydney is reaching gridlock and motorists are not to blame, writes
    >>Miranda Devine.
    >>
    >>
    >>THE Cross City Tunnel debacle seems to have delivered more ammunition
    >>to the anti-car lobby, alas.

    >
    > ...
    >
    >>Now they are furious about Premier Morris Iemma's attempt to fix the
    >>traffic problems caused by the tunnel, especially his decision to
    >>delete the bike lane that was to have gone straight down William Street
    >>to allow cars to actually move on what was once a beautiful six-lane
    >>road.

    >
    > ...
    >
    >>She and her ilk should face facts. The road is not there to share. It
    >>is for cars. Footpaths are for pedestrians. And bike paths are for
    >>bikes, if there is any room left.

    >
    >
    > That last parapraph is great.
    >
    > Comedy, almost.
    >

    ANd of course we only need the bits left over. Gridlock is cos the cars
    are USING (well not using but occupying ) all the room. We will happily
    settle for a half a cars width. Its no good to them.

    THe bit that got me was the bleating about Peds actually having the
    nerve to expect cars to stop for them AT PED CROSSINGS

    What a twerp

    Dave
     
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