Thursday, August 7, 2008

Don't worry, be happy ... the oil will never run out

The short-sightedness of the Palmerston North City Council never ceases to amaze me.

In announcing the go-ahead of its plan for a second bridge across the Manawatu River - at the end of Staces Road in the east of the city - it says: "Current modelling is that if we don't get a bridge there by 2015, there will be significant congestion and traffic queues with [sic] the Fitzherbert Bridge."

Does the council seriously think we will still be driving cars in 2015? And even if petrol is still affordable for more than a wealthy few in 2015, for how many more years after that will the average motorist be able to keep his/her vehicle on the road?

Instead of planning to spend $55 million on a new bridge - almost certainly a gross under-estimation of the final cost, if precedent is anything to go by - the council should be planning for those dark days, in the not-too-distant future, when public transport will, for most of us, be the only means to get around.

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