Sydney Road Rant

Response to the final letter in the Melbourne Age today: Age Letters, 2 March 2017

Why not ban bikes on Sydney Road? Well, bikes don’t create anywhere near the levels of air- or sound pollution, direct and indirect health costs, loss of land and amenity, or other absurd wastage as cars. Why should public land (roads, parks &c) be given over to the profit making efforts of car manufacturers, transport companies, and the like, not to mention the adolescent fantasies of car enthusiasts, when there are safer, healthier, less polluting, less costly, less land grabbing, more efficient alternatives—bicycles, trains, trams, walking? Travel speeds go down, not up, when you have more cars, more roads. Let’s get beyond short term, self-centred thinking. Next time you’re caught in traffic reflect on this: it’s not cyclists who’re slowing you down, it’s the cars around you, especially the one in which you’re sitting. The unfettered use of cars is a madness our cities, and for that matter the world, cannot afford. A madness encouraged by manufacturers and trucking barons. Limiting or getting rid of cars in Sydney Road would be a small step in the right direction. (BTW, I own and drive a car: I avoid using it as much as possible.)

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