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On why Labor might have blown the election with Capital Metro

By johnboy 22 September 2012 33

Yesterday Simon Corbell and Katy Gallagher surprised everyone by jumping onto the light rail trolleycar.

This made a lot of people very happy, but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to blow up horrendously in Labor’s faces.

To explain let’s go back to the electoral map.

Most pundits see the seven seat Molonglo electorate as being essentially out of play. Unless something big happens it’s likely to split three Labor, three Liberal, and one Green.

This light rail proposal is going to blow $600 million entirely within Molonglo without changing that much.

It also says to the voters of Gungahlin “everyone else gets to drive around in cars but you have to cram into a tram”. In the Inner North and South we largely long to see trams down the long vacant median strips. The mcmansion builders do not, on the whole, share that aspiration.

But out in the battleground electorates of Brindabella and Ginninderra the whole proposal shrieks “we don’t give a stuff about you”.

Promises of maybe extending the lines to them in 20 years time are unlikely to cut much ice.

It gets worse for Labor though.

First there’s the cynicism of announcing work might start in 2016.

Announce it for this election, start it for next election, open it the election after. We just have to keep voting these guys back into power for 12 years to actually get anything done? Seriously?

Do they think we’ve forgotten the interminable Gungahlin Pool?

And while we’re on credibility, we’ve had Simon Corbell for years banging on about how we couldn’t afford light rail and his busways were a better idea.

Then yesterday the Orwellian reveal and it turns out we’ve been in favour of rail all along?

“Yippee for Light Rail, it’s totally affordable, I never waved a consultant’s report around showing it would be ruinously costly”.

It’s just not a good look.

Worse it won’t play well where it matters.

With increased rates notices going out and the Cotter Dam cost blowouts on the mind of all those ratepayers, while Actew Water proposes big price increases, it’s pretty much Christmas Day for the Liberals.

This really is the best chance they’re going to get for a generation.


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33 Responses to
On why Labor might have blown the election with Capital Metro
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c_c 10:33 am 24 Sep 12

I do wish for Canberra100, they’d get Fry and Bird to Canberra for a special episode of Absolute Power.
Gosh knows there’s enough material to draw on.

Erg0 9:59 am 24 Sep 12

Masquara said :

So if you think cultural change can be effected in less than two or three generations without a fascist government[…]

Now there’s a fresh idea!

JC 7:21 am 24 Sep 12

pepmeup said :

Ok what about where cars wait in the middle of northbourne like, murdoch st, morphett st, and the entries to the netball centre and yowani gulf club.

You should see northbourne about the netball centre on a Saturday morning

Also same issue on Flemington where traffic joins from randwick rd.

They all seem small but will ad to traffic, like cars wanting to head in to Dickson coming north up Northbourne would have been able to turn onto Morphett but now will have to travel upto Antill and that intersection does not need extra traffic

Murdoch street is easy, close the ability to cross the medium and make people turn onto Moat Street and as for Morphett Street how about a longer turning lane with traffic lights. The extra set shouldn’t cause too many issues as there is already a set of pedestrian lights so could be better integrated. Besides that whole area really needs to be looked at anyway as I beleive the light rail is meant to deviate into an interchange somewhere near the motor registry.

As for further along Northborne I believe the plan is the tracks will run alongside Northborne ave, so no issues with netball and when it gets to Flemmington road the whole area will need to be redone anyway. And again the intersection already has bus priority lights so could easily be converted to tram priority.

So really think you are making a big deal about things that are either nothing or easily fixed.

bryansworld 5:59 am 24 Sep 12

Masquara said :

troll-sniffer said :

Mannheim in Germany has a light rail link almost exactly of the style as proposed for Canberra. How does it work? Brilliantly. Patronage? Excellent. Convenience? Excellent. Comfort etc? Excellent.

Mannheim “in Germany” is the operative expression here. Canberra shares NO urban values with anywhere in Europe. Transport-wise, we are culturally American. So if you think cultural change can be effected in less than two or three generations without a fascist government, you are wrong, sorry. Because profound cultural change would be needed.
Speaking as a typical inner-inner north resident who owns a spiffy light bicycle but drives EVERYWHERE and has not used any form of public transport in more than a decade. Sorry.

Do yourself a favour. Ride your bike more!

pepmeup 6:53 pm 23 Sep 12

JC said :

Deref said :

If these people aren’t smoking crack, perhaps they need to.

What a ludicrous decision – spending $600M (hah – don’t make me laugh) on another piece of public transport infrastructure of the most inherently inflexible kind that will be used, if at all, by a tiny number of people for brief periods in the mornings and afternoons while creating more traffic chaos on Northbourne Ave (what happens with cross-traffic at traffic lights? How do pedestrians get to and from the tram stops – more traffic lights on Northbourne?) without substantively reducing the existing traffic.

Why would cross traffic be effected? The tram running down the centre would be on the same phase as traffic flowing along Northborne. Vehicles wanting to cross or turn would use the existing lights. Same too with pedestrians getting into the medium strip, there are already traffic lights at regular intervals that have pedestrian lights incorporated.

Ok what about where cars wait in the middle of northbourne like, murdoch st, morphett st, and the entries to the netball centre and yowani gulf club.

You should see northbourne about the netball centre on a Saturday morning

Also same issue on Flemington where traffic joins from randwick rd.

They all seem small but will ad to traffic, like cars wanting to head in to Dickson coming north up Northbourne would have been able to turn onto Morphett but now will have to travel upto Antill and that intersection does not need extra traffic

JessP 1:23 pm 23 Sep 12

The smell of desperation is thick in the air…..

Masquara 12:31 pm 23 Sep 12

troll-sniffer said :

Mannheim in Germany has a light rail link almost exactly of the style as proposed for Canberra. How does it work? Brilliantly. Patronage? Excellent. Convenience? Excellent. Comfort etc? Excellent.

Mannheim “in Germany” is the operative expression here. Canberra shares NO urban values with anywhere in Europe. Transport-wise, we are culturally American. So if you think cultural change can be effected in less than two or three generations without a fascist government, you are wrong, sorry. Because profound cultural change would be needed.
Speaking as a typical inner-inner north resident who owns a spiffy light bicycle but drives EVERYWHERE and has not used any form of public transport in more than a decade. Sorry.

steveu 11:49 am 23 Sep 12

sharedawealth said :

I could not think of a worst person to deliver a a major project than Simon Corbell. If he is in charge of building the light rail it is guaranteed to be late, way over Budget and not suitable for purpose. I hope people remember what a farce the construction of Gunghalin Drive was.

Dont worry, we do, and will be a long time before we forget.
and post #14- troll-sniffer : I agree, its pathetic that the politicians have become so blatantly obvious that they have even bothered trying to conceal which electoral demographic groups they are buying votes from. How about focusing on your job? The lot of you have been talking about fixing public transport issues for decades, theres been a couple of elections since then and you have done f@ck all except talk about what you might do, in the future, if you get elected again.

poetix 11:20 am 23 Sep 12

davesact said :

One of the original Canberra plans had provision for a Zeppelin docking station. I think its an election winner.

Oh, the humanity!

switch 10:16 am 23 Sep 12

Holden Caulfield said :

I’d vote for it. If only we could find a sustainable supply of hot air.

Capitol Hill? Plenty of hot air blowing there.

Holden Caulfield 9:52 am 23 Sep 12

davesact said :

One of the original Canberra plans had provision for a Zeppelin docking station. I think its an election winner.

I’d vote for it. If only we could find a sustainable supply of hot air.

bundah 9:33 am 23 Sep 12

So it really is the case that the Simpsons have been running this town since the Bicentennary!

JC 9:17 am 23 Sep 12

DJ Mac said :

I am sick and tired of the bloody “investigation into” crap, just build the bloody thing. It was originally planned for Canberra to have light rail between the city centres, having the buses going around the suburbs then into the centres. It actually makes sense – light rail is designed to go realitively long distances without stopping, and buses are designed to stop and start. The centres like Gungahlin, Belconnen, Civic, Woden, Tuggeranong are unlikely to change in a hurry. Just get on with it and give us a half way decent public transport system. Not everyone can or wants to drive everywhere.

Actually that’s not quite true. Trams were an integral part of Burley Griffins design, however his design did not extend to what we now know as the town centres and when they were designed they were not designed with light rail or trams in mind, though yes the medium strip width for the most part is wide enough.

But do agree it is time to build it, but to Gungahlin only. Light rail is not for long intertown routes as you mention it is for routes along more densely populate corridors where you need a larger capacity vehicle. Northborne Ave and Flemmington road being such a route. Belconnen Way or Adelaide Ave are not such a route.

JC 9:12 am 23 Sep 12

Deref said :

If these people aren’t smoking crack, perhaps they need to.

What a ludicrous decision – spending $600M (hah – don’t make me laugh) on another piece of public transport infrastructure of the most inherently inflexible kind that will be used, if at all, by a tiny number of people for brief periods in the mornings and afternoons while creating more traffic chaos on Northbourne Ave (what happens with cross-traffic at traffic lights? How do pedestrians get to and from the tram stops – more traffic lights on Northbourne?) without substantively reducing the existing traffic.

Why would cross traffic be effected? The tram running down the centre would be on the same phase as traffic flowing along Northborne. Vehicles wanting to cross or turn would use the existing lights. Same too with pedestrians getting into the medium strip, there are already traffic lights at regular intervals that have pedestrian lights incorporated.

Truthiness 9:12 am 23 Sep 12

Its Lyle Lanley’s law. As any discussion about light rail in Canberra grows longer, the probability of someone singing the monorail song approach 1.

sharedawealth 7:14 am 23 Sep 12

I could not think of a worst person to deliver a a major project than Simon Corbell. If he is in charge of building the light rail it is guaranteed to be late, way over Budget and not suitable for purpose. I hope people remember what a farce the construction of Gunghalin Drive was.

SnapperJack 1:53 am 23 Sep 12

If I recall correctly, there was a TV show of some description where some spiv comes to town spruiking a monorail as a wonderful concept and he manages to whip everybody up into a fervor of enthusiasm. The citizens of the town sing a song lauding the monorail and are brainwashed into believing in it.

The fact that it is expensive, not viable and a selfish indulgence pushed by an obese, smooth-talking conman regularly appearing in the media is lost on everybody. I can’t recall how the show ended but I’m pretty sure everybody finally comes to their senses and the whole stupid concept is dumped and everybody wonders why they were so badly led up the garden path by the idea in the first place.

Let’s hope that happens in real life here in Canberra and we are never burdened with a massive white elephant which will be hugely expensive, under utilised and cursed by future generations.

    johnboy 8:51 am 23 Sep 12

    And Snapperjack loses the game.

    If you can’t get a Simpsons reference right please step away from the keyboard

troll-sniffer 8:42 pm 22 Sep 12

Oh yeah, Canberra, home of the unimaginative, sadly once again confirmed.

Mannheim in Germany has a light rail link almost exactly of the style as proposed for Canberra. How does it work? Brilliantly. Patronage? Excellent. Convenience? Excellent. Comfort etc? Excellent.

And since when did it become a case of my electorate vs your electorate for necessary infrastructure decisions in Canberra. What a ridiculous and divisive concept.

Walker 8:26 pm 22 Sep 12

Deref said :

Even Sydney, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook recognised that an elevated monorail would eliminate the cross-traffic problem.

Ah north haverbrook… here you go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEZjzsnPhnw

davesact 7:16 pm 22 Sep 12

One of the original Canberra plans had provision for a Zeppelin docking station. I think its an election winner.

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