I’m back form my overseas hols and am an even more ardent supporter of light rail than I was before I left.
Being a very parochially Tuggeranonite, I always wanted the Tuggers to Woden route to be the second leg of the rollout. I reckon that Athllon Drive is a made for purpose thoroughfare and that picking it as the second route would go down well with the Mexicans.
Even so, my mindset was from an experience as a kid in Melbourne where the tram is ubiquitous. To consider Melbourne without trams would be heretical. It is part of the ambience of that most cultural of cities.
I really didn’t give much thought to the relationship between buses and trams until I went to Barcelona. Here the light rail connects with buses and rail to take people anywhere they like in a most picturesque city. Getting around Barcelona is not a challenge, it is an enjoyable experience. And it is quick.
For the one ticket, I could go by tram from my hotel to the junction, get on a metro and do the specified stations, just like London, New York, Paris, or get a bus and go meandering around the suburbs on my way to my destination.
Now, there are some who don’t like the idea of a tram up the median of Northbourne. Well I was one of them once. Then I saw how you can do it.
In Barcelona, the rail lines go up the centre of the road, with a walkway/cycle path up its centre. The walkway is flanked by trees and it is a place to go and just chill out.
I’ve posted a picture of the tramway for you to gaze on. I saw mums with kids in prams, guys on skateboards, kids on roller skates, couples walking hand in hand (ah!) and I saw commuters rushing for their trams.
I saw bikes in their bike lanes, out of reach of traffic (and indulged myself in a bit of cycling) and never felt safer. On road cycle lanes are none thing but this stuff is amazing.
How about we cut the whingeing, think about how we can exploit this idea and get behind Capital Metro. If Barcelona can do it, we can!