Thursday, May 28, 2009

Congestion hindrance

Another quick exit from the noon Eucharist to get to the Castle for the Transport etc Focus Group meeting. I say 'etc' because Public Ream and Wayfinding concerns seem to be on hold at the moment. Traffic congestion problem solving dominates. What happens immediately around the city centre is affected by what's happening on radial routes into the city. The problem is exacerbated by the absence of an inner ring road structure offering easy transit for those not going into the centre, a legacy of development failures a quarter of a century ago. All sorts of tweaks to the present road system can make traffic flow more efficient and predictable, eliminating parking near key points of constriction on bus routes, traffic light synchronisation to favour bus lanes, for example. but these don't eliminate the basic problem.

The future is bound to be with public transport, given the inevitability of rising costs of personal mobility due to fuel scarcity and carbon reduction neccessities, but in the meanwhile the numbers of cars is still set to increase and make things worse. The city could do with far more investment in public transport and a master plan that integrated trains and buses into such a competitive and efficient system that priced private vehicles out of the mobility market. Rather it came sooner than later.

Our Churches Together meeting this evening decided to abandon Sunday's Pentecost picnic lunch at St John's, in the absence of any firm commitment on numbers attending from the various churches. Not exactly easy to know how many to provide soup for when the total could be six or sixty. Disappointing really. The desire to meet and share across denomination divide is certainly there, but it is weak in contrast to the forces of self pre-occupation that bog down the life of all churches without exception. The same is true of relations between different faith communities also. Sad to say, it's only genuine crisis that brings us together, and calls forth from us the capacity to collaborate. City centre redevelopment has been an opportunity rather than a crisis. Sadly, one that has been missed so far.

The least we can do is mark the end of the process with a celebration, with a thanksgiving for work safely completed and well done. I really hope we can pull our fingers out and contribute something constructive to this end.

No comments: