As most of you know I work on William St., currently undergoing a “makeover” which mostly means a huge widening of the streets and a some trees. That this is a measure designed to increase traffic in the cross-city tunnel is not a secret and that it was ever billed as an upgrade is ridiculous. The streets are now so wide that it (in the one or two places it is finished) you feel that you are walking on a wide barren expanse.
To get a good headstart on their work the good contractors dug up the entire street in one go and managed this task almost overnight. Impressive, considering they are still nowhere near finished the masterpiece they have been working for the last three months.
What is more disgusting than the fact that this government has clearly sold out its people in order to appear like they are reducing debt is that they have compromised safety to do so. I call it the gauntlet because you must walk a new direction every day through a myriad of concrete blocks and scaffolding. At each intersection there is generally no button or it is strewn up dangerously out in front of traffic. Today three people were hurt when a truck hit one of these blocks. I’m surprised more hasn’t happened.
Not to mention the Elizabeth William st. intersection, where traffic lights have been changed so that cars coming from William st. have to wait sometimes a couple of changes before being allowed through. It was at this intersection that I saw two women dive out of the way of a bus that was literally moments away from killing them. Mass congregations appear on either side waiting for the lights to finally change – so that someone at Macquarie can get their own island.
As four corners recently revealed, the details appear to be that for a one off sum of $100 million our government sold us into a 30-year contract that makes us legally liable for the amount of traffic that goes through that tunnel including public transport options. It is not known what Macquaries returns are on this project and the M7, but it is believed they are around 15%, in some cases as high as 100%. Thats annual returns.
On the one hand, I sympathise with the government. The system is broken, in four years all you can really do is have a bit of a say on some major issues and put in your piece of legislature. Yet your expected to be everywhere doing everything. On the other hand, they sold off what they had no right to sell. And whether you use this tunnel or not you pay for it, either in the drive or walk through the city, or in the worse public transport, or in the taxi driver or contractor passing the extra costs on to you.
What do you do if you can’t beat up Bob? You join em. You tool, I can’t believe I voted for you.