Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The northern beaches Pavlovian response to rain

Here's a thing...

Any normal day coming towards the city or business districts in the North Sydney area finds an inordinate amount of traffic on the two major roads, Spit Road and Warringah Road/Roseville Bridge.

However, when it rains, or even looks like rain, the sudden verdict of the majority is 'we shall drive to work today!'

This Pavlovian response and its consequences far outweighs and advantage gained by driving. Sadly, this is more a reflection on the state of the current public transport options from the beaches than the ability of the roads to funnel 50% more vehicles through the same space.

An aging bus fleet that is slowly being replaced may help, but the simple fact is there are too many people and not enough road to put the cars on. Granted, one bus may remove as many as 100 cars from the roads, but you'd need a lot more buses to get it to a point where those who need to drive could do so without fear of running an hour late. And until the shift begins, it matters not how many people catch buses, as there are always 200 cars with one occupant for every bus.

And I'd like to know who the fool at Sydney Buses was that approved the new fleet. Who, in their right mind, creates a bus fleet in a climate like Sydney with vehicles that have no openable windows?? Add to that the fact that the fleet relies on a mechanical system for cooling that seems to take no account of how many people are on the bus, and you've got a recipe for mass flocking away from public transport.

More cars, more Pavlovian response, more trouble.

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