This is to question the proposal that the Cowes jetty triangle should feature underground car parking, beneath a monstrous suspended concrete slab, a big hidey hole for all kinds of after dark undesirables.
State commands that we must plan for growth.
When asked, what was the most remarkable phenomenon in his life time, Albert Einstein replied: “compound growth, it defies even the most basic laws of physics”.
At that time, when Einstein was revealing relativity, city fathers from around Manhattan, were gathered to brainstorm 20 year plan, how to keep up with horse traffic and thousands of tons of manure. Also, hard-working horses died in harness, on the streets, immediately replaced by others to keep everything moving. Carcasses were left on the street, allowed to rot, to make it easier to dismember for eventual disposal.
Fly blown diseases were a big problem. The problem was solved by arrival of electric delivery trucks and taxis. At this time, whale oil for lamps had been displaced by kerosene but refineries had problem disposing of dangerous waste product, otherwise known as petrol.
The 20 year horse plan disappeared with paradigm shift, exchanged for 100 years of oil pollution. Solution to our problem with cars needs ideas, not just the obvious, as dumb as shifting manure.
If we must find $Millions to accommodate growth, how about we consider what kind of growth?
If it’s mostly for visitors, rather than permanent population, return on investment is not so high, so how about considering how we might reduce investment?
Do we need to cater for more people, or their cars, or both? Obviously it’s a lot less expensive, more interesting and you can accommodate more, if it’s just people.
At the moment, cars, also buses and trucks take up too much space which makes the main street less than friendly. This kind of development has life expectancy of 30 years or more. Does anybody really think each of us will still have our own 2 tonne vehicle in this time frame? The world already consumes towards 2 planets worth of resources. As China and India and developing countries continue to aspire to our standard of living, with finite resources expiring, and clear need to stop burning fossil fuels, isn’t the private car a species facing obvious, complete extinction?
If so, for so little return on investment, what sense does it make to even think about wasting so much money for parking more cars at jetty triangle?
Finally, in the interest of shifting more people, in Australia, with average of only 1.1 persons per car you get 1320 passengers per hour on a normal road lane. With as many as 80 people per single deck bus, you can get up to 5000 people per hour on bus lane. One full bus takes nearly 80 cars off the road. One full regular train can take more than 600 cars off the road.
So how about parking cars as far back from the jetty triangle as possible, except for 5 minute drop zones on Esplanade? How about reviving plan, before Jeff Kennet, for a multi-storey car park, approved on site, now derelict, opposite Quest on Chapel Street? It’s always been said that installation of parking meters, or any other way of charging for parking is too expensive. If so, for people incapable of moving themselves to the beach from transport hub, how about providing electric vehicles, driven by credit card, even if it’s only mobility scooters or golf buggies? Or tram line based on half size replica of type W tram.
Isn’t this the time and a great opportunity, to get cars out of central Cowes? Can’t we make it the kind of place where people really will be happy to spend time to enjoy street culture, buskers and other performers, which can only evolve when our streets are more friendly for people?
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.