It’s hard to not comment on the traffic crisis that’s hit Brisbane over the past two weeks. Uncovered (or caused?) by resurfacing works, a tiny sliver of a crack in one onramp of the Riverside Expressway brought Brisbane’s traffic network to its knees. Patience and solutions were both short on the ground.
Some commentators are already claiming that inner city property will boom further as a result. But even those of us that live close to the CBD have cars and while you can walk more often than those in the ‘burbs, it’s rare to find any city household without a car. We should encourage people out of their cars but no-one will walk more than 20 minutes in the 30 degree-plus subtropical heat of Brisbane. And until we have a light-rail system or similar efficient utility to match the convenience of Melbourne trams our cars will remain popular.
Additional river crossings have to be built or, despite the increasing appeal of city living (and to some extent because of it), inner Brisbane will choke on its popularity. Brisbane City Council is currently considering the future of the Hale Street Link from South Brisbane to Milton, and while our new office fronts the route (and we’d cop more noise and interruptions), we hope the short-term vision of some community leaders does not prevent this critical piece of infrastructure being built.
Brisbane’s population growth will not stop and this latest incident highlights our lack of political fortitude in recent years in making the tough decisions.