Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 30 March 2005


Tar the ocean, put wheels on ships


Scott O'Brien explains the rules of life from a superior position.

As I sit alone in my four-wheel-drive, quasi-gridlocked on the Anzac Bridge heading to work in the city, I am feeling quite sorry for myself. The constant depression of the clutch and the foot co-ordination required to contend with the grindingly slow traffic is keeping me busy. Such is my difficult life. I wish I had both of my hands free to eat my morning McDonald's burger and drink my Coke. Oh well.


As I toss my rubbish out the window, and switch the vent to circulate air already in the cabin rather than breathe more of the toxicity coming in from outside, I pity the fools walking to work. Surely it can't be good for their health?


And don't get me started on the tree-huggers in the buses. All of them - thinking they are superior while they stand all the way to town - get my blood boiling. Don't they realise they could be in a car, with air-conditioning or heating, going from door to door?


Better still if they can travel in a nice big vehicle by themselves with room to spread out. Don't let anyone convince you these things are for off-roading - the view from high above other vehicles in city peak hour is return on investment enough.


If you are like me and like to stay abreast of what's going in the world, you will know that the state of public transport is down the toilet. It doesn't appeal to me at all. Sure, it might be faster, more relaxing, less stressful, better for the environment, cheaper and sociable, but I don't care. I prefer to be in my four-wheel-drive.


Clearly, the obvious answer is to scrap the whole public transport idea altogether. That would give governments more money to spend on roads. What we need are more roads. We should model our transport models on LA's. Space isn't an issue; we can just build bigger and bigger tunnels linking more and more freeways. Underground is a plentiful and untapped resource.


If residents complain of exhaust stacks we can just build them higher and higher - just like the sewage outfalls that were put further and further out to sea. Out of sight out of mind. They may foolishly complain of depreciated housing values but in reality it's just the opposite. People love to live close to transport. It's win-win.


One of the only things in this world that ruffles my feathers is when I hear others complain about 4WDs and the damage they cause. Well, you crazy hippies, let me tell you that as a taxpayer, surely it is my God-given right to drive on the roads that my tax dollar is paying for?


All this recent talk of increasing bus lanes is ridiculous. Rather, there should be dedicated 4WD lanes with no pesky cyclists allowed. They are accidents waiting to happen. Speaking of which, I have never been injured in either of the crashes I have been involved in. In fact my "tank" has rarely been damaged, and neither has its bullbar.


Hell, we should all be driving them. Although that may ruin my view a little.

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