LETTERS 26.3.16


Gridlock is global
HI Eamonn (Herald letters, March 19, 2016), I am one off the poor sods who works in Kewdale too, and has to deal with traffic on Leach Hwy (it’s the same on Roe Hwy): Forty-five minutes from Spearwood to Kewdale is the minimum. But I am still against Roe 8.
I believe a congestion-free city during rush hour is utopian.
I am lucky to have worked in or travelled to around 30 countries and I can assure you, there is no city with seamless traffic flow between 7am and 9am: Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Denpasar, London, Moscow, Rome – it is the same gridlock everywhere.
Guess what happened when I drove through San Diego and Tampa at 7am? Bumper-to-bumper on five or more lanes (even on truck-free toll roads)! The only city with manageable traffic seems to be Singapore. Cars/licences are so expensive only the top 20 per cent can afford to drive.
So what do I do? In other cities I take the train, here I use the bike once a week (a reduction in traffic of 20 per cent). Thirty kilometres one way is a long stretch, but I feel so good about it. And I think about buying an e-bike, so I can beat the traffic more often. The other days I just cop it, knowing for sure that traffic in Sydney is even worse. Light rail from Freo to the airport along Leach would be ideal to get to work, but unfortunately this will not happen with Aubrey, Barnett and Nalder – they are stuck in their “build more roads” utopia, even though this concept has failed across the globe.
Kristian Walter
Leaside Way, Spearwood

Bureaucracy rules, OK
WHAT great news you presented on the front page (Herald, March 12, 2016).
Your lead article described the moans of a planning officer from Cockburn council lamenting the new authority given to the WA planning commission.
Apparently, the WA planning commission will take greater control for approvals of development applications and even override local planning codes.
The article conveyed the idea that councils felt “neutered” by the increased power of “unelected bureaucrats” of the WAPC.
I applaud this direction and would say, “of course planning should be taken from the hands of local councils where selfishness rules”.
Ratepayers typically vote in “like-minded” councillors who do not want more people to share in their area. As a result, R codes are absurdly restrictive of changes to building heights and restrictive of increases to density. This forces new developments north of Wanneroo, south of Rockingham or deeper inland.
The results of sprawling urban expansion are very costly in terms of extended bus, rail services, police, hospitals, schools and greater demand on cars and freeways. Surely, the commission would employ highly skilled urban designers that keep Perth in line with best demographic practice.
Geoff Jacob
Kent St, Bicton
The Ed says: Thanks, Geoff. We reckon people living in their communities should decide how their communities develop — not have those decisions imposed on them. While far from perfect, the best bodies to decide are locally elected councils.

Poll the other one, Herald
HOW can we be expected to take the Herald seriously as a newspaper when it runs a headline “Voters stick by Labor” (March 19, 2016), that is completely unsupported by the story?
“Union delegates stick with union candidate” would’ve been an accurate summation of what happened when the MUA’s Chris Brown was preselected by Labor rank and file and union delegates over deputy mayor Josh Wilson, who won the local ballot.
The Herald’s “straw poll” that supposedly supports your headline is laughable; you quote four people who were asked whether they might switch to the Greens given union heavyweights anointed one of their own over the popular choice.
The numbers underpinning your headline were: Jacob, who said he’d never switch; Rose, who is thinking of switching but “more likely heading to the Liberals”; Horatio, who’s “leaning towards the Greens”; and, Kaye, who said she “hasn’t a clue who she’ll vote for”.
So well done with the polling!
In summary, the headline should have been “Voter sticks by Labor” or “Jacob sticks by Labor” or “One in four voters sticks by Labor”.
Marguerite Hoogland
Amherst St, Fremantle

Sandy vixen
I HAVE seen Foxy (Herald letters, March 19, 2016) too!
Seven years ago, after a wonderful dinner at the (then) Down South Cafe, we took a romantic stroll on South Beach. This led to some sandy horizontal cuddling that was interrupted by Foxy stealing our clothes! It was a funny sight in the moonlight watching my butt-naked husband chasing Foxy over the rocks, losing him on the groyne, along with one of his favourite boots.
It’s also one of our treasured memories of South Beach.
PS. I love reading Jenny D’Anger’s witty, intelligent and entertaining reviews and articles. This morning she made me laugh out loud when I read her name for Elizabeth Quay—Betty’s Jetty. Pure gold, Jenny!
Liza Carroll
Chester St, South Fremantle
The Ed says: We’re filing this sizzler under “too much information” Liza but thanks for sharing! Unfortunately Jen can’t claim credit for Betty’s Jetty: it’s been used previously.

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