Katoomba roadworks now part of the landscape

For twenty years, give or take, there have been roadworks on the way from Sydney to Katoomba. It doesn’t matter what year, what season or what economic crisis of the day is going on, the road to Katoomba is well, not exactly paved with good intentions. All I can say is thank goodness there is hot chocolate at the end, otherwise I would never get there.

It starts at the base of the mountains when Emu Plains morphs into Emu Heights and then becomes the lower mountains. The road narrows, turns from three to two then one lanes, then tantalizingly back to two lanes again until the next traffic lights whereupon lo, roadworks signs appear again and the traffic crawls.

It’s hard to believe that after 20 years they still haven’t got the Blue Mountains right. Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson managed to do it in a week, so why can’t we figure it out.

Sometimes I think it must be a plot by the Katoomba Council Workers Union to have an excuse to lay around smoking on the side of the road all day. Sometimes I think it is a Blue Mountains passive aggressive community plan to keep the mountains for the mountaineers. Either way, fix the road Barry O’Farrell! And start mixing that hot chocolate.

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M2 widening –

I see that the state government is widening the M2. That’ll be nice – an extra 3 kilometres of extra lane should go a long way to soaking up 1.3 million Sydney cars (the approximate population of people who live in new housing estates in the north-west called Opus Heights or Perkins Mount). Oh yeah, that should do it.

Because definitely what the northwest does not need is a trainline. What would all those millions of people in Sydney’s fastest growing area need a boring old train line for? Not when they can sit in traffic for two hours just to go to work. Well, that’s why they go to work isn’t it? So that they can buy a car – they may as well get to use it.

I know there’s a bus – Fatty O’Barrell if you are reading this blog – have you tried crossing two lanes of freeway to sit in the middle of 4 lanes of freeway waiting for a Sydney bus? It doesn’t work so well.

All ranting aside, the widening of the M2 won’t ease traffic anyway. It’s a rule of traffic that the traffic expands to engulf that extra 3km. After about 2 weeks the difference will be negligible.

In fairness, the quagmire that is Sydney traffic is not Fatty O’Barrell’s fault and nor was it Kristina Keneally’s. They say we get the government we deserve. Sometimes I think we should be more like the French and protest more.  Protesting certainly hasn’t done the French any harm, eight weeks holiday and a 35 hour week and a bit of me time at lunchtime … or is that you and me time? Trouble is, unlike the French, we are all too weary to protest – the M2 can do that to a person.

Essential elements of a Christmas holiday

With Christmas holidays approaching, it’s hard to decide where to spend January.

Holidays should be the highlight of the year, eclipsed only by getting the last slice of Friday night pizza or escaping the muppet from Procurement at the office Christmas bash.

But it can be confusing. How do you decide where to go? Where to stay? Follow this and you’re guaranteed a holiday to remember.

Over priced – January holidays should be overpriced. After all you don’t need to eat the rest of the year, when two weeks at Mollymook costs approximately the same as making an offer on Tetsuya’s.

Overheated –wherever you go it should be too hot. As long as even lying on the beach gives you second degree burns then you’re on the right track.

Overrated – it’s mandatory that every Christmas holiday be overrated. If you go somewhere overpriced (see above) then you’re pretty much set. For this you can’t go past Byron Bay.

Over it – I mean honestly, are they really worth it? Best stay home, apply a bit of Banana Boat Tahitian bronzer and pretend you had the best time ever. Why not – everyone else is doing it.

On the seventh day God created Parramatta Road

The other day I was driving through the Sydney traffic carpark, when I was sandwiched behind a car with the sticker: “Slow Down. Take in God’s Creation”. With the exception of “I’m a locovore and I vote”, this is quite possibly the most moronic sticker on the planet today. 

It got me thinking – WTF? God didn’t create the roads – this is our little creation. You name it, we built it – the M’s, the F’s, Parramatta, Sunnyholt, James Ruse, Silverwater and all the others Vic Laruso rattles off in his sleep every morning as giant parking lots, best avoided.

Ok, so I know what this self-annointed slow laner was trying to say – check out your surroundings. But here’s the thing, God doesn’t particularly care one way or another. The proof? Look at a forest of trees – not one of them has a sign saying, “Actually the rosewood’s not bad – I made this.” Not one set of initials, no I woz here, no pawprint, nada.

Don’t slow down, it’s bad for traffic flow and causes accidents. Let’s keep creationism off the roads instead.