Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A local by-election in Walter Taylor: should I support the Greens?

On 23 October, residents of the Brisbane city ward of Walter Taylor will be voting for a councillor to replace Jane Prentice, who was elected to the federal parliament.

While thinking through issues for the campaign, I ran into Brisbane city council’s document, Our shared vision Living in Brisbane 2026, which contains this interesting snippet:
Green and active transport
In 2026, Brisbane will have a network of ‘greenways’ – safe laneways, walkways and bikeways for pedestrians, cyclists, wheel chairs, prams and micro-electric vehicles – linking neighbourhoods to key destinations throughout the city. Our public transport will excel in service, amenity, frequency, routing, information, affordability and safety. Our target for 2026 is to complete Brisbane’s estimated 1700-kilometre bikeways network and that 41% of travelling in the morning peak period will be by walking, cycling or using public transport.
Well, I wondered, why should anyone vote for the Greens when the city already has it right?

Then I woke up and realised where I was: a city spending billions on tunnels and bridges to support car-based commuting. Given that we are in a city where nearly 80% of all trips are made using private cars, you can understand the pressures to keep it that way. But if we want to turn that around in a big way in little more than a decade and a half, we need to rethink that mindset.

Nope, still supporting the Greens. Tim Dangerfield has my vote.