Tuesday, August 4, 2015

“An Absolute Disaster”

Dear New Zealand Transport Agency, please explain!
NZTA recently trialled a disastrous cycle lane that left motor vehicles on a collision course!
It painted a pair of cycle lanes on Roto-o-rangi Rd near Cambridge, reducing the automobile area to a single lane just three paces wide, and slashing the speed limit to 60kmh to allow cyclists and cars to share the road. Within a DAY, the monitored trial was called off.
Oh, what a surprise!
The area is known for its strong cycling fraternity, but even bike-loving councillors want answers. Mayor Jim Mylchreest: "The trial was an absolute disaster and didn't achieve the results that NZTA was after." Ha, no shit, Sherlock!
Just what the hell are we meant to do with THIS??!!
The 2-1 roading layout removed the three original, white lane markings and replaced them with two lines which formed the cycle lanes and a centre lane only wide enough for a single vehicle.
NZTA road corridor manager Koos Lelieveld admits "…we did drop the ball," but says the council was well aware of the trial and needs to share in the road safety cock-up.
The trialled layout was common in Europe but Roto-o-rangi Rd was quite unsuitable. A similar design (known as Fietsstrook) is used on low-speed Dutch roads, with coloured cycling lanes either side. Motorists can use the cycle lanes when other cars approach from the opposite direction but must allow cyclists the right of way.
Imagine that, in our country of generally piss-poor and aggressive drivers?! Blasting down the centre lane – the ONLY marked lane for cars – and then zigzagging at the usual kiwi over-the-limit speed, in and out of cycling lanes, dodging oncoming cars and slower bikes!!! Yea, riiiiiight!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Arahura: Good Riddance

This week saw the end of an era, as the oldest Interislander ferry made her final journey across Cook Strait.
Built in 1983, the Arahura has made more than 50,000 crossings and clocked up 5 million kilometres in her 32 years on the water.
Interislander general manager Mark Thompson says the boat's greatest moment came not long after she launched: "Going to the aid of the Russian cruise ship Mikhail Lermontov (in 1986), helping save over 700 people... she's been a fantastic ship for us."
Former crew and staff, people with fond memories of the Arahura - and perhaps rose-tinted glasses - were aboard the final voyage.
I heard a radio announcer last Wednesday bemoan her departure: "Farewell, old friend, you've served us well." Holy hell, what planet was that muppet on??!! Breakdowns, missed sailings, crashes into wharves etc...just read my blog and be reminded!
The "old friend" is the second inter-island ferry to bear the Arahura name. The earlier one, built in 1905, served until the early 1950s and was sunk by the RNZAF as target practice. We can thank our lucky stars that the current Arahura didn't sink too, the way she performed of late! May the navy to put this one out of its misery, and not inflict it on any other buyer sucker!
The Arahura's replacement is MS Kaiarahi. Wow, have the bosses at Interislander finally splashed out on a new ship? Nah, get real! Kaiarahi is just the MS Stena Alegra, the dog that was leased from the other side of the world to cover for that other ailing ferry, Aratere...and kept breaking down too.
Now we permanently have one dog to replace another!
And so the Interislander joke continues...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Know What You Did Last Summer...

Three in five of us have a secret we dread others discovering!
A recent survey reveals the average person has at least one secret they've been carrying for 15 years or more!
Many of us have a skeleton in our closet, ranging from affairs or relationships, through to hidden children or even marriages. Other secrets include shoplifting as a child, or getting caught drunk-driving in the past.
The study shows people typically have two secrets hidden away – including an internet history they're not proud of, debt, sexual turn-ons and phobias they've never shared. Other secrets include hidden tattoos, poor exam grades and having to pretend to like someone.
People are most afraid of their partner discovering their secrets (though a quarter believe their other half would support them if they did find out)...but the idea of MUM finding out makes people very nervous indeed. Some 70% of respondents say they keep their secrets out of shame or embarrassment.
Others secrets appearing in the survey include real-life crushes that could never be revealed, or people hiding their real age from someone, while others confess to secrets of having had plastic surgery or being a secret smoker.
A significant majority of respondents - 70% - dread the day someone finds out the truth, while the same number are driven to keep their secrets out of shame and embarrassment.
Over a quarter say what happened is in the past and doesn't affect them now, just over a fifth keep quiet to preserve their relationship, 13% do it to save friendships, and 5% fear they would lose their job.
As for me...? Er...well...one time, at Band Camp...