A response to Jill Singer

October 27, 2011

On 26 October 2011, Jill Singer of the Herald Sun wrote an article entitled “Race fans deny their inner ghoul“. I came across the article from a retweet from Greg Rust, the channel Ten / One motor sport presenter. After reading the article, I whole heartily disagreeing with Jill’s opinion, and wrote a rational comment on the Herald Sun website that for whatever reason they have not published, so I’ve decided to publish it myself, below.

You can read Jill’s article here, and my comment below.

Jill, from reading your article it appears that you understand nothing about motor sport fans; as demonstrated by your assumption that only men are fans. In your article you have further demonstrated your ignorance by applying a broad generalisation that all motor sports fans secretly wish injury or death upon its participants. As everyone knows generalisations are always wrong. For every fan there are a many different reasons as to why they enjoy motor sport, and for the vast majority of those fans, injury and death is the last thing they want to see. Your suggestion that people are faking grief to hide enjoyment from someone’s death is truly disturbing, and actually says a whole heap about your own personality. Finally the quotes you use to try and prove your point of view have been used out of context, with maybe the exception of Tim Dahlberg’s; Tim’s quote however is his own opinion, rather than fact.



rdlog Has Moved!

January 10, 2010

rdlog has moved! Moved to new premises – www.roadography.com – same great content, simpler URL.

Please update your bookmarks, and your RSS feeds, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading roadography.com.

I spotted this spare wheel cover on the back of an old Nissan Patrol while going for a drive today. Classic. I’m no financial planner, but I hope this guy’s kids have setup their own saving accounts, cause the inheritance isn’t going to deliver much.

Clem7 Tunnel Tour

December 21, 2009

Yesterday I went on a Brisbane City Council organised bus tour of the nearly completed Clem7 Tunnel.

The Clem7 Tunnel is a new road tunnel in Brisbane that runs North-South under the Brisbane River, with the aim of the tunnel being to reduce congestion on surface roads. It’s the first link in what Brisbane City Council and specifically Lord Mayor Campbell Newman is billing as the TransApex ring road system, which will apparently (note sarcasm) solve all of Brisbane’s congestion problems. The second is the controversial Hale Street Bridge (another toll road) which is currently under construction.

Southern Entrance to Clem7 Tunnel

Southern Entrance to Clem7 Tunnel

In The Tunnel

The tunnel is being built as a joint venture between Leighton, Baulderstone Hornibrook and Bilfinger Berger. Once open the tunnel will be operated by Rivercity Motorway Group who will charge a toll on the tunnel. The toll will initially be set at $4.20 in each direction, which is potentially promising that commercially the project will be a financial disaster if motorists refuse to use it.

The tunnel is named after the late Clem Jones, a former Lord Mayor of Brisbane that was responsible for sewering Brisbane, and transforming Brisbane from a big country town into an actual city. The 7 comes from the fact the tunnel is 6.8 kilometres long.

In The Tunnel

Exiting The Tunnel At Bowen Hills

The Transition Structure at the Northern Portal

The tour yesterday left from the King George Square Busway Station, and travelled south to the most southern entrance of the tunnel which is at Woollongabba on Ipswich Road. The bus then travelled north through the tunnel at 10km/h as the tunnel is under construction, under the Brisbane River, and out the other side at Bowen Hills where the tunnel will connect with the Inner City Bypass and the future Airport Link Project. The actual bus portion of the tour was quite enjoyable, however our tour guide was dreadful. For some reason someone thought it would be a good idea to dress some party boy up in a construction uniform and a hard hat and give him a page of notes. It was bad! This guy knew absolutely nothing about the tunnel, or tunnels in general, or roads in general, or infrastructure, infact I would have been surprised if he even knew what the word infrastructure meant. It really spoiled an otherwise enjoyable tour.

The tunnel is due to open part way through 2010, and although I am glad that money is being spent on infrastructure, I think this is the wrong way to spend it. Public transport is what money should spent on, getting people out of their cars and onto public transport or push bikes is the way to go.

Researchers from the Nagoya University are researching why traffic jams can occur for no reason. The phenomenon is known as a shockwave traffic jam. In the video below the Japanese researchers setup an experiment where 22 cars were instructed to travel on a circular course at 30 kilometres an hour. Small variances in speed between each vehicle caused the distance between each vehicle to decrease which causes trailing vehicles to slow down in order to avoid collision, this flows on down through the chain of vehicles and eventually the speed is so slow that vehicles are stopping to avoid collision with the vehicle in front.

From the experiment it could be argued that on highways and freeways where the road geometry is of a standard where it is to safe to travel above the prescribed speed limit that the legal enforcement of the speed limit is causing congestion through the shockwave traffic jam effect, and increasing the risk of of nose to tail collisions.

Damien Power – Stand Up

November 21, 2009

This post is only very loosely based on anything to do with roads, but that’s okay, cause it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.

Last night I went to see some Standup comedy, at the Sit Down Comedy Club, I won some free tickets, yeah. One of the comedians on stage was Damien Power, and he was really good. Turns out he is the brother of IndyCar driver Will Power.

He is doing a few shows around the place. Check out his MySpace page for dates. Check out this link and this link for a sample of his stand up.

Americans Can Do Spectacle

November 11, 2009

This is a video from the recent Dickies 500 Nascar Race, held at Texas Motor Speedway. Astronaut Doug Hurley flew a military Chinook onto the course, and from out the back appears the Camaro pace car. Awesome! Americans have spectacle nailed!

As most people who live in South East Queensland will already be aware, Translink, the authority responsible for public transport in South East Queensland has decided to increase fares by an outrageous amount from the start of 2010. You can read about it here, or here, or here.

I for one think the proposed increases are bullshit (apologies for the coarse language), and as a result I have written an email to Anna Bligh, the Premier of Queensland. A copy of the email is below. I encourage anyone who also agrees that the proposed increase in fares is bullshit to write to Anna, just log onto this website, or send an email to this address thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au and let Anna know how you feel!

Dear Anna,

I am writing to express my extreme dissatisfaction at yesterday’s announcement of the proposed extreme increases to public transport fares. The proposed increase is unjust, and unwarranted.

The proposal to increase public transport fares by up to forty percent will penalise people who already do the right thing. People who use public transport are helping to reduce congestion on our already heavily trafficked roads. Public transport users are also minimising their impact on the environment. The proposed increase will also make public transport unaffordable to a lot of people.

Public Transport users who choose not to use a Go Card will further penalised, with the proposed fee increase. The Go Card system as it presently exists is flawed, and urgently needs to be revised! Many people, such as myself do not frequently use a Go Card because it does not suit my needs. I buy a monthly ticket as it enables me to travel between my home station and my work place for a set price every month. In addition if I choose to use public transport on the weekend, then I can for no additional cost. Not only is this good for my hip pocket, but it is good for the environment. Every extra trip I take on public transport is one less trip I take in my car.

Does the government that you lead realise that the extreme proposed increase to public transport fares is going to discourage people if/when they consider using public transport. The community needs every encouragement possible and increasing fares will not help. When the community doesn’t use public transport it means that they are travelling by private motor car and therefore adding to traffic congestion. Also as less people choose to use public transport it will become more expensive to run. As it becomes more expensive to run, either routes will have to be reduced, or fares will have to keep increasing, which in turn means less and less people end up using public transport, either because they cannot afford to, or because there is no route that takes them where they need to go. As a result the community as a whole suffers and is left with a useless expensive public transport network. That would not be a good outcome! Does your government really want to be remembered as the government that destroyed public transport?

As the Premier of Queensland you need to stop this massive increase in public transport fares. On top of stopping the proposed increase, your government also needs to seriously consider reducing public transport fares. Reducing fares would encourage more people to use the system, making the system cheaper per person to run. If more people were to use the public transport system it would mean that the number of available routes and the frequency of routes could increase. This would make public transport a viable option for an even greater proportion of the community, with the benefit being that the public transport system is better for everyone, and congestion on roads is reduced. The Go Card system also requires an urgent overhaul. The addition of unlimited travel between two nominated zones over a weekly or monthly time frame would be a good start.

A team from the University of Warwick has developed a Formula 3 car developed from sustainable and recycled materials. The team is called World First Racing.

The project is great, and it highlights how by being smart we can all be more sustainable in what we do everyday.

The car is scheduled to race at rounds 13 and 14 of the British Formula 3 series at Brand Hatch on the 17th of October 2009. It will be exciting to see how it fairs against Formula 3 cars constructed from conventional materials.

Check out more details of the car here.

Crash Week at Jalopnik

September 23, 2009

It’s crash week over at Jalopnik!

One of my favourite articles so far is the one about how emergency services set up at a car accident scene, and the other is an analysis of the crash at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Speedway earlier in the year.