Posts Tagged ‘onepanda’

When an apple isn’t an apple – Brisbane City Council’s dirty little Bicycle Infrastructure Secret.

Friday, April 11th, 2014

There is so much mis-information about bicycle riding out there. Whether it’s TMR’s questionable use of language, local radio stations asking people if they are going to obey a new law, or “journalists” writing clickbait – it’s out there… buckets and buckets of it. We bicycle riders have a mantra we try and stick to – “Don’t read the comments.” Why? I find it scary what some people think. It’s all about perception, really.

Some of our infrastructure (main North-South route on the Southside) goes through storm drains - safe? Hell no

Some of our infrastructure (main North-South route on the Southside) goes through storm drains – safe? Hell no

Some motorists perceive bicycle riders to be law breakers or pushers of an elitist agenda. Some bicycle riders perceive motorists as being selfish and unaware of the impact their driving has on others and the health of a city.

What doesn’t help is the perception, helped along by the Brisbane City Council’s frequent pronouncements, that there is a network of 1,100km of bikeways in Brisbane.

Language is so important. Calling Brisbane’s mishmash of infrastructure a “bikeway network” is a perfect example of misrepresenting the truth that does a lot more harm than good.

How many times have you seen a motorist interviewed say something like “why don’t they ride in the bike lane?” or “we spent all that money on bikeways for the cyclists, so why do they ride on the road?” And you know what? When you know that there are around 6,000km of roads and 1,100km of bikeways, it’s a damned valid question.

The only problem is, is that this data is wrong (or at least counted very creatively).

A road is that bit of bitumen going outside my house, down the shops, past the school and to my office – and there’s 6,000km of it.

A bikeway, according to how the Brisbane City Council counts it, is some sort of bicycle related infrastructure (more on that later) that goes outside my house, down to the shops, past the school and to my office AND BACK AGAIN! That’s right. The Council counts BOTH SIDES of the road.

One of the 186kms of unridable bike lanes. This one is in New Farm.

One of the 186kms of unridable bike lanes. This one is in New Farm.

So there’s 550km of bikeway then, right?

Yeah, well, no.

No? I hear you ask.

No.

You see some infrastructure on the road is counted more than both directions.

Take Victoria Bridge into the CBD from South Bank for example. For motorists, it is counted once. For bicycle riders, it’s counted three times. Yes, three times. There are two bike lanes that are narrower than TMR guidelines (inbound and outbound) plus there is a shared path on the upstream side of the bridge. Three times.

So when someone says “why aren’t they riding on all that infrastructure we built for them?” the answer is, “It isn’t there.” As to what is there – well that’s a whole other problem.

The majority of people who ride these days are sports cyclists. Not all, but most. These fit, brave and oft times lycra wearing bicycle riders aren’t the ones that are being targeted to start riding. Older people, women, mothers – all are being strongly targeted to ride. Money is being spent on programs and communications to encourage them to do so. However all the research here and abroad says unless you feel safe, you won’t be a utility rider (ie just riding for short trips, taking the kids to school, nipping down to the shops, slowly riding into work etc). Saying that we have 1,100km of “dedicated” bike paths (on and off road) sounds like there’s safe infrastructure out there…. but the low numbers of women riding says that this is not so.

Aberleigh Road BAZ. You can just make our the yellow bicycle through all the repairs.

Aberleigh Road BAZ. You can just make our the yellow bicycle through all the repairs.

The Council’s own data shows that less than half of these 1,100km (419km) is off road (including informal paths). That means that most is on the road, and of that, 50% are BAZ.

What’s a BAZ? It’s a Bicycle Awareness Zone. Essentially it’s just a normal road with some orange bicycle stencils on it. That’s not infrastructure – that’s crossing your fingers.

30% are bicycle lanes (186km). Don’t get excited. There’s a reason why bicycle riders don’t ride in bicycle lanes too (and we don’t legally have to). Most are in the “door zone.” Just like a motorist would drive out from a parked car incase a door is opened, so must bicycle riders. “The width of the door and a little bit more” and that means, riding on the edge of the main lane versus in the “safety” of the bicycle lane. Further more, it’s often safer for the rider to “claim the lane” vs trying to ride on the edge of the lane.

I do believe that the Council wants to do the right thing. It makes huge financial sense to have more people (of all ages) on bicycles, where and when they can.

As it stands now though, what the Council touts as infrastructure, in almost all cases, really can’t be classed as such, when compared to the rest of the world.

We have those “dedicated bikeways” in heavy and fast moving traffic offering no protection and aggravation to motorists, we have paths that are impassable after heavy rain as much of the off road paths are on flood plains and some even traverse storm drains, paths that are so dark at night that people are afraid to ride on them, and we have planners and councillors that are car focused, even removing funded bikeways.

A strip of paint, does not safe infrastructure make. This is LaTrobe St in Paddington

A strip of paint, does not safe infrastructure make. This is LaTrobe St in Paddington

The Council needs to step up, show some political will, some foresight and make Brisbane the “New World City” it is selling itself to be. Until then, Brisbane’s “1,100km network of bikeways” receives One Panda. onepanda

Source material can be found via the CBDBUG’s site here.

DISCLOSURE: The author of HowManyPandas is a member of the CBDBUG Leadership team and is also the author of the tumblr blog surlesfleurs mentioned in the open letter to the Lord Mayor and images used here.

Review – The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Maybe if we eat throughout the food we can stay awake

Maybe if we eat throughout we can stay awake

To say I was excited about The Hobbit would be a complete understatement. I followed all the pre-release info with bated breath. Imagine my disappointment to not being able to go and see it the instant it opened? (I was involved in a car vs cyclist incident) So I waited and waited. Avoided reviews, opinions and stayed true. I finally saw it in late January shortly before heading back to hospital for surgery. Urgh.

Synopsis:
Nothing happens.

Positives:
Was nice to see the familiar locations and style.
So many of the cast were actors I have enjoyed for years.

Negatives:
Does Jackson need a new island or something? Cuase there is NO reason to drag this out so badly.
The writing was so untidy. Yes The Lord of the Rings was long but it moved. The Hobbit was a rollicking fast adventure story, not a long drawn out battle with Hobbit Cancer.
Was absolutely unwatchable to someone who had a shorter attention span (due to injuries).
Filled with tosh – and not the good Tosh.0 either.

I gave up after about 50 mins or so – when Bilbo was about to go snatched by the Trolls.

Nothing happened. I remember a funny piece by The Onion about how the movie was 50 mins of Bilbo deciding what to pack. Yeah, that.

If I ever break my leg again and am high on pain killers I might give it another go, but for now, I’ll just wait for the third movie, then wait for it to come to TV, then possibly go out that night.

onepanda

 

 

 

 

#OnePanda (but only because I loved LOTR so much).

Torchwood: Miracle Day – Season 4 Review

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Look at us looking all serious like.

Synopsis:
It has been a year since Torchwood saved the world’s children and Jack is back. All the good characters are still dead, and since this season takes place a fair bit in America, it is clogged with plastic, unrealistic and unlikable characters. Anyway, a miracle happens and no one can die – except Jack. The Torchwood team must stay alive (Jack anyway) reform and hang out with annoying Americans to save the world from over population and self regulation. Sorry did you fall asleep? Yeah, I know.

Pluses:

Umm.
Couple of little eggs re past episodes and Doctor Who.

Minuses:

OMG the new characters – horrendous!
Such overblown writing – this 10 episode “arc” would have barely covered three tightly written episodes.
Filled with inconsistencies and major plot contradictions (The Jack effect is the biggest one).
A pedophile to be edgy? Gay sex to be edgy? None of it drove the story or added any weight.
Broke against the whole premise of what Torchwood is about – Queen Victoria would be rolling in her werewolf grave!
Yawn fest.
Women were not favourably portrayed at all, not even Gwen this time.
Can I say how much more I disliked it?

I stuck with TMD because I had faith that somehow RTD would dig TMD out of its poo filled grave. It didn’t. The final scene was even worse – I was desperately hoping that a character would just sod off and die from week 1, let alone that person being tied to Torchwood now for possible future episodes.


#onedisappointedpandawhowantsthatthenhoursofherlifeback

Review – Stargate Universe – Hope (S02Ep14)

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Check it out! I found the Ancient Porn Database...

This week:
The most boring character in the show gets taken over by less boring characters. The geeks get their romance on. We discover what happened to Rush in Two Destinies, and TJ performs major surgery.

Pluses:
We got to see some Gin.
At least Volker got some lines and screen time – pity the arc sucked.

Minuses:
Please state the nature of the medical emergency.
Young, worst leader ever or worst leader ever.
Telford.
Scott given the worst lines, well below his talent.
Way too much Chloe.
A very poor take on a Stargate classic story.

I just wanted this episode to end. The surgery aspect was just laughable. Yet more evidence why this show was, rightly, cancelled.

#onepossessedpanda

Review – Stargate Universe – Alliances (S02Ep13)

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

No matter how many times I almost die (and even when I do), you can't kill me!

This week:
Greer and Camille head back to Earth while a Senator and a scientist board Destiny. Earth comes under attack. Yes it was as exciting as that sounded.

Pluses:
Finally some Greer development but we barely touched the surface.
Always fun to have French Stewart on my screen.
Even cooler when you remember French Stewart was in the original Stargate movie.
Varro finally got some lines and screen time.

Minuses:
Oh dear god this was such a pointless episode,
Filler.
The sets were terrible.
Looked like it had a budget of $350.
Telford.
Dull story.
I thought it was going to be some Lucian Alliance onboard Destiny thing – how wrong was I?

This is why this show was cancelled. It was a long way South of average, but still better than Cloverdale.

#onepandawhoreallyshouldntexpectmore

Review – Eclipse (2010)

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

So, if their clothes shred when they change, how is it they are still wearing shorts when they change back? Also, that makeup line is a bit noticeable.

Synopsis:
Edward is back and he and Bella are so on. She wants to be vamped, he doesn’t. He also doesn’t believe in sex before marriage. There is trouble in Seattle. Red Head is around making trouble. Jacob loves Bella. Bella loves Jacob but loves Edward more. Only Bella can sort out the secret of Seattle. (I can’t believe I just wrote that paragraph)

Pluses:
It wasn’t as bad as New Moon.
Edward was in sunlight a fair bit, which means I got a chance to say “Sparkles, the Gay Vampire” quite a few times.

Minuses:
The sub-plots didn’t even try to be about anything other than “Bella’s Choice.”
The whole love triangle BS.
Not enough school friends.
What a waste of Peter Fancinni (remember him in season one of Damages?)
Atrocious dialogue.
So slow.
Lighting was over or under done.

I only watched this because it was a) free, and b) I had already invested four hours in the previous movies, so felt I should continue this punishment. It certainly wasn’t the worst main stream film I saw last year but it was a long way from being enjoyable.

#onevampypandas

Review – The Cape – Dice (S01Ep05)

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Even though the enemy of my enemy is my friend, you are my enemy.

This week:
ARK prepares to release a computer than can predict the future (correctly). Dark moments of the past come back to haunt Flemming. The Cape finds himself on protective detail. Orwell does her techy thing. The Cape saves the day. Chess comes out to play.

Pluses:
The Flemming character is further developed.
Flemming and his psychologist.

Minuses:
We have seen the math on screen thing before.
Guest star not that strong.
Orwell annoyingly intrusive and stupid.
The plot of this episode.
Really what the hell is with the ridiculous contact lenses.

This episode really could have been something. Again it had all the components, but they didn’t gel. The Cape character is really such a disappointment. Flemming is a great villain, and doesn’t need to be Chess – that is merely a distraction. Flemming is a Luthor type villain, why turn him into something cheesy?

Interestingly, the publicity shots for this episode listed it as number three.

#onepandawaitingforcancellationohwaititisalreadyuponus

Review – The Cape – Scales on a Train (S01Ep04)

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

How can this NOT be funny? No idea, but it was unfunnier than me after no sleep.

This week:
Vince decides to play Scales and get him to reveal that Flemming is Chess in public. The Carnival of Crime decides to get their thieving on. Orwell’s big twist is reveals (did anyone not see it coming?). Things don’t go as planned.

Pluses:
Richard Schiff again.
The Cape and The Cape.
Peter Flemming as a “White Hat.”

Minuses:
There were so many opportunities for really funny moments! I sat there waiting for it, but they never came.
The Orwell reveal – yawn.
Chess and The Cape buddy cops saving the day.
Schiff underused again.

I saw the prelim photos a week or so before I saw the episode, and was really looking forward to it – as I assumed it was going to be a rollicking adventure with laugh after laugh. Richard Schiff has such amazing timing, yet he had nowhere to go with such bland writing.

I am a week and a bit behind in my reviews – but it was annouced today that the order for The Cape has been slashed. So it doesn’t matter if I put it on notice, it is already dead.

#onedisappointedpanda

Review – The Cape – Kozmo (S01Ep03)

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Actually, it is part of my contract that I have to show how bendy I am in every show. You will see me get bendy and kick butt soon. You can call me The Curtain!

This week:
The previous owner of The Cape’s Cape wants it back. We find out about Max. Oh mysterious, hot blogger with unsuspected family history (if unsuspected means “dead obvious from the first few moments we meet her”) you get bendy. Vince’s wife thinks she can prove his innocence. ARK gets all sneaky. Chess doesn’t get dressed up. Good triumphs over evil.

Pluses:
At least we got to see some Rolo again.

Minuses:
Oh the Cape feeds of the darkness in men’s souls – OH NOES!
Orwell on the back of a mini bike – seriously who rides like that.
Such obvious plot twists and turns I felt almost offended by how dumb the show thought I must be.

The Cape is officially on notice. Only two more eps and I can be free of it I think. It still has no clue what kind of show it is. The plots is painful, the dialogue worse. I guess actors have to pay their mortgage somehow. This is a train wreck of epic proportions and I think it is wrong to watch a show for schadenfreude. I do hope it gets its act together as there are brief moments of potential, very brief moments.

#onenoncapewearingpanda

Review – Pretty Little Liars – Salt Meets Wound (S01Ep12)

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

I wanted carbs but instead find mum's whoring money.

This week:
Hanna is out of the hospital. Hanna discovers her mother is a bank robber. Mona throws a party. Ezra gets blackmailed by Noel. Aria continues to be stupid.  Maya meets Emily’s family. -A. finds the $$$.

Pluses:
Ezra finally waking up and smelling the coffee (I still want him gone though).
Emily’s dad.

Minuses:
How Emily’s mum deals with her daughter’s sexuality.
The amount of lying that goes on in this show.
Mum’s a criminal? Ok – moving on.
Hanna’s mother’s explanation.
Why would you hide thousands of dollars in lasagne? Surely they have a house safe.

This was a terrible episode on every level. It is the same old same old every week. -A. sees something. -A. impacts their lives and the girls thinks everyone is -A. #yawn What is happening with Aria’s parents? Hasn’t her dad noticed her staying out late all the time?

#oneovermadeuppanda