Fw: Fri.18.3.22 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Fri.18.3.22 Metro Twitter
Flinders St: still with a lane closed for tunnel works? [reopened by July]
Buses replace trains Dandenong - Pakenham until  the last train of Mon 21 Mar (works).
16.28 Upfield line: Minor delays due to VictoriaPolice attending to a trespasser near Royal Park. Select trains may terminate/originate at intermediate stations.
- 16.48 clearing.
Steamrail Victoria is winding back the clock on a scenic journey around Melbourne's bayside suburbs, passing through several of our projects on the Frankston Line. Two vintage steam trains will travel from Moorabbin to Carrum on Sun 27 March.
Buses replace trains Ringwood - Belgrave from 8:30pm Fri 18 Mar to last train Sun 20 Mar, while project works take place.
Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Upfield from 8:35pm Fri 18 Mar to last train Sun 20 Mar, while maintenance works take place.

Anti-car council has made a mess of Melbourne. Steve Price March 18, 2022 309 comments
A left-dominated council determined to ban cars has turned our city into an inaccessible jumble of useless bike lanes and jumbo-sized tram stops.
video: Melbourne protected bike lane intersection Unveiling of protected bicycle lane intersection at the corner of Albert and Landsdowne Sts, Melbourne.
On Tuesday night in Flinders Lane another brave financial gamble was launched by one of the fiercest critics of the way Victoria has handled the Covid pandemic.
Chris Lucas opened another restaurant despite having to survive two years of the longest Covid lockdowns anywhere in the world.
At 112 Flinders Lane, Grill Americano, modelled on an Italian-influenced New York steak house, had the first of several soft openings.
The room was full of invited guests, and I was lucky enough to be one of them.
The smell of leather and wood mixed with wood smoke – from a central wood-fired grill – greeted guests as they sampled a menu that’s certainly not cheap.
It’s the Lucas gambling spirit though that makes a restaurant like Grill Americano a place to visit. I visited Chris during the long lockdown one in 2020 and it would be fair to say he was hurting.
With now seven CBD and suburban venues to bankroll he has more riding on Melbourne recovering than most.
Restaurateur Chris Lucas has a lot riding on Melbourne’s recovery. Picture: Jason Edwards
Covid has robbed him of experienced staff and the job of serving customers will have to fall to people with little or no experience at all.
He’s a gambler. But what Chris shouldn’t have to gamble on are the things that are in the control of the politicians, State and Local, who run Melbourne.
They’ve let him and rest of us down badly.
Melbourne – the city – is frankly a ruined mess that will take decades, not months or years, to fix.
If you don’t believe me, take a walk around what was once considered Australia’s Paris on the one hand, and compared with New York for its bars and laneways and culture on the other.
Incredibly, Adelaide is now described as Australia’s best city for everything that Melbourne once was.
And you know what – it’s just too easy to blame Covid.
While we were all locked up and locked out for the better part of two years, local politicians who never lost a cent of salary decided to turn our city into an inaccessible jumble of useless bike lanes and jumbo-sized tram stops.
Any wide city street with parking and two lanes has been squeezed so narrowly that many larger modern SUVs can barely fit through the gap.
A green, left-dominated Melbourne City Council has been on a determined anti-car jihad to turn Melbourne into some Southern Hemisphere version of Amsterdam.
How they have been allowed to wreck glorious city avenues like Collins St is criminal.
People ought to be angry that they weren’t consulted about what amounts to the destruction of the city we have lived and worked in for decades.
Most Melburnians don’t live in inner-city apartments with bikes as their main form of transport. Picture: Andrew Henshaw
Spend just an hour sitting on a park bench – if they are still allowed — in Exhibition St heading north or south and do a headcount of the bike riders we have spent tens of millions of dollars catering for.
Repeat the exercise on countless other city streets and you’ll get the same result. You won’t need more than 10 fingers.
Add to this urban madness the crazy decision to let some foreign hire outfit litter the city with electric scooters.
Sydney not only doesn’t allow these outfits in, they have banned the use of this type of transport because they consider them to be dangerous. You can’t ride an electric scooter in bike lanes on the footpath or any road in Sydney.
In Melbourne you can’t walk a block without tripping over them.
It’s a repeat of that dumb City Council hire-a-clunky-blue pushbike scheme that wasted millions.
This must be down to overpaid council employees justifying expensive sister city visits to far-flung bike-obsessed European countries.
They forget this is Australia and that most of us don’t live in crowded apartments with a bike for transport.
Australia and wider Melbourne are car dependent. We like driving from our suburban homes to the city or inner suburbs.
We know the bike lobby is loud and aggressive but it’s also a minority group largely of the Green Left.
Anti-car politicians have turned Melbourne into an inaccessible jumble of useless bike lanes and jumbo-sized tram stops.
But it’s not only the City Council that is pedal obsessed. I found a VicRoads proposal posted on suburban lamp posts like graffiti talking about pop-up bike lanes.
Go to their website and they proudly brag about 100km of new and improved pop-up bike routes across the city and seven other suburbs.
Not surprisingly all the locations are inner-city areas that also hate cars.
The VicRoads propaganda says they are trying to make Melbourne more like Paris and London.
Worse – and here alarm bells should be ringing – the pop-up lanes will be in place for 12 to 18 months and will then be removed or converted to permanent routes.
So, the cancer spreads and the banning of cars grows.
The customers Chris Lucas needs to attract to his Melbourne city venues would hardly pedal there by bike and if they did drive, they would pay $43 dollars for an hour of carparking like I did this week.
It might be too late, but Melbourne needs to take back its city before it’s gone for good.
More Coverage
Empty bike lanes causing traffic nightmares
Letting the CBD die a slow Covid death is a terrible mistake

Fri.18.3.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Big drop in state's resident numbers. JOHN MASANMISKAS
VICTORIA’S population plunged by 33,000 people to 6.64m in the year to last October amid ongoing pandemic effects.
A massive net overseas migration loss of 46,000 was the main factor in Victoria easily being the top state or territory for losing residents, says a new ABS report.
The only other places to lose population were NT (-600) and ACT (-300).  Queensland gained 57 800; NSW got an extra 24 200;  WA 17 800; SA 2600 and Tasmania saw a population rise of 200.
Victoria experienced a nett loss of 17,000 residents who moved to other states, mainly to Queensland.
NSW had a bigger interstate exodus (-26 200), but recorded a much higher number of births than Victoria - 100 200 vs 72 000 for the 12-month period.
The ABS report National, State and Territory Population September 2021 said Australia gained 68 900 people, or 0.3 per cent, for a 25.7 million population. By contrast, the nation added 383 000 people for the same period the year before, driven by 242,000 overseas migration gains.
ABS demography director Beidar Cho said international border closures had resulted in net migration losses for the sixth straight quarter.
National population growth over 12 months was owing to natural increase (+l36 000), while net overseas migration was negative (-67 300 people).

Fri.18.3.22 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'.  Letters.
* All aboard the honest express.  GOOD karma was in short supply when Patricia Woolcock did her good turn for the day after spotting a $10 note on the floor of her train as she was about to alight.

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