Monday, December 5, 2011

"Always read the comments"

There's an old saying that says "Never read the comments". It refers to the comments that often appear at the end of online newspaper articles. These observations are made by anyone who feels like it. While of course a generalisation, these comments are normally poorly written, ill-considered and littered with misplaced apostrophe's.

Despite all this, I disagree with the old saying. I say read the comments. They're hilarious. There's been quite a lot of talk in the papers recently about the new cycle path that just opened on Swanston St. I've read the hundred or so comments that appeared in The Age article and chosen the best few, in blue, to share with you here today. I've taken the liberty of making my own comments underneath.

Some may argue that I've taken some cheap shots here. I probably have.


The Weekly Cycle
Making fun of people since February.

It's a very poor design. Mixing bicycle tracks with pedestrian traffic is a very bad idea. The blue-stone may sound very impressive. But it does not serve any practical purpose. Worse still, it may be hazardous in wet condition and ladies wearing stiletto heels. The only thing good about this design is for the supplier of the blue-stones and the construction company.

Lived in Melbourne for 20 years - November 29, 2011, 8:01AM

Hello Lived in Melbourne for 20 years. Now, I think you may have forgotten to complete one of your sentences; “it may well be hazardous in wet condition and ladies wearing stiletto heals...” What, what about ladies wearing stiletto heels? ...and ladies wearing stiletto heels will make an awful racket on that hard surface? ...and ladies wearing stiletto heels find it hard to walk because they’re wearing stiletto heels? Anyway, maybe I’m being a bit harsh. I have lived in Melbourne for 25 years after all.

Get rid of the trams,

they should have been banned from the inner city long ago.

They should be on a loop around the outskirts,

picking up passengers to take people to and from the city;

not forcing every street plan to be compromised.

Cyclists are vehicles, they have no business in malls

endangering pedestrians, ban them.

These streets will never work until they are safe,

that means NO VEHICLES of any kind.

Commercial traffic ? 1AM to 4AM only;

welcome to the big city, yuppie cave dwellers.

RonInOZ - November 29, 2011, 7:59AM

Kill all pigeons,

Sometimes they poo on me,

Ruining my clothes embarrassing me.

Ban rain from falling to the ground,

Getting us wet and holding up traffic,

Making it hard to see and causing people to slip,

Sometimes even causing floods and drowning people.

This world will never work until there is no more wind.

That means NO KITES of any kind.

Hair dryers? 5AM to 7AM only;

Welcome to the real world, sanctimonious morons in tents.

I thought the stripes indicate a crossing like a zebra crossing, is that where the bicyclists are meant to ride? Robert Doyle, stop wasting money, grow up, sign the place so that locals and tourists that don't speak english can understand.. It's not rocket science!

Maximus | Melbourne - November 29, 2011, 7:49AM

Yeah, those stripes are just like a zebra crossing. Clearly only infants and possibly young children would think this was a good idea. Grow up, Doyle!

And I think the place should be signed for tourists that do speak English too. Just saying.

you can't disallow delivery vans!!!! I mean people scream blue murder when they can't get their grubby little hands on exactly what they want now! Holding up delivery vans means that you may have to wait extra time before you can end your bike ride and sip on your latte - and that would be even more unacceptable than the delivery van in the first place!

Unicorn | The hyperdimensional field - November 29, 2011, 7:49AM

Hahaha! That’s so clever, Unicorn. Get it? Latte? Cyclists love lattes. Get it? Hold up the van. Coffee will be late. Get it? No latte for us cyclists! Hahaha!

They should have banned the cyclists as well and created an outdoor cafe strip for everyone to enjoy, like a big European vista.

Flatearth - November 29, 2011, 8:35AM

Yeah, I love those European vistas where all the cyclists are banned...hang on...?
What about the horse and carriages? Robert Doyle plans to kick them out of the city too! That would ruin the lively hoods of many people, not to mention what will happen to the horses. Please support these business and keep the horse and carriages in the city! They are iconic.

Concerned Citizen | Melbourne - November 29, 2011, 10:55AM

The horses will be shot.

Cyclist Mark Nevill, who rides down Swanston Street twice a day, said he thought the new shared space for cyclists and pedestrians was dangerous.

''I don't see any signs for the pedestrians here. Peak-hour pedestrians are lemmings,'' Mr Nevill said.

The above sums up the attitude of the cyclist, a not-so-humble creature who embraces the new religion of smugness with an overly righteous gusto.

Watch these paragons of virtue go about their business; aggressively tinkling their bells at those of us who dare to traverse the SHARED pathways laid down for cyclists and pedestrians.

Watch them gather in packs to enjoy the scent of their own flatulence, usually in Fitzroy or Brunswick...

Stan Marsh | South Park, Colorado - November 29, 2011, 11:44AM

I concur wholeheartedly and enthusiastically. The vim and vigour with which cyclists celebrate their own superiority is of such great quantities that it brings nausea to every fibre of my being.

Just observing their passing, with their nonchalant airs and corrupted sense of self worth, induces in me sentiments that cannot rightly be described if I am to maintain my standing in society.

Their cantankerous response to any vehicle or being that dares impede their journey for me sums up an attitude that is quite at odds with the values that ought be promoted in a civilised society such as ours.

These last two comments are actually quite good;
This is interesting as one of the first shared spaces in Melbourne. In my professional experience having been involved in planning such spaces, whenever one of these spaces opens everyone screams blue murder that 'its an accident waiting to happen'. I remember similar debates about similar schemes in the UK, when I worked there.

Interestingly the crash statistics don't support that shared use is dangerous. Based on other examples that I am aware of, the number and severity of accidents has decreased.

The space is safe because it FEELS dangerous. The reason there are no signs, fences or lines is to force people to pay attention, rather than to lull them into a false sense of security that such aids can provide. The result is that people pay attention, look around them and as a result are safer. Seems counter intuitive but it works!

TPS | Melbourne - November 29, 2011, 9:09AM
how about just banning people

Tom | Melbourne - November 29, 2011, 9:32AM


  1. including your misplaced apostrophe in the plural thereof?

  2. Hi anonymous,
    That was a joke.

  3. Wow Its hard to believe you didnt pick up on that one

  4. I know what youre saying Jerome. I guess Im just too subtle sometimes.