Thought getting to work was tough? Spare a thought for the Tokyoites

Currently in Adelaide we have an annual motor racing event called the Clipsal 500. This is a racing event which takes place in March each year and results in closure of numerous roads in Adelaide’s inner eastern suburbs – the race track runs mostly along these roads. While race-goers enjoy the event and its side music performances, commuters complain about the disruption it causes to traffic and the long journeys it creates for many people. The annual frustration has already prompted suggestions such as the one from Transport Department’s chief executive Rod Hook to convert some east-west streets in the central city to one way operation. Certainly, extended parking restrictions would also improve the situation slightly. I’ve already seen a few cases where bus drivers have been abused for late-running under no fault of their own.

But is the complaining really worth it? The disruptions only take place for one week out of fifty-two each year and the local economy gets an injection. In 2010, the economic benefits from the event were estimated in the vicinity of $33.76 million. Knowing that the event will be on, Adelaideans should be prepared to plan alternate routes and leave early in order to reach their destination on time. It seems like us as Adelaideans still need to learn about adapting to changing situations and not being so fixed in our ways.

I’ll leave this video below as a departing thought for today. If you thought an extra 30 minutes to your daily journey was unbearable, just think about what the residents of Tokyo had to deal with for several days after the earthquake and tsunami hit the Tohoku region to its north on the 11th of March. With nuclear power plants shut down, the Japanese capital has had rolling blackouts and disrupted train services. With the systems that most Tokyoites depend on only operating at about 20% capacity at times, many stations have had queues resulting in 45 minute delays just to get on to the platforms, let alone to destinations. Some workers have been told to stay at home. Not to mention the fear of the nuclear threat just 200 kilometres north.

Sources:

AdelaideNow – Readers reject one-way streets for Adelaide

Speed Cafe – Clipsal 500 breaks more records

The Wall Street Journal – Electricity Outages Amplify the Anger

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