Monday, January 23, 2012

On the way to work this morning...

This month I celebrate 10 years living in the one house. Next month, I celebrate 10 years working at the same place. That’s 10 years of taking basically the same route to and from work.The surprising thing about that is that it’s still surprising.
Take this morning, for example. I puzzled over a new business at Westfield, wondered about the sanity of people who build (and approve) office developments, and despaired at the lack of safety awareness on the roads.
All this in fifteen minutes!

Mystery Suntrap
Each morning, Rob and I drive through and around Westfield Carindale on our way to work. I drop him off in the green carpark, and continue on, around Carindale Street and Millenium Blvd to Creek Road. We’ve been watching the redevelopment progress for many months, and I check the Westfield website periodically, so see how things are going. It’s starting to look quite impressive, yet we’re collection of café umbrellas and awnings in one of the most unwelcoming places on the Westfield campus.

I looks as though it might be a café…but it’s squeezed between the outside of a multi-level carpark, and a road, in a hot-as-blazes little suntrap that faces vaguely north and I’d assume, costs a fortune. It has no real view of anything other than the surrounding roads, and I imagine the combination of exhaust fumes from the carpark, noise from the giant aircon compressors, and general noise and smells from the street would make it somewhere you just wouldn’t want to be.
Right now, we can see a curved brick fence that follows the line of the road around the bend. Inside that, there are two large square white café umbrellas, and two white rectangular awnings. The position of the awnings and unbrellas suggest that people will be sitting there.
What on earth could this be?

Parking Debacle
A little over half way there, I pass an industrial park with office space to rent, and each morning, I shake my head in wonder at what is being offered. The billboards out the front of the building are advertise the following:
Office Space: 86 workstations plus offices, 36 car parks.
That’s 50+ workers who won’t be able to park their cars!
No worries, you say. Take public transport!
I had a look at the Translink trip planner today. The nearest train station is 1km walk away; there is one bus that services the area, but to get there from the city you need to change buses at Carindale. From the city, this journey by bus is at least 40 mins and at least $3.58 each way. That’s $35.80 per week in bus fares.
This property is on the corner of two fairly major roads, it’s less than ten years old, and it’s outside the CBD – but less than 15 minutes by car to the city. It’s easy to find, fresh and modern. Assuming the rent is competitive, this would be great office space – but more than half the staff would be unable to drive to work.

Now why would council approve an office development like this, outside the CBD, with insufficient parking for staff?
And why would a business rent premises that are likely to cause problems for staff?

How to be Roadkill
This is not the 1950s in Rome. It’s 2012 and a very attractive and unbelievely stupid woman was riding her Vespa through peak hour chaos in Brisbane.

There she was on Lytton Road, Murrarie, near the southern end of the Gateway Bridges, riding her red and white Vespa, wearing a matching red and while helmet, and sheer  beige blouse set off by a long cream scarf. The skirt was a red and white too, and the stilletos were beige.  I didn’t see gloves or pearls…

You read that right. Stilettos. This silly woman was riding her silly little bike through heavy traffic wearing a silly little blouse and skirt and stilletos.
I won’t bore you with details of the injuries she could suffer if she unexpectedly parted company with her bikelet, but death is on the list.
There’s a reason why medical authorities and emergency workers recommend that if you’re going to ride a motorbike of any kind, you wear full protection: long sleeves and long pants, solid shoes, gloves, helmet. Even better, make sure your long sleeves and long legs are leather, with hi-vis over the top.
And now it’s raining. I wouldn’t want to be her, this afternoon, driving home in the rain: slippery roads, slippery shoes, sticky clingy clothes…looking gorgeous won't mean as much then.


  1. aw Sal,. thanks for giving me something to read that wasn't work! I waved to your house yesterday :) Danella.

  2. That strange development at Carindale is a car wash. The plans have been on Council's website for over a year but seem to have changed.

    1. Thanks Anon. Please keep the info coming. - Sal.