IT'S a wonder someone hasn’t looked at the easiest way to get dozens of cars off Orange streets each day and avoid building more costly car parks like multi-storey proposals.
It’s called car-pooling, sharing a ride, saving fuel and saving money.
By more people using one vehicle to get to work each day, car-pooling reduces fuel costs and is a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel because sharing trips reduces carbon emissions, traffic congestion and the need for parking spaces.
Every day in Orange more than 350 single occupant cars park all day in Anson Street between Kite and Moulder, Kite Street between Lords Place and Hill, Moulder Street between Peisley and Sale and in Sale and Hill streets.
That’s not including cars in streets on the northern side of Summer Street or in the various car parks like Lords Place and Kite Street that are used by mostly single occupant employees.
Car-pooling could also be used to advantage by out-of-towners who drive to work in Orange every day and by Charles Sturt University students.
People might only want to share a ride once a week, or just every now and then, but any carpooling would have positive outcomes for Orange and the environment by removing cars from the streets and car parks and reducing exhaust emissions.
Australia’s first regional carpool network was launched in the Northern Rivers several years ago and now has 1760 registered members with similar travel patterns who take it in turns using their cars.
There’s a free web service that people can securely log on to and provide their travel details for transport matches to be found and priority parking is available for car poolers in public car parks, another good reason for people to get involved in the initiative.
The Northern Rivers car-pooling is supported by NSW Transport, Lismore, Ballina, Byron, Clarence, Richmond and Tweed councils, Southern Cross University, North Coast TAFE and North Coast Area Health Service.
So it’s really worth a look here by Orange councillors or maybe a service club.
Carbon cold comfort
Now that the carbon tax has bitten the dust, there’s a push for an emission trading scheme replacement that forces energy companies and industry to offset greenhouse gas emissions with carbon credits, or permits, that allows them to generate a certain amount of carbon dioxide.
But they should have a good look at what’s happened in Europe where the scheme has been hit by scandals including tax fraud, the re-sale of used carbon credits and the theft of millions of emission permits.
When industries have used up their free allocation of credits they must buy them on the open market and that’s been inflating the cost of energy even more.
So, there’s still fun times ahead.
In the meantime we’ll just enjoy our frosts, minus two and three mornings and 8C maximums through the day.
It can’t warm up quickly enough.
Why is it TV stations and newspapers when covering climate change stories persist in showing film clips and pictures of power stations supposedly pouring out clouds of pollution into the air?
No doubt some people are fooled and believe it’s smoke or something nasty, but it’s only steam coming from the power station cooling towers and that’s hardly a polluter.
What’s that they say about never letting the facts spoil a good story?
All Black humour
An Aussie is having a quiet drink in a bar and leans over to the big bloke next to him and asks whether he wants to hear a Kiwi joke.
“Well mate, before you tell thet joke you should know something. I’m 1.90m tall, 125kg end was an All Blecks forward,” the big bloke says.
“The fella next to me is 1.85m, weighs 115kg end he’s a former All Blecks lock.
“Next to him is a fella who’s 2m tall, weighs 120kg end is an All Blecks second rower. Now do you still want to tell us thet Kiwi joke?”
The Aussie: “Nah, not if I have to explain it three times.”
Lights on but no one’s home
It looks like Roads and Maritime Services staff have been fiddling with our traffic lights again.
The Sydney co-ordinated adaptive traffic system called SCATS can set the lights on a fixed-time basis where a series of signal timing plans are scheduled by the day of the week and time of day.
So in early mornings you can sit and wait at a red light with no other cars in sight in any direction while the lights go through their cycle.
Summer Street and Lords Place can be all over the place and if you’re behind a truck or someone sitting there daydreaming when you get a green, you’re lucky to get across before the lights change again.
You can also cop red at Summer and Sale streets with no other cars in sight.
It’s a good way to chew up petrol.
No tarred with same brush
Burrendong Way the other side of Mullion Creek is as rough as a cat’s tongue with more waves in the bitumen than Bondi beach.
The difference is noticeable as you go into Wellington Shire’s area where the road becomes smooth again.
Orange City Council staff is upgrading 1.8km near March but Cabonne Shire needs to get into gear and do something about its section.