This week has again confirmed for me that the government really either has to seriously improve the public transport system and with it safety on the streets, or get rid of taxes for selling/buying your primary property. Going south instead of north from Johannesburg we saw almost as much heavy traffic going in, as I often see going north.
Looking at the traffic and the time people spend in it makes me so relieved I live in the suburbs near to the business centres.
Which all led me to thinking about how cities evolve. Where people live and work, how the patterns emerge over years and decades, how they change.
Of course all cities succumb to pressure and change how they function. My own home city has several ‘business centres’. I use city in the lose connotation, not defined by municipal boundaries but by the occupation of land in one area for business, pleasure or living purposes.
I have occasion to work in any of the business centres and sometimes the industrial centres as well, sometimes during the same day/week. So I have to be flexible in my travelling. But so many go to just one building and home again. How dreadful to always have to drive through the same traffic, over and over with no relief in sight. Of course there is the advantage of not getting lost, which is a trick I seem to have perfected over time.
I believe the opening of the direct train connection between Johannesburg and Pretoria (which for years seems to have largely acted as a ‘dormitory-city’ for many of the people working in Johannesburg, has apparently greatly reduced the traffic pressure between the two. If the train does not become that monster of people standing and jostling for all of the time it could become a wonderful relief for many. The only problem is as soon as it becomes relief for very many in terms of not driving, it probably will become the overcrowded monster of discomfort.
A few years ago I read a book about how very advance comes with its own new problems. Of course that is the nature of humanity and how we live. So I’m really typing in circles now and should give up and go back to working.