driving, transport

King in your car

Tony Abbott, in a way, was right: "The humblest person is king in his own car."Tony Abbott, Battlelines I can see his point here. I don't know about them being humble, but (especially as a pedestrian or a cyclist) you see plenty of people in their cars who think they are royalty. The problem is Abbott believes this should be accommodated and encouraged, by building new roads (no matter h

driving, transport

Hey Google, tell me where to go

My car has a spot in the central console area thingy that looks like it has been designed to store your mobile phone so you can kind of see the screen while driving, for navigational purposes. At least, the manual doesn't seem to document its purpose, and I can't figure out what else it could be for. A few months ago I had to drive to Balwyn to pick up a batch of stuff to bring home. My naviga

driving, transport

A year in the new car

Sorry PT fans, this is a blog about driving. I've had the new car, a 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer bought brand new, a year now, and have got to just on 10,000 kilometres so far. The average in Australia is about 15,000 km per year, but some drive a lot further. My past average is about 7-8K, but circumstances (principally one son who just got his licence) has us driving more than in the past.

driving, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

The monetary cost of driving

One of the issues that contributes to excessive car use is that it's not straightforward to calculate the cost of driving. Once you have the car, the cost of each additional trip you take in it is obscured. Apart from tolls and fuel costs, many might see an already-paid-for car sitting in the driveway as "free", making it an easy option. This is why good alternatives are not based around park

driving, transport

The desire to drive, and how we must counter it

I am discovering that there's some powerful psychology going on when you get a new car. Playing into this for me is that my old car was wearing out, and was getting difficult to drive, plus the change from manual to automatic. This means the new car seems like a breeze to drive. The "new car smell" is real, and somehow makes it seem pleasurable to sit in the driver's seat. The extra fe

Consumerism, driving, Toxic Custard newsletter

Retail therapy

Just a quick few points while I work on a more complicated post that's (inevitably) transport related... Shopping bags Many major retailers are phasing out single-use plastic bags. Or to be precise, they're phasing-out free bags. Woolworths: 20/6/2018 Coles, Target, Big W: 1/7/2018 Aldi never gave away bags. K-Mart is phasing out free bags during 2018-19. This is not the f

driving, Toxic Custard newsletter

I finally bought a new car

Apologies for the following long ramble about buying a car. The costs of cars (Do I even need one?) My prolonged hunt for a new (used) car got me thinking about how much they have cost me... and how long I've kept them. My first car was a 1993 Mitsubishi Magna (pictured above), which I bought in 1998 for, as far as I remember, $11,800. (In 2018 dollars this is about $19,600) In 2008, b

driving, Toxic Custard newsletter

Car sizes, and safety: New vs used

I mentioned last year I was thinking about upgrading my car, which is frequently unused during the week, but still needed on occasions. Car share hasn't reached our area yet. Buying cars is not something I do lightly. In 18 years of driving, I've only owned two vehicles: a 1993 Magna (owned 2000-2008), and a 2000 Astra (owned 2008-). Like any shopping, for something big or small, I agonise o

driving, transport

Melbourne’s landmark intersection is a debacle, and authorities are doing nothing to fix it

I've posted about Rule 128 before. Rule 128 says: Entering blocked intersections A driver must not enter an intersection if the driver cannot drive through the intersection because the intersection, or a road beyond the intersection, is blocked. Penalty: 3 penalty units. The Age recently got hold of figures revealing there were just 18 fines per month for this offence in 2016-17. Ye

driving, transport

Dash it all! Why intersection markings are changing

You may have noticed that some intersection markings, including pedestrian crossings, are changing. Solid white lines are becoming dashed white lines. Ditto turning lines at intersections. This change brings Victorian practice into line with the Australian standard. NSW (and probably other states) used to have solid lines too, but sometime in the last few decades have switched to dash