Monday, December 14, 2015

What would Northbourne Avenue look like without trees? Truth vs fiction

In an increasingly desperate campaign against better public transport for Canberra, the Canberra Liberals released an image of what they want Northbourne avenue to look like. They desperately want to portray urban renewal as a bad thing. By resorting to misleading the public they do the cause of open debate on important issues no service.

With Capital Metro Stage One running down Northbourne, in around a decade we will have the tree lined grand boulevard Burley Griffin imagined. Or we can stay with what we have now, a run down grotty car filled river of bitumen.

Canberra Liberals image. 
Poles too close together (around 20 feet apart), an infinite light rail platform, and all cars photoshopped out except for those at the lights.

An unaltered photo taken in November 2015 of Plenty Road, Mellbourne. 
Semi-mature gum trees on a median far narrower than Northbourne Avenue

 More photos of light rail and gum trees can be seen here.

In a press release accompanying the photoshopped image, Mr Coe said:

"The opposition commissioned some work with regard to various options for Northbourne Avenue. One of those options that is on the table, the only one from the government, is light rail," he said.
"We think it is important to show people what it is going to look like and we think this is probably a pretty fair representation. A lot of the images that we have seen so far from the government have gums overhanging high voltage power lines."
Mr Coe said artist's impressions released by the government showed fully matured trees of a similar height to those that will be cut down.
"You see very implausible pictures of light rail going down the Northbourne median and we think this image might better capture what light rail will look like under the government's proposal.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," he said.
"It does go to show that a tree-lined straight road is a boulevard. A straight road without trees resembles a highway.
"I think that's what we start to get there with this Northbourne Avenue image. It becomes a straight expanse going for many kilometres."

The Canberra Times reported on the photoshopped image here.

 Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell said the image was "misadvertising".
"There will be over 1,000 trees planted along Northbourne Avenue, the Federal Highway and Flemington Road as part of the light rail project," he said.
Mr Corbell said semi-mature trees would be planted along Northbourne Avenue, to "ensure the restoration of the avenue occurs in a very quick manner".
"The only people who are being irresponsible are the Liberals with this grossly misleading image released today, which clearly shows a wide medium available for tree plantings, but with no trees in it," he said.
"If they seriously believe that the National Capital Authority will approve a project without any tree plantings on Northbourne Avenue, they've simply got rocks in their heads."

ABC Online reported on the photoshopped image here.

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