Wednesday, June 11, 2008

more reveries of the solitary walker

clipsal bowden

Kissing, or osculation, according to a theory first propounded by Desmond Morris and generally accepted, probably first began with primate mothers feeding their young semi-masticated food by mouth. The young would get into the habit of approaching their lips for a bit of tasty slime, and mum would either feed them or comfort them with a lippy version of a dummy tit. We humans of course, have taken the art of osculation to dizzying heights, revealing a ravenous appetite for more than just food.

The ventral tegmental area of the brain, which produces dopamine, is stimulated by kissing and by thoughts of love. My own ventral tegmental area is many times larger than that of most humans, but it remains largely unstimulated.

So I walk, and contemplate, in the damp night. I live quite close to the heart of the city, and I intend that this house, into which I moved last December, will be mine for a long time. I don’t want to move again. So I’m interested in plans for the area, and in transport plans for the city centre so close by. I’ve rarely used public transport, mea culpa, since becoming a driver 15 years ago, but petrol prices are starting to take their toll, and there’s a chance I’ll lose my licence for a while from next month, with a court case coming up.

The Committee for Adelaide Roads, a lobby group made up of engineers and transport industry boffins, has come up with a multi-billion dollar plan involving light electrified rail, dedicated bus and ‘car-pooling’ lanes [can’t quite imagine that], and a strategic road network, with duplication of the Southern Expressway being marked as a high priority.

Some of this might be pie in the sky, but the state government has unveiled a 2 billion dollar transport plan which involves extensions to the new and very successful [indeed already overcrowded] tram system. For starters, trams will be running out from the city to the entertainment centre, presumably up Port Road, by 2010. And I just took a brief promenade to the entertainment centre this evening. This is fabulous news.

The major train systems to the north and south will be electrified, new trams will be bought to reduce congestion, and a new ticketing system will be installed. It’s all rather trifically exciting.

Nearer home, here in Bowden, the 10 hectare Clipsal site is going to be redeveloped at a cost of about $42 million. Here’s some very new stuff about this redevelopment, with the state government prioritizing areas around traffic corridors. Transport Minister Kevin Foley has said the site at Bowden could become the best inner city development area in Australia, after Clipsal moves its manufacturing site to Gepps Cross. Yeah, yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it, but I can’t pretend I’m not excited at the prospect. This little loner will have so much more to observe and contemplate.

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