I drove to Dunedin in even heavier rain. The windscreen wipers were working overtime and the traffic moving at a steady pace. It wasn’t long before I was weaving through traffic along George Street. I parked the car and dashed between raindrops towards the Dunedin Art Gallery. Upon entering, I shook the rain off like a wet dog and casually strolled up the Gallery stairs to explore.
An hour or so later I left the Art Gallery and headed out into the rain. How it is possible to rain nonstop for three days is quite beyond my scientific knowledge. What is also beyond my knowledge and understanding is how people who plan extensive city upgrades are able to make it seem as inconvenient as possible. As I manoeuvred my car into a slow moving stream of traffic, I contemplated if there is an unending supply of orange road cones? Will there come a day when a young tradie will be told to head over to the orange road cone collection centre to pick up a load of cones (to block off a street where work might start any time in the next six months) only to be told ‘sorry mate, we’re all out’ Tom over there got the last lot, ‘they’re blocking off Inconvenient Avenue between Disruptive Street and Annoying Road to replace a perfectly good footpath before ignoring the potholes in the middle of the intersection.’
Thanks to the monumental amount of roadworks taking place in the centre, it took me nearly 10 minutes to go 120 metres in city traffic. It wasn’t even that busy! It’s not as if Dunedin’s traffic is like London where there is often gridlock and people (mainly in large, spotless 4WD’s) drive as if they are invading a country! I recently read an article that in 2021 drivers in London lost an incredible 148 hours due to congestion. That’s the equivalent of over six days a year spent sitting in traffic! So while the queue of traffic ahead of me was insignificant compared to the world stage, this was Dunedin in the early afternoon and I was at an impasse. At one point, having not moved for a considerable period of time, despite seeing a number of green lights in the distance I considered abandoning my car where it was and popping over to the Little India Restaurant to grab a nice curry for lunch. I could then scoot a few doors down and place a bet at the TAB, head around the corner to wash it all down with a beverage at Woof before returning to the car where I would find that the entire line hadn’t moved one iota. This of course was quite a silly idea, as for one thing the Little India was closed!