Driving in suburbia

It was one of those beautiful Autumn mornings, blue sky with a smattering of clouds but a sunny day all the same.  It’s Sunday so there is not as much traffic on the road.

Anyone with any sense would be going to their favorite coffee place and settling down to your choice of coffee and perhaps a toaster or muffin to accompany the conversation.

This is what’s happening at the cafe we go for coffee.  9:00 in the morning it is packed.  But great coffee is hard to find, and this is apparently great coffee.

It’s that in-between time before it gets windy, cold and wet, with the sort of chill you can feel in your bones, rather it’s the time when you have a barbeque in the mid-afternoon and get home before the cold sets in, or take the kids to the park for some healthy exercise.

Today I have to take a drive from one side of suburbia to the other, taking a network of main roads with rather anonymous names such as North and South

We travel through the older suburbs, those with a collection of red or white bricks and timber dating back to the fifties and sixties.  They are not, for the most part, in a good state of repair, and rather than looking ramshackle, it’s more like they are slowly decaying.

Fences are rotting or falling over, extensions like they have been glued on rather than added by an architect, and paint either fading or missing.  For the most part, people are struggling to keep up with the cost of living, and too busy to worry about maintenance.

Some have been bulldozed and replaced, blocks are cleared awaiting new development, others are being renovated.  Any way you look at them they are still worth a great deal of money being relatively close to the city.  Nut it’s a double-edged sword, worth a lot, but costing more to keep.

It’s a location we could never afford.  Because we were not affluent we were pushed out to the less expensive outer suburbs.  This was of course 50 years ago, and now those outer suburbs are now the new inner suburbs and people are buying up to 50 km further out in the new estates.  When I was young these suburbs were farms and open land.

It also surprises me that people would want to live on the main road because with traffic as it is heading into the city, it would be difficult to leave or return by car.  At least for these people, public transport is better than in the outer suburbs.

Because it’s Sunday my trip takes a lot less time, except for those unpredictable traffic lights, some of which I missed and took a while to cycle through the other traffic before it was our time to move.  It’s the only disappointment of the modern era, the fact roads were never made to handle the traffic, and the fact they now have to bulldoze homes to make way for roads.

Pity they didn’t lay down the foundations of a proper transport system, much like they have in major European cities.

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