Rage in a Cage

cage3.jpg Here in glorious Port Macquarie, on the sub tropical east coast of Australia, the local council just spent nearly one million bucks ‘beautifying’ an intersection, the gateway to the town centre. There are more ways to kill a cat than… and one convict has proved the power of street theatre.

Two key pedestrian crossing points have been blocked by wire cages on the pedestrian ramps since the project was completed last October. The ramps, we were told, were dangerous for handicapped users.

cage1.pngAfter attempts and rebuffs from the council, my quixotic brother Robin decided a bit of street theatre might be the only way to get these abominations moved. He dressed as one of the convicts who were the original reason for this town and chased the media exposure.

Council doesn’t take pedestrians into account, just drivers, as though shoppers can drive right into the shops. Well we all know they’d prefer to, but drive thru shopping hasn’t really caught on yet.

So scared of being sued by handicapped people using the crossings, the cages have forced everyone else, from frail elderly to mothers with baby pushers, to hike across the gardens either side of the cages to cross the road.

cage2.jpgHaving launched his campaign, all week Robin waited for media response, normally so quick for a good colour story. Nothing! Despite constant prodding the convict was ignored totally. So we thought, until Friday afternoon when a council works team arrived and removed the offending cages.

Robin still feels robbed, robbed of his chance to bolt his convict in a cage and rage at the stupidity of it all. It seems the media’s attempts to get the council angle first stirred up a whole lot of background activity. That is easy to understand for a council waiting to be replaced by an administrator in the next few weeks because of corruption allegations.

8 thoughts on “Rage in a Cage”

  1. The ramps, we were told, were dangerous for handicapped users.

    I’ll say, and everybody else it looks like. Who puts in handicapped ramps that place the hapless pedestrian in the middle of the street at mid-block?! :-)

    This a function of the traffic circle that I see in the background on that first photo?

  2. Yeah your local news guys are thinking, “Convicts…in Australia. Done that”. Poor Robin, he looks good. Hope he finds another way to get his 15 minutes! Maybe an orange jumpsuit next time. Those are attention grabbers, just ask the Bush Administration.

  3. Wise he’s really pissed off that he didn’t even get close to being arrested before they moved the bloody things.

    Randal, the interesting part is, here where we have tropical downpours, like an inch or more in an hour, the gutter is about 18 inches higher than the footpath. A major spoon drain mifght be more appropriate.

    froggy, the convict questions your logic. The reason handicapped and elderly are encouraged to cross on the exit from a circle is to reduce the various pension payments entailed. Dead people don’t collect pensions of other government assistance.

  4. Ah my dear frogette, we did consider the orange jumpsuit. Two issues; first that image is considered close to an obscenity hereabouts. I expect we would have lost the message in the metaphor.
    Second, Robin goes into a pure panic even thinking about the chains, even plastic chains. He really is a bit of a girl about somethings. A real bloke would welcome the chains.
    But the media aside, he won. Just the media seeking the council side of the story first was enough to scare the horses.
    Robin’s old fashioned approach seems to rattle the cages pretty well.

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