We can do without the Bulls Hill underpass
The loss of a life, as in the case of the Rawson Rd level crossing accident, is always a personal tragedy for those immediately involved.
However, in economic-rationalist terms, so beloved of our Government, the value of a human being is negligible, since there is an enormous oversupply of them, as a result of the burgeoning global population.
Not everyone might agree with this economic-rationalist approach, but for Stephanie Short (Peninsula lives matter, January 23) to draw the conclusion from this unfortunate event (of which the details are still unclear) that the Bulls Hill underpass should be built is illogical.
In this case, the Government could quite reasonably argue that it had provided an enormously expensive underpass at Rawson Rd and that anyone who chose not to use it must bear the consequences of his own actions.
All those who believe in individual responsibility for actions and like to inveigh against the nanny-state must agree with this position.
If the Bulls Hill underpass could be justified in traffic terms (which it cannot, as I have previously pointed out), then the expenditure of $115 million or so on it would be sensible.
However, if we are talking about it as a life-saving measure, any spare $115 million that the Government has lying around can be put to much more effective use in numerous other ways.
Even if Ms Short limits her consideration to Peninsula lives, the provision of improved ambulance services, the distribution of defibrillators, widespread training in CPR and the construction of footpaths are just a few of the items that spring to mind as a more beneficial use of funds than a new underpass.
No doubt, readers can suggest other and better priorities.
As far as I am aware, this is the only death to have occurred at the level crossing, whereas there are dangerous traffic black spots elsewhere in the municipality that require more urgent attention.
Emotions and political expediency might over-ride statistics in some cases, as has happened at Terrigal, but it is the responsibility of Government to use funds to the greatest benefit of the greatest number of people.
The Bulls Hill underpass is something that we can do without for years to come, while we lack basic safety measures elsewhere.
Email, 25 Jan 2017
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy