As an okay Boomer who has lived in Mullumbimby most of my life, I’ve seen many changes in town, particularly since the Great COVID Exodus.
I know we must accept change, even if we don’t like it. I can tolerate the wanky expensive shops, cafes and restaurants. I’ve learned to live with the amplified noise pollution of atrocious buskers, the queues, congestion and trashing of our once peaceful town, local culture and values.
We are fast becoming Melbourne’s most northerly suburb.
What I can’t accept is the selfish, arrogant and dangerous drivers that dominate the streets in town. I ride a pushbike to town but it’s becoming impossible not to come home shaking in fear and anger because I so often come within centimetres of getting killed by someone in a fat burger prestige SUV doing double the speed limit and flying through intersections without bothering to observe ‘Give way’ and ‘Stop’ signs. You can see them on their phones and more often than not their response is to extend the middle finger for getting in their way.
In the hinterland we’re often confronted by juggernauts travelling at ridiculous speeds around blind bends on narrow roads. We all bang on and on about wildlife extinction and climate change, yet simply slowing down seems too much to ask.
In rural Australia it has always been considered an act of bastardry to speed through a country town. In Mullum many streets don’t have footpaths, so cars, pedestrians, kids, dogs and bikes all share the space. Yet people still drive in excess of 100km/h. Yes, we have a crime wave in Mullumbimby and it’s not the kids, homeless, mentally ill or dope peddlers that are the culprits.
We need more and better traffic calming infrastructure before someone gets killed!