I posted last week about the way central Wellington had quietened after the July earthquake.
I think it was largely because the two largest central city parking buildings had been shut down – and parking in the streets is a lottery in the face of the Wellington City Council’s parking enforcers – whose mind set, to me, was summed up when they deployed a spy car whose occupants intimidated motorists and issued tickets to drivers for ‘parking offences’ while they were actually on the road, waiting to turn left.
An earthquake emergency, it seems, makes no difference. Here are photos I took on Monday of Luke’s Lane, where an external lift shaft adjacent to one of the parking buildings was left unsafe in the 6.5 magnitude July quake. The 6.6 magnitude shake of Friday 16 August finished the job; it was at high risk of collapse, urgent demolition indicated. One of the biggest mobile cranes in the country was brought up from the South Island – with the help of 10 flatbed trailers and prime-movers – to remove a 30-ton slab of concrete at the top of the collapsing shaft, as the first stage of the demolition process.
Meanwhile a security company was asked to keep the public out of the lane over the weekend. While they were doing it, the Council’s parking enforcers ticketed their vehicles.
The Council admitted that the incident was over the top, but you have to wonder about the corporate culture that cultivated this mind set in the first place.
What would happen if the guards weren’t there and the slab fell? You can imagine it crushing some passing pedestrian – and the corpse being found next day with infringement notice taped to the forehead for loitering in a legal roadway.
Reducto ad absurdium? Maybe.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013