Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Riding A Rhinoceros On A Skateboard

The architecture, food, and bars in Melbourne aren’t the only things that Melbourne has over Sydney.  There’s another critical element that makes Melbourne the world’s second most livable city:  the transport.

Melbourne has a plethora of transport options.  Don’t have a car?  Tired of walking?  Grab a bicycle:

If you must drive, you can always take Batman Avenue:

Batman Avenue.  Hehe!  It’s just a few blocks over from Superman Street and it intersects with Robin Lane.  Is this Melbourne or Gotham City?  (That was a joke.  There’s no Superman Street in Melbourne… at least not one that I’ve seen.)
But if you must drive, beware of the hook turns:

See!  I wasn’t lying in my original Melbourne blog a few weeks ago!  These hook turns are ridiculous.  You stay to the left just to make a right.  Weird!  But there is a reason it is done that way.  It’s done that way because of these:

Trams!!!!!  Fun!!!!!

Melbourne has an extensive tram network that goes all over the city.  Trams are generally easier and quicker than trains for short trips (though trains run too) and you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic (though some lines actually do run in the same lanes as cars, so that sort of defeats the purpose).  I rode the trams for the weekend I was there and I must say that I am now a tram master.  Learning how to use an unfamiliar city’s public transport can be daunting, but it was so easy in Melbourne – especially with a tram network map on my iPhone.

But the trams come with their own dangers and annoyances.  Just as drivers have to beware of trams when making ridiculous hook turns, pedestrians too face their own dangers.  What do pedestrians face?


Rhinos on skateboards.

As in rhinoceroses on skateboards.

Lots of ‘em.

Just like in America, there must be plenty of stupid people in Melbourne – or maybe just lots of people who get too distracted on their phones to look where they are going.  There has been a string of people getting hit by trams, including one as recently as late June when a woman apparently either ran right in front of a tram or was trying to hop on when it was moving and was dragged underneath.  She was killed instantly.  A news report stated that “the woman sustained horrific head and abdominal injuries and could not be resuscitated.”  Awful.  To better educate the public about the dangers trams present to pedestrians, Yarra Trams created a new marketing campaign involving… rhinos on skateboards.


Would you want to get hit by a herd of 30 rhinos on skateboards?

I sure wouldn’t.  But I will say that the marketing campaign is a totally genius idea.  After all, it caught my attention, and that’s hard to do for something that doesn’t involve food.

I think that is what Melbourne is missing:  real rhinos on skateboards.  Maybe then it would be the world’s most livable city instead of number 2.  I mean, wouldn’t you move to a city that had a random rhinoceros herd on skateboards roaming around the city, serving and protecting by scaring the masses and speeding up the effects of natural selection that we as a species try so hard to stop???  IT WOULD BE SO COOL!!!

To better illustrate the comparison between trams and rhinos on skateboards, Yarra Trams created this advertisement:

A rhinoceros on a skateboard?  I'd ride that.

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