Part 32: Fit The Twenty-Ninth : Bridge Over Troubled Water
Fit The Twenty-Ninth : Bridge Over Troubled Water
The most important thing was to keep things moving. The rate of the town's expansion was such that the existing transport networks, both within the city and to its neighbours, need to expand just to pace with the demand.
So finally, the city established a full blown freeway connection to City Name.
Whilst a much needed loop was added to the subway network, linking Bunkleyville directly to Downtown through the Port area.
An extensive tree-planting program was also enacted; Funkytown had been nude of trees when we settled so long ago, but with cash to spare we now had the chance to do something about that.
I went out to help out at one of the planting sites one weekend, perpetual greenie Greville, who was co-ordinating the effort, came up to me while I was taking a breather.
Wal! Very good to see you out here! I see rumours of your demise are just that!
Yeah, thanks, Greville. I'm usually pretty busy, of course, but I had a spare weekend so I thought I'd help out with the tree planting thing.
Very good. You know, there are other things you could do. It's about time we began to recycle some of our garbage instead of burning it, but we need special facilities to enable that.
OK, I might just look into that.
Back at the office on Monday, the town skinflint was back in my waiting room.
I just left the room to get a cup of coffeee and let Randall deal with it.
Err, well I guess Wal's left me to give his response. Which is to FUCK OFF, I believe that's what he told me to tell you, only in not quite so many words.
And she left in a huff.
After a few minutes, I came back in, holding the macchiato that I bought from the hall cafeteria.
Is she gone yet?
Well thank fuck for that. I could've handled that myself, but you know what, I just couldn't be buggered.
Sorry, did I startle you?
A little. So what's your problem?
Oh c'mon, this is the same complaint you make every time you come here. We've been planting trees. Lots of lots of lovely trees. Isn't that enough?
OK I guess I'll see what I can do. Now leave me alone.
Not all of the new suburb of St Sexburga had been taken up with housing yet, but it had been a fairly large and recent expansion so that didn't bother me too much. I did wonder whether the commute from there to where people were currently working in town was becoming a bit long, though.
Downtown was chock full of skyscapers now, in fact I couldn't see out of my office for the towers. So maybe I could at least clear a little room for another downtown plaza, then I might see daylight again. I'd think about that.
Of course the local vigilante organisation had an interesting idea that for once didn't involve torture, that is, smoke detectors. The idea seemed a bit way-out but they were apparently very effective at increasing fire protection.
Maria was all for it.
And I thought, hell, why not. Had to do something with all those radioactive isotopes.
Rich Bitch (I'd forgotten her name, pretty much) was banging on about lowering commercial taxes, even though they'd already been lowered quite a bit in the past few years. Perhaps she thought the city ran on angel farts or something.
But lets face it, I was addicted to money.
To run with Greville's idea, I used some of that money to commission a whole row of recycling centres. With the city of this size, one was simply not enough. It had a big upside, too, since a lot less garbage had to be sent to the incinerators.
The deal with Buttsville was thus quite redundant, but I'd deal with that a little later.
Beyond St Sexburga, a new industrial area was set out near the freeway.
Industrial capacity was always in demand, so the new land was taken up fairly quickly.
Oh great it's you again. How many orphans do you want to see me to starve to death today?
I'll get straight to the point.
Exit fee, huh? Well, have it your way, Pruneface. The contract's as good as cancelled.
I opened a drawer and got out the city chequebook, and rather ostentatiously laid it on the desk and opened it up in front of Fiona, and got out the Very Special Quill that I used when I got my charlatan on.
Here we go. Writing... out... big... cheque... to Mayor of Buttsville ... oh, he's going to LOVE that... Damn, I'm going to have to find Mort to countersign later on. Anyway. It's done.
I mean, you realise that we could've waited until the next negotiation and gotten out of it for nothing, but, no, because we're going to be penny wise and pound foolish on this, eh, let's make a big show of saving money by bailing out at not inconsiderable expense. Think about it.
Hang on, what? An §1875 exit fee? YOU TRICKED ME! ARRRrrrrrhhhhhgghgg!
Please go away.
And besides, we had absolutely no problems with garbage at the moment. In fact one incinerator was going unused, the recycling centres were that effective.
1972 was here, and it was time for another large project. The river crossing of the freeway.
OK, it'd come at some personal inconvenience, as Bunkley Terrace would have to be terminated shy of the bridge site and no longer give me a clear run all the way into the office, but I'd probably have something else built like my own personal subway station to compensate.
For some reason highway bridges needed a lot of clear spare on each bank before construction, so other roads would have to be diverted and/or rebuilt.
But there it was. Not exactly pretty, but it was far enough inland so as to not wreck the look of the harbour, plus it would improve the flow of traffic between the northern bank and the main city. At least that's what Moe told me.
And of course it opened up the northern bank up some more, which would probably be zoned with a mix of residential and commercial areas. Of course the freeway would gradually be extended all the way through the Firetop district and then onto Achewood.
I wasn't quite exactly where it'd end up running through, and most likely further reconfiguration of the existing network would need to be carried out. However that went, in the end most of the city would benefit. I hoped.