Ghost Station

Posted: October 13, 2012 in Brussels, Change, Photography

[music: Left Behind – Aqualung]

I visited the extensive remains of an ambitious plan to relieve Place Louise of it’s traffic congestion problem. A vast tunnel running between Place Poelaert and rue Blanche was built and then abandoned due to pressure from local merchants, worried that reducing traffic would impact their business. During this visit I heard of a number of similar projects around Brussels that had been abandoned, usually because of pressure from one local group or another.

It is sad to visit progress abandoned. Public transport in Brussels is not the best but it appears as if the ideas are there; their corpses slowly decaying beneath our very feet. I thought about this for a while and noticed that often connected, priviledged, or vocal minorities hold back societal betterment. These Ghost Stations should not be hidden away like some embarrassing relative, but held up as testament to lost opportunity, wasted effort, squandered resources.

I then though of my own Ghost Stations: lost opportunities and wasted efforts. Maybe it’s normal to have abandoned projects, perhaps there is a natural level of ideas that are wonderful, plans that are made, projects started and then never completed. So instead of sadness, maybe it’s just a good idea to count them, visit and study them, without judgement, with the objective of building fewer of these stations in the future. While the number of ideas I have has not abated,  far fewer projects are started than 1o years ago, and those that are started have greater likelihood of realisation; one can become more discriminating with one’s time and resources.

I am not sure I see the same phenomenon in society today. Was it always this way? Is Societal Wisdom harder to come by?

  1. Hook says:

    Both of your observations about Ghost Stations are worth discussing. How politics works and how special interests get their way at the expense of the rest of us is too long a debate to fit here, unfortunately. As for our personal false starts, I’ve got plenty of those. At one time I imagined that I’d be offering FlexiBattle games to the world, but it never happened. My focus now is on trying to prevent Howell from going down the same rat-hole. We are flawed creatures, fixating first on this and then on that, but I’d rather be in that mode than in with the my-TV’s-not-big-enough crowd.

  2. Edmond says:

    Sunday morning, before elections …..very nice George, vey very nice,you’re getting there….

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