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(Re)surfacing epic fail x 2

By Beau Locks - 17 April 2013 34

cycle path

This morning’s commute took me past two examples of terrible resurfacing; one on the bike path and one on the road.  The first is on the  bit of bike path that runs from Cook/Aranda to LBG, running parallel with both Bindubi Street and William Hovell Drive.  That path is one of the best things about my day.  Magnificent.  I’m incredibly thankful for the bikefrastructure in our lovely town.  Anyway, the old surface was okay.  A couple of bits of grass growing here and there, but perfectly serviceable.

Then, about a week ago, the dreaded squiggly lines appeared.  Remember how they used to do that on the road until everyone complained because it’s unsafe and stoopid?  Riding along the path then became a bit like driving really fast over the white lines they’ve got in front of the big roundabout on the Barton Highway…doogadoogadoogadooga.  Being slowed down when you’re using your own energy to propel yourself is also particularly annoying.

At least there was an element of comedy to the whole affair:  the dudes doing the work were so thorough they even put the tar over all the grass growing in the cracks.  Amazing!  Perhaps because it’s just a bike path they didn’t need to go the extra mile and think about killing the grass a couple weeks before and then smoothing things over prior to unleashing their squigglidom on the unsuspecting path users.  It looked ridiculous, too.

Then, a couple of days ago, the good folks returned and resealed the path.  As you can see in the photo, the whole affair has assumed farcical proportions.  It’s also s*** to ride on.  I’m convinced that this would never be allowed to happen on a quiet suburban road. Don’t get me wrong:  I’m very thankful for the money being spent on fixing it.  Just a tiny bit more effort (or some modicum of thought) would have made the path surface great, rather than worse than it was before.

guttering

The second debacle does concern a road, but not the bit that cars drive on, to wit the recently resurfaced bit of Melrose Drive between Launceston Street and Hindmarsh Drive.  As noted in a recent RA post, the new wisdom is to just bung some road surface pebbles down and let the cars act as steamrollers over the next week or three.  Of course, this doesn’t work with bikes, owing to the fact that they don’t weigh as much and have narrow tyres.  Which means that the bike lane is now really unsafe, especially for road bikes.  This effort also looks ridiculous, although the bluebells growing up through the road surface do look lovely.

gravel

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
(Re)surfacing epic fail x 2
1
schmeah 4:12 pm
17 Apr 13
#

“I’m convinced that this would never be allowed to happen on a quiet suburban road”, wrong! Have you been to Ainslie lately?

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2
gungsuperstar 4:24 pm
17 Apr 13
#

I hope these have both been submitted to Fix My Street – say what you want about Canberra Connect, it seems to work.

Both aren’t just a matter of convenience – they’re obscenely dangerous.

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3
magiccar9 4:31 pm
17 Apr 13
#

That would be my post complaining about it. This OP only underscores my gripes with the resurfacing.
According to the chap from Canberra Connect who called me Re: my complaint to them, “the roads are swept once laid, and then in the day or two following to make sure no gravel is unsafe”.
As the bottom pic here shows, the road wasn’t swept – plain and simple. Another example of this is that the lines pained on Athlon Drive in the recently surfaced sections are almost gone because they painted them onto loose gravel.
Good work Beau Locks for the pics. Much obliged good sir

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4
bugmenot 5:15 pm
17 Apr 13
#

the recently resurfaced Copeland Drive (previously no bike lane) and as soon as I saw the little white dots appear indicating a planned bike lane I started driving really far on the left in the hope that my two tips down that road per week would do the steamrolling.
Then one day I was on the bike and went down that way, and nearly wiped myself out in the loose gravel :( I guess one car can’t do it alone.

I’ve also been known to take detours along Dryandra Street after they resurfaced that a year ago. Not sure what thay road needed redoing, but it’s stil ugly.

I have this theory that they resurface roads that have bike lanes with the loose gravel to make cyclists not use them. Then later they can say that nobody uses the lanes and they’re a waste of money.

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5
BicycleCanberra 5:37 pm
17 Apr 13
#

Yes I saw them doing this cycle-path a few days ago.Its like a asphalt slurry that the go over the top of the existing path. They did this on the path next to Curtin early last year but cracks started to appear only a few months later. I guess this time they’ve tried to seal the crack before hand. And don’t get me started about the cheese grater blue metal that they are resurfacing the roads with.

Noting like that in the Netherlands where they lay out the red carpet(asphalt) for their cyclists literally http://youtu.be/eaE4KOZzQOg & http://youtu.be/xkl3i-XKGNg

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6
JC 5:51 pm
17 Apr 13
#

JC said :

As noted in a recent RA post, the new wisdom is to just bung some road surface pebbles down and let the cars act as steamrollers over the next week or three. Of course, this doesn’t work with bikes, owing to the fact that they don’t weigh as much and have narrow tyres.

OP where have you been for the last 30+ years? Resurfacing by putting pebbles (as you so called them) is nothing new. I recall it being done on the streets where I lived in Macgregor in the early 80’s when I was going to primary school. In fact as a kid I used to love it on the BMX, made for some great skids.

However bikes and cars have been using said sealed roads for years. Sure it is a PIA for everyone when they first do it, but overtime it is a fine compromise.

Though I do recall many years ago when they first put in the bike lane along Belconnen way that they did a hot mix overlay on the bike lane part, but the road remained chip sealed. Now if you paid some rego on your bike you could probably ask for hot mix like this on the edge, but if your getting it for free, just put up with what everyone else has to put up with. Like it or not chip seal does do the job it is designed to do, which is to extend the life of the road surface.

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7
thatsnotme 8:47 pm
17 Apr 13
#

The recently created on-road bike path on Coulter Drive is the same. Good luck riding in the middle of the bike lane, it’s all loose gravel. It’s been like that for weeks now too – good call with Fix My Street, I’ll be off to submit a report.

JC said :

Though I do recall many years ago when they first put in the bike lane along Belconnen way that they did a hot mix overlay on the bike lane part, but the road remained chip sealed. Now if you paid some rego on your bike you could probably ask for hot mix like this on the edge, but if your getting it for free, just put up with what everyone else has to put up with. Like it or not chip seal does do the job it is designed to do, which is to extend the life of the road surface.

Sigh…this again? If you tell me where I can go to pay my bike rego, I’ll be first in line, as long as there’s a guarantee that all the fees go towards improving cycling infrastructure. I won’t even whinge about how I also pay car rego, even though I often choose not to drive, thus making the roads a little less busy for everyone else. With decent maintained infrastructure, I’d probably come out on top even after paying rego, through less frequent purchase of replacement inner tubes when I get punctures from rocky, dirty, glass covered cycle lanes. Bring it on I say!

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8
Aeek 11:01 pm
17 Apr 13
#

JC said :

Now if you paid some rego on your bike you could probably ask for hot mix like this on the edge, but if your getting it for free, just put up with what everyone else has to

Who does shifting cyclists further off to the edge of the road really benefit? Bike lanes save everyone from having to deal with the few drivers who insist on driving in the gutter or just can’t cope with being so close to a cyclist. This breaks down when the bike lane surface doesn’t feel safe.

Remember when the drought broke and we had an outbreak of wheel breaking potholes. By your logic we should have HTFU and just lived with the potholes.

As for the OP, I hope they just paint a centre line on the lower section of the path. I’ve ridden home that way the last 2 days, admittedly in the dark, and such a sweet surface. Used to hit 60kmh in the morning if everything aligned. At least the Curtin resurfacing has come up well, just took a while.

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9
FioBla 11:59 pm
17 Apr 13
#

magiccar9 said :

According to the chap from Canberra Connect who called me Re: my complaint to them, “the roads are swept once laid, and then in the day or two following to make sure no gravel is unsafe”.

Flight Attendant: Well, I can assure you that your bag will be placed safely below deck with the other luggage…

Greg Focker: Oh, yeah? How do you know my bag will be safe below with the other luggage? Huh? Are you physically going to take my bag and put it beneath the plane? Are you going to go right now outside, with the guys with the earmuffs, and go put it in there?

Flight Attendant: No…

Greg Focker: No? Okay, then shut your piehole and listen to me when I say that I am FINISHED with the checking-of-the-bags CONVERSATION.

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10
wildturkeycanoe 5:51 am
18 Apr 13
#

gungsuperstar said :

I hope these have both been submitted to Fix My Street – say what you want about Canberra Connect, it seems to work.

Both aren’t just a matter of convenience – they’re obscenely dangerous.

Fix my street is a joke. I complained about issues on the Glenlock Interchange on 4th March and here I sit 6 weeks later without a follow up, resolution or otherwise. Time to contact them again…..

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11
Jethro 6:19 am
18 Apr 13
#

That chip seal is one of the reasons I do the vast majority of my cycling on the shared paths (the other reason being the homocidal motorists I would have to share the road with).

Unfortunately there are a few areas where you have no choice – sometimes the shared paths disappear and the connector streets don’t have any sealed footpaths at all (or people have decided to use the sealed footpath as a carpark). Chip seal is an absolutely terrible surface for trying to cycle on; it sucks a lot of energy and speed from your ride and is downright dangerous. It’s not too flash hot for driving on either in the weeks after it is put down.

I’ve gotta say, though, if they start repairing the shared paths like they did to that one on Bindubi St/Parkes Way, the shared paths will be just as dangerous. I rode along there the other way and couldn’t believe how badly they had mangled what had been a perfectly good path.

Thanks to the OP for highlighting the terrible ‘improvements’ that are being made to our roads and bike paths.

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12
puggy 6:59 am
18 Apr 13
#

Jethro said :

I’ve gotta say, though, if they start repairing the shared paths like they did to that one on Bindubi St/Parkes Way, the shared paths will be just as dangerous. I rode along there the other way and couldn’t believe how badly they had mangled what had been a perfectly good path.

Check out the Lyneham bike path. They’ve turned that into a shiny new bone shattering route. Was better before.

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13
JC 7:20 am
18 Apr 13
#

thatsnotme said :

Sigh…this again? If you tell me where I can go to pay my bike rego, I’ll be first in line, as long as there’s a guarantee that all the fees go towards improving cycling infrastructure. I won’t even whinge about how I also pay car rego, even though I often choose not to drive, thus making the roads a little less busy for everyone else. With decent maintained infrastructure, I’d probably come out on top even after paying rego, through less frequent purchase of replacement inner tubes when I get punctures from rocky, dirty, glass covered cycle lanes. Bring it on I say!

Sigh what, did you even read what I wrote or did you see the word rego and pounce? For the record I don’t think bikes SHOULD pay rego and I have no issue what so ever with bike lanes on the road.

What I did say is if the OP wants a road surface OVER and ABOVE what is provided to other road user (ie a hotmix lane) then the users should be paying, read rego.

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14
JC 7:24 am
18 Apr 13
#

Aeek said :

Who does shifting cyclists further off to the edge of the road really benefit? Bike lanes save everyone from having to deal with the few drivers who insist on driving in the gutter or just can’t cope with being so close to a cyclist. This breaks down when the bike lane surface doesn’t feel safe.

Remember when the drought broke and we had an outbreak of wheel breaking potholes. By your logic we should have HTFU and just lived with the potholes.

As for the OP, I hope they just paint a centre line on the lower section of the path. I’ve ridden home that way the last 2 days, admittedly in the dark, and such a sweet surface. Used to hit 60kmh in the morning if everything aligned. At least the Curtin resurfacing has come up well, just took a while.

I didn’t say anything about shifting bikes further to the edge. When talking about the edge I was talking about on road bike lanes. All I said is if the OP wants a better surface then maybe that part should be “hot mixed”, paid of course by the users, because it is a bloody waste to hot mix the whole road when chip seal does the job, with some minor down sides.

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15
BicycleCanberra 8:36 am
18 Apr 13
#

wildturkeycanoe said :

gungsuperstar said :

I hope these have both been submitted to Fix My Street – say what you want about Canberra Connect, it seems to work.

Both aren’t just a matter of convenience – they’re obscenely dangerous.

Fix my street is a joke. I complained about issues on the Glenlock Interchange on 4th March and here I sit 6 weeks later without a follow up, resolution or otherwise. Time to contact them again…..

Sometimes they will take over a year, particularly if it is TAMS or ACT Roads

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