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(Re)surfacing epic fail x 2

By 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

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34 Responses to (Re)surfacing epic fail x 2
#1
schmeah4:12 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?

#2
gungsuperstar4:24 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.

#3
magiccar94:31 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

#4
bugmenot5:15 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.

#5
BicycleCanberra5:37 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

#6
JC5:51 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.

#7
thatsnotme8:47 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!

#8
Aeek11:01 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.

#9
FioBla11:59 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.

#10
wildturkeycanoe5:51 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…..

#11
Jethro6:19 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.

#12
puggy6:59 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.

#13
JC7:20 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.

#14
JC7:24 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.

#15
BicycleCanberra8:36 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

#16
KB19719:23 am, 18 Apr 13

I too have wondered how the repairs have been tendered. A couple of years ago they did some much needed upgrades to the main path to Tuggeranong from the City & around LBG.

A lot of this path has been affected by the roots of the many trees that line the paths. The trees make for nice riding but not when their roots are lifting the track.

Anyway, many of these sections were just re surfaced with the lumps underneath them, no removing the roots in preparation for the new surface and now a couple of years down the track when everything has settled, these sections are just as lumpy as they were before the work.

Total waste of money & I wonder if anyone actually did a QC check afterwards to see what had been done.

The other thing, dirt & gravel on the tracks are not really that dangerous, if you have issues with it you need to just ride to the conditions, same as driving on dirt roads. There are a few patches of dirt on my commute, I just slow down on these bits.

Also I see a lot of people using the wrong type of bike for commuting, a 3kg, $10000 carbon framed thing endorsed by Lance Armstrong is not really suitable. I have a steel framed Masi that has 38mm tyres which is so much better than my old Avanti racing bike. A lot less issues with commuting using the right tools for the job.

#17
puggy9:25 am, 18 Apr 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

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…..

I’ve had pretty good responses using Fix My Street. You should follow up with the job number and ask what is happening. Sometimes it does take a while, but eventually it works. I frame all my submissions as public safety issues (because they usually are) and so that may scare them into action!

#18
carnardly11:50 am, 18 Apr 13

Melrose Drive is 10/10 now – compared to what it was after they did it. One morning, the signs went up at the corner where the Lutheran Church is saying to slow down, but the gravel started further south of that. I heard about a number of people that found it the hard way before sunrise.

It’s getting better now but still quite slidey. I don’t fang along there anymore though as I don’t want to be a meatlovers pizza if i stack it.

#19
FGC1:02 pm, 18 Apr 13

JC said :

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.

I agree. If a service is going to be provided to benefit cyclists, it should be paid for exclusively by cyclists. Just like how all taxes you pay are only used for services you personally use.
I’m employed so naturally none of my taxes are spent on financial aid for the unemployed and because I don’t have any major health concerns, none of my taxes are spent on healthcare, because that’s the way democracy works.

#20
JC4:27 pm, 18 Apr 13

FGC said :

I agree. If a service is going to be provided to benefit cyclists, it should be paid for exclusively by cyclists. Just like how all taxes you pay are only used for services you personally use.
I’m employed so naturally none of my taxes are spent on financial aid for the unemployed and because I don’t have any major health concerns, none of my taxes are spent on healthcare, because that’s the way democracy works.

Nah it isn’t quite like that, bit like this:

If you want health care you get medicare for free, if you want over and above you get private health insurance and pay.

If you want schooling for your kids then you get free schooling like everyone else, if you want over and above you pay for a private schools.

If you want to ride your bike on the road then you get what everyone else gets, which is chip seal, if you want over and above like everything else you should pay. As mentioned before I have no issue ‘paying’ for on road bike lanes, off road bike lanes etc, but the budget can only go so far so no way to pave those lanes with gold (or hot mix for that matter). That’s the crux.

#21
bainbridge4:46 pm, 18 Apr 13

JC said :

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.

That not what the OP is asking for. They are asking for the SAME road surface as the other road users. You don’t see piles of gravel in the car lanes weeks after the road is sealed but you do see them in the cycle lane. The cars plow all the loose gravel into the cycle lane and the centre of the road and then it just sits there until it rains. At that point it ALL gets washed into the cycle lane. They simply need to sweep the entire road surface.

#22
Deref5:04 pm, 18 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”.

No doubt he was telling you what he’d been told. No-one who’s ever seen this chipseal done, though, would believe it for an instant.

#23
JC9:20 pm, 18 Apr 13

Deref said :

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”.

No doubt he was telling you what he’d been told. No-one who’s ever seen this chipseal done, though, would believe it for an instant.

Actually I saw it done last year when they resurfaced 90% of Osborne Drive in Macgregor. Basically the day after it was swept then a couple of days later. The truck belong to the contractor Downer EDI. Of course though it needs to be done regularly though.

#24
Nanouk8:31 am, 21 Apr 13

I am happy to see that post! I use that bike path between Aranda and William Hovell Drive, and I couldn’t understand what was happening… O_o
It just seems like a joke. The freshly white marks on the road looks like they are going to keep the resurfacing this way. Incredible. Such a waste of money. The road is not better now than before (and it was quite good before, IMHO). These silly lines not improving anything… The 0.1mm new tar over it… Why? They could have put something, or nothing at all, but just that ridiculously thin layer… I just can’t understand.

JC said :

If you want to ride your bike on the road then you get what everyone else gets, which is chip seal, if you want over and above like everything else you should pay. As mentioned before I have no issue ‘paying’ for on road bike lanes, off road bike lanes etc, but the budget can only go so far so no way to pave those lanes with gold (or hot mix for that matter). That’s the crux.

I have no issue paying for cars lanes, if that matters. And I don’t use them. And the money spent on cars and roads are outrageous, when you don’t use them.

#25
Jere133:37 pm, 23 Apr 13

Aside from the loose stones that are damaging our cars, there are sooo many other downsides to sprayseals vs asphalt/concrete that the ACT Government ignores. A quick goggle search finds numerous articles about the increased road noise both inside the car and outside (for those living on spray sealed streets), increased fuel consumption and tyre wear due to the increased rolling resistance (a NZ report recorded a difference of 1 litre per 100), a much shorter life span (seals last less than half as long as spray seals), and they just look awful.

It’s clear that the ACT Government is only looking at the short term savings of seals rather than asphalt and none of the qualitative elements above are taken into account. Seals may be cheaper, but if you add all of the inconvenience, wear on cars, fuel economy and general dissatisfaction surely there would be a case for more than the 5% of roads that are sealed with asphalt in the ACT.

At the very least major arterial roads like the parkway and Adelaide avenue should surely be asphalt or concrete.

#26
tim_c4:34 pm, 23 Apr 13

Jere13 said :

Aside from the loose stones that are damaging our cars, there are sooo many other downsides to sprayseals vs asphalt/concrete that the ACT Government ignores. A quick goggle search finds numerous articles about the increased road noise both inside the car and outside (for those living on spray sealed streets), increased fuel consumption and tyre wear due to the increased rolling resistance (a NZ report recorded a difference of 1 litre per 100), a much shorter life span (seals last less than half as long as spray seals), and they just look awful.

It’s clear that the ACT Government is only looking at the short term savings of seals rather than asphalt and none of the qualitative elements above are taken into account. Seals may be cheaper, but if you add all of the inconvenience, wear on cars, fuel economy and general dissatisfaction surely there would be a case for more than the 5% of roads that are sealed with asphalt in the ACT….

It’s also clear that the ACT Gov’t cares nothing about increasing fuel consumption, tyre wear, noise pollution, wear on vehicles, increased maintenance, inconvenience and general dissatisfaction – otherwise they wouldn’t be wasting money installing inverted potholes (speed bumps/pillows/cushions/whatever) and other traffic “calming” devices. I’d suggest they’d increase fuel consumption by more than 1L/100km for most vehicles.

#27
Tetranitrate5:17 pm, 23 Apr 13

I really have to wonder why it is that the government persists in contracting everything out – it just gets worse and worse. There are areas of the parkway where there’s basically no traction because the chip-sealing simply doesn’t work – car tiers clear away all the stones long before they’re ‘set’ and you get these long 30-50cm long lanes of bare bitumen.

Why don’t they start bringing it back in house? not for 100% of the roadwork, but at least some part of the regular maintenance. I don’t believe for a second that contracting is cheaper, and certainly not if you account for the additional cost born by the public for this shoddy work.

#28
thatsnotme3:53 pm, 24 Apr 13

thatsnotme said :

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.

An update. I put in a request to Fix My Street, for both the issues with gravel mentioned above, and also some plants on Southern Cross Drive heading towards Belco, that were blocking half the bike lane. So it was a pleasant surprise this morning to see that within a week, the plants had been cut back, and the bike lane was clear again.

Still no action on clearing the gravel (the plants and gravel issues were assigned different job numbers), but it was encouraging to see that some issues can be dealt with quickly, and not everything going to Fix my Street ends up in a black hole.

#29
Jere139:55 am, 12 Oct 13

This is the reality of Canberra. Our resurfacing is the worst in the nation.

#30
AsparagusSyndrome6:45 pm, 12 Oct 13

carnardly said :

Melrose Drive is 10/10 now – compared to what it was after they did it. One morning, the signs went up at the corner where the Lutheran Church is saying to slow down, but the gravel started further south of that.

I heard about a number of people that found it the hard way before sunrise.

It’s getting better now but still quite slidey.

I don’t fang along there anymore though as I don’t want to be a meatlovers pizza if i stack it.

mmmmm…. pizza … mmmmmmmmmm.

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