15 April 2013

Bowes Street Woden, Juliana House Revamp

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This is a whinge really and yes I know you ‘perfect’ people will shoot me down in flames but I don’t care.

How is it that developers are able to obtain permission to supposedly close off only half a road, when in fact it is most of the road and then encroach on the rest of it with huge skip bins for lengthy periods, close access to footpaths so that disabled people like me are forced to try and navigate gutters and curbs and obscure pedestrian line of sight to oncoming traffic.

When did this become an acceptable thing in Canberra that we are all just supposed to put up with it? Is anyone monitoring the chaos? Sorry but the closing of the only disabled access on the footpath the other day was the last straw for me.

UPDATE 15/04/13 13:43: ToastFliesRed has sent these in:

For those unfamiliar with the current state of the area referred to by Someonesmother, I took these pics at lunchtime today. Pic 2 shows the closed off ramp through to the central walkway which leads up to the post office square.

juliana house juliana house

juliana house

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I noticed two fresh ramp-shaped lumps of concrete on both sides of Bowes St this morning near the intersection with Atlantic / Matilda Sts. The ramps aren’t cut into the footpath but at least provide a ramped access from the hard gutter to the road.

Dear Someonesmother and those who have taken the time to post their comments in this forum,

As the owner and developer of the refurbishment project at Juliana House, GEOCON would like to take this opportunity to provide some additional information about the concerns raised in the initial and subsequent posts.

We are replying to the information provided to offer greater engagement with the community and open the channels of communication should someone wish to contact us directly and have a conversation about how we can assist them further in their use of Bowes Street – we have provided contact details at the end of the post and welcome feedback and discussion.

We would like to clarify that at the commencement of the project, GEOCON engaged in a great deal of stakeholder liaison and took the necessary steps to ensure that a Temporary Traffic Management Plan (TTMP) that met the needs of the project, and those that use the areas around the project, was in place.

It is also important to clarify that GEOCON has not closed any ramp access in or around Bowes Street. The pictures taken demonstrate the pram ramps to the north have been maintained (with temporary signage) and to the south, GEOCON has implemented our own pram ramps to assist with accessibility. All temporary hoarding is in line with the TTMP and we have taken the time to redo all line markings to allow optimum flow of traffic through the area. Currently GEOCON is occupying 4.9m of Bowes Street plus 0.4m for water barriers. The part of the road that remains open for public access and vehicles totals 6.9m, meaning that much less than 50% of the depth of Bowes Street is being occupied by construction. The pedestrian footpath on the opposite side of the road is also completely usable and not impacted by this project.

GEOCON has invested in much smaller skip bins (6m3 instead of 15m3) than those normally used on construction sites to alleviate the impact on Bowes Street. These bins are always kept within the boundaries of the site except at the point in time when they are moved into a convenient location for pick up. If there is ever a requirement to move outside of the boundaries of the site, we do this with the assistance of highly trained traffic managers and at non-peak times.

The refurbishment project being undertaken is also a very short program to pose as little disruption as possible. The third Abode – The Apartment Hotel is due to open in August of this year.

We understand your concerns and are more than happy to receive suggestions about how we can make Bowes Street more accessible to pedestrians and/or those that may have a disability but until the time that we receive specific requests to make changes, the TTMP is the document that we are required to work to.

If Someonesmother would like to contact us directly and provide further information regarding requirements to use the side of the street that we are occupying, we would welcome this. Correspondence can be directed to admin@geocon.com.au.

ToastFliesRED1:45 pm 15 Apr 13

FarrerGirl said :

I agree it is a bad set up. On a side note, I actually requested the ACT Government consider a pedestrian crossing for Bowes street, after having to run across the road to avoid being hit by cars going way over the signposted 20 km/hr (50 km/hr further down). Apparently not enough cars drive on Bowes street to warrant a pedestrian crossing.

I would have thought there would be sufficient traffic especially between Launceston St and Matilda St with the cars entering and leaving the carparks. At the moment I have to cross there daily (only to avoid the closed footpath on the side of Juliana House) and doing so is a real pain in the mornings, given generally not bein able to go further than Matilda St because of those works.

I am sorry to hear of your frustration here OP – people can put up a fence and walk away with no thought for anyone else. It’s semi-permanent, it’s selfish and it is often dangerous.
In the past few weeks builders have put up a fence at the roundabout on Cotter Rd and Settlement Drive. Cyclists travelling east are directed off the road by existing signage, but they will go straight into the new fence. Last week it was just a single wire at 1m high, now it’s a series of panels. Good luck at 50km/h and/or at night.
And yes, I have logged it at fixmystreet. Still there, and still bloody dangerous.

I agree it is a bad set up. On a side note, I actually requested the ACT Government consider a pedestrian crossing for Bowes street, after having to run across the road to avoid being hit by cars going way over the signposted 20 km/hr (50 km/hr further down). Apparently not enough cars drive on Bowes street to warrant a pedestrian crossing.

bundah said :

Is there anyone with half a brain in the bureaucracy?

Yes, all of them. They gets lobotomised as part of the bureaucratic process.

Well you are referring to the gummint who don’t give a rats arse about inconveniencing the public when it comes to roadworks.They insist on simultaneously undertaking as many projects as possible and then spread the limited resources around so that it takes an eternity to complete them.Is there anyone with half a brain in the bureaucracy?

Roads are involved in the approval for a TTM, but I *think* it’s WorkSafe that might actually police them. Canberra Connect should be able to take the call and direct it where it belongs.

I would have thought that TAMS rangers would have a say in this.

The same thing happened to a road near our place. It seemed like no-one really cares about this sort of thing and since building certification was privatised nobody actually associated with the activity will police it.

That’s awful to hear. You’re quite right that someone should be monitoring what contractors get up to with our roads, especially given other recent incidents. But I suspect you’ll probably need to bring it to the correct person’s attention yourself.

Riotact-ers – would it be Roads ACT?

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