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Do we have a local media?

By EvanJames 3 May 2012 35

We had a major traffic accident yesterday afternoon, and a major arterial road was closed just before evening rush hour/s began.  This was Pialligo Avenue, between Canberra Airport and Queanbeyan.  Used by thousands of cars and motorbikes in both directions… in fact it’s become so busy in the evenings that it clogs up east-bound, and in the dark you have to be careful not to believe the 100 km/hr sign because encountering stationary traffic at 100 becomes exciting. I suspect that this is what happened, as this morning there was a great deal of sand and oil at the top of the hill, where the overtaking lanes return to one lane.

You would expect that the local radio would be onto it, alerting the thousands of motorists about to head up that road that they would be turned back.  But in the afternoons, 104 pipes some asinine talking show from Sydney. At news time, they had a “traffic report” which appeared to have been pre-recorded.  106 had some local guy, great, but mentions of this road being closed were few… well I heard one mention from him in the 1.5 hours it took me to get from the airport to Queanbeyean.

Worse than this though, is their regular Traffic Report by someone bubbly by the name of “Ilano”.  After I and several hundred others had been turned back at the concrete processing place, and inched back past the airport, and onto the the also-clogged Dairy Flat Rd/Monaro, “Ilano” chirpily announed that Pialligo Avenue had now been re-opened! Evidently a number of us heard this, as several cars turned around and headed back to Pialligo.  By this stage the roads around the airport were a mess, as it was just after 5pm.

No, Pialligo Avenue was not reopened, so once again we all turned at the Concrete place. Quite a few people had parked and were trying to find someone to ask how long the road would be closed for.  And back, inching past the airport, along Moreshed, onto the now very-clogged Dairy Flat, through the also-clogged Fyshwick, and a long crawl onto Canberra Avenue.

During this time I went around 106 and 104 FM, and 666 ABC on AM, and the best you got was the briefest mention that Pialligo Ave was closed.  Later, looking on the ‘net, there was nothing on the ACT Policing site, nothing on the Canberra Times site, and the radio also seemed to lose interest.

Was I the only person wondering, why wasn’t our local radio stations helping by alerting people about the closed road and the clogged roads, so people might at least change their plans, or know what was going on?  At one point, the chap on 106 announced the traffic report, and mentioned Pialligo was closed… and then played “Ilano” who happily told us about all the usual roadworks.  Not the closure of a major arterial at evening rush hour.

What’s Your opinion?


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Do we have a local media?
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Tom Green 4:22 pm 04 May 12

Wow, nice one Carpedium. You really showed her. Ilana actually bothered to take the time out of her day to make the drive home easier for Riot ACT readers. Get in touch with the community. Try and get some grass roots going. Bring radio back to the people so to speak.

You must be so proud of yourself.

carpediem 2:27 pm 04 May 12

JC said :

Ilana said :

Hi there Evan, it’s me, Ilana, the chirpy and bubbly traffic girl.

If you see any problems on our road in future, feel free to give me a buzz on 6230 1126. I always appreciate information from listeners. I can be reached on that number between the hours of 6 – 9am and 3 -6pm Monday through to Friday.

Thanks for the post and I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the future.

All the best,

Ilana

Please take what I am about to say as constructive criticism, but your traffic report is one of the biggest waste of time I have ever heard, especially how at certain times of the day you say how road X is building etc. The one I laugh at all the time is how about 7:30am you say Commonwealth Ave is starting to build city bound, but every day I drive through there at that time and there is nothing. I gather when there is nothing else to report you just state what you think might be happening.

You have been reporting the new speed limit on William Hovell drive, but from your reports it sounds like the speed limit was only changed in one direction when in fact it is two way.

Also there is no such road as the GDE, south of Belconnen Way the road you are referring to is Caswell Drive and north it is Gungahlin Drive. Lastly you should really learn how to pronounce the names of roads and suburbs in Canberra, especially Coranderrk Street which you mention regularly.

I did send an email to the station once about this but never received a response. Oh what a shock, because I guess the traffic report is just a filler for the ads.

+ 100.
More constructive critisism for Ilano… for gods sake BLOW YOUR NOSE!! That whiney nasal twang really grates on the nerves.

p1 10:20 am 04 May 12

Soooo…. when does the RiotACT radio station launch?

bitzermaloney 10:05 am 04 May 12

Genie said :

Twitter – @ACTPol_Traffic

+ 1

BTW, 104 & 106 are run by the same mob… hence any news, sport, traffic, weather, etc. is exactly the same pointless dribble. If you really want local, 666 is probably the bench mark (though even they have issues keeping up to date with traffic from time to time).

EvanJames 10:03 am 04 May 12

Myles Peterson said :

ACT Police has overly official channels for releasing information. If it had been the NSW coppers, all the pro-active media outlets would have known the details a lot earlier. (ie NSW coppers are very friendly and helpful, ACT not so much.)

That RTA site with the road updates is pretty impressive, they can have a crash or “incident” on that in a very short space of time, not sure how they do it, but I sure appreciate it!

The chinese whispers/lack of local knowledge thing is pretty marked on the commercial radio stations. Reporting the road open when it wasn’t was pretty weird. Saying it was at Glenora Drive was totally wrong (that’s the road into Fairbairn, the crash was up near the old entrance to the air disaster memorial), and the reports I did hear just said “Pialligo Avenue” which didn’t help much.

HenryBG 9:29 am 04 May 12

Tom Green said :

So, once again for all you egg shell egos out there, here is a novel idea, get those fingers away from the keyboards and onto the phone. Call the number. It’s eight digits long, so I know that it’ll be a trauma for you, but hey this is what makes boys into men.
.

Yep, nothing like some more unpaid, user-generated, inaccurate content to fill in the time between ads.

I have a better idea: Don’t listen to commercial radio.
Yesterday’s Yamba Drive closure was reported on 666 as I was getting in my car and I was able to plan a clear route accordingly. Not difficult. The information provided on commercial stations suffers form serious chinese-whisper issues and appears to be delivered by people who have very little local knowledge. Useless.

Even better, talk to your boss about re-arranging your worktimes to enable you to travel to and from work outside of peak times: you will save up to 1 hour per day and improve your mood no end. Do 4x 10-hour days. Start at 7am 3 times per week, leaving at 3pm.

Myles Peterson 9:15 am 04 May 12

“Do we have any local media?”

Hehe, kind of. But if my experience is any indication, most of them were refreshing Riot-Act for updates. (And it’s going to get worse at the crimes. My spies claim a looming overhaul is going to reduce their output to a few yarns on the integrated Fairfax Metro DMS. I’d time a revamp and chase the real estate ad dollars if it happens, JB. Could be lucrative.)

ACT Police has overly official channels for releasing information. If it had been the NSW coppers, all the pro-active media outlets would have known the details a lot earlier. (ie NSW coppers are very friendly and helpful, ACT not so much.)

Tom Green 8:38 am 04 May 12

So reading the comments so far this morning, I’ve noticed a lot of whining, a bit of trolling, and the usual array of impotent aggrieved narcissism one is bound to encounter on Riot ACT.

On the radio however, guess what I heard? Sweet FA in terms of tips for traffic.

So, once again for all you egg shell egos out there, here is a novel idea, get those fingers away from the keyboards and onto the phone. Call the number. It’s eight digits long, so I know that it’ll be a trauma for you, but hey this is what makes boys into men.

I’ve called up with traffic updates in the past, and they have always gone to air. Sure, I might be stuck in said traffic, but at least the guy behind me will know about it. But there again, I guess I’m more interested in helping my fellow man than playing the hating game.

Oh, JC, is there a road pronunciation support group out there? Some kind of school one can go to? I’ve been in this town for a good part of my life, and I still get stuck on pronouncing Efkarpidis St. .

JC 7:11 am 04 May 12

Ilana said :

Hi there Evan, it’s me, Ilana, the chirpy and bubbly traffic girl.

If you see any problems on our road in future, feel free to give me a buzz on 6230 1126. I always appreciate information from listeners. I can be reached on that number between the hours of 6 – 9am and 3 -6pm Monday through to Friday.

Thanks for the post and I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the future.

All the best,

Ilana

Please take what I am about to say as constructive criticism, but your traffic report is one of the biggest waste of time I have ever heard, especially how at certain times of the day you say how road X is building etc. The one I laugh at all the time is how about 7:30am you say Commonwealth Ave is starting to build city bound, but every day I drive through there at that time and there is nothing. I gather when there is nothing else to report you just state what you think might be happening.

You have been reporting the new speed limit on William Hovell drive, but from your reports it sounds like the speed limit was only changed in one direction when in fact it is two way.

Also there is no such road as the GDE, south of Belconnen Way the road you are referring to is Caswell Drive and north it is Gungahlin Drive. Lastly you should really learn how to pronounce the names of roads and suburbs in Canberra, especially Coranderrk Street which you mention regularly.

I did send an email to the station once about this but never received a response. Oh what a shock, because I guess the traffic report is just a filler for the ads.

Tom Green 6:08 am 04 May 12

astrojax said :

Ilana said :

Hi there Evan, it’s me, Ilana, the chirpy and bubbly traffic girl.

If you see any problems on our road in future, feel free to give me a buzz on 6230 1126. I always appreciate information from listeners. I can be reached on that number between the hours of 6 – 9am and 3 -6pm Monday through to Friday.

Thanks for the post and I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the future.

All the best,

Ilana

we have a llama doing traffic now? oh, llana – or ilana? what did you [op] do before mobiles provided local media input? was there concrete in the water back then??

We have a Astrojax trolling the internetz now? Oh, wait, is that Astrojerk or just Assjerk? What did you do before the internet was invented? Were there lols in your mother’s basement?

Mr Gillespie 10:57 pm 03 May 12

Sandman, perhaps they shouldn’t update the comms sergeant either because the police at the scene are too busy clearing the wreckage and rescuing the trapped as quickly as they possibly can, meanwhile, roads for kilometres around are like carparks and no-one has a clue why they are trapped in such hideous traffic jams.

Are you advocating more secrecy Mr Sandman??? People have a right to know what’s going on!

Sandman 10:19 pm 03 May 12

Dear ACT Policing.
Should I ever be involved in a major automobile accident and am trapped in a twisted pile of metal vaguely resembling my car, I request that you not stuff around updating your twitter feed and just get me the hell out of that car and to a hospital. I honestly couldn’t give a stuff if Evan from Queanbeyan Is left spending a bit of extra time in his nice warm car surfing the local radio stations.

Thank you

poetix 10:14 pm 03 May 12

Ilana said :

Hi there Evan, it’s me, Ilana, the chirpy and bubbly traffic girl.
….
….

Just wondering if it is physically possible to be chirpy and bubbly at the same time? it conjures up a budgie drowning in a vat of champagne for me. Mind you, I am a fully fledged grump.

qbngeek 9:03 pm 03 May 12

EvanJames said :

I have a shocking thing to tell some of you: the majority of the population does not use twitter. No, really. And, hopefully, 100% of the people driving in yesterday’s traffic snarl-up were also not using twitter.

A medium used by a minority of the population and not legal to be used while driving is not really a valid way to alert motorists of a major road closure. It certainly didn’t work last night.

I was moving between 104,106 and 666 for the 1.5 hours I was stuck in that traffic, and heard two announcements that Pialligo Ave was closed, and one announcement that it was open. For a pretty major incident that happened at a very busy time, they should have been updating regularly.

It sounds like the police had information out on their twitter feed, why didn’t the radio stations mentioned broadcast it? (and not broadcasat incorrect information like 106 did)?

There was a steady nose-to-tail stream of cars arriving at the roadblock, turning and going back, twitter was of zero assistance to them. I bet many of them had the radio on though.

Just because you (and the majority of people apparently) have failed to move with the times and use the weapons at your disposal to arm yourself with the latest is the fault of nobody but you. I do not listen to the crap on the radio in the car and choose to listen to audiobooks on my phone.

As for the legality of twitter on the go. I took me all of 5 minutes to download a text to speech app for my phone and set it to automatically interrupt whatever I am listening to with updates from multiple sources. FYI, those sources are twitter posts from ACTpol_traffic, CPOACT, nswpolice and ACT_ESA and text messages from my wife.

Holden Caulfield 8:06 pm 03 May 12

Deckard said :

EvanJames said :

I was moving between 104,106 and 666 for the 1.5 hours I was stuck in that traffic, and heard two announcements that Pialligo Ave was closed, and one announcement that it was open. For a pretty major incident that happened at a very busy time, they should have been updating regularly.

Maybe they were updating and you kept missing it as you switched between stations.

ABC News Radio on 103.9 has traffic updates for all of Australia, including Canberra, every 30 minutes. Unfortunately when parliament is sitting it changes to the parliamentary service so don’t have any traffic updates at all.

The problem with the News Radio updates is they’re often out of date or completely irrelevant.

For example, one morning on the way to work they told me Limestone Ave was slow, with heavy traffic.

It was no different to any other morning.

At some stage last year some small out of the way streets in Turner were getting drains replaced and that made it onto the NR updates. Why?! You’d be lucky if it affected 100 people.

And their pronunciations are often a bit dodgy too (probably fair enough at times, I guess).

I think they say they get their updates from Australian Traffic Network, I presume they rely on public updates/feedback for their data???

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