18 October 2005

Grinding down the footpaths to make a better world

| johnboy
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The state of Canberra’s footpath’s is something that mightily concerns those Canberrans with too much time on their hands. Liberal Leadership aspirant Richard Mulcahy has made much of it in the past. So I was curious when I noticed peculiar white patches showing up on the paths of the Inner North.

Pavement stripes in the Inner North

It looks almost like grinding… And then it dawned on me.

More Pavement Stripes

It IS grinding. They aren’t repairing the footpaths by laying down new ones, they’re grinding them down to make the edges match.

Future archeologists will wonder at these markings. Does anyone think they would dare to dream that in 2005 people were so feeble as to not be able to watch where they put their feet, and yet so powerfull as to provoke this effort?

On the bright side the rollerbladers and skateboarders will love it.

Does anyone think the incidence of falls causing injury will actually drop as a result of this effort?

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I need one of those things to do our driveway, the tree roots keep pushing up the concrete

The conspicuous zebra crossing visual effect won’t last forever. Eventually, the ground-back parts of the footpath weather and discolour to look much like the adjoining unground concrete.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart7:05 pm 19 Oct 05

Yea, and it didn’t particularly help the pedestrians, just made the ride slightly smoother for those on wheels.

I remember to previous fix used to be bitumen packed over the edge of the raised slab.

That looked shithouse.

Last year, my partner and I pulled over to assist an old lady who was sitting on a footpath in Kaleen at night, bleeding. She had tripped on a part of the footpath that was sticking up a couple of inches. She had cuts on her face from her glasses which had broken in the fall. Somebody called an ambulance, and my partner and I went to her house to let her husband know what had happened. Luckily for her, the ambos were pretty sure that none of the broken glass had ended up in her eyes. Nevertheless, the poor old lady was rather distressed. Uneven footpaths were the main reason for this. Dim streetlighting was also a factor.

It’s a reaction to all the personal injury liability hoohaa of a couple of years ago.

A few paths made even by grinding down is certainly cheaper than ripping up the paths and certainly cheaper than some peanut suing for not watching where they are walking and tripping over.

Can’t do that Nik, tree has to live.

We’re in drought you know. If the council wanted to fix the problem, they’d have to move the path.

it does completely ignore that most of the problems are caused by root growth under the paths and without lifting the path, removing the problem then relaying it’s just going to continue. It’s a dodgy quick fix, typical of government these days.

this is just nuts.

footpaths around my place are atrocious, and no amount of slap dash quick fix it grinding would repair them.

then again, i spend quite some time in europe where fucking cobblestones played havoc with the ankles.

Try telling that to the average concreter – my uncle Sherm’s going bust because of this.

not just vision impaired people will benefit, older people with bi-focals can see what the path looks like at distance (top half of specs) but it is dificult for them to actually see where they are putting their feet (bottom half of specs), which can lead to falls and broken hips and worse

Ever since one dude (who was rather overweight!) fell over on a footpath in Cook and sued the ACT Govt, they’ve been going crazy grinding concrete all over Canberra. At the moment they are virtually re-concreting every path in Downer – complete overkill!

They did it all up and down constitution avenue near the CIT and Scabs Alley months ago.

As a side bonus it’ll assist vision impaired people with where to put their feet (in a kind of look out for the white bit kind of way)

Sounds like a smart solution to a common enough problem, about time we saw some thinking outside the square. The proviso being that if the pavement was past it’s serviceable shelf life that it would naturally be replaced of course.

they sure are grinding marks, I saw them hard at it many a early morning on the way to school. They had a old white van which said something like ‘Heart Essentials’ on the side in peeling letters. There were two of them and this grinding machine which made a hell of alot of noise.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart9:15 pm 18 Oct 05

Seems like a reasonable move, and it makes more sense than the ramp approach that has taken place in some parts of Canberra where they build a mini-concrete ramp from the lower paver to the higher paver in an effort to smooth them out.

Spectra, my parents live in Melbourne (Mitcham), and footpaths around their neighbourhood were similarly ground years ago.

OK, I surrender. I’ll tell Ernie Trudge to stop bullshitting me over my quiet afternoon beer. Or to pay more attention to what his co-workers are actually doing.

It is indeed grinding in order to remove those nasty edges which can trip you up. They’ve been doing the same thing in Melbourne where I used to live for years.
Is it worth it? Well, given the generous compensation payouts these days, saving one person from tripping may well end up being worth it 🙂

Vic Bitterman8:13 pm 18 Oct 05

Definately grinding, some areas of Tuggeraning are getting it too. if it’s cheaper than ripping it up and relaying, and achieves the same result – ingenious!! Whodathunkit??!!!!

looks like the surface has been ground back to me.

Council worker I met down the pub shortly after knocking-off time (3.23 on Tuesdays) tells me they are in fact the marks made after spraying with noxious weedkiller. The weeds grow through the gap between pavers.
Could be, however, that an overzealous (or environmentally conscious) worker took to the weeds with an angle grinder.

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