6 September 2021

Probing the polls: pothole fixes and a bus shelter advertising ban?

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Bus stop sign and bus.

Should the ACT become advertising-free on buses and parked cars? Photo: Region Media.

It’s been a wet winter and the damage to the roads is evident (including a monster pothole, now fixed, that lurked outside the Region Media office for many long tyre-juddering weeks).

But how far does the government’s responsibility extend if you shred your tyres or damage your paintwork? Taylah Kolaric from Higgins would like the ACT Government to pay up after her new $20,000 car was peppered with poorly laid cold mix on Belconnen Way.

Payouts for provable damage have totalled $37,000 in the last year, but is it up to us to foot the bill? Some readers pointed out that low profile tyres on low slung vehicles were significantly more vulnerable to damage.

We asked, Should the ACT Government pay for damage caused by poor road conditions? A total of 1032 people voted.

Your options were to vote No, take responsibility for your own driving and car choice. This received 26 per cent of the total or 267 votes. Alternatively, you could vote Yes, they failed to fix it properly, they can pay. This was a clear winner on 74 per cent of the total or 765 votes.

This week, we’re wondering whether you think too much advertising is creeping into Canberra?

The Greens are petitioning the ACT Government to remove advertising materials that block windows on buses and trams and introduce a specific offence for roadside advertising on parked vehicles.

But partner and director of marketing agency Coordinate, Warren Apps, told Region Media that the ACT already had Australia’s strictest outdoor advertising requirements.

“We would be calling for a more nuanced debate and a reasonable set of evidence-based regulations that recognise the need to prevent a proliferation of outdoor advertising against the reality of the more urbanised city we now live in,” he said, adding that smaller local businesses also need a mechanism for promoting themselves.

READ ALSO Are there too many advertisements in Canberra?

Opinions were divided among readers. Janet Heap wrote, “Quality of life is about more than intruding on our space with glaring advertisements just to make money. Makes for scrambled minds!”

Mark Chenery is also not a fan of outdoor advertising.

“I moved to Canberra from Sydney six years ago and love how free of advertising this city is. Outdoor advertising is both ugly and offensive. I like being able to walk and drive around Canberra without being screamed at from every angle to buy more stuff. That’s the last thing this city needs,” he wrote.

There were plenty, however, who thought bus shelter ads were relatively harmless.

“I find political corflutes MUCH more offensive! Overall the bus shelters are neat and clean. I love the bus wraps. Without them, it would cost more for the services to run (ie an increase in bus fares). The real eyesores are the northside multi-story apartments,” Kerri Hallas wrote.

Ollie agreed: “Great thing about bus shelter ads is the company that places them cleans the bus shelter. Shelters without ads are generally filthy. I’m happy to pay with 1/2 a second of my attention on an ad.”

Our question this week is:

Should we remove advertising from bus shelters and moving vehicles?

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Anyone who has been a passenger on a bus knows that the advertising on the windows are perforated. People can’t see in, but us passengers can see out.
Importantly, the perforated advertising provides some protection from the westerly summer sun and when you’re travelling south along Adelaide Ave, you’re looking for as much protection as you can get!

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