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(Re)surfacing epic fail x 2

By Beau Locks 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

What’s Your opinion?


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(Re)surfacing epic fail x 2
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miz 8:20 am 13 Oct 13

This is another example of the the ACT Govt’s general obliviousness to the sage advice that ‘a stitch in time saves nine’. They continually do things on the cheap (and/or put off necessary work), ostensibly to save money, which ends up wasting our money. This road surfacing problem is one of many – other recent examples include entrenched non- and/or faux consultation processes, the gaol size issue, delaying the widening of inadequate main roads (and trying to stop the consequent use of suburban streets with speed bumps), planning Light Rail for only a fraction of Canberra instead of having a genuine, city-wide plan, etc etc etc. Poor stewardship seems to be an ongoing attribute of all ACT Govts since self-government. It is very depressing to see such chronic bad management.

Minz 11:59 pm 12 Oct 13

JC said :

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.

JC, you’re arguing for equality, when the other folks are arguing for equity. Equality isn’t equity, as riding on that chipseal crap is much, much worse than driving on it. This is the case even in my elderly car with wheels so skinny they’re described as “cheesecutters” by the tyre people, and draw a crowd when I try to buy replacements!

Riding on that stuff is a) slidey and more dangerous, even with a proper commuter bike, and b) hard and lumpy, which is very little fun and hard work. Remember, if cyclists stack it, you pay for it in your taxes, and if cyclists stop riding, you pay for it in increased traffic and difficulty finding a park – when all that was required was to NOT resurface the bike path! So you, personally, could have a better outcome had the government not spent your taxpayers money (and mine) on that particular bit of resurfacing. Seems a no-brainer.

Personally, as I’m a daily rider and a weekly driver (like many), my rego fees and taxes are still going towards roads same as yours, despite my personal dislike for driving. Unfortunately, car rego and road spending are not actually related, so the original argument that bikes don’t get a vote on road surfaces unless they pay rego isn’t valid – we all pay for car surfaces, regardless of use.

PantsMan 8:50 pm 12 Oct 13

milkman said :

Of course the ACT govt can’t afford to resurface roads properly. That money is being used to support arguing about gay marriage, irrelevant humans rights BS and public art.

^^ This.

milkman 8:19 pm 12 Oct 13

Of course the ACT govt can’t afford to resurface roads properly. That money is being used to support arguing about gay marriage, irrelevant humans rights BS and public art.

AsparagusSyndrome 6:45 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.

Jere13 9:55 am 12 Oct 13

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

thatsnotme 3:53 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.

Tetranitrate 5:17 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.

tim_c 4:34 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.

Jere13 3:37 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.

Nanouk 8:31 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.

JC 9:20 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.

Deref 5:04 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.

bainbridge 4:46 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.

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