Canterbury Terrace comes before Council this month

Our administration has confirmed today that Canterbury Terrace WILL be coming to Council this month.

The final detail is being finalised as we speak. It will be submitted for edification to management by the end of this week, which is the timeline in order for it to be part of this month’s agenda.

I expect the report may include information on the number of cyclists using the Greenways path and therefore the number of cyclists using this intersection. This will obviously inform the final recommendation put to Council.

Council meets net on Monday 28th April. The agenda for the meeting is due to be posted on the Council website the previous Thursday. This is the same day it is becomes available to elected members.

With Friday being Anzac Day I expect this will be bought forward to the Wednesday.

I invite you to check it out and let me know your thoughts prior to Council considering it.

PS   And I confirm I still expect the two way solution to be recommended.

The Fight Continues

The Greenways project may be complete but the fight is far from over as DPTI talk the talk but have yet learnt to walk the walk.

Jennie and I received a communication from DPTI this week. In that communication they advised that:
1.      Fencing along the Greenways and electrified line will be repaired only if they are considered to pose a safety hazard.

2.       Where the Greenway route is a path within the rail corridor, there is a 1.8m high spear top rail fence already located between the path and the railway corridor

3.       Fences are not required between private properties and the greenways bike path. Indeed we are told “one property along the Greenway, located between Clarence Park and Emerson, actually has no boundary fence and wants to keep it this way”.
Being blisfully unaware of the condition of the fences in this area myself notwithstanding I have walked the strip a number of times I ventured back there on Friday and again today to pay more specific attention and this is what I found:
1.      A number of fences ARE clearly in my opinion unsafe and surely should have been addressed before the pathway was made open to the public.Any fence whose sheeting is pulling away from the framework and/or leaning is in my opinion unsafe.

2.       The Greenway path between Emerson and Clarence Park Rail Stations is chain mesh, and some of this, where Byron, Canterbury and the bike path meet (a gathering area of people from all directions), is but 1200 high. It is quite neat and probably does the job but it not what we are being told it is. Proof yet again of what I have been saying for a long time….DPTI will know what this project looks like, only after it is finished. Mind you this fence is up so maybe they won’t even then.

3.       Not only did I NOT find property between Emerson & Clarence Park that has NO fence I challenge that people would be happy for the rear yards to be exposed to the bikeway. I just cant see that. Indeed it would mean that these properties would have no private open space. Unless there is a quaint little regulation stuck away somewhere that overrides the Development Regulations all residential properties are required to have private open space which is defined as behind an 1800 high fence. Not many of them along the corridor.
Did not take a picture of any low height fences for reasons of privacy
Of course I knew all that anyway, living just around the corner. It is a bit like talking to a call centre from Mumbai, they simply don’t know Adelaide.

Victoria Street Open to cars

The rail grade separation and electrification works are coming to an end with Victoria Street, Millswood open to traffic.

There is still much to be done to be finally complete and while workers will  frequent the area there will be safety guards present at the crossing.

I noticed when visiting the site early this afternoon that sound attenuation walling is yet to commence and the Greenways bike path from the crossing back to Cromer Parade has yet to be bituminised. Of course electrification works  are well short of finished.

There are of course a number of resident concerns yet to be resolved with DPTI. Jennie & I will be seeking another audience with Rod Hook if we feel resolutions are not forthcoming in the near future.

DPTI presents Community Wildlife Project to Neighbourhood Watch

At the invitation of Clarence Park Neighbourhood Watch DPTI presented their proposals to re-establish the local wildlife disturbed by the recent rail revitilisation works through Unley.

This project, in partnership with the City of Unley and the NRM Board, will provide an opportunity for people to work them to return wildlife habitat to where it has been impaired or destroyed as the rail project rolled out over the last 9 months.

DPTI have undertaken to fund and facilitate community wildlife project information centres and nesting-box building workshops with students from surrounding schools. Examples of the boxes where available at the presentation. They showed video of the students of Black Forest and Goodwood Primary Schools enthusiastically committing to protecting their local environment.

This program, as reported before in this blog, is an extension of our very own nesting-box program; a program that has seen from memory some 30 boxes located mainly in the eastern parts of the City of Unley. This brings it out west.

More information can be found at

Update on confusion and confounding

Further to my post of last week it seems another fence in Black Forest along the Greenways will now be replaced.

I believe only 1 however, and this as a result of applied pressure by that resident.

This means 5 of the 7 have been down now rather then 4 from 7. By my calculation that is 2 to go.

Wonder if and when we will hear of these being done and whether or not the resident concerned has to be as persistent as the previous ones have had to be.

DPTI continue to confuse and confound Residents

With the rail revitalisation projects seemingly finished – well not really – residents continue to be confused by comments from DPTI staff that contradict previous undertakings. And of course the standard trick used from day 1 to confound … they are still blaming or duck shoving it to council.

It is no wonder there is an anti DPTI sentiment out there. 

I have to say I have had a gut full representing residents in the negotiations and unfortunately their fights with DPTI on the group of rail projects in my suburb. This is a state government project, always has been. DPTI is a state government department.
And yet DPTI keep blaming Council for their stuff ups and misgivings. And residents feel, rightly or wrongly, that their only course of action they have is to seek the help of their local government representatives.
There has been a long drawn out fight along the greenways bike path in Black Forest with admissions and then denials from DPTI. They argued for months that they were not responsible for replacing residents fences backing onto the bike path, except where the works has damaged the fences or caused privacy to be lost. 
The argument was if they did this there they would have to do it along the whole 32 km length of the rail corridor. Wrong the bike path is not the rail corridor it is a unique stretch of land that does not set a precedent for the rail corridor. And the fences in this area fitted both criteria they indictated warranted action on thir part.
Continued pressure from residents in this area have seen DPTI finally relent and provide new fences to 4 of houses. Why. Because they were caught out by the fact that they had lifted the finished levels in this location by some 400 mm, meaning the fences now had to retain filling, which they did not have to before and which is illegal.
Picture of fence done, complete with retaining wall under (covered with plastic)
Of course this was only after intervention from above, I think from CEO Rod Hook. And as part of that process retaining walls were placed under the fences.
That means they gave the commitment. And they gave it as I understand it, and according to the residents involved, to all of them.
But guess what. There are three other houses in this strip with the same problem. Did they get a retaining wall. No! Did they receive the same undertakings. Yes! 
Pictures of fences not included 
(showing depth of fill to be retained, and the low (non privacy height))
Why. I don’t know!
I wonder if it is because these residents did not voice their concerns loudly enough. Surely Not. Well maybe? Why else would DPTI do 4 and leave the other 3.
And what is the response one of these residents received in the last couple of days from ringing the DPTI 1800 number to find out why. “Council is doing the landscaping, not DPTI so go and ask them.”
If I had $100.00 for very time I have heard that spoken in the last 9 months starting with “Council will be building the Greenways bike path” (and that from one of their senior project managers) I would be a rich man. In hindsight perhaps we should have offered.
This means of course that DPTI is responsible for 4 and council 3. I ask DPTI. How does it work this way? Please DPTI stop buck shoving and treat these last residents with respect.

Canterbury Terrace Options Progress

Council staff presented three new options to Jennie and I yesterday at our monthly Ward Briefing. All three options allowed for cars to travel 2 ways. Safety concerns surrounded two of the options however.

Staff have responded to the overwhelming concerns about the East Avenue intersection being restricted to one way for cars in order to save the trees. They put forward three options.

Two of the options had cars competing with bikes which all at the meeting felt was a safety risk we should not take. One of these options allowed parking along the rail corridor but no landscaping. The other allowed landscaping but prevented parking.

The third option allowed for the bike path (greenways) to extend all the way to East Avenue. The greenways of course is a State Government project and we find ourselves looking at an option for the sake of road safety that we would not have had to entertain had it not been for the Government’s greenways project.

Of course finding a solution to joint road use and this is one road that does present that way is something that fits the 30 year plan we developed out of the the Community of Possibilities Public Consultation last year.

Unfortunately this 3rd proposal reduces parking along Canterbury Terrace. I say unfortunately because parking in and around the Community Centre on the corner of Canterbury and East Avenue is another major concern identified by residents at our recent public meetings.

To address parking concerns we have asked staff to look at Parker Terrace to see if we can convert the current parallel parking in Parker Terrace to angled parking. Initial investigations suggest this is possible but a full review is needed to see if it is indeed feasible.

This option will allow a narrow verge between the cars and the bikes which can be planted with trees similar to those you have all had an opportunity to comment on.

The other obstacles with this option will see the gum trees (two maybe three by my reckoning) at risk of being removed and there may be an issue, having just walked the road myself, with off street parking for residents.

So progress is being made but we are far from able to present workable solutions for further comment from you. This means that nothing will happen for a while except the ash trees, which we all know are dead or dying, can be removed.

When we have something we will go back to you and seek your further feedback because the best option needs all of us to contribute to.

Outside the Meeting

Whilst we had a successful meeting with Rod Hook today other issues were surfacing as we met.

I came into possession of the DPTI submission to the Development Assessment Commission (DAC)
just prior to the meeting with Rod Hook (see earlier post today), courtesy of our planning department, who have been asked to provide comment on the submission. I gave Jennie a copy so she could present it to the CAG meeting tonight.

We did not have time to discuss it with Rod Hook and we did not have time prior to the meeting to pick up on the detail to allow us to discuss it. Suffice it to say Ray Broomhill (member of GRAG) and Jennie will be raising it as we speak at tonight’s CAG meeting. Jennie is bound to report on this in her next blog post.

I understand that DPTI have indicated to the DAC that widespread public approval has been received from the public. It seems there has been some good consultation with various residents on each section of fence but widespread approval I doubt has been achieved.

At the end of the day the solutions may have been widely discussed and it may well be that the solutions offered may be the best available. I am sure residents will not be impressed however at not seeing let alone being able to comment on the final designs before they are approved by DAC.

It does look like that they have agreed with resident concerns in a number of streets with solutions that appear to address sound attenuation issues. The occupants of the flats in Lyons Parade for instance are due to get double glazing. The house on the corner of Lyons and Victoria will have a special one off solution.

Not sure everyone will be pleased however.

Meeting with CEO of DPTI

Today’s meeting, my second with Rod Hook, this time with Jennie and with our own CEO and our General  Manager Infrastructure, shows the value of talking with decision makers.

The meeting was arranged to discuss a number of issues still alive and needing direction on the rail corridor projects. We scored a number of wins for our residents courtesy of a CEO who wants to not disadvantage residents, and who is quite open to providing choice where this can be done without compromising the project profile set by the Government.
The major win today was confirmation of the latest saga to beset the project, and which was the subject of a public meeting last week. THE PEDESTRIAN CROSSING AT MILLSWOOD, Arundel to the Bowling Club, WILL NOT BE CLOSED.

We also queried him on what is going to happen with Graffiti not just at the end of the rail revitalization projects but by way of ongoing maintenance. Whilst we (Council) indicated we might be able to contribute through our volunteer program, Rod indicated they will be letting a contract similar to that being used on the nearby Gallipoli Underpass.

This involves regular observance and removal within 24 hours. Seems to be working on my experience on the Underpass.

The walkway between Cranbrook Avenue and Victoria Street will be retained which will be well received by residents in that Millswood pocket between Goodwood Road and the Belair  rail line.

He will also look into why there is only a 1200 high mesh fence along Canterbury Terrace, agreeing with my observation to his staff a couple of weeks back that is was not safe.

All in all it was a successful meeting and i look forward to the fruits of our discussions on location.

DPTI running true to form

The headlines online today from the Eastern Courier read “Residents to hold meeting tonight to protect crossing at Millswood.”

This was in response to DPTI finding out only after the Belair trains were back in operation that their redesigned turn out bay to allow Belair trains travelling in opposite directions to pass have cut the line of sight for pedestrians crossing the corridor from Arundel Avenue to the Millswood Reserve. This means it is not safe for pedestrians to use the crossing.

This is a direct result, as I have oft claimed in the ongoing saga of the various rail revitalisation projects, of DPTI simply not having the resources to complete the projects in the time requested by the State Government. The State Government have their own agenda of course and that appears to have stuff to offer the electorate as examples of what they can do ready for the next sate Election. This may well backfire on them given the amount of angst along the rail corridors.

The problems we (residents) have experienced and their (DPTI) lack of consultation with affected residents can be simply attributed to this. They could not consult over that they were not aware of until ready to construct or have constructed (as in this case).

And again as I have been saying all along, the method of project management that DPTI use ….”Design & Construct” …. leaves little room to consult anyway because how can you when you don’t know what your doing before you do it.

Back to Millswood. Residents rightfully are aggrieved at yet another broken promise and more so when met at the meeting with verbal advice from DPTI that “they will not rule out closing that pedestrian crossing” which flies in the face of brochures at the crossing from DPTI saying “they have no plans to close the crossing”.

I congratulate residents on their civilized and considered presentation to Liberal Candidate for Ashford at the next election Terina Monteagle, Liberal member for Unley David Pisoni and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Vicki Chapman. A number of good observations have been made about how to solve this State Government created malaise.

Vicki and Terina will be taking these to DPTI management and we all thank them for that and await the results.

In the meantime I have a suggestion for DPTI’s management. If something has gone wrong and it will affect residents:

1   Don’t hide it from them. Admit it. Let them know as soon as the problem is discovered with a commitment to work with them to solve it.
2   Offer to go away and look at solutions that can be bought back to the residents, noting the need to recognise such essential things as safety etc.
3   Provide multiple solutions and seek input from residents on those solutions.
4   Implement the best option, after that process has been completed.

That may or may not be what residents prefer for sound engineering reasons or for safety but at least they will feel they have contributed rather than being lied to.

This is an approach I have long held in my business dealings. I have found that not only does it cost my business less in the long run but your client appreciates your integrity, which has other positive influences on your bottom line, repeat business or favourable references. Gee they stuffed up but you know before I could pick on them they had fixed it.

This is an approach I am actively seeking Council to adopt. We (Council) indeed have matter coming before us shortly that I will be speaking to in like terms.

It may be fair to say people in the past could not care but we are a new breed now. We do care. And while there may still be a lot of people out there who simply want the government to make decisions and get on with it, they are more who want to feel they are contributing and that the Government cares for them and how a project may impact on them.

The 21st Century solution as it where.