secateurs vs the pen

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

secateurs vs the pen

Postby am50em » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:09 pm

A number of paths where I cycle and/or walk are overgrown with trees and shrubs. My usual solution is to take a pair of secateurs and give it a trim. This removes the worse of it and sometimes it get the property owners to trim back properly. Last week I complained to council about a section and I have a nice letter saying it has been added to their work list. Now to wait and see how long that takes. And since I was in filling out complaint forms I also complained to RTA about road sensors that do not sense my bike. They claim to have adjusted it but I have not been back there and been the only vehicle to verify.

So if there is something annoying you on your commute, please complain to the relevant authorities.
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by BNA » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:29 pm

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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby Schmenz » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:29 pm

ooo i didnt realise that road sensors were meant to pick up bikes, as the only one i really tested, didnt, and i gave up in the end and wandered over to a pedestrian crossing!

and secateurs are a genious idea! ive been having epic fights with birds of paradise this week and what i chop off can decorate my kitchen table! :D
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby MattyK » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:14 am

The last two years I have benn very tempted to walk down Gardiner's Creek with my petrol powered hedge trimmer... Took the council about 6 months of ridiculous overgrowth to clear it. There is a nasty wattle that hangs right down across the whole track if it gets wet.
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby footloose » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:43 pm

Taking into consideration the workload of the office and outside staff, I'm pretty happy with the response of the councils that I've written to in respect to overgrowth and track and signage maintenance. I've written to councils to ask them to have the bicycle lanes on roads swept and rubbish removed from roadsides, again with success.
I've thought about using the secateurs on some areas but it would probably be illegal and you can bet somebody would see and use it to have another go at cyclists.
It's a pity that more riders don't work within the system and email requests for attention to the councils, I'm sure that if we did and as time went by, we would value the attention we can generate. Don't forget that pedestrians also gain the benefit and I don't mind telling peds that it was a cyclist that wrote and asked for the improvements.
And don't forget to write and thank the council for their work, we all like to be recognised for our work.
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby David_G » Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:19 pm

I've written to my local council about foreshore scrub hanging out onto the road, and it's since been fixed, dunno if I had much to do with that maybe a bit.
I've also contacted Vicroads about the amount of gravel, stones and general crap in the bike lanes between Frankston and Cranbourne. Haha, some bloke got back to me and said he would "go and check it out" but he was only responsible for about half the distance between the two cities. Stupid me asks who is responsible for the Cranbourne side and he can't tell me as he doesn't know.
Anyway, the Frankston side is better now, but the Cranbourne side has had nothing done. The funny thing is it's a new dual carriageway but we can't work out who is responsible for getting it swept. I've seen the truck doing it so I know it's not like Santa or the Easter Bunny.

I'll have to get back on that little hobby horse and see what I can do.
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby am50em » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:45 pm

footloose wrote:I've thought about using the secateurs on some areas but it would probably be illegal and you can bet somebody would see and use it to have another go at cyclists.
It's a pity that more riders don't work within the system and email requests for attention to the councils, I'm sure that if we did and as time went by, we would value the attention we can generate. Don't forget that pedestrians also gain the benefit and I don't mind telling peds that it was a cyclist that wrote and asked for the improvements.
And don't forget to write and thank the council for their work, we all like to be recognised for our work.


Property owners are required to keep nature strips and paths clear so I doubt clearing a branch overhanging a footpath would ever be considered illegal. A number of other pedestrians have seen me trimming branches off paths and have responded positively. I do agree that contacting the relevant council is also a good idea. As part of my comments to council I suggested that they remind property owners of their obligations to keep paths clear. I have not heard back on that yet.
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby trailgumby » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:56 pm

I've taken the secatuers to some overgrowth on occasions.

One bright spark has planted roses on the nature strip - outside the surveyed fence line - on the section between their brick wall fence and the concrete path. Trouble is, they don't keep them trimmed and in wet weather they often bend down to scalp and eye height. Walking home from the gym on a couple of occasions at night I've been glad I had my pale tint cycling glasses on! :X

So, following the guideline that neighbours are allowed to trim overhanging greenery to the fence line, I trimmed the offending rose bushes to where I thought appropriate for roses planted in such a location... as close to the roots as possible! :twisted:
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:19 pm

It's about the time of year for a pruner run.

Gumby, remember that while pruning in those circumstances is OK, taking the cuttings could be construed as theft so do the right thing and toss them over the owners fence :mrgreen:
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby footloose » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:59 pm

David_G wrote:I've written to my local council about foreshore scrub hanging out onto the road, and it's since been fixed, dunno if I had much to do with that maybe a bit.
I've also contacted Vicroads about the amount of gravel, stones and general crap in the bike lanes between Frankston and Cranbourne. Haha, some bloke got back to me and said he would "go and check it out" but he was only responsible for about half the distance between the two cities. Stupid me asks who is responsible for the Cranbourne side and he can't tell me as he doesn't know.
Anyway, the Frankston side is better now, but the Cranbourne side has had nothing done. The funny thing is it's a new dual carriageway but we can't work out who is responsible for getting it swept. I've seen the truck doing it so I know it's not like Santa or the Easter Bunny.

I'll have to get back on that little hobby horse and see what I can do.


It's best to check the status of the road, if it's an arterial road then it is the responsibility of VicRoad from gutter to gutter but the nature strip and footpath/sharedpath is the responsibility of the local council. Freeways and highways are the responsibility of VicRoad, at least that is how I understand it. It's a little awkward at times to work out who does what.
All councils and VicRoad have sweepers that work on a roster but sometimes that roster doesn't ensure that some roads/bikelanes are swept often enough depending on if construction work is going on in the vicinity.
All the councils that I have written to have a web site with some sort of feedback or request form that you can use. Most will send you an email confirming your request usually stating that you will receive a reply within 10 working days. I give them 15 days and then email them directly asking why I haven't received a reply. Often they don't tell you that they are or will fix something, you just notice that it has been done.
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby am50em » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:47 am

trailgumby wrote:One bright spark has planted roses on the nature strip - outside the surveyed fence line - on the section between their brick wall fence and the concrete path. Trouble is, they don't keep them trimmed and in wet weather they often bend down to scalp and eye height. Walking home from the gym on a couple of occasions at night I've been glad I had my pale tint cycling glasses on! :X


This is the worst crime IMHO :evil:
Why people cannot leave it as a plain strip of grass that just needs a quick mow is beyond me.
I guess they start out with good intentions to beautify but never followup with maintenance.
Sigh.
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby am50em » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:09 am

There is a footpath on an overhead railway bridge which has a chain fence with weeds growing through it from railway land.
It was blocking half the path so I took to it with secateurs several weeks before christmas.
Of course after a few weeks it had nearly grown back but thankfully someone else gave it a trim.

It really needed to be cleaned up from the railway side so I contacted City Rail (just before Christmas)
via their website feedback form http://www.cityrail.info/contact_us/feedback and requested the weeds be removed.

Well on last monday afternoon it was a nice surprise on the ride home to find that they had cut down the weedy trees and bushes
and slashed the land behind.

Another small win. :)
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby Ozkaban » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:02 pm

A large tree with a branch high across the path going though Uni Western Sydney in Rydalmere has seen the branch sagging ever lower. Yesterday afternoon the leaves brushed the top of my helmet and this morning I had to lie flat on my bike to get under it. At lunch today it finally succumbed and is on the ground, though it's already roped off, which I was impressed with. Hopefully it's gone by this afternoon - riding on wet grass with 23mm tyres is a bunch of fun :D
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby queequeg » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:52 pm

I have done an online request with my local council. I built their system some years ago, but only recently moved into their council area. When I registered for the service, the e-mail address I got came from same defailt email account it was set up with originally. They never bothered changing it when the system went internet enabled :-) Anyway, the good thing with the system is that you can log on and track the progress of the request, you can upload photos etc.
We'll see how it goes. The final stretch of footpath near my house is toally overgrown. Low hanging tree branches, undergrowth all over the path, shrubs blocking half the path. I asked them to schedule a works crew to clear the entire 800m length!
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Re: secateurs vs the pen

Postby thomashouseman » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:12 am

Ozkaban wrote:A large tree with a branch high across the path going though Uni Western Sydney in Rydalmere has seen the branch sagging ever lower. Yesterday afternoon the leaves brushed the top of my helmet and this morning I had to lie flat on my bike to get under it. At lunch today it finally succumbed and is on the ground, though it's already roped off, which I was impressed with. Hopefully it's gone by this afternoon - riding on wet grass with 23mm tyres is a bunch of fun :D


Oh Yay! Been ducking that one as well!
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