Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby Hergest » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:34 pm

I wasn't sure where to put this one as it's not the Olympic park and it's not the Greystanes Canal but it joins the 2.

In a monumental piece of bad design Parramatta council have put a fence slap bang in the middle of the shared path that runs along Railway Terrace between Guildford and Merrylands railway stations. They have redesigned the crossing next to the footbridge that serves the school on York Street on the Holroyd side of the railway line. A fence is needed to stop the kids running down the bridge and into traffic but it should be on the pavement edge. There is no warning apart from a witches hat placed in front of the posts. The fence is a nice dark green with 50mm wide posts, bolted into the ground and just perfect to give you some nasty damage when you hit it. Worst of all is if you come up from Merrylands direction an existing telegraph pole close to the kerb forces you to deviate slightly and sends you almost slap bang into the new fence. I'm hoping some clot of a fencer mis-read a drawing but i fear that the layout is as planned. Someone will come a cropper for sure especially in the dark as it will be impossible to see the fence.

This is the spot if this works..

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by BNA » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:55 pm

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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby g-boaf » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:55 pm

That path is fairly narrow on that point already, let alone having a dangerous obstacle in the middle.

Might as well just use the road instead.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby TTar » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:22 pm

Had a chat to the volunteer lollipop guy the other day and he said it has been a two year campaign to get that crossing redesigned and the positive impact on traffic has been instant and profound -- they all now slow down approaching the raised crossing.

But yes, that fence is an abomination. Haven't had a really good look at it, but it looks really scrappy, just plonked down, almost as if it might temporary -- they haven't finished the works yet, so here's hoping.

At least it's at the crest of a hill so unless you're a superhero type you won't be approaching it at enormous speed.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby TTar » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:38 pm

Just remembered, they moved the crossing a few metres along so now it's perfectly aligned with the bridge. Had they kept it where it was, offset a little, they could've placed that fence right against road, but as it is now you couldn't access the crossing if the fence were there.

And as boafy says, it's already narrow and there's no real scope for widening either.

Oh well, parra council will just have to work something out after they're sued by an injured cyclist.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby TTar » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:14 am

You've got me all agitated, fellow activists, so I went out and gathered some photographic evidence;


Here's what confronts you approaching from Guildford toward merrylands;

Image



You can see the remnants of the old crossing to the right of frame. Had they left it there, the fence could've been right up against the road. Maybe they were worried about the driveway at top-right;
Image



This is the view from the Merrylands end with the frightful telegraph pole Hergey mentions;

Image



The age old practice of using a helmet to indicate scale shows just how narrow it is, add a thousand snotty brats cascading off the bridge when school is out and it'll be bedlam;
Image



This guy was making like he was waving to a fellow cyclist, but I suspect he was really hiding his face. He's obviously up to no good. He's heading south toward Guildford. Keep an eye out for him, comrades; :x
Image


The fact they have the illuminated plastic bollards and witches hats at the fence's sharp edge suggests the danger has been recognised, but those are just temporary construction safety stuff so it'll be interesting to see if they leave it without safety measures when they pack up and leave.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby QuangVuong » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:55 am

Wow that's really bad. I guess they can't really place the fence elsewhere, as if it's on the pavement edge, how will people get around the fence to either get to the crossing or onto the bridge.

At least its in a flat section, where you wouldn't be travelling too fast. However, they could've made the two end posts more visible.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby Hergest » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:13 am

There was just a single witches hat yesterday, no lights or anything so maybe my complaint to Parramatta Council has sent someone out there. To put the crossing directly at the base of the footbridge especially as its main use is for the kids from the school the other side is a major fail in engineering as it encourages kids to fly down the bridge and go straight into the traffic. Hence you have to put a fence up but the only place you can put a fence is bang in the middle of the path. The new raised crossing to slow drivers down is a great idea as it is certainly required down there but there must surely have been other options than what has been done.

That telegraph pole doesn't look particularly hazardous in the photo but if you're coming up from Merrylands at a normal 30kmh it you certainly feel the urge to move away from it towards the new fence.

Thanks for the photos Mr Tar, that cyclist hiding his face is probably from Channel 7, an undercover journo seeking out cyclists riding at 30 kmh by a school. I bet he's out of puff due to the 0.5% incline.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:26 pm

Whatthefred?
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby isabella24 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:43 pm

I passed this ridiculous piece of infrastructure yesterday for the first time! Is this monstrosity the work of Parramatta Council? If it is, I'll write a letter and tell them exactly what an engineer (and a cycling one at that) thinks of it. I was lucky I was going slow after stopping to talk to a fellow forumite, so wasn't seriously affected!
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby tez001 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:29 am

What alternatives are there though. I rode past on Sat and thought it was a terrible place to put the fence. Agreed that they need to make it more visible.

It would be under Holroyd Council.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby TTar » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:39 am

Hergest wrote:
That telegraph pole doesn't look particularly hazardous in the photo but if you're coming up from Merrylands at a normal 30kmh it you certainly feel the urge to move away from it towards the new fence.

.



I allowed my artistic instincts to overrun my documentary duty -- the train became the most important thing in that photo. 8) The first pic gives a pretty good indication of the danger though. If you trace the path straight down the middle of that lane, you can imagine you'd be clipping the fence at the near end, and that's without veering around the pole.

Had another chat with the lollipop guy this morning (he's actually an RTA employee, not volunteer as I said earlier) and he too was surprised the fence wasn't up against the road, but he also complained about bikes "racing" through there when the kiddies are about, so phooey to him.

The only other thing I can report is that someone seems to have made off with the flashing lights that were on the bollards. :roll:

tez001 wrote:
It would be under Holroyd Council.


Even though Holroyd council chambers are only a few hundred metres from that spot, it's Parra council. The railway line is the border, I believe.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby QuangVuong » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:54 am

TTar wrote:
Had another chat with the lollipop guy this morning (he's actually an RTA employee, not volunteer as I said earlier) and he too was surprised the fence wasn't up against the road, but he also complained about bikes "racing" through there when the kiddies are about, so phooey to him.

If it were up against the road, how will people access the crossing? Same if it were up against the bridge, then how will people exit the bridge.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby TTar » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:20 am

QuangVuong wrote:
TTar wrote:
Had another chat with the lollipop guy this morning (he's actually an RTA employee, not volunteer as I said earlier) and he too was surprised the fence wasn't up against the road, but he also complained about bikes "racing" through there when the kiddies are about, so phooey to him.

If it were up against the road, how will people access the crossing? Same if it were up against the bridge, then how will people exit the bridge.



It should've been taken into account long ago. What they've done is immeasurably stupid. The only solution I can see is to modify the bridge so the stairs exit further to the left or right. Big bucks and knotty work. Even for pedestrians it's awkward to negotiate, as it is.

It would be a good place to lock your bike up, though. :twisted:
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby tubby74 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:56 pm

QuangVuong wrote:If it were up against the road, how will people access the crossing? Same if it were up against the bridge, then how will people exit the bridge.


clearly that's the issue you have now but any sensible design would have installed the raised crossing 5 metres either side of the bridge exit so you could have a fence that stopped people running from stairs to road, but still able to access the crossing. not a lot of thought put into the design so far
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby Blackrock » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:42 pm

If you moved the crossing 5-10m north or south you avoid aligning with stairs and remove the initial problem. However, cost had been the rule rather shortsightedly in this instance.
Instead the area will be cluttered with signs to warn of the introduced hazard.
You'd want to slow down anyway with pedestrians coming down those stairs....


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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby sankari » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:37 pm

I think there is at least some merit in the crossing location. It's right at the crest of the hill, which provides the best visibility for crossing pedestrians to be seen by cars from both directions. I'm not saying the fence should have been built though.

TTar wrote:This guy was making like he was waving to a fellow cyclist, but I suspect he was really hiding his face. He's obviously up to no good. He's heading south toward Guildford. Keep an eye out for him, comrades;

Probably thought you were an MHL enforcer :lol:
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby Xplora » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:52 am

Bicycles racing along there? So, to deal with a recognised hazard - people falling from the bridge onto the road - they put up something even WORSE... an invisible bollard?! If you don't have tons of reflective tape, you CANNOT see this stuff at night.

Hopeless. They've managed to create a certain collision zone between riders and peds as well... if I was riding that path, I would hang towards the road to prevent an accident. This option is reduced a lot. There is no zebra crossing, and the bump isn't going to slow cars down (It didn't slow me down in the car this week) so the whole thing is an epic balls up.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby g-boaf » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:50 am

I think the bicycles racing along there are on the road, not the path. The path was never wide enough.

I've never been happy to go along that path at much more than 25km/h, and that's the more open areas. This is just very bad planning.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby ab012 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:50 am

unbelievable :shock: :shock:
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby wellington_street » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:10 pm

I like the part where the fence is painted black for maximum invisibility!
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby TTar » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:10 pm

wellington_street wrote:I like the part where the fence is painted black for maximum invisibility!



The latest is that they appear to have installed permanent safety measures; two orange metal bollards at either edge of the fence bolted into the ground.

I suppose the rounded edge would lessen the lacerations in an collision... that's something. :|

I hereby formally propose the site be henceforth known as "Hergest Hill" and the abomination itself as "The Horror of Hergest Hill".
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby Hergest » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:43 pm

TTar wrote:

The latest is that they appear to have installed permanent safety measures; two orange metal bollards at either edge of the fence bolted into the ground.

I suppose the rounded edge would lessen the lacerations in an collision... that's something. :|

I hereby formally propose the site be henceforth known as "Hergest Hill" and the abomination itself as "The Horror of Hergest Hill".


Ha ha. I bet i'm the first silly bugger to ride into it.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby Xplora » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:15 pm

^^ Make sure you've sent them an email advising of the safety issues and they remain liable for injuries caused by poorly designed roads, and their insurance is going to increase once a payout is required.

THEN crash into it.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby wellington_street » Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:14 pm

Roads authorities are generally protected from liability by current legislation, as long as they can hide behind Australian Standards/Austroads guidelines/best practice. This facility does not meet Austroads guidelines for obstacles in shared paths, so make sure you point this out in any communication. Their legal people will no doubt be aware of their exposure to litigation.
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Re: Hazard-Guildford To Merrylands Shared Path

Postby Hergest » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:11 pm

I had a phone call from Parramatta council on friday in reply to my complaint about the fence when i first came across it. It's there for good, the purpose being to prevent the children running onto the road and also to slow cyclists down. I was told that the traffic management could not find any other way of doing it. Whether they will have a rethink if someone runs into the fence or the nice new yellow bollards is open to discussion.

The next problem will be as the fence gets pushed over as it has only been bolted to the footpath using 4 12mm Dynabolts when it should have been core drilled and concreted in. 4 bolts will not hold up a 1200 high fence that children and adults lean against and vandals deliberately try to push over.

I rode through yesterday and again this morning. At least i knew it was there this time so was able to cruise through. I don't know if i was breaking some speed limit at 5.30 on a Sunday morning though.
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