Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tindarra Park, Ryde

This post is an extension on my trip to the Epping Road cycleway.  Part of the ride took us through the parks of Ryde, including Tindarra Park.  As you can see from the first photo, it's a lovely spot.  There are a series of parks and paths which follow a creek for a few miles, which makes for an easy gradient.

As usual, someone has come along and vandalised just about every vertical surface in the park.  The path is quite narrow in places, and it winds through the trees (which restricts visibility), so Ryde Council has gone to the trouble of putting up signs that warn cyclists and pedestrians to take care (to not run into each other going around corners).  I went past a number of these signs before I finally found one that was legible, and was able to read the warning about the hazards that Council wanted me to know about.

Most of the bins have been vandalised, and some have had their lids ripped off (like this one), allowing rubbish to be scattered by birds and animals and the wind.

Some of the equipment in a playground along the route was also tagged.

Last time I reported vandalism to Ryde Council, I did it over the phone, and I'm not sure if I ever got a result.  This time, I am going to contact one of the Ryde Councillors in the Central Ward and see if I have more luck.

How to make the Epping Rd cycleway less enjoyable

I generally go for a ride with BayBUG (Canada Bay Bicycle User Group) once or twice a year, and last weekend was my final chance to get a 2nd ride in for 2008.  BayBUG organises a long ride once a month, and the final ride of the year was a circuit from Concord to the Epping Road cycleway.

The ride itself was great, but the graffiti along the new cycleway was not.  It's disappointing to see good money spent on building a proper cycling and walking track (and there were plenty of pedestrians using it), only to see idiots come along and trash parts of it.

The graffiti was on too many sites to mention, but here is a selection of what I saw.

Someone has even climbed up underneath this bridge abutment near the tollgates and had a go with a spray can.

I've reported this to the RTA via their website.  I've simply asked them to undertake a cleanup between Lane Cove and Naremburn, since that length contains the worst of it.  

By the way, membership of BayBUG is free and open to anyone who is interested in joining - although it helps if you live in the Canada Bay area.  Apart from the longer monthly rides, the group also runs weekend and evening rides catering for all levels of cyclists (but I have to admit that I've never done one of the shorter weekend or evening rides).

Graffiti and golf don't mix

The clubhouse of the Barnwell Park golf course in Canada Bay.  The western wall of the clubhouse is a popular spot for tagging, and it's hit on a regular basis.

Reported to Council, via their website (as usual).  I'm slightly frustrated that although this is Council property, staffed by Council employees, I seem to be the one reporting this to Council on a regular basis.

Too much enthusiasm

A sign out the front of the Rhodes Community Centre.  It's free of graffiti, but it is also completely free of information.  This is one of those unfortunate signs where the application of metho rubs off both the graffiti and the signage.  I'm going to ask Council to at least put the words "Community Centre" back on the sign, so that people know what this building is for.

It is possible to manufacture signage that can be cleaned with metho without erasing the sign itself, but I imagine it is more expensive than the painted variety.  However, there's not much point in putting up signs in graffiti-prone areas that can't be cleaned with damaging them more than the graffiti.

The back of this concrete sign on Concord Road needs cleaning.

The view from the rear - reported to Council via their website.

There is a shipyard sculpture park of some sort on the river side of this reserve - a lot of the sculptures have also been tagged, which I've also reported.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A mixed bag

The underside of the Gladesville Bridge on the Drummoyne side - this large red "piece" appeared over the last week.  The number of tags at this site has been growing over the last few months (since the last repaint by the RTA) - I guess they reach a certain density where a vandal feels that they are safe to spend more time putting up a piece.

I've reported this for cleaning to the RTA via their website.

The back streets of Five Dock - the side of this house has been hit a few times, and on each occasion, the owner has done a 'quick and dirty' cleaning job on the graffiti.  Essentially, they've just smudged it.  I hope that they will apply a coat of paint over the top in the new year.

Just down the road is this Doctor's surgery, with graffiti down the side wall.  I noticed this week that they've put up a security camera, presumably in response to the recently applied orange graffiti.

I've rung this surgery and asked them to clean the wall.  The response was, "Why bother?  They just keep coming back."  Well, I rang them about six months ago, and it was only last week that the latest graffiti went up.  That means the vandals don't come back straight away - there can be large periods of time between attacks.  

I don't understand why they would go to the trouble of spending hundreds of dollars on a security camera, but won't spend $10 on some graffiti removing goo.

Signage at Five Dock Park near the skateboard ramp.  Reported via the Council web site.

The significance of this photo is that the abandoned Citreon that used to be parked here is gone.  Council has moved quickly to get rid of it.

A kiosk in Timbrell Park - reported to Council as well.  The other side has also been hit, as well as the toilet block nearby.

A maintenance job for Maritime NSW.  Somehow, this sign about legal fish catches has been turned around so that it is not visible from the boat ramp.  Not much good if you can't read the sign.

Speaking of Council acting quickly, I emailed the Mayor about graffiti on this building on Saturday.  On Sunday, I spotted it being painted over.  That's really quick work.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rubbish, rubbish everywhere

This is a rubbish skip at the back of Five Dock public school.  I go up and down this street occasionally, and on most occasions, the skip is overflowing and rubbish is blowing up and down the street.  

I've emailed the Principal and asked her to instruct her staff not to overfill the skip, and to ensure the lids are closed (to keep birds from pulling rubbish out).

Telstra showing interest

On Wednesday, I blogged that I had made contact with a manager from Telstra with regard to the mess on the Five Dock exchange on Great North Road.  They were out of the office for a few days, but promised to check up on it on Friday if I emailed them the details.

They rang on Friday to say that they'd reviewed my email and the case numbers that I had submitted, and that they would be right onto it.  

I sent them this link, where I posted photos showing what the exchange looks like.  It's not a good look.  I'm hoping that the photos will help produce the desired result.

Even our Mayor has problems with graffiti

I doubt this building on Great North Road in Five Dock is owned by our Mayor, but its had a "vote for me" sign on it for as long as I can remember.  I take it that this means that the Mayor is close to the owner.

Council just can't turn up and clean up graffiti on privately owned property like this - the request has to come from the owner or their agent.  So in this case, I have emailed the Mayor and asked him to contact the owner and get this cleaned up.

After all, it doesn't look good to have the Mayor's name associated with a huge bit of graffiti.  Angelo can point the owner at the excellent web site that the Council is using for graffiti reporting.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Telstra followup

I have been trying since April to get Telstra to clean up their blighted exchange in Five Dock.  I've written to Sol Trujillo, logged two requests with the company responsible for maintaining the exchange buildings, corresponded with our Federal MP and dealt with our Deputy Mayor.  

Back in October, we seemed to be making progress.  Our Deputy Mayor had met with a Telstra representative and they agreed to "community remediation", which is a term I don't understand - but is sounded good.

The Telstra rep has since moved on, and the problem has been passed to someone else at Telstra.  I rang that someone else today, and had a good chat with them about the issue.  I've emailed them the history of this case, since there was no handover, and I guess the whole process will start from scratch again.

At least the problem now belongs to someone at Telstra.  It is no longer somebody else's problem.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday roundup

Graffiti along Victoria Road where it comes off the Gladesville Bridge has long been a problem - the fences at the back of the properties that butt up against Victoria Road are constantly being tagged, and I don't recall them ever being cleaned or repainted.

That said, a mural has recently appeared along one fence.  It's not really my thing, but it's a big improvement on the graffiti found along the rest of this stretch.

The playground in Five Dock Park has been cleaned by Council - that was a very rapid turnaround.  

The Early Childhood Centre has also had all the graffiti removed.  

Just around the corner, there are two bus shelters that serve Domremy College.  Both have been vandalised.  Some vandals are escalating from drawing on the glass to smashing it.  I've reported the shelters along here to Council.

A side view of an abandoned Citreon in Five Dock.  The Council Rangers have tagged it for removal, so it should disappear in the next few weeks.  This car has been sitting here for over 6 months.

Energy in action

"Energy in action" - I love that catchy title.  I have been racking my brains to try and remember who to call in regard to getting these cabinets cleaned up again.  Luckily, my trusty filing system provided the answer.  

Another letter is going in the post tonight.  Jemena did a good job of removing the graffiti shortly after I sent that letter, but it's time for another re-paint.  Finding out an address for Jemena was a bit of a chore - it's not something that they list on their website.  

16 December 2008

Mr David Ryan
Delivery Manager 
High Pressure Facilities
100 Bennelong Road
Sydney NSW 2000

Dear Mr Ryan

Removal of graffiti from Jemena facilities in Lilyfield

I wrote to the Managing Director of AGL in August of this year in regard to the removal of graffiti on gas equipment cabinets at the bottom of Lilyfield Rd, Lilyfield.  

The graffiti that was there was removed soon afterwards, but it has since started to re-appear.  

Please arrange to have the graffiti removed from the structures at this site that are your responsibility.  

Yours sincerely


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weekly wrapup

I reported the Citreon below to Council mid week - they've moved quickly and have already slapped an orange "we're going to take this car away" sticker on it.  The rego ran out over a year ago, and it hasn't moved since.

It hasn't moved for a long time because part of the suspension has come undone and smashed up into the bonnet.  Even if you did want to move it, you'd need a tow truck.

The Council anti-graffiti team have also taken no time at all to clean a messy tag off this sign at Dobroyd Point.  I reported it mid-week, and it is gone already.  It just goes to show that small, but irritating, things can be quickly taken care of - if they are reported.

Must remember to report this Energy Australia kiosk at Five Dock park.  It was cleaned a few months ago, but is attracting graffiti again.

I thought the awful weather of late would have discouraged kids from partying in the park late at night (and leaving their rubbish and graffiti behind), but they are made of sterner stuff than I imagined.  A spot of rain won't stop them from drinking and making a mess.

Both sides of this grandstand are regularly vandalised on weekends, and the Council has to send a team around on Monday morning to take care of the damage.  I'm going to have a chat with the Mayor about seeing if he can adjust the work hours of the Rangers so that they can patrol the park after dark on weekends.

The kids playground and the early childhood centre in the park have been thoroughly vandalised as well.  

Just about every bit of playground equipment has numerous tags on it, some of them by this "princess gigi", complete with butterflies or flowers (or are they just blowflies that she has drawn?)  This is the first time I have ever seen graffiti that is positively feminine in nature.  The last thing we need is equal numbers of girls vandalising our local environment.

I've reported this to Council via their excellent graffiti reporting website (which only works with IE - forget about using it with Firefox or Safari).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Energy Australia could learn something from the RTA

Over the last month, I have been jumping onto the RTA website and reporting every tagged traffic light control box where I've bothered to stop and get the asset tag number.

A colleague has been doing the same.

Someone at the RTA has seen these reports coming in, put two and two together and worked out that they have a problem - and they have decided to do something about all of them.  I got this very nice email today from an RTA manager:

A work order was issued to our contractor to clean all the boxes in the Canada Bay Local Government area on 28/11/2008 of which the box you requested was included. The work will be completed over the next week or 2.
Yours Sincerely,

Inspector (Signals)
Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW

I have blogged previously about the failure of Energy Australia to figure out that they too have a systemic problem with vandalism of their green "kiosks".  I have written to a number of managers at Energy Australia about this (and never had a reply), yet the RTA comes to the same conclusion as me within a couple of weeks.

Perhaps they can do some brain transplants between the RTA and Energy Australia?

Interestingly enough, both of these government authorities are on the same government anti-graffiti committee, where they are supposed to swap ideas and policies etc.  Is anyone from Energy Australia attending, and if so, are they listening?  Are they then taking those ideas back to work with them and spreading them around?  Is Energy Australia capable of learning from another government organisation, or are the ideas of the RTA shunned because they are "not invented here?"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Citreon suspension

I have been keeping an eye on this Citreon for a while, because it's an interesting looking car.  It looks like it won't be going anywhere for a while - from what I can tell, the top of the suspension mount on the driver's side has failed and the shock absorber has shot up and bent the bonnet up.  From side on, the driver's side wheel is at an interesting angle.  

This should be a fun job for the tow truck driver.  No 28.

Welcome to Abbotsford - not!

Council has been putting up signs, like the blue one below, at various points around the city to tell you where you are, and to welcome you to that particular area.  Looks like one vandal is less than welcoming.  Must remember to report this to Council.

Plus an Energy Australia kiosk in Lilyfield that needs reporting.