Sunday, May 25, 2008


This one is going to be interesting.  Although RailCorp are usually pretty good about quickly removing graffiti from their trains and stations, they can sometimes be pretty sluggish about cleaning up their infrastructure.  


13 May 2008

 Customer Relations Unit


PO Box K349

Haymarket NSW 1238


 Dear Sir/Madam

 Removal of graffiti from railway structures in Leichhardt

 The photo below shows some of the graffiti that has been sprayed on the overbridge at Charles St, Leichhardt.  The closest cross street is Darley Road.  Graffiti has also been sprayed underneath the bridge (not visible in this photo).

Please arrange to have the graffiti removed from both structures. 

 Yours sincerely

Not somebody's problem.


The thing that gets me about RailCorp is that they have to do routine inspections of all their bridges, track and so on.  It's not like they do these inspections every 5 years - they get done numerous times per year.

Given that's the case, I can't work out why a bridge inspector could have looked at this bridge and not gone, "Hmmm, needs a spot of cleaning", and not gone back to the office and organised it.  I have been going under this bridge on an irregular basis for several years now, and graffiti has never been removed from it.

I also took this photo from an RTA footbridge.  It's a long story, but some time back, I also got the RTA to repaint the footbridge that I took the photo from. (In fact I think that is where my career as a serial annoyer took root).  Now just imagine you are an RTA painting crew that has been sent along to paint out graffiti on an RTA structure, and you spend all day painting it and occasionally looking up at the rail bridge not 30 yards away.  That rail bridge is also covered in graffiti.

You'd think that there'd be a small chance that a lightbulb would go off in someone's head and they'd go, "Let's call RailCorp and let them know that their bridge needs doing as well.  Let's see if we can get everything in this area cleaned up at once.  That way, it might reduce the incidence of vandalism on both their structures and ours if we can show that we mean business".

Umm, no.  Just goes to show how well government agencies talk to each other.  Actually, that is no surprise to me as I did work in for a while, and the various divisions within one agency didn't even talk to each other, so expecting them to talk to outside agencies is a bit fanciful.  Just get used to the idea that the public service is not some enormous mass of people all working together to make our life better.  It is an enormous cluster of silos where information is never passed from once silo to another.  Co-operation is something that kids do on Sesame Street.  It is the ultimate home of the SEP.  The only way to get around that is to make it somebody's problem.

Hence the sending of letters.  Public agencies are hamstrung when it comes to letters - they have to respond.  They have no choice.  Put your tax dollars to work - annoy someone in a good cause.

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