Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This is not a swimming pool

I hate the fact that you can't walk or ride around The Bay when it rains without having to trudge through an endless stream of deep puddles in the Leichhardt area. The existing path has been laid down with no thought as to how water is supposed to drain away. Instead of building up the path in the middle so that water drains towards the edges, Council has instead built a concave path, so water runs into the middle and stays there.

There is only one drain grate along the entire path, and it isn't at the lowest point so it doesn't do much good. The entire path is built at or below the level of the surrounding turf, so water running off the hill on the right runs straight onto the path and settles there. The drainage is so bad, puddles hang around for days after any rain.

I sent the above photo to the Mayor of Leichhardt 3 months ago with a plea that when the next section of path was built, that drainage be factored in - he never bothered to respond. If the Romans could build well drained roads 2000 years ago, I don't see why we can't build properly drained paths today. A road engineer would never dream of building a road without thinking about drainage - why then do we spend taxpayers money on building paths without thinking the same way? Conceptually, they are the same - a ribbon of concrete. Just because one carries bikes or people rather than cars, doesn't mean that drainage should be ignored.

As the Mayor is ignoring me, and work is about to start on the next section of path, I dashed off a letter to the General Manager today. Maybe he'll take note - I asked him to ensure that his staff or contractors build a path, rather than a canal or a swimming pool.

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