Monday, June 13, 2011

Plugging away

I haven't posted much since April as I've had nothing new to say. The same old problems keep re-appearing; vandalism, abandoned cars, pot holes, flooded drains, flattened signs and the odd fallen tree. As usual, I've been plugging away at reporting them, and then following up a bit later to see if they've been fixed.

What I have noticed is that I don't have as much to report any more - after a few solid years of cleaning up, there isn't much in the way of new vandalism to worry about (although I know our suburbs will go back to a disaster area in no time if we let up). I haven't seen an abandoned car in some time either.  My hope is that Council staff have gotten sick of continually dealing with me reporting these things, and have started noticing more problems themselves and getting them fixed. Canada Bay Council has 300 staff - if they have their eyes open, and are encouraged to report problems, they'll get a lot more fixed than just plain old me.

The summer vandalism season is now over - the winter pot hole season is just beginning. I'll be spending the next 6 months explaining to people that pot holes and damaged road surfaces don't magically fix themselves - if you want them fixed, you have to report them to your local council or the RTA (for major roads).

I was particularly pleased with one piece of work this week - there is a pedestrian tunnel under the railway line near one of our local stations. For years, the tunnel has been dark and vandalised - vandals spray painted over the light fittings, leaving it pitch dark most of the time. I've been going through that tunnel for five years, and in all that time, have never seen an old person using it.

Not long ago, I finally discovered that it was Council's responsibility rather than RailCorp. I contacted Council, and they cleaned it up - a fresh coat of paint and a new set of lights. I went through it yesterday, and for the first time, noticed two grannies walking through it. Either that's completely by chance that I have never seen grannies down there before and spotted them today by fluke, or they were too afraid to use the tunnel before, but are now willing to use it now that it's been cleaned up.

150 days of vandalism in 50 seconds

As you can see, I go past this site fairly regularly. I've made it a habit to stop and take a photo (3 photos actually which I then stitch together) in order to track what the vandals get up to over time. Last time I reported this site to the RTA for a cleanup, I suggested that they engage an artist to paint a mural on this wall - I still haven't heard anything back from them.