Motorists in pedestrian areas – is there something about No Entry they don’t understand? #RoadMorons
Some of those of us who hang around the city are truly amazed at the number of motorists who ignore the “No Entry” and turn ban signs and drive along streets they’re not meant to.
So it’s nice to know that — just occasionally — they do get pulled over by the police.
Unfortunately others seem to get away with it scot free — and it’s unclear to me why police seem to be less keen to catch people driving through pedestrianised areas than they are to book jaywalkers.
This bloke not only ignored the No Entry signs when turning into the street, he went past multiple signs telling him to do a U-turn before this intersection, then when rightly faced with more No Entry signs, initially looked confused, then took the most-pedestrianised street (the one that even bans bicycles), the Bourke Street Mall.
For the first time in many years, I caught the last train home last night.
So was it the dark, dingy, delayed and dangerous experience many assume it is? No.
The train ride itself? Peacefully quiet. Along the way, at South Yarra and Ormond, the PSOs on duty could be seen intently studying those inside, looking for any trouble, but they found none.
It’ll be interesting to see if, as the Coalition predicted at least at one stage, the PSO deployment results in more people using trains at night, as perceptions of safety improve.
Fact is, the only niggles on this particular train ride were the long wait (after about 10:30pm it’s half an hour between trains on most lines; I’d got there at about 11:55, so had to wait until 12:15) and the amount of litter in the carriage, which was noticeable though not out of control… neither of these issues will be fixed by PSOs, of course.
On alighting at Bentleigh to walk home, the station assistant was knocking off as the train departed.
And those of us leaving the train there walked off into the darkness.
PS. Saturday, for those who didn’t get the post title reference:
The thump at Glenhuntly made me look up.
Further up the train carriage, passengers were milling around. One of them had taken a fall — tripped in the doorway, it appeared. It was
an old man a senior gentleman. Others helped him up and into a seat.
The train doors had shut and we were starting to move. They conferred, and agreed to use the emergency intercom. One of the ladies went for it.
The driver responded with the business-like demeanour of someone who has responded to too many false-alarms. The lady explained what had happened and asked that an ambulance be called. The driver said he’d get one, to meet the train at Caulfield. A few minutes later this was confirmed by Metro’s Twitter team:
@danielbowen Ambulance has been called to meet train at Caulfield.
— Metro Trains (@metrotrains) June 10, 2013
On arrival at Caulfield, two passengers helped the injured man, who I’m going to guess looked at least in his 70s, and quite dazed, off the train and over to a bench. Intercom lady went up the platform to speak to the driver, who came down to check. We waited, and — since it appeared everything was being handled well — I pondered if I should jump ship and change platforms to another train to get to work.
After a couple of minutes a station staff member approached and went to sit with the man until the ambulance arrived. The train then departed.
Some thoughts on this…
Well done to the numerous passengers who helped him, and the driver and other staffers for getting the ambulance. I hope the gentleman was okay, but it heartens me that people immediately came to his assistance. I would have helped too, but with half-a-dozen closer doing so, didn’t need to.
People sometimes talk about our city getting bigger and that with this we lose our humanity. I don’t think it’s true.
It’s lucky Caulfield is a staffed station. If not, the driver being the only staff member present would have had to have minded the injured man until the ambulance arrived — something I’ve previously seen happen at Gardenvale. In peak hour traffic, who knows how long that might have taken.
Finally, it’s worth noting that some train networks such as Perth are engineered to a high standard, and at most stations don’t have a significant gap or step up into the train. As yet there appears to be no system-wide plan to fix this in Melbourne.
An obscure music video from 1993, twenty years ago. I caught this video on Rage one night, and got into the band Jellyfish from there.
I’m not even sure quite why I like it. The quirky music video (it was never clear enough on VHS, but it is here — all the band’s shots are obviously filmed backwards), the Queen-like harmonies, the wierdo lyrics. Dunno, but I was listening again to the album (“Spilt Milk”) again last week, and I still like it.
I didn’t know another song on the album also got a video: The Ghost At Number One. Sadly I don’t think that song is as catchy, and I guess neither did the public… after this album (their second) the band split-up.
No, here’s a better (new) recommendation: an excellent song for anybody who has stood in Bunnings and felt a little inept… Billy Bragg’s new one, “Handyman Blues”.
Continuing my series of posts of 10-year-old photos…
The Railway Museum at North Williamstown is closed currently, due to safety issues. As a kid I’d visited many times, and I was able to take my kids there too.
Near the museum, parked in a siding was an M>Train Comeng train. This carriage was looking a little the worse for wear — it had been involved in the Broadmeadows runaway train incident in February 2003.
The other week I experienced a Myki triple-whammy. Three modes, three stuff-ups.
Tram (one with all Metcard equipment removed) – at least one reader that was initially out of service… another was running, but was incredibly slow.
Bus (ditto; no Metcard equipment on-board) – one reader near the back door not working or switched-off (display completely blank).
Train – at Flinders Street’s main entrance from Swanston/Flinders Street, no gates at all were allowing entry. They appeared to all have “Validation disabled”. This wasn’t just half, as you might expect if they’d configured different gates for different directions; none were allowing entry. Eventually some Metro staff manually opened one gate and everyone trying to get in was herded through without touching-on. (It was about 8:30pm; not packed, but not quiet either.) Ka-ching – lost revenue.
It’s unclear if this last issue was equipment failure, or staff not able for some reason to correctly configure the gates due to lack of training or other issues.
Myki is not a new system anymore (and nor was it ever a cheap one). It’s been running in Melbourne for more than three years. These kind of basic reliability issues should have been rectified by now. No wonder people are still grumpy about it.
The weather on Friday night wasn’t favourable, but I think we all had a good time at the 25th school reunion in any case.
Amusingly, it clashed with the year 9+10 social in the main building. When I first arrived (wearing a black suit) I was asked if I was with Security.
It was a mixed group of 25 years/1988 and 20 years/1993. I assume the Old Boys Association reckoned that was the best way to make it viable to run it. About fifty of each group showed up.
Things I learnt on the night:
Apparently of the staff at the school in 1988, a staggering 15 are still teaching there 25 years later, including my year 12 maths teacher Mr Ganella, who was there for the reunion. He doesn’t look a day older, except his hair’s a bit greyer.
Likewise, as on previous occasions, many of my classmates looked the same… some a little greyer, rounder.
At least one hadn’t put his boys up for Melbourne High, in part because of the travel distance involved from Eltham (fair enough — when I was there, some students travelled from as far away as Mount Eliza, Launching Place and Gisborne) and because his friends had been scattered around Melbourne (perhaps I was lucky, as many of my friends were in the inner-southeast).
Some have been through some big challenges in their lives, but all those who came seem to have got through it okay with an optimistic viewpoint, and many seem to be living the dream — with things exactly how they want them.
I don’t recall looking at the 1988 honour board before, but I note a high proportion of people from my original year 9 (1985) class, which is kind of nice.
The most well-known last day prank in 1988 was a (lewd in parts) spoof of the school newsletter which was distributed to all year 12 classes. I finally discovered the anonymous students behind it.
A higher-profile incident was this one at Box Hill station, which other students volunteered to clean up — the description of the incident from the stationmaster is particularly amusing — and you can see from the uniform why we called them gumbies:
Finally, pranks obviously still take place… in one of the hallways of a newer building, I found this picture, supposedly of distinguished old boy Michael Gudinski:
Tonight I’m going to a school reunion. Almost unbelievably, it’s 25 years since year 12 in 1988.
To mark this occasion I’ve dug out something even older than that.
Once upon a time, before Facebook and Twitter, we couldn’t write on each others’ Walls or send a Tweet. On occasion in class, we’d pass a piece of paper around instead and write notes on it.
Here is one that survived, from July 1986.
As you can see, the chatter amongst myself and my friends at aged 15 was pretty moronic — a mix of tech talk (if you think the Mac/PC/Linux debate is heated, that was nothing on Commodore/Spectrum/Amstrad), Monty Python quotes and personal insults.
I don’t know if any of the other participants in this page of silliness are around and reading my blog… Most are referred to by initials only, so if they wish they can out themselves if they do happen to see this.