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.
Want roadside assistance but don’t want to fund RACV’s lobbying? Plenty of alternatives – cheaper too
This has come up again since RACV are resisting the removal of a lane of traffic on Princes Bridge to give cyclists more than the part of a busy footpath and the mere sliver of roadspace they have now:
What alternatives are there to RACV road service? Because if you disagree with the RACV’s stance on transport issues, why help fund their lobbying?
With thanks to Brad McCluskey, combined with a previous list of mine, here are some contenders (quoting their basic plans, which I suspect is what many would want as a basic safety-net), and the annual fee:
For comparison, RACV roadside care costs from $92.
- Ultratune $69.50
- Budget Direct $69.95 — appears to resell Ultratune’s service
$79— see comments; it looks like this is $99 if you don’t hold an Allianz insurance policy
- 24/7 Road Services $55
- Australian Automobile Club $59 — note they do lobbying on some issues which you may not agree with
Also some companies offer breakdown assistance on a per-job basis, with no joining fee. It could be cheaper if you very rarely need to call, but it could be expensive if you use them regularly:
- Melbourne Roadside Assistance — no prices quoted
- Mobile Car Care — note “throughout the Melbourne metropolitan area 6 days a week” — at least $99 per call out
- Express Mobile Mechanics — at least $110 per call
- Ace Mobile Mechanics
Are there any others?
I’ve been signed up to 24/7 Road Services now for some years, but have never had to actually call them.
RACV being the biggest, probably have the most assistance vans, but also might be busier and slower at peak times to respond. I have seen a lot of Allianz vans around recently. Perhaps they just have a more eye-catching design than most. Have people tried some of these alternatives?
Always check the fine print of course. Some companies won’t sign you up to an annual plan if your car is too old. Some plans limit the number of callouts you can make and/or have different tiers of service plan. And some have limited or no coverage outside metropolitan Melbourne.
…this person, who ignored the convention to keep left of the white line in Flinders Lane, and came up against this tram coming around the corner.
The tram actually had a fair pace making the turn — luckily it stopped in time to prevent a collision.
The motorist backed out of the lane, and hopefully learnt a lesson.
In an ABS survey in 2009, 4.0 million people (18.5% of the population) reported having a disability.
Of people with a disability, Mobility aids used by about 15% of them.
So about 600,000 people nationwide use mobility aids of some kind: walking sticks, walking frames, wheelchairs.
Additionally, the 2011 Census says there are 1,457,571 people aged under 5. Let’s assume that all of these kids either ride in a pram pushed by a parent, or walk under close supervision with a parent, eg another 1,457,571.
And let’s ignore for a moment that some of the 600,000 people who use mobility aids are aged under 5, or supervising those under 5.
What we get is that perhaps around three and a half million people (about 1 in 6) in Australia have some challenges with simply walking down the street.
They need two things to help get around their neighbourhood.
Firstly they need adequate footpaths provided by councils and road authorities. This means both sides of the street, built with proper drainage, and designed with minimising distances, rather than taking long detours to get places. Adequate road crossing places also need to be provided — responsive traffic lights, pedestrian refuges (islands) and so on.
And secondly, they need people to not block the footpaths with their motor vehicles. To do so is the ultimate in arrogance and thoughtlessness for three and a half million of your fellow citizens. Yet I see it continually when walking. It’s high time there was a crackdown on it.
Personally, in the last few months I’ve left several polite but firm notes around my neighbourhood on repeat offending vehicles — they seem to work, and it’s probably easier than trying to convince the council or police to do something about it (though pleasingly, it does sometimes happen).
I was trying to get some photos and/or video for a blog post I’m writing. I’m having trouble finding a source for part of the post, so in the meantime here’s a snippet of video from the pedestrian overpass above the Nepean Highway at Moorabbin.
I might be wrong, but it does appear to me that there’s more than one rev head in amongst this lot. But I’d be reluctant to estimate how fast they were going. Any guesses?
I wonder if they realised they were passing Moorabbin Police station?
The Wikipedia article on Australian licence plates highlights some special prefixes, but here’s a list I’ve tried to come up with that includes others they don’t show, from personal observations and gleaning information from the VicRoads web site.
AO (suffix) – accredited bus
CC – Consular Corps
E56 – trailers
HDV – horse-drawn vehicle
Mxx – state vehicles, such as (marked) police cars
M – metropolitan Melbourne taxi
U – Geelong, Ballarat or Bendigo urban taxi
PS (suffix) – peak period taxi
ST – substitute taxi (replacement for regular taxi which is out of service for repairs)
C – country/regional taxis
TOW (prefix ) / TT (suffix) – tow truck
VHA/VHB/VHC – hire cars (eg chauffeured)
S000 to S999 – hire motorcycles
I particularly like HDV.
Are there others?
Those who regularly head up the Hume Freeway from Melbourne would know about this, but others may not: it’s the Rooster Tree.
You’ll find it somewhere past Wandong and the exit for Clonbinane (which is one of those places I’ve never heard of apart from on the freeway exit signs), and it’s really only properly visible when heading northbound.
As you get closer, you’ll see it’s not really one tree, but a clump of trees.
One wonders if the owners of it know of its significance… my guess is yes, since it never seems to grow enough to look like anything other than a rooster.
Enough people know about the Rooster Tree that it’s got a fan page on Facebook — and in the aftermath of the horrific death and destruction of Black Saturday in 2009, many wondered if it had survived.
One more thing: local musician Mal Webb has written a very amusing song about the Rooster Tree:
(thanks to M for snapping the pic above as we drove up the other day)
Last night’s skyline from the country:
It’s not often I have to be urgently somewhere in the car, but it was the case yesterday. “Don’t be late!” I’d been (lightheartedly) told.
It’s not a trip that is completely impossible by public transport, but with only three trains a day, and the first of the morning getting me there 45 minutes late, that wasn’t an option. It had to be a trip made by road.
I’d started the car briefly on Thursday to check I had enough fuel to make the trip. That may have been my undoing.
When I got in the car on Friday morning to head north, it wouldn’t start. It grumbled and spluttered. I sat back for a moment, swore under my breath, then tried again. No go.
I contemplated possible plan Bs, and how it was possible this could happen after (as I recall it) zero engine-related troubles with the Astra since I got it in 2008 (and no hint of forthcoming issues at the last service).
The third time, it finally came good, but with a deep rumble somewhere in the engine. I thought I might as well go for it, and eased it out of the driveway. As we moved down the street the rumble stopped, and it was fine.
I didn’t dare stop along the way. Two and a bit hours I’d made it, and gratefully pulled into a parking spot.
Since then it’s got me home again too, even with a brief stop along the way.
So, those of you who know more about cars than I do (which is most of you, I suspect): is it the battery? Is it on the way out? Time for a replacement?
And if so, any particularly recommended vendors for someone like me who probably doesn’t have the time or energy to do it himself?
- Update: I was asked how old the battery is. As far as I recall, it has not been replaced since I bought the car secondhand in 2008