Singapore 2016 🇸🇬, Toxic Custard newsletter

Singapore here we come

(This post backdated. See all Singapore trip posts on this link) As I previously mentioned, we were invited to my cousin's wedding in Singapore, so we decided to go for the week. Why Singapore? A distribution of family between Belgium, Singapore and Australia. It was very cold when setting out -- only about 3 degrees -- so I found a combination of clothes that'd keep me warm on the way to th

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Signs blocking bike lanes and footpaths

This is not the first time I've spotted something like this: real estate agent signs blocking bike lanes. I'm not sure why anybody who thought about it for more than a second would think it was a good idea to leave signs there. Cyclists would either be forced out into traffic, or if they didn't notice the signs, collide with them. In this case, I decided to move the signs out of the way. The


Fare evasion changes

Public transport fines are changing. Today the Victorian Ombudsman released a damning report into the fare evasion regime; so did the Government Department Of Everything. And importantly, the Government announced numerous changes including the scrapping of Penalty Fares; better training, equipment and discretion for Authorised Officers; upgrades to Myki to improve online top-up times, and make

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Burke Road level crossing: train punctuality improving, but no visible benefits for trams yet

After about a year of construction, the Burke Road (Gardiner) level crossing was finally removed in January. One of four train/tram crossings (tram squares), it had long caused delays to both, as well as pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles. I went and had a look a month or two back. The design isn't outstanding. In particular the train/tram interchange is stuffed -- they've managed to engi


Station plans: the new Ormond/Mckinnon/Bentleigh

I haven't seen the detailed station plans for Ormond/Mckinnon/Bentleigh (aka the North-Mckinnon-Centre grade separations) online anywhere, but they are on display at the semi-regular public sessions. Here's how they look, with some notes from me. Any misinterpretations of the plans are my mistake. In all three diagrams, north (to the city) is to the left. Click on any of the diagrams to view

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Ferries: to work, they need a lot more than a guaranteed comfortable seat

I hate to say I told you so, and I hate even more to see enthusiasm and investment defeated, but it's looking that way with the Wyndham to Docklands ferry. After much anticipation from some quarters, it kicked off this week in a blaze of publicity. Just to recap here's the deal: The ferry departs Wyndham Harbour at Werribee South, headed for Docklands in the morning, and back in the eve


Ten years since “Meeting Our Transport Challenges”

Ten years ago today, the Bracks Government's "Meeting Our Transport Challenges" plan was released. MOTC for short. It wasn't the first of the 1999-2010 Labor Government's transport documents, nor would it be the last. It came following a stinging assessment of Melbourne's public transport a few months earlier by Professor Peter Newman for the Metropolitan Transport Forum, and a sustained push f


In-cab signalling and platform doors – two pieces of the puzzle

Last Thursday the state government announced more details around the Metro rail tunnel, and related projects. High Capacity Signalling Upgrading existing rail lines to High Capacity Signalling (HCS) has the potential to boost track capacity by up to about 50%, though to reach that, you would need to remove level crossings too. Originally HCS was to have been trialled on the Sandringham li

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter

The perfect, durable, compact umbrella

Melbourne's rainy season is upon us. It's been a few years since my blog post about good strong compact umbrellas, so here's a quick update. A good umbrella is vital for a dedicated walking/PT person. The brief: an umbrella that, folded, can fit in my work bag (eg a maximum length of about 35cm) and go anywhere. And -- this is the hard bit -- as durable as possible. Foldable umbrellas tend n

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Barred from Bayswater – that escalated quickly

I'd been reading this article about the proposal to narrow a section of Mountain Highway through Bayswater when the level crossing is removed -- from 3 lanes in each direction down to 2. Bayswater state Liberal MP Heidi Victoria has submitted the petition against the plans to State Parliament and urged the Government to intervene. ... "Those of us who live and work in Bayswater know the tra