Sunday, April 16, 2006
Tram shelters and ads
Melbourne has a few old style tram shelters in various places. They are reasonably well maintained now, although it was not always the case. They are quite good at providing shelter but not necessarily visibility to watch for an approaching tram. They are expensive to maintain and clean and very prone to vandalism and appealing to the homeless and drunks. But there aren't many left and I think they should be kept and well maintained.
Now I am not a great supporter of commercial advertising. I guess we have to have it, but it can be very intrusive at times. I dislike it intensely on tv and rarely watch commercial tv or listen to commercial radio. Perhaps the media is as much to blame for their placement and frequency of ads. Ads on SBS tv do not worry me at all. I do recognise that ads are much better than those in past. I think the eighties was the worst time of television advertising.
Billboard ads on freeways and toll roads should not be allowed. They are too distracting for many people who really need to concentrate when driving at 100 kph surrounded by many other vehicles doing the same. It is enough to have to watch for directional signage etc.
We residents of the publicity hungry City of Port Phillip are about to have a pedestrian overpass built over the traffic sewer known as Queen's Road to provide access to Albert Park. It would seem advertisers are going to pay for it. So we will have advertising stretched across the span of the bridge. Nice, not.
There is a very new bright blue lit advertising sign at St Kilda Junction. Here is what Rob thought of it when he made a comment on my blog. I am inclined to agree.
That blue light at SK Junction is particularly disturbing, especially at night when it is quite bright. I've seen the ANZ ad on it (money, yenom, we know it backwards (yeah, good one)), and that's about it. Octopus Media Solutions (make it bigger, brighter and more irritating than the competition) apparently operate it and frankly I'm surprised that such a blight got approved. Then again, maybe I'm not so shocked...
But just sometimes, advertisers get it right. Melbourne has these very nice new metal and glass tram and bus shelters. They are kept very clean. If the are vandalised, they are quickly repaired. They have decent lighting. They are usually well oriented to protect waiting passengers from the prevailing weather. Usually, but with at least one clanging exception, they provide a good view to watch for approaching public transport.
Now I understand that the supply of and installation costs were borne by an advertising company. Maintenance and cleaning costs are paid by them. For this, they get the right to advertise on the shelters. The ads are usually ok, although the public transport companies and local and state governments seem to have a veto right over the adverting. They are frequently changed.
This is perhaps one example of where a public/private partnership works. There aren't too many of them to be found.