Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Local Park

On the edge of Kingsway is a small park, well used by office workers at lunch time and often for barbecues. Not long after we moved here, the park was renovated and the patchy grass replaced by gravel, so it is not the coolest or most pleasant park, but the Moreton Bay Fig trees are magnificent.


 Many lanes of a traffic flow along Kingsway as it divides at the beginning of Queens Road.

 Look, I see a foreign bicycle. Send it home.

A closer inspection shows it bearing the moniker of Vic Roads rather than RACV.

Yes, that was a shorn Jack in the last photo. He has visited us for two long weekends in a row.

23 comments:

  1. The fig trees do give a lot of shade and a splash of green to a city. I see not many bikes were in use, that is the same here.

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    1. Colin8:55 am

      Ditto. All you see here are bikes like as shown in this photo. It has been a waste of money.
      Do the "powers to be" think tourists bring helmets with their suitcases from overseas or on interstate holidays???

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    2. Diane, they are such grand trees. Inner Melbourne has rather a lot of them. That bike stand is a particularly quiet one. Just around the corner is another much busier one.

      Colin, for the subsidised price of $5 they can buy a helmet at a 711.

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  2. Bikes are going to be unused whilst the helmet law is enforced. Here in Switzerland the freebie bikes are very popular, but no-one wears helmets. Same goes for cities in France and London.

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    1. It is why the system is not doing so well Kath. The lobbying for an exemption for these bikes continues.

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    2. Colin8:51 pm

      Andrew. Kate has nailed you.
      How in hells name, can you have exemptions?
      I had to go into the wretched Fortitude Valley here this afternoon to get of all things eggs from the green grocer. So I took the liberty in between avoiding the druggies, the weird and "out of this World" etc etc. to look at the council bike ranks there - one bank of 24 (all present) and the next bank of 12(all present). Now where it the profit from this business?
      Tourists and interstate people in cities WALK, not ride stupid bikes.
      The locals don't use them, so why do councils waste bloody money.
      I wonder and I have no intention at this hour of night (7.45pm) to go back to the Valley and sit and watch for verification, how many of these chained bikes are in one piece in the morning?
      This is madness and a total waste of money.
      I know that bikes are ridden in cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, but just how many are ridden by tourists? Has a census been done? I think not.
      In Copenhagen the inner transport system of trams suffices. I have never been to Amsterdam.
      Now for example when you have friends from overseas, do you and your mate "R" take them on a bicycle ride around Melbourne?

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    3. Colin, I am not lobbying for exemptions but others are. I have my own bike, which reminds me, I must go and pump up the tyres and dust off the seat, in case I want to use it. I've seen some tourists use them, but the majority of users are local workers and students. Our visitors are a bit too old for cycling, as are we, but if I was younger and they were, I would consider taking them around by bicycle.

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  3. OH and I love little Jack, all curled up on his IKEA lambswool rug!

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    1. Ikea is it Kath? Quite possible.

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  4. The idea of leaving the office and eating lunch in a small park is irresistible. I would replace the gravel with grass once again, put in plenty of benches and invite a mobile espresso van to stand neaby.

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    1. Hels, I wish that they would, but it won't work without a water supply during the summer and although we have more than enough water now, councils won't bite the bullet.

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  5. If I were a tourist there I would definitely want to ride a free bike but I would not want to be required to wear a helmet.
    When working it is nice to have a park to go to for lunch, and those fig trees are gorgeous.

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    1. Rubye, Melbourne is relatively flat compared to Sydney, and so is a good cycling city. A fine and not so hot day sees many taking their lunch to the park.

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  6. The free city bikes here in Adelaide are well used and I think most of the people who use them are regulars who have bought their own helmets. I've seen tourists on them too. Our bikes are black with a basket on the front with a sign that reads City Bikes. I have to dust off my own bike too, so I can have another go at falling off it.

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    1. River, ours do get reasonable usage, but it could be a lot better. I would encourage you to get out on your bike. It is nice ways to see things over a bigger area.

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  7. Colin1:18 pm

    Good heavens, "River"!
    First verification on seniors getting free transport between 9.00am and 3.00pm (that would suit me! and I can't imagine too many senior citizens out at all ungodly hours of the night!).
    And now FREE city bikes! This information is indeed interesting.
    Are all these bikes returned to wherever they were picked up from?
    Does Adelaide have a service like vehicles that go around and collect the bikes, a la Shopping trolleys? Quite often found in creeks and drains? (Here and in NSW, some shopping centres charge for trolley use - I think $2.00)
    How does the Adelaide City Council and the SA Government Transport department cover these costs?
    Maybe I am cynical, but there has to be a "catch" somewhere to pay for these services?
    Anyhow my South Aussie informant was correct.

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  8. Colin, I expect like our bike system and perhaps yours, even if the bikes are free, you still need to use your 'card' to use the bikes. I heard that when the bike scheme started in Paris, hundreds of their bikes ended up in South America.

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  9. Colin; I'm not sure on whether the bikes are returned to their original point, I think there may be a system where you can ride and leave the bikes at alternative pick up points. I'll have to check into it. I'll make a note in my diary to find out next time I'm in the city. or perhaps I'll check it online later tonight.
    We also have a few shopping centres that have charges for trolley use. When charge trolleys were first introduced, there were also tokens available, free at first, later they were sold for $1, they attached to your key ring for use if you forgot to have $1 handy. I still have my original tokens plus several of the "second" generation tokens which are black.

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    1. You have to pay at many supermarkets here for trolleys, $1 or $2. Some have locking mechanisms that prevent them been taken out of supermarket carparks.

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  10. Shorn Jack and his pal Ted look adorable lying on the sheepskin rug Andrew..i

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    1. He is a great dog Grace.

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  11. On the subject of the green Melbourne Bike Share bicycle, there are another three floating around that aren't painted blue: the colours being white, yellow, and polka-dot:

    http://wongm.com/2012/08/the-many-colours-of-melbourne-bike-share/

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  12. Yes, I remembered your post when I saw it and meant to reread it. I have seen the polka dot one. The next day while out for a walk, we saw the white one in another nearby stand. Are all the ring in bikes marked with Vic Roads?

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.