Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Here a roadblock, there a roadblock

It doesn't seem to matter where I drive - or walk - these days there seems to be a road closed sign whilst yet another highrise or renovation takes place. Someone whispered to me that we were on the cusp of a recession - me thinks not. If we were some of the developments would not be going ahead. 
Warning - another road closed!
Mr Hi-Vis Vest Roadwork Sentry viewed me with suspicion as I took this photo
I was awoken recently by the beep beep of a backing truck and when I popped my head out my window yet another concrete truck was trying to back up my narrow street in order to gain access to a Victorian house that was in the throes of being renovated down an even narrower lane. The logistics of this had me gasping. It went on for days (not all day - but every day for over a week!) And to make sure that no-one else had access to the end of my street and into the lane the road was closed whilst each concrete truck backed up the street. And this meant that 1-2 'roadwork sentries' were required to ensure only those damn concrete trucks could have access.
A huge concrete truck squeezed into the top of my street - note the hi-vis roadwork sentry working hard!
Now I'm told that there is money to be made by being a roadwork sentry and the job is rather sought after! All they seem to do all day is stand with a paddleboard which they need to turn from Stop to Slow. The remainder of their time is taken up drinking coffee, chatting, eating, monitoring their mobile phone, leaning on cars and generally having a pretty relaxing time. They even have their hi-vis (!) vests and rainwear provided! Sounds like a bonza job to me. One of the roadwork sentries was even older than me! During this upheaval there was a lovely old British Racing Green MG sports car parked illegally across the road from my home. It made getting into and out of my garage almost impossible. I was about to ring the Council to get them to send around a traffic cop to slap a parking ticket on the windscreen when lo and behold the old roadwork sentry codger knocked off work and slipped behind the wheel! As I said there's money to be made from being a roadwork sentry!

Always useful to lean your 'paddle' against the wall while doing I don't know what!
Recently there was an article in The Age which really said it all. Author Shane Maloney has lived in inner urban Brunswick for 35 years. As he said "At the moment in Brunswick anybody with a high-vis vest and a lollipop stick can close an entire street for a day - there appears to be no regulation." But it was the final paragraph of the article which really resonated with me. "One perverse impact is developers, targeting land in an activity centre(inner urban), can easily build to eight levels, while residents wanting to renovate can't move their house two metres closer to the fence because of setback requirements". 

This is where the concete was going! It has been like this now for a few weeks - the neighbour on the right (see green temporary fencing fabric!) tells me that he has lost half his back yard, privacy and security - glad the Council is looking after his interests! Not!
Are you tired of being put second while all this development is taking place.  I know I am.

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