Water – The New Pedestrian Control Device

29-08-06_0749.jpgNewcastle City Council has been busy fixing some of the inner city intersection, to improve pedestrian safety, and in one case to realign a blocked stormwater pipe. The images below are from one of the intersections, you can see the new kerb blister to shelter pedestrians contemplating the crossing, the new stormwater pits, and most obviously, the large puddle on the corner. Check out these three photos taken on my way to work.

It’s a fair embarrassment when the city council, responsible for approving engineering development’s drainage designs, is permitted to leave a design like this in use. I will admit that the options are few, but it is not impossible to fix. A bit of judicious modelling of the kerb profile with some localised raising of the road surface could have prevented this ugly situation.

29-08-06_0750.jpg You can also just see in the first photo a bit of hot mix applied to smooth out the pram ramp, which would actually make the drainage worse. Very little supervision or care has gone into this design and construction, this is a major pedestrian crossing in the middle of town.

I think I’ve worked it out! It’s actually a moat, to prevent pedestrians short cutting across the road!

For reference, this photo was taken up to an hour after a moderate brief shower.

29-08-06_0751.jpgThe decision to extend the kerb out as a blister across a fairly flat intersection should have raised some concerns in design, but the real issue comes when it was built that the construction supervisor allowed it to be deemed complete.

Retrofits on pavements and kerbing do have the possibility of not working out properly if the design phase is neglected. I’d encourage anyone involved in this type of work, either from a council, design or construction perspective to keep this one in the back of their mind for next time.

I get to walk past it every day. Do you have any photos of similar screw ups?


Technorati : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.