Cycling in Melbourne Australia
Does anyone know what rules / conditions govern road surface maintenance and modification?
I know that councils and Vicroads share responsibility for our roads and that I need to complain to the correct people (is my case Vicroads), however I'm interested in the broader issue of surface maintenance.
I commute to the CBD down Upper and then Lower Heidelberg roads. Over the past 12 months there's been a lot of work / development on Lower Heidelberg Rd (new units/appartments opposite Ivanhoe cycles, new BMW/Mercedes dealership near station st fairfield and new units/appartments/traffic lights on the corner of Westgarth rd)
Each time the 'developers' develope they dig up the road and the 'bike lane' to run./change services. And each time they've finished the road surface is 'finished' in an atrocious state. I'm sure this situation isn't unique to my commute route either.
So my question: Who 'polices' or checks that the re-finished surface is satisfactory? And by what standard do they deem it 'satisfactory'?
You can't build a house without a building surveyor signing off, but it seems you can chew up the road and no-one signs off....
I think it's the council who issue permits and may even accept bribes for that sort of thing.
They probably contract it out though - to a mate of the developer no doubt.
Some roads are managed by Vic Roads - like Springvale Rd.
That's partly why I ride a mountain bike.
The Road Management Act makes it clear that it is the responsibility of the road manager, be that council or VicRoads to maintain the road. Unfortunately, they are also the regulators/self-assessors.
If I was you, just contact Vic Roads and they will point you in the right direction. that is about it.
There's been a fair bit of discussion of it on and off in the BV forums, in a thread "Do you ever report Poor Road Surfaces?" http://www.bv.com.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=20314
VicRoads - http://vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/HaveYourSay/ContactUs/FeedbackAndEn... - general consensus is that they do act on reports and will reply to you.
Councils - seems to be upto the council how, if and when they respond.
In either case, write to them stating what the danger is and giving your contact details, keep a copy, be polite, follow up querying when it will be fixed. Keep following up, each time refer to the dates and times of your previous correspondence.
This is a handy resource.
Write to the local council, VicRoads, and cc your local member, the minister for roads, the local BUG (if there is one) and Bicycle Victoria for maximum coverage.
I've found the VicRoads online feedback form already linked gets prompt action on dangerous road conditions. Generally VicRoads does the big roads and councils do the local roads, but I think it's worth having it recorded at VicRoads anyway. The last time I reported a dangerous repair to VicRoads a guy called back the next day. They clearly had aggregated reports of problems at the same site, had someone out to assess it and were very cross at the standard of the repair. Another time it was repaired the same afternoon. Anyway, the guy explained that VicRoads permits the work (for this job anyway) on condition that the operator returns the road surface to 'as good as or better than original', and will chase the company that did the work to fix any problems. I've also had a call from a company that did some work that was dangerous so VicRoads had obviously called them. I was impressed they were keen to explain the process, some changes they were trialling and they did a very good job on the final repair. So at least some of them do seem to try to get it right.