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It’s 6 am and 6 degrees and I’m standing at the bus stop going to the gym. I must be mad!

OK, I’m bad. No post for 10 weeks.

The thing is, I have been really busy at work on all sorts of potentially very interesting projects. Unfortunately, none of the work is in the public domain and I’m not really allowed to talk about it. One of the projects would lead to a potentially multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects so I can understand why Queensland Transport wouldn’t want any information to get out, apart from what it lets out itself.

At least I am going to get a report out on Monday for the other project which has been keeping me insane for months.

I can’t wait for the reports to become public so I can make comment.

Sigh.

(Ribblehead Viaduct for those who were wondering)

No sooner had I published yesterday’s post than we got a spot of rain. Just enough to layer the dust and make me bring the washing in. According to the bureau 1.2mm at Brisbane Airport weather station.

Still, April (and May, June, July) are going to have to be incredibly wet if Brisbane is to avoid disaster. Jan/Feb/Mar are supposed to be the wettest months, but in the March just gone we got less than 1/5 of the average rainfall for the month.

Check the graph below which shows average and past 12 months’ rainfall for Brisbane (airport).

I have heard on the grapevine that ‘apocalypse’ scenarios for Brisbane are being considered: when does trucking of drinking water start, what are the evacuation options if the pipes run dry.

Scary stuff.

Yes, I am here, alive and kicking.

Well sorta.

I was planning posts about the drive across the Nullabour. They may happen yet, but till then I have only 2 words: do it.

I’ve been flat-chat as I’m working full time and have been plunged into the deep end managing a project reviewing a rail corridor and station location in SEQ. Going from 3 years as part-time student and part-time self-employed to an 8.30 – 5 office job (with a 70 minute commute either end) has been a killer.

More on that later.

The official opening date for the new south west railway (Mandurah Line) was for a while Early 2007, then November 2006. Obviously it is not finished. Lately the unoffical rumour has been for April 2007.

Today I notice this little snippet on the Transperth website. It is not on the front page you have to dig for it.

Success Park‘n’Ride closure

Effective: 10 December 2006

From Sunday 10 December 2006, Transperth will close Success Park‘n’Ride and transfer all services to the new Cockburn Central Station located north of Beeliar Dr. Access to the new Park‘n’Ride facility is via North Lake Rd or Beeliar Dr.

From this date, all Transperth services (a complete list shown below) will operate to and from the new Cockburn Central Station. Most routes will continue to operate past Cockburn Gateways Shopping Centre, however in peak periods, at night and on Sundays, many services will bypass Gateways and operate directly to the new Train Station. Please refer to new timetables available from 4 December 2006 for further details on specific trips. Routes Affected:133,134,135,136,137,139,183,188,193,194, 510, 794 and all Transperth School & Special Event Services.

These changes are part of Transperth’s long term plan to deliver a world class public transport system including train services on the Southern Suburbs Railway. Train Services to Cockburn Central are anticipated to commence in July 2007.

OK, apart from the questionable utility of moving the bus station away from the shopping centre to a carpark and development site a couple of hundred metres away, this is the most recent opening date that I have seen for the train line itself.

Given the scope of the project I am not to distressed about another 6 months, but I just can’t wait for The West to come up with an outraged headline.

Last week in a moment of weakness I purchased some computer software. It looked potentially useful and since it is such a pain to trek down to Murdoch to use it I bought it. I must admit I was seduced by the massive discount for students.

Yesterday, this arrived in the post (airmail from the USA):

Dear Colleague,

You recently ordered a license of IDRISI Andes for digital download.
Please find enclosed a pair of 3-D glasses for use with the anaglyphic display features, accessed through Composer. You will need a stereo pair of images (such as from Quickbird or ASTER). Review the Help System for Composer for details on the operation.

Thank you for using IDRISI Andes!

The Clark Labs

Enclosed:

Yes, they are cardboard and cellophane.

I don’t know think I have posted before about just how anti-pedestrian Perth can be.

The lack of footpaths in just about any suburb developed between 1930 and 2005 can be excused – it was the trend everywhere. The thing that really gets my goat though is the treatment of pedestrians at intersections.

First, most traffic lights in Perth do not have pedestrian lamps. Pedestrians are just expected to cross “on the green” and in some cases standard green traffic lights have been provided for the “benefit” of pedestrians. The big problem is that Perth drivers do not give way to pedestrians. There is one set of lights recently where I was over half-way across the road and actually stepped off the median onto the carriageway and stood there on the roadway while right turning vehicles came over from my left shoulder and cut me off. There have also been times when as a driver turning a corner I have paused to let a pedestrian cross the road. Not only is the pedestrian generally bamboozled (why have I stopped??) but on at least one occasion I have had a car overtake me and turn left in front of me, cutting off the pedestrian anyway. If there are cars facing me waiting to turn right they will routinely turn in front too.

As a result of all this, pedestrians that have to cross the road tend to scuttle through gaps, and probably more cross on the red than the green, because at least then the traffic that you can see will be moving and the traffic you cannot will be stopped.

Also, many of the few lights that do have pedestrian phases, such as those in the CBD are fitted with four-way cross cycles. This means that there will be a car east-west cycle, a car north-south cycle and then an ‘all cars stop and pedestrians cross all ways’ cycle. Given that a pedestrian cycle has green and flashing red phases, this means that only 1/2 a cycle in three is for pedestrians. If you don’t want to cross all-ways then this can be very frustrating.

Is it any wonder that people drive everywhere?

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