Check this out! The City of Playford in South Australia has developed a new form of Russian Roulette that uses roads and cars instead of revolvers and bullets.
[ The URL shortlink is http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-hV ]
THE ‘mushroom tunnel syndrome’ LETTER FROM PLAYFORD COUNCIL.
In paragraph 2 of the letter below, the residents of two streets in the suburb of Elizabeth Vale are told that a 3 hour parking “trial” will improve road safety and reduce congestion. However, when you check out the copy of the email that follows this letter, it is clearly apparent that the “trial” is really a “Pilot Project”, i.e. it is in reality a test run for introducing a timed parking zone around a major hospital that will over time net both the council and the hospital millions of dollars. Paragraph 2 in the council deceitful letter states:
“As part of the City of Playford’s ongoing commitment to road safety, Council will initiate a three-month trial timed parking within the streets of Treves Street and Siddall Road. These restrictions are being introduced to reduce congestion, improve safety and alleviate the parking congestion issues experienced by residents.”
This is utter garbage, for as you will see in the email header that follows, it is all about sneaking in the introduction of timed parking zones in the residential access streets that are on the northern side of the Lyell McEwin Hospital by conning the residents into accepting this form of parking in streets that are way below safety standards for this purpose. Forget about “road safety” and “reducing congestion” and instead think in terms of ‘parking fines revenue raising’.
Any consultation process that involves decisions includes “the need to know” which means that there is also “a right to know”. For example as both the “Subject” line of this email and the “timed parking possibilities” statements made between July 10th and early September make quite clear, “safety” and reducing (traffic) congestion are not the real issues; the real issue is all about more timed parking spaces in 2 streets that are totally inadequate for this purpose!
DELIBERATE MISDIRECTION by majoring on minor issues in order to avoid the real issues is a violation of Procedural Fairness, which includes the right to know ALL of the relevant facts needed for making valid decisions. So check out the ‘contractors and tradespeople’ mentioned in the opening paragraph.
This is a textbook example of instant misdirection by raising minor, largely irrelevant matter to deflect attention away from the real issues. Sure, some of these people are contractors and ‘tradies’, but the majority are full or part-time hospital workers, e.g. nurses and receptionists, etc.
VITAL NEED TO KNOW STUFF KEPT FROM RESIDENTS and other people.
Hard decisions require hard data and the council is not providing any useful data upon which to formulate any objective, empirical decisions. For example, how many hospital workers have been regularly parking their cars in Treves Street and Siddall Road during the last year?
The answer, 10 in Treves street and 40 in Siddall Road = 50 cars x 5 days = 250 cars per week. Since they have been forced to move, where did they? Literally, just around the corner into Broughton Road (see picture above) where they can legally park on both sides of the 7.3 metre wide road!
- How many hospital patients and visitors are expected to park in these 2 streets between 8AM and 6PM? 50×4 = 200 x 5 days = 1,000 which is a 400% increase in traffic congestion and a 400% increase in the chance of a “centreline” or a “drive on the right’ head-on collision.)
- What percentage of this 1,000 cars per week does the council expect to fine for exceeding the 3 hour limit?
- Exactly just how much does the council expect to raise from parking fines in these 2 streets in the next 5 years at $60 per fine?
- How many accidents have occurred in these 2 streets in the last 5 years that have been reported to the police?
- What is the council’s Risk Assessment Projection (RAP Sheet) for the next 5 years once 3 hour timed parking is introduced?
What increase in traffic flow is expected as people seek out vacated parking spots in these streets? (If parking space “seekers” are similar in number to the number of cars that park in these 2 streets, it will mean that some 2,000 cars will flow through streets between 8AM and 6PM Monday to Friday, I.E. over 100,000 cars per year with most of them ‘centreline’ driving in opposite directions! How many people in these 2 streets are aware of this nasty implication?
- Since the “No Parking” signs were installed, how many people have been fined for parking in these “No Parking” zones? ($68 per fine!) This photo was taken at 9AM on Friday 4th October and the illegally parked car was still there at 1.30PM. (Note: frustrated motorists once pulled out these No Parking signs so that they could be close to the hospital,the background buildings, and hid them out of sight in the gutter!)
- What is council’s trend line projection for this behaviour to continue?
- What is the minimum road width required to 2 traffic lanes and 2 parking lanes in suburban Residential Access Roads?
- What is the minimum road width required to 2 traffic lanes and 1 parking lane in suburban Residential Access Roads?
FUTURE TRENDS DATA:
According to a report in last week’s local newspaper, Mayor Docherty claims that by 2043 the city’s population will have increased by 100,000, a figure that implies that in the next 5 years the population of Playford will increase from 80,000 to 96,000, i.e. a 20% increase on the current population level. This implies a 20% increase in the number of people using the hospital and a 20% increase in the demand for parking spaces.
SO WHAT ABOUT NEXT MONTH? In a few weeks time, paediatric patients will be switched from Modbury Hospital to the Lyell McEwin. At the same time the Northern Adelaide Cancer Clinic will come on-line with patients from the north-western suburbs being sent from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital from treatment at the Lyell McEwin.
- How many extra car parks will be required to meet new staffing loads?
- How many extra car parking spaces will be required for patients, visitors, etc for the new regional cancer clinic?
- What overload parking pressures will be placed on the residential access roads that surrounds the hospital?
- Are these roads “Fit for Purpose” when it comes to accommodating the ever increasing demand for more car seeking parking spaces?
- Will these roads be able to accommodate a 20% increase in traffic, i.e. will Treves Street and Siddall Road cope with a throughput of 125,000+ cars each year?
- What data does the council have to suggest that both the residents and the roads can cope with this massive increase in traffic?
NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE – A legal reality that the Playford Council has apparently deliberately chosen to both ignore and to conceal on more than one occasion in Elizabeth Vale. Note the P-plate driver driving down the right-hand side of the road because it is not possible to comply with Australian road rules and drive on the left-hand side of the road! (It is also necessary to keep wide of the parked cars in case someone opens a car door.)
Check the “Subject” line of the email from a representative of Playford Council: It is all about a 3 hour parking Pilot Project that involves the Lyell McEwin Hospital, not the safety of the residents or any reduction in road congestion! (We are still forced to drive on the wrong side of the road into on-coming traffic! So much for residents ‘safety’.)
NOTE: The Playford Council’s internet feedback web address for the 3-hour Treves Street/Siddall Road 3 hour parking “trial”. It is:
That URL address yet is another important indicator that the issue is not about improving safety in Treves Street or Siddall Road but is all about creating more parking spaces for the Lyell McEwin Hospital, regardless of the dangers to residents and other users of these streets such as the hospital’s Out-patients who will, thanks to SA Government economic rationalization ‘initiatives’, be coming from as far afield as Modbury and Woodville or Arndale.
One of the major legal and safety problems is that the streets are far too narrow for both high density kerbside parking and 2 traffic lanes, i.e. they are 7.3 metres wide and a minimum of 11 metres in width is required.
(24 Feet)- Broughton road measurement shown above.) Many of the residential access roads are just 7.3 metres in width, a measurement that is way below code for what is happening in Treves street, Siddall Road and Broughton Road.
Here is the Code of Practice for the width of Residential Access Roads:
What happens when a local council deliberately ignores minimum safety standards and places increased parking fines revenue ahead of the safety of the residents and the public? As the photos posted below clearly show, residents and other users of these roads have to drive either on the centreline of the road or on the wrong side of the road, i.e. they have to drive on the right-hand side of the road into on-coming traffic! (Unlike the USA and Europe, in Australia we drive on the left, not the right side of the road.)
- Does any local government authority, or indeed any state government authority, have the power to force road users to violate the Australian Road Rules that require motorists to drive LEFT of the CENTRELINE?
- In one word; NO!
- So, how do you explain what is happening in these pictures?
Unable to get through a choke point in Treves Street, and unaware of my car just behind it, the garbage pickup truck, perhaps not this one, reversed back and ‘chased’ me around the corner. If I had missed getting my (manual drive) car into gear, my wife and I could have been crushed by 10 tonnes of garbage!In this picture, the truck did manage to squeeze through. Note that car parking on the left hand side of the road are parking in an 8AM – 5PM no parking zone and this picture was taken at about 1.30PM.
Allowing any kerbside parking at all in streets that are so far below code is clearly a very dangerous form of Russian Roulette with other people’s lives. The City of Playford is fooling around with public safety and consequently, what the council is doing is Gross Criminal Negligence, plain and simple.
HOW’s THIS FOR GROSS ‘below code’ HYPOCRISY?
This cul-de-sac on Haydown Road is directly opposite the hospital and is just 0.6 of a metre (2 feet) narrower than Treves Street, Siddall Road and Broughton Road.
This sign in the Haydown Road cul-de-sac is diagonally opposite the Oldham Road – Haydown Road T-junction. There are several of these signs in this cul-de-sac and the lesson to be learnt by all residents living in the 7.3 metre wide access roads is that these signs should also be lining every “below code” road in the suburb of Elizabeth Vale.
The reality is that in far too many instances, the 7.3 metre wide Residential Access Roads are already being illegally used by Playford Council as revenue raising, timed parking zones. Nice for the council, but potentially lethal for the residents!
This cynical revenue raising at the expense of public safety is easily explained by the comments that a federal court judge, Steven Rares, made a the June 2013 AGS Law Administrators Conference:
- People do not know their rights, and as consequence;
- Politicians enact (By-)laws and regulations that erode people’s rights. (which is why, according to Justice Rares,)
- One of the 4 core functions of the Courts is to ensure “Procedural Fairness”, e.g. when the public deals with governments and government agencies. At the time Justice Rares was essentially trying to explain to the judicial world exactly how it was that 15,000 people had been tried and convicted of a crime that did not exist – nice one huh?)
- Why is Procedural Fairness such a critical function? In part it is because all too often politicians and bureaucrats violate this basic but crucial legal principle.
- In the case of the Treves Street/Siddall Road “trial” Procedural Fairness has been violated because it is manifestly obvious that the council deliberately misled residents and the community about the purpose of the trial, i.e. it is about more car parking spaces, not improved safety and reduced road congestion.
- At the same time, the council failed to provide “need-to-know/right to know” information, i.e. that these two streets are way ‘below code’ and are far too narrow for the safe provision of 2 lanes of traffic and a revenue raising car parking lane.
- Playford Council also failed to inform residents that it has no legal authority to force them to either ‘centreline drive’ or drive on the wrong side of the road in violation of the Australian Road Rules. (See above – ‘threading the needle centreline driving’ in Treves Street and Siddall Road, and now in Broughton Road is literally “the only way to go” but it is of necessity and not by choice.)
- Playford Council also failed to inform residents of this option in a street just a little over 100 metres away from Treves street.
- Residential Permit Parking for Rollison Road, just across the road from the hospital’s old front entrance on Haydown Road, but not for the other residential access streets “within close proximity” (600 metres) of the hospital.
- What Gives? Exactly what deceit is the council engaging in?
Instead of “Before the Fact” community engagement, as the official ‘Record of Events’ makes quite clear, Playford Council made a decision to go ahead with the 3 hour parking “trial” without any community consultation. Now that you know some of the basic facts, you know why it was railroaded through without any “Before the Fact” community consultation.
- Mayor Glenn Docherty’s so called “community engagement” has been characterized by such core features as:
- After the fact non-engagement, Mushroom Tunnel Syndrome i,e, the withholding of vital need-to-know information and;
- a firm commitment to keep the community at arms length by failing to meet to with any residents who are opposed to the dangerous and illegal revenue raising scheme.
I repeat, the proposed plan to make the 3 hour parking scheme permanent in these streets is exceeding dangerous and completely illegal.
All residents of Elizabeth Vale need to realize that Playford Council has no legal right to misuse is lawful authority for the purpose of playing Russian Roulette with our welfare and safety.
- Please: Click on the council’s feedback web link and ask for the hard data of usage, revenue and safety issues.
- Say NO to kerbside parking in any of the roads in the City of Playford that are below code and instead DEMAND a safer kerbside parking scheme, e.g. the Residential Parking Permit scheme that is used by the Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Council.
- This means NO PARKING in residential access roads without a residential parking permit.
- LMHS EMPLOYEES: Consistent with anti-monopoly laws, you should DEMAND the re-opening of the old Mark Road car park and the extension of this car park south to Coglin Road so that both staff and the public can have a FREE (but weather-exposed) car parking option to choose from instead of just having the 1 option of the mega-bucks a year hospital owned multi-level car park.
- The feedback link is:
DO YOU LIVE OR WORK IN ELIZABETH VALE?
Then you should check out the video at:
Please also note that Playford Council is deliberately giving the owner/operator of the on-site multi-level car park, a total MONOPOLY on day long car parking in the hospital “precinct”. This is a clear violation of Australian competition and consumer principles and you should not only oppose the introduction of 3 hour timed parking zones on the council’s feedback website, you should also protest loudly to your union about this blatant misuse of authority by Playford Council. (Check out the YouTube video link below.)
Ronald Medlicott. (A Christian advocate for justice.)
ARE YOU AN INVESTIGATOR? THEN CHECK OUT THE BORING FINE DETAIL IN MY MUCH MORE LONG WINDED VIDEO AND THE WINDY COMMENTARY BELOW:
1. Is it really “community engagement” and consultation if the mayor and the ward representatives not only will not meet with me to discuss these issues with me, but perhaps also find an excuse not to hold the monthly council meeting so that the facts of the issue continue to remain ‘under-the-carpet” and off the official Minutes of the Meeting?
- Who controls the agenda controls the outcome, and the ultimate form of control is to cancel the meeting so that no official discussions can take place and be recorded!
2. Is the official Timeline of Events really accurate if correspondence to Mayor Docherty and the Ward 5 representatives that includes a 4-page letter, a statutory declaration, and a 15 minute video on a DVD, is omitted from this record?
Any co-operative scheme involving the council and either an SA Government MP or the LMHS administration would raise the issue of misuse of lawful authority to gain a financial advantage, i.e. it would be a violation of Section 135.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act (1995) and any SA enabled legislation that runs in conjunction with, or parallel to, that law.
- Section 135.2 deals with acts of commission or act of omission that result in a person, group, or organization(s) ‘obtaining a financial advantage’ that they are not (fairly) entitled to receive.
- The misuse of lawful authority to set up timed parking spaces in streets that are too narrow for this purpose is potentially a legal precedent time-bomb that like the recent Commonwealth vs. Keating High Court decision and the infamous but valid Raymond Akhtar Ali human rights decision in the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal, could have national ramifications.
- Across the nation, councils could be forced to either remove timed parking zones from streets that are too narrow, or alternately, in the face of strong opposition from residents, turn the streets into one-way streets.
For the mass media, the morality of dealing with this issue is very simple.
- In November 2012, Kym Williams gave a speech at the Melbourne press Club in which he made it quite clear that “freedom of the press” was vital if politicians were to be held accountable for their actions.
- In February 2013, both he and Kerry Stokes successfully opposed Senator Conroy’s proposed “draconian” media control laws at a Senate hearing by claiming that total “freedom of the press” was essential in order to (you guessed it) ‘hold politicians accountable for their actions’.
- Consequently, the onus is now upon the mass media to make good on these oft repeated statements and put Playford Council’s devious little parking scheme under the spotlight BEFORE someone is injured or killed.
- After all, it should be obvious to even the most junior and inexperienced journalists that Playford Council does not have the lawful authority to force people to violated either the Australian Road Rules or the SA Road traffic Act (19961) by forcing drivers to ‘centreline-drive’ down the ‘gun-barrels’ into on-coming cars in Treves Street, Siddall Road, Broughton Road, or any other residential access road that becomes dangerously clogged up with parked cars.
3. In a similar manner, being forced to drive on the right hand side of the road into on-coming traffic is both illegal and foreseeably dangerous, and yet for several years now, that is precisely what Playford council has conned the residents of Treves Street and Siddall Road into doing.
4. Having successfully gotten away with this, Phase 2 appears to be the “improved road safety” scam of 3-hour timed parking which will triple or quadruple the number of cars through these and surrounding streets.
In the run up to the 2014 state election, which would be more damaging to Labor’s 4th term re-election chances?
- A public inquiry into the clearly quite bogus ‘improved road safety’ parking “trial” that is really the Lyell McEwin 3 hour parking Pilot Project?
- A resident, especially a child, being killed in Treves Street by an LMHS out-patient or visitor looking for a free parking spot?