Marion Station Underpass

 
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
The old underpasses with folded ramps were very dark and had obscure corners.

An underpass with open access and monitored by CCTV would be safer and more cost effective than controlled gates. There could even be panic strips on the walls which prioritised the CCTV cover.

100-120 persons, sounds like "renta crowd" with the local (dis)member trying to show he is doing something. He is so useless he even has to mount a petition to get anybody in the government of which he is a member to listen to him. Must be an election coming.

Ian
steam4ian
While I agree that the older underpasses are worse than what is being proposed for Marion Station, I disagree that the proposed one will be satisfactory.  For example:

First, it will still have blind corners, intersections and stairs.  85% of serious injuries at railway stations are trips and falls.  The five steps near the existing level crossing at Marion Station were closed because they were too dangerous.  
Second, by making it wider and more open, and the proximity to schools will almost certainly mean that bicycles will be riden through the underpass on a regular basis.  This is already a major issue at the older Goodwood Station underpass, resulting a lots of signage and barriers being errected to try to discourage this.
Third, CCTV only helps to record what crimes have taken place, especially if panic buttons have to be hit to "prioritise" CCTV cover.  Indeed, what on earth is "prioritised CCTV cover" if not a code word for the reality that the CCTV footage will not be adequately monitored.

As for accusing our local community of being a "renta crowd", I take great offence at this statement, and it simply betrays your lack of understanding of the matter, as the following shows:

First, Mr. Conlon attended by invitation, as did Mark Parnell and Vickie Chapman.  The meeting was actually called by myself and several other local residents with the assistance of Carolyn Habib.

Second, your estimate of attendance is wrong. I was there, and I counted 140 people before giving up.  Given that the weather was torrid, many of the locals are elderly, and that there are probably only a thousand or so homes in the surrounding area, this represent a significant fraction of the local population who cared enough to attend, who were able to attend, and who were not disuaded by the weather.

Third, should you still think that they are a rental crowd rather than local residents, we have the contact details of at least 93 of the attendees on the day. We also have photos from the day, and it would be a trivial matter to identify a reasonable number of those who attended as being local residents.  I know a number of them personally as people who live in the area.

While I am not making the accusation, it seems far more probable that your statements sound like those of a DPTI sock-puppet attempting to white-ant genuine community concern, rather than that the many people who attended the public meeting sounds like a "renta crowd".

If you wish to persist in your disrespectful and uninformed insinuation of our community being a "renta crowd", then I encourage you to produce proof, or abstain from making such statements.

Paul Gardner-Stephen.

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  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Who pays?
steam4ian
Actually, the question is who saves millions?  The answer is the tax payer, because activated level crossings by your own admission might cost $800,000 each (but possibly less). That makes $1.6M.  The proposed underpass would cost $3.5M.  The difference is $1.9M in savings by opting for activated level crossings instead of the underpass.

Paul Gardner-Stephen.
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Probably because there wasn't one, certainly not one involving the death of a woman in a railway underpass. This story has been taken straight from the book of bollocks.
Aaron
Regardless of whether we can find records of this particular event, there is the telling fact that practically all stations that featured only underpasses on the Noarlunga line had pedestrian level crossings added later.  There is presumably a very good reason for this.

The sole exception that I am aware of is Ascot Park station where the station layout did not allow it, and that station was where a young man was killed illegally crossing the line to avoid the underpass.  My wife was home at the time (we used to live on Hazel street, about 80m from the underpass, and we can both attest that it was consistently disgusting).

Paul Gardner-Stephen.
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Persons can urinate, defecate, lurk, perv and attack persons on bridges just as they can in underpasses.

The difference with recent bridges is that they have CCTV coverage.

Are the whinging locals going to come out every school day and monitor the gated LX to ensure school children use it properly? NO!

Wait for the furore when the first child is killed; I pray it is not yours.

As for the platform, why does it have to be so wide? At Warradale the ramp and a set of stairs fit in the platform width and Marion platform is the same width as Warradale

Minister just get on with it!
it is just a useless local dismember belatedly trying to find some relevance.

Ian
steam4ian
It is true that all of these things can be done on overpasses as well as in underpasses, but having lived next to an underpass (Ascot Park station) and an overpass (Marion Station), my experience suggests that the underpass is where they actually do it.  The Ascot Park station is effectively a walk-through latrine in terms of passenger experience.  In contrast, I have never had to hold my nose or dry retch when using the Marion Station overpass. Marion's overpass has no CCTV.

Also, in an underpass a lurker can lurk for some time without being spotted.  They are rather obvious if they are trying to hide in the open half-way up an overpass.

As for monitoring, we actually proposed a solution that would include funding for supervision of an activated level crossing at Marion Station.  Even allowing for a perpetual fund, the total was still around $1M _less_ than building the underpass.

Your question about the width of the ramp is a valid one. Apparently it is so wide because it is proposed to be the only access to the platform, so it needs to be twice as wide.  Also, it is intended to be wide enough for all sorts of disability access options, which is commendable. Unfortunately that makes it too attractive to cyclists as well.  This is one of the unsolved problems of underpass design: make it narrow and it will end up even more disgusting, make it wide and people will get knocked over by cyclists -- just look at the make-shift barracades that have been erected around Goodwood Station to see that this is a real problem.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, it is not Mr. Conlon or any other politician who has launched the resistance to the overpriced and inappropriate underpass proposal -- it is instead a group of local residents, including myself.

Paul Gardner-Stephen.
  yoyoman Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
While it is encouraging that this is occurring, we remain concerned about their genuine desire to consider alternatives.  From the link above:

"Please note that community feedback is not the sole element on which a decision will be made. Safety, social and economic factors will also be taken into consideration with a view to achieving the safest, sustainable pedestrian access solution for the whole community at Marion Station."

In short, they are saying that even if the community feedback is overwhelmingly against the underpass, then they may decide to override the public feedback.  Either they must be willing to accept the public feedback, or else they have not done their home work to find out whether the options they are presenting are feasible -- because if they think they are feasible then they have no need to insert such weasle-wording.

We are also concerned that the details for the level crossing option will not be available until Thursday night.  

Until then we won't know whether the level crossing option they are presenting is what we proposed -- complete with funds for daily supervision at school crossing times in perpetuity, all for millions less than the cost of the underpass, or whether it is a purposely sabotaged sham version designed to ellicit support for their expensive, unsafe and unwanted underpass option.

Paul Gardner-Stephen.
PaulGardner-Stephen
My post was purely for information purposes to the forum that technically there is still a process in place to review the plans and not a relefection of opinion.  I do however agree with the sentiment of your post and concerns that it is just a public relations exercise rather than a proper consultation process after having had DPTI staff come to my house to 'discuss' my complaint/request about additional noise coming from the Southern Expressway post duplication that was a very rigid and one sided conversation.

I wish you well with your endeavours to achieve the best possible outcome that meets the needs of the local community.  Keep punching Wink
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
My post was purely for information purposes to the forum that technically there is still a process in place to review the plans and not a relefection of opinion.  I do however agree with the sentiment of your post and concerns that it is just a public relations exercise rather than a proper consultation process after having had DPTI staff come to my house to 'discuss' my complaint/request about additional noise coming from the Southern Expressway post duplication that was a very rigid and one sided conversation.

I wish you well with your endeavours to achieve the best possible outcome that meets the needs of the local community.  Keep punching Wink
yoyoman
Hello,

I appreciate that you were passing information along and trying to help.  

Sorry to hear that you have had similar experiences with your noise issue.  Let us know if we can do anything to help.

Have no fear, we will absolutely continue in our efforts to obtain the best possible outcome for the community living, travelling, working and studying around Marion Station.

Paul Gardner-Stephen.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Who is Paul Gardner-Stephen.

As we know from these pages it is very easy to create a scenario which gets people motivated.

A few leaflets, a bit of an over the fence gossip and you have a public meeting. Select the people with an interest that lines with yours and you effectively have a rent-a-crowd. Even if they are not getting cash in their pocket they are having their perceived interest tickled.

A public meeting is no better. The average Joe/Jenny does not care if it is an under pass, over pass or impasse so will not go to the meeting. The only people who will go to the meeting will be those who consider they have a grievance; that is they have something to gain by going to the meeting. You get a group of vocal people who have something to lose if they listen to the ideas against theirs. Rational discussion stays away. Pity the poor people from DPTI trying to make a sound case, they will not be listened to.

That said, any public project must listen to public concerns. BUT it must also be recognised that opposition to a project sometimes does not embrace ALL of public opinion. Paul G-S is a human and I am sure as a human he is not encouraging those who disagree with his position to attend a meeting or sign a petition.

As an aside.
The reason persons do not use underpasses is because they are trying to take a short cut to the platform.
This was a problem at Hove where people took short cuts from Brighton Road to the platform. Two deaths were caused this way. The first I recall in the 60s when a young woman tried to climb onto the platform as the train was coming. She got rolled between the train and the platform with here torso above the platform. My school friends who caught the train at Hove saw it while I waited at Warradale for a train which didn't come.
In that Warradale, Woodlands Park, Brighton and Edwardstown have retained their underpasses there must be another reason for its removal from Hove than simply the urinal factor. Was it structural? Was it the two deaths I referred to?

Ian.
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Who is Paul Gardner-Stephen.

As we know from these pages it is very easy to create a scenario which gets people motivated.

A few leaflets, a bit of an over the fence gossip and you have a public meeting. Select the people with an interest that lines with yours and you effectively have a rent-a-crowd. Even if they are not getting cash in their pocket they are having their perceived interest tickled.

A public meeting is no better. The average Joe/Jenny does not care if it is an under pass, over pass or impasse so will not go to the meeting. The only people who will go to the meeting will be those who consider they have a grievance; that is they have something to gain by going to the meeting. You get a group of vocal people who have something to lose if they listen to the ideas against theirs. Rational discussion stays away. Pity the poor people from DPTI trying to make a sound case, they will not be listened to.

That said, any public project must listen to public concerns. BUT it must also be recognised that opposition to a project sometimes does not embrace ALL of public opinion. Paul G-S is a human and I am sure as a human he is not encouraging those who disagree with his position to attend a meeting or sign a petition.

As an aside.
The reason persons do not use underpasses is because they are trying to take a short cut to the platform.
This was a problem at Hove where people took short cuts from Brighton Road to the platform. Two deaths were caused this way. The first I recall in the 60s when a young woman tried to climb onto the platform as the train was coming. She got rolled between the train and the platform with here torso above the platform. My school friends who caught the train at Hove saw it while I waited at Warradale for a train which didn't come.
In that Warradale, Woodlands Park, Brighton and Edwardstown have retained their underpasses there must be another reason for its removal from Hove than simply the urinal factor. Was it structural? Was it the two deaths I referred to?

Ian.
steam4ian
Who is Paul Gardner-Stephen? Well, me, basically.  Someone who lives near the station, and wants to protect the local community and the local environment that the community has worked hard to improve over the last 60 years.

I don't know that I follow your argument about a public meeting necessarily being a renta-crowd.  For the record, we were not selective in our invitation, and people with different views to our own were welcome to attend the meeting.  I understand that at least one did.  Apart from our objection to the underpass proposal, the meeting was called because we were having great trouble getting honest and complete information from DPTI, and for them to genuinely hear our various concerns.  We have never claimed that everyone does (or must) subscribe to our view, but rather that a substantial number of the people who live in the area and use the station have great concerns about the proposed underpass, or other aspects of the project, such as insufficient attention to the local environment.  A key point of the meeting was that many of the 140+ people who attended had signed statements attesting to having been misled by the DPTI process to that point, typically with the impact on local vegetation being systematically understated, irrespective of whether they were willing to accept an underpass.

Also, we were not being negative, but spent many hours of our own time to understand the issues, and produce credible alternatives that are not only cheaper, and faster to build, but that we believe are safer for the community, and more in fitting with the local environment.  Our intention has been to improve on what DPTI were offering, to obtain the best possible outcome for the area.

But coming to your point about why people avoid underpasses, we are in somewhat of agreement.  

While not the only reason, people certainly do avoid underpasses simply to reduce the distance to the platforms.  This is one of the major problems of the proposed underpass: it will be at the end away from Westminster School, and so the students will have a hundred metre plus detour as incentive to find short cuts across the tracks, even more than they do now.  We know from people living on Minchinbury Terrace that students already make such unsafe crossings to avoid the existing overpass, which involves a lesser distance than will be required to minimally transit the underpass (about 180m towards the city, 30m down and up the stairs, and 180m away from the city compared with the ~256m transit distance of the current overpass).  Thus any grade separation needs to be at that end of the platform, and an underpass is not possible because there is a massive underground drain at that end of the station (which is why the overpass was built in the first place).

But people also avoid underpasses because they are unsafe and disgusting from a personal perspective, that is apart from rail collision safety factors.  It is this that I understand to be the reason why many platforms that previously had only grade-separated pedestrian access in the 1970s (including Marion Station) gained at-grade crossings in the following decades, because people quite reasonably refused to be forced to use what they perceived as unsafe and disgusting access, especially in the wake of assaults and murders in and around railway stations. Having only a single point of access increases both the perceived and actual danger.

Were this not the case, then it seems very difficult to explain why all the underpass-only stations now have at-grade crossings, with the sole exception of Ascot Park station where the local geography doesn't make it practical.

As evidenced by this, an underpass combined with an at-grade crossing is generally reasonable and acceptable to society, because it offers choice and diverts some fraction of at-grade crossings into grade-separated crossings, and affords the best safety for those who choose to cross at-grade for whatever reason.

One of the great problems with the underpass proposal at Marion is that DPTI seemed to have forgotten this, and proposed an underpass-only solution, with no at-grade alternative.  As mentioned, this was placed at the city-end of the platform due to engineering difficulties at the Westminster end.  Thus the community were denied reasonable choice of access, and the school community was unnecessarily endangered by increasing rather than decreasing the incentive for unsafe illegal crossings.  

It seems that the lack of an at-grade was either an ideological point on the part of DPTI, or that they were worried that local schools would not tolerate an option that had an at-grade crossing closer to them than the grade-separated crossing.

All this was hurriedly put together because as best as we can figure out, DPTI had previously planned to put a new overpass in place, and only in May or June this year decided that it would be too expensive or otherwise unattractive to them, and started to look at alternatives.

So again returning to your point about people taking shortcuts is one of our very real concerns about the current underpass proposal.

Paul Gardner-Stephen.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Second, by making it wider and more open, and the proximity to schools will almost certainly mean that bicycles will be riden through the underpass on a regular basis.
"PaulGardner-Stephen"
So you would have it so narrow that bikes cannot use it? How do scooters and wheelchairs access the platforms then? Security is a concern of yours, you mention the cameras later, would you prefer it to be less open?

SecondThis is already a major issue at the older Goodwood Station underpass, resulting a lots of signage and barriers being errected to try to discourage this.
"PaulGardner-Stephen"
Well I guess that depends on your definition of major issue doesn't it? I bet the 'lots of signs' are a real problem huh?

Third, CCTV only helps to record what crimes have taken place, especially if panic buttons have to be hit to "prioritise" CCTV cover.  Indeed, what on earth is "prioritised CCTV cover" if not a code word for the reality that the CCTV footage will not be adequately monitored.
"PaulGardner-Stephen"
So you would have one person per camera? Prioritised is not code for "We'll have someone with the ability to surveil several areas for issues, if you hit the button their screen will switch and immediately to your problem area."

As for accusing our local community of being a "renta crowd", I take great offence at this statement, and it simply betrays your lack of understanding of the matter, as the following shows:

First, Mr. Conlon attended by invitation, as did Mark Parnell and Vickie Chapman.  The meeting was actually called by myself and several other local residents with the assistance of Carolyn Habib.
"PaulGardner-Stephen"
I have no idea as to the make up of the crowd, nor do I care, that said, this statement does not imply non renta crowd. Personal experience tells me that politicians will attend any meeting of a 'community group' if they have the slightest sniff that one person attending might vote for them instead of their opposition.

Second, your estimate of attendance is wrong. I was there, and I counted 140 people before giving up.  Given that the weather was torrid, many of the locals are elderly, and that there are probably only a thousand or so homes in the surrounding area, this represent a significant fraction of the local population who cared enough to attend, who were able to attend, and who were not disuaded by the weather.
"PaulGardner-Stephen"
That may well be true, I have no reason to doubt it is, but from the experience of all of the political lobbying I have been involved in no one would have ever given up on an accurate count of attendees.

What were the outcomes of the meeting? Did Pat Conlon suggest he was going to do anything? Or will he just get the "Minister of Bad Transport News" to hold a press conference, light on statements of action, telling us the status quo design will prevail?
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
A key point of the meeting was that many of the 140+ people who attended had signed statements attesting to having been misled by the DPTI process to that point, typically with the impact on local vegetation being systematically understated, irrespective of whether they were willing to accept an underpass.
"PaulGardner-Stephen"
How do you get misled by a process? I understand misunderstanding a process, but being misled by a process is a strange thing to say I think.

Also, you are aware that a good number of the trees near the line at Marion will have their fates already decided irrespective of the underpass outcome by the electrification?
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
So you would have it so narrow that bikes cannot use it? How do scooters and wheelchairs access the platforms then? Security is a concern of yours, you mention the cameras later, would you prefer it to be less open?

Well I guess that depends on your definition of major issue doesn't it? I bet the 'lots of signs' are a real problem huh?

So you would have one person per camera? Prioritised is not code for "We'll have someone with the ability to surveil several areas for issues, if you hit the button their screen will switch and immediately to your problem area."

I have no idea as to the make up of the crowd, nor do I care, that said, this statement does not imply non renta crowd. Personal experience tells me that politicians will attend any meeting of a 'community group' if they have the slightest sniff that one person attending might vote for them instead of their opposition.

That may well be true, I have no reason to doubt it is, but from the experience of all of the political lobbying I have been involved in no one would have ever given up on an accurate count of attendees.

What were the outcomes of the meeting? Did Pat Conlon suggest he was going to do anything? Or will he just get the "Minister of Bad Transport News" to hold a press conference, light on statements of action, telling us the status quo design will prevail?
Aaron
My point about the width of underpasses is that there is a dilemma in their design:  Make them narrow and they tend to be disgusting and inaccessible, and make them wide and then other problems arise, such as use by cyclists.

Since a major point of making the underpass wider is to improve accessibility, the barriers and large sandwich board signs that have been placed around the Goodwood Station underpass work to make the underpass less accessible.

Mr. Conlon's actions at the meeting were to promise to ask the minister to put the construction on hold so that real public consultation could occur.  That is, he acknowledged that the process to date had been botched.  While we weren't especially confident that this would happen, it has indeed been put on hold, pending some further public meetings organised by DPTI.  We remain unconvinced that they will genuinely consider and offer viable alternatives.  

Remember that we had also invited representatives from the Liberals and Greens. Basically we wanted the most political exposure to our concerns possible.

As for the count at the meeting, it was simply not possible to count all attendees from where I was.  Remember this was held in someones (admittedly large) carport.  I was in the middle preparing to address the group, so I didn't have the opportunity of counting every last person that came in.  As I mentioned, I got to 140 before I could no longer count the heads coming in and I had to begin doing other things.  My estimate is that there might have been another 10 or 20 people who arrived after that. Other people present may have made a more accurate final count.
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
How do you get misled by a process? I understand misunderstanding a process, but being misled by a process is a strange thing to say I think.

Also, you are aware that a good number of the trees near the line at Marion will have their fates already decided irrespective of the underpass outcome by the electrification?
Aaron
People in the community were misled by material from DPTI, including DPTI staff who door-knocked their area.  For example, while the plan they were proposing would result in the removal of seven significant trees to make way for the hole for the underpass, some residents were told by DPTI staff door-knocking that "a few trees might need to be trimmed".  That was an outright lie and resulted in some people saying that they did not oppose that fictional situation, who in fact strongly opposed the real proposal once they were made aware of it.

Yes, we are aware that a number of trees will have to go for electrification, and others will need to be pruned.  While we wish it were not the case, we understand the reality of the situation.

What we have not appreciated is being regularly lied to and misled by DPTI trying to ram through an inferior solution, and not giving reasonable attention to minimising the impact of their proposal.

For example, it took residents to suggest to DPTI to move the underpass 25m south so that it would mostly sit in a gap in the vegetation, and extend the platform by 25m at the southern end to maintain the appropriate platform length.  This flies in the face of their claim that they are looking to minimise impact on the local environment.  Indeed, if they really were doing so, then I would expect that we would have seen a split-station concept (like at Oaklands Park Station) that would have avoided the need to prune or remove trees along about the 250m stretch where the tracks go around the existing platform.

Paul.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Paul G-S

To address one of your group's concerns regarding people taking short cuts. There are modern inventions called security fences. Not the five wire fences that used to enclose the railway reservation but 2.4 metre chain mesh fences. These fences with in all likelihood be steel picket fences in station areas and chain mesh elsewhere. DPTI are paranoid about public access once the track is electrified.

Trains will be quieter and faster. I have predicted on these pages that unfortunately there will be lives lost on account of persons not taking allowance for the higher acceleration rates possible with the new trains.

The particular issue I alluded to at Hove was that access to the platform could be gained from the Brighton Road LX; an option taken by many school age passengers.

As for the over pass, I think the track upgrade has raised the rail level reducing the clearances. oops! Structurally I doubt it would comply with current codes so any "improvement" would mean it would have to be replaced.

That my views on this issue may at times align with DPTI's does not make me a "Sock Puppet" of DPTI, it might just mean they have got it right. Participants here, not just those with a narrow sectional interest, will know I am frequently critical of DPTI on these pages. Professionally I have withdrawn from working with them when I found their approach on a matter less than professional and placing me at commercial risk.
That said, I think I have displayed understanding of some of the problems they face and given both critical comment and commendation.  

Professionally I am a strong advocate of the passive solution; strange because I make my living designing active solutions: keep it simple (KISS). The underpass is a passive solution. The gated crossings require maintenance and are subject to malicious damage which could render them ineffective and thus put lives at risk.

Kisses
Ian
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Paul G-S

To address one of your group's concerns regarding people taking short cuts. There are modern inventions called security fences. Not the five wire fences that used to enclose the railway reservation but 2.4 metre chain mesh fences. These fences with in all likelihood be steel picket fences in station areas and chain mesh elsewhere. DPTI are paranoid about public access once the track is electrified.

Trains will be quieter and faster. I have predicted on these pages that unfortunately there will be lives lost on account of persons not taking allowance for the higher acceleration rates possible with the new trains.

The particular issue I alluded to at Hove was that access to the platform could be gained from the Brighton Road LX; an option taken by many school age passengers.

As for the over pass, I think the track upgrade has raised the rail level reducing the clearances. oops! Structurally I doubt it would comply with current codes so any "improvement" would mean it would have to be replaced.

That my views on this issue may at times align with DPTI's does not make me a "Sock Puppet" of DPTI, it might just mean they have got it right. Participants here, not just those with a narrow sectional interest, will know I am frequently critical of DPTI on these pages. Professionally I have withdrawn from working with them when I found their approach on a matter less than professional and placing me at commercial risk.
That said, I think I have displayed understanding of some of the problems they face and given both critical comment and commendation.  

Professionally I am a strong advocate of the passive solution; strange because I make my living designing active solutions: keep it simple (KISS). The underpass is a passive solution. The gated crossings require maintenance and are subject to malicious damage which could render them ineffective and thus put lives at risk.

Kisses
Ian
steam4ian
While we appreciate that fencing will be better than exists in many places at present, we still have concerns that students and others will make their own access to the corridor.  Indeed, on the Westminster side there is already chain mesh fencing. While there is no access at that end of the platform, the temptation will be there.  People also have access to things like bolt cutters, hacksaws and other appliances.  Only one person, perhaps someone wanting to access the corridor to graffiti something, needs to make a hole, and it will then be prone to use by others.  Basically security fencing is like castle building -- you only need one gap to render the rest useless.  By the DPTI's own admission maintenance is always stretched, so these breaches are likely to persist for some time.  The correct solution, and top priority in OH&S/WH&S control is to eliminate the risk. In this case, that is eliminating the underlying unmet access need, i.e., access to cross the tracks at that end, that motivates people to find and use alternatives.  Fencing is either substitution or engineering, which is two or three levels further down the hierarchy of control from eliminate.

In short, some sort of access is required at the southern end, and ideally it should be grade-separated.  As there is a concrete drainage tunnel under it, the only option is an overpass, i.e., the same conclusion that was reached in 1970.

By placing the activated level crossing at the Northern end, i.e., where the current one exists, effectively removes the likelihood of people taking short cuts, because there is no distance to be saved.

I hear and understand the issue around the rapid and relatively quiet acceleration of the electric trains versus the current diesel-electrics, and everything possible needs to be done to prevent people trespassing on the tracks.  

However, offering only an underpass at the far end of the station will not do that.  It will also in the process make the station very difficult for a number of the elderly residents in the area for whom traversing ~100m of ramp will be very painful if possible at all.  

The underpass also presents a number of other safety hazards apart from human/train collisions. As mentioned elsewhere human/bicycle and bicycle/bicycle collisions will be highly probable.  Stairs remain one of the major sources of injuries at railway stations.  Pedestrian intersections in underpasses are also problematic.

Also, having only one point of access to a station is not a safe arrangement, and exists only rarely.  Thus a level crossing or overpass will be required anyway.  And if a level crossing is included, then an overpass such as the one at Blackwood Station is a better and cheaper complement than an underpass.

We totally agree that the existing overpass is infeasible to upgrade, and needs to be removed.  Our view is that replacing it with another overpass is smarter than having no access at that end of the station.  Something similar has been done at Blackwood Station with a foot overpass, and the activated level crossing providing the disability compliance.

I agree that you are no more or less a sock puppet of the DPTI than my local community is a "renta crowd".

Paul Gardner-Stephen.
  brianph Locomotive Driver

Location: Bethany
Thank you Paul Gardner-Stephen for your spirited contributions to this discussion. Discussions like these can often end up with contributions from only those who are on the sidelines. A well-founded contribution from someone who is actually engaged in the issue is very welcome.


As you have already discovered there are contributors who are experienced and knowledgeable who will engage you in genuine discussion.


You have also discovered there are some who appear to want nothing other than to show us all how clever they are at twisting obvious meanings to make some little debating point. The sad thing is they do not seem able to listen; too much brain-power is used up in working out how they are going to reply. While sometimes we might laugh at the cleverness, I think, for the most part, these contributions are heavily discounted by many of us. They are neither helpful nor enlightening.


So, once again Paul, thank you for your welcome intervention.


Brian
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

"We totally agree that the existing overpass is infeasible to upgrade, and needs to be removed.  Our view is that replacing it with another overpass is smarter than having no access at that end of the station.  Something similar has been done at Blackwood Station with a foot overpass, and the activated level crossing providing the disability compliance."

Paul

I think we have here something we can agree on. Kills two birds and no children with one train (stone).

Ian.
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
"We totally agree that the existing overpass is infeasible to upgrade, and needs to be removed.  Our view is that replacing it with another overpass is smarter than having no access at that end of the station.  Something similar has been done at Blackwood Station with a foot overpass, and the activated level crossing providing the disability compliance."

Paul

I think we have here something we can agree on. Kills two birds and no children with one train (stone).

Ian.
steam4ian
Yes, by the look of things we do both agree that upgrading both of the existing station accesses is a safe, affordable and sensible option.

What is truly remarkable is that this option is not what DPTI proposed, and further, is not one of the alternatives that they are offering in their public meeting this week, unless they change their mind in the meantime.  See:

http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/RR/rail_revitalisation/marion_station_underpass

They are offering AN underpass or AN activated crossing, i.e., single access to the platform, and no discussion of upgrading the current access facilities.

To further see how tilted their process is, look at the feedback form:

http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/111633/Marion_pedestrian_access_feedback_form.pdf

You will see that, again, they offer only these two inferior solutions.

Their asking what factors are important are basically the selection of characteristics which they claim that the underpass has.  They are not a neutral set of features.  There is not even a box along the lines of "no underground areas or blind corners", or "appropriate solution for the local environment", or "shortest safe access to the station", or "shortest length of ramps to access the station" etc.  It is still spin.

They have only one box for "other" factors, when people may have all three of their priority concerns not listed.

The remainder seems to be an attempt to collect usage information that they should have collected prior to shutting the network down for upgrade.

Basically, as it stands, the current public feedback process is the same kind of misleading sham that has characterised the process to date.

Pau.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Make sure you also contact the office of Kelly Vincent MLC as well as the members and candidates you've already named, as the first ever member of an Australian Parliament elected on a platform for disability rights she obviously pays particular attention to issues of equitable accessibility.

Good luck with your campaign, hopefully your democratic rights will be respected at some point. Don't stop at just getting a better outcome for Marion station, the issue needs to be pursued until there is some kind of inquiry into the conduct of Luigi Rossi - as well as being behind this Marion bull$hit, he's already skating on thin ice after construction of the new Wayville station was started before the plan and the allocation of funds was approved.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Make sure you also contact the office of Kelly Vincent MLC as well as the members and candidates you've already named, as the first ever member of an Australian Parliament elected on a platform for disability rights she obviously pays particular attention to issues of equitable accessibility.

Good luck with your campaign, hopefully your democratic rights will be respected at some point. Don't stop at just getting a better outcome for Marion station, the issue needs to be pursued until there is some kind of inquiry into the conduct of Luigi Rossi - as well as being behind this Marion bull$hit, he's already skating on thin ice after construction of the new Wayville station was started before the plan and the allocation of funds was approved.
justapassenger

Lay off Luigi. At least he is getting something done - even if not all is to your liking.

After years of stagnation when not even the track was maintained we now have an engineering group who are attempting to do something.

BTW I have no personal relationship with Luigi and my comments above about withdrawing from work stand. Part of the trouble I found was that there was nobody willing to make a decision, they now seem to have one in Luigi.
  PaulGardner-Stephen Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Make sure you also contact the office of Kelly Vincent MLC as well as the members and candidates you've already named, as the first ever member of an Australian Parliament elected on a platform for disability rights she obviously pays particular attention to issues of equitable accessibility.

Good luck with your campaign, hopefully your democratic rights will be respected at some point. Don't stop at just getting a better outcome for Marion station, the issue needs to be pursued until there is some kind of inquiry into the conduct of Luigi Rossi - as well as being behind this Marion bull$hit, he's already skating on thin ice after construction of the new Wayville station was started before the plan and the allocation of funds was approved.
justapassenger
Thanks for the encouragement! We are aware of Kelly Vincent, but I cannot recall if we have been in contact with her as yet.

I hadn't heard that about the Wayville station.

Paul.
  Ex-NSW Rail Beginner



Well I guess that depends on your definition of major issue doesn't it? I bet the 'lots of signs' are a real problem huh?
Aaron
ERR huh - sometimes just ONE sign is a problem - like here at Goodwood.

just imaging what its like after a long day in the CBD, after you manage to hold your wheelchair back from careering down the slope from the station, you also manage to avoid getting most of the urine and dog faeces transferred from your tyres to your gloves, you manage to avoid all the cyclists who are riding through the subway . you turn the corner ready for the long slow slog up the exit slope to home, and you are faced with this.



Now - all the other passengers have left and so  how would YOU manage to move this aside so you and your wheelchair can get past ?.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I'm not sure why there even needs to be a dismount sign there, the safest usage for that ramp would be for cyclists to ride instead of stumbling around taking up over double the width and getting in the way as they dismount/mount. It looks like it was put there by some random punter who bought it off eBay for a power trip, rather than being an authorised sign placed there by the proper authority (which would be fixed in place instead of blocking the route).

A bike being ridden takes up only half the width of a bike being pushed by a person alongside, and occupies said half-width space on the ramp for a fraction of the time. Best to let cyclists ride instead of setting up pointlessly antagonising dismount signs, and to make sure new facilities are built wide enough to allow cycle and foot traffic to peacefully coexist - ideally with one lane marked in each direction for cyclists and a wider lane for pedestrians to use in either direction.
  Ex-NSW Rail Beginner

Apparently it was originally an overpass because of the extremely high water table in the area. Since the sturt creek was cemented, probably not so much of an issue any more.
sr1180
Good point , problem is that starting shortly there will be over 400 million litres of storm water each year harvested from the new Oaklands Park wetlands just for local council use, this will come out of  the Sturt Drain and while I can't find any precise figures, there will be two "reverse" bores operating to pump even more water into the water-table, all this happening less than 800m from the Marion station,

Perhaps a little concerning since a  DPTI  representative advised at a presentation a week ago that they had not as yet done any investigation into the current level of the watertable, as "it won't be a problem" - although there are many operating licensed bores still in operation in the immediate area ( I believe that this Includes the Westminster school) , some of which are indicating that water exists less than 5m under the surface all year round.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Regardless of whether we can find records of this particular event
PaulGardner-Stephen
especially in the wake of assaults and murders in and around railway stations. Having only a single point of access increases both the perceived and actual danger.
PaulGardner-Stephen
My bolding.

You do yourself no benefit by resorting to the over statement (or even just plain statement) of events that have never occurred. Someone else posted of a most violent murder at Hallett Cove possibly trying to increase fear and create a cause for no underpasses. Forget whether you can find records of that event or not (I'll give you a free hint, stop looking) it NEVER occurred.

Likewise I would like you to provide some sort of evidence of ANY murder EVER happening in a South Australian railway underpass anywhere, my money (after an as exhausting look as I could be bothered doing) is that again you will find no event. Stop using allegations and circumstances firmly footed in non-events to try and further your cause, you do your cause only harm by doing so.

I also note the 'website'/blog associated with your group also manages to make reference to the death of young cyclist (on the level crossing of all places) in 1969?!... So we are to infer that for some reason we cannot have an underpass today because some kid didn't look for a train nearly 50 years ago and wiped himself out on a pedestrian cross? - Hello! That's the very thing we're trying to eliminate with underpasses.

Take a walk along the tram route between South Terrace and Greenhill Road, such a fence (well advised with near silent sparked trains) covering the corridor with underpasses will provide the best protection for pedestrians etc from both the trains and, more necessarily in many cases, themselves.

The utmost safety is achieved when the trains are completely separated from all other obstacles.

Some of the most likely to use the level crossing will be the most vulnerable, the infirm, young and the lazy/inattentive. The electric trains running through Marion will be faster, and stealthier than what everyone is used to. Both Ian and I are of the opinion that it is quite likely that a fatal interaction between our new electrics and some person/people is near inevitable, adding in level crossing interactions as a lazy solution will only increase the likelihood.

Forgive us if we think it's a bad idea...
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
ERR huh - sometimes just ONE sign is a problem - like here at Goodwood.

just imaging what its like after a long day in the CBD, after you manage to hold your wheelchair back from careering down the slope from the station, you also manage to avoid getting most of the urine and dog faeces transferred from your tyres to your gloves, you manage to avoid all the cyclists who are riding through the subway . you turn the corner ready for the long slow slog up the exit slope to home, and you are faced with this.



Now - all the other passengers have left and so  how would YOU manage to move this aside so you and your wheelchair can get past ?.
Ex-NSW Rail
That does not look like a sign applied by a statuatory authority, I would ask whomever bought it and placed it there to kindly take it home... Surely it ought to be placed at the top of the ramps not at the bottom of them? I mean it's an underpass, by definition all traffic is going to originate from the level... Just another reason to be skeptical of it's origin for me.

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