Got any idea what this is?
Let's try that shot again with a much slower shutter speed:
In June last year I mentioned that we'd soon be able to make night landings on the Gardiners Creek Trail, well now that a hundred or so lighting studs have been installed we're finally clear for take-off.
The Trail has been closed this week between Dunlop St and Winton Rd, and I had wondered if this was the work taking place. Sure enough, last night this section of the shared path was lit-up like a winter wonderland.
Ahem. Hmm, let's not get carried away…but I must admit to going "Oooh, wow!" when I first saw these new lights.
What are they?
I don't think they are exactly the same lights as were described in the last year's press release—they're fixed beam rather than flashing lights, and they don't seem to be reflective to any great degree (not that it really matters). I've no idea if they are solar powered (although I wouldn't be surprised) and they're round and almost flush with the ground. Of course I rode over a few and there's a barely noticeable bump when they go under the tyre.
Being used to orienting myself to the centre line I found they took a little bit of getting used to, but once you've got your eye in I think there's a tangible safety benefit. For what it's worth, I don't think it would be safe to switch off your headlight and ride using only these trail-edge lights, although they do put out more light than my first photo suggests.
Credit where it's due
While we're on the subject of council works, a few weeks ago, the path was closed on the other side of Dunlop St in Dorothy Laver Reserve for resurfacing—and I've got to say that's a pretty darn good job they've done there.
I'll even take back the nasty things I've said about Stonnington previously (well, most of them anyway). It was not that long ago that the Stonnington Boroondara Council did a really dodgy patch job on this section of the trail, so I suppose they could've left it like that, but they've made a substantial improvement here, from cracked and lumpy:
…via dodgy patch job:
…to a high-quality surface:
They have also made some sensible improvements, like removing the dog-leg railing at Dunlop St…
…and improving the line of a blind bend from this:
Not to mention a smoother and slightly wider approach to the bridge at June Cr:
It hurts my head to think this way but with these improvements going on, it looks like Stonnington is now setting the standard and Boroondara is lagging well behind in its maintenance of the Trail, especially on the short section south of High St. Let's hope they take up the challenge.
Update 6 May 2007
If you're going to hand-out bouquets, it's good taste to make sure they go to the right people! Thanks to flyingdutch for his post on aus.bicycle, correctly pointing out that Dorothy Laver Reserve belongs not to Stonnington but to Boroondara. Consequently normality is restored and the credit for these path improvements does indeed go to Boroondara. You've no idea how relieved I am to learn that—I really thought I was going crazy thinking that Stonnington was responsible for significant improvements to the path!
Thumbs-up to Boroondara is thoroughly restored, and the nasty things I've said about Stonnington are reinstated.
In my defence, I had always assumed (quite reasonably, I thought!) that the municipal boundary runs down the creek bed. But no: if you study your Melways very carefully you'll notice that it deviates to include Dorothy Laver Reserve on the Boroondara side.
This location of the municipal boundary answers a few minor puzzles that I've been wondering about lately. Why the dog-leg rail was removed on one side of Dunlop St and not the other, and why the new lights start at Dunlop St when Dorothy Laver Reserve is just as dark—both now solved.