Lets just say that my time in Canberra was limited, but that in itself wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Of course, Canberra has its regular tourist attractions (e.g. Parliament House, Old Parliament House, War Memorial, Art Gallery, etc) but as a local, I’m pretty much tired of these and didn’t have enough time to visit them anyway.
Instead, I roamed around the city centre, taking photos of different things, random things which caught my eye. Not your average tourist shots …
Save the Pedestrians
In many locations, the traffic lights for turning traffic do not give an arrow indication for safe turning, instead, relying on a green aspect for the straight-through traffic and for drivers to look out for pedestrians and oncoming cars if they are making a turn. In some areas, this can be problematic and people could be run over as drivers are misled or inattentive.
The answer to this, at least, in Canberra is to outfit a special sign made of illuminated LED dots that spells out “give way to peds”. This flashes towards the end of the pedestrian crossing cycle to hopefully grab the attention of a turning motorist. I suspect this serves a double duty, as Canberra is a very bicycle-friendly place where a good number of people cycle around on cycleways and having accidents really does nobody any good.
That being said, a cursory look at the traffic controllers in Canberra shows the familiar Tyco Eclipse (which seems to be the new name/replacement for the Philips MK4 controllers) and one which I haven’t seen before from Aldridge Traffic Controllers, the ATSC4. Both are SCATS (Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System) compatible.
Filling Up on Electrons
As we head towards a world possibly filled with electric cars, one thing I heard from the conference was the existence of a few vehicle charging stations offered by the local utility company ActewAGL. While sitting on the loop bus, and not actively looking for one at all, I caught a glimpse of it in a carpark opposite the Melbourne Building. In case you were wondering – yes, the Melbourne Building is adjacent to the Sydney Building.
Here, there are two electric vehicle only parking spots. Sadly, no EV was parked there at the time … I was expecting to see someone there, maybe in a Nissan Leaf.
Even though you might have an electric vehicle, don’t expect to evade the parking charges. It’s a 30-minute paid parking zone – but at least the parking prices seem reasonable. The price for a charge isn’t published online, but this “Level 3” rapid charger can manage a charge of 0-80% on many models in 20 minutes.
The charger unit is an Australian designed and made Veefil model TRI93-50-01 by Tritium. This unit is quite recent with a date of 05-2016, and a fairly “low” serial of 38761. I like the name – it’s a play on the words “vehicle” and “refill/fill”. The unit needs a whopping three phase connection of 55kW and puts of 50kW as DC of 50-500V. At least that means it’s fairly efficient (90.9%).
To use it requires an RFID card, and the system is designed so that cars being charged are locked against malicious unplugging, although I suppose the emergency stop can still be used by the evil people in this world.
Two leads are attached to the unit – one for the CCS standard, and the other for the CHAdeMO standard. What a shame manufacturers haven’t standardized on a single charging standard, as this means that unwieldy adapters are necessary in some instances, and not being able to charge is the outcome in others. Even though there are two leads, only one can be charged at a time.
WIN News On-Location
I don’t know what the story is, although I did see someone talking about a particular article he was holding in his hand … but it’s not so often that you’re just walking around and bumping into a news crew.
In fact, the above photo was taken in Civic Square, where there’s the Civic Library with its coloured glass facade …
… an art gallery next door … the Canberra Legislative Assembly …
… and a theatre with rather interesting neon signage around the edge.
Following up the stairs leads you to City West Park, a park in the middle of a large roundabout where the state flag is flown.
The state flag itself is blue and gold, and differs from the design of most of the state flags.
We can get another vantage point along Commonwealth Ave and London Cct.
For example, looking through this monument …
Or just looking straight up the path, where a plaque indicates Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Canberra on 15th Feburary 1954.
Canberra has a Casino?
Apparently it does … no further comment.
Canberra has a Merry-go-Round?
It does as well … and as far as I can tell it’s operated by the government and has an entry fee. Quite an odd fixture to find on a permanent basis in this day and age, but if you need to go to somewhere where there is a merry-go-round, Canberra fits the bill.
Are Your Fire Hydrants Red?
Because in Canberra, apparently they’re not. They’re yellow. I have checked, it doesn’t appear to be a yellow submarine …
These are not your typical tourist photos … but then again, I’m not your typical tourist. Since there’s quite a few of these photos, I’ve had to split it up into another posting which might arrive in another day or so …