New Ped X-ing Causes Alarm for Residents

 
  witsend Chief Commissioner

Location: Front RH Seat of a School Bus
Source: AdelaideNow/Messenger Press - http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/residents-sick-of-noise-from-millswood-railing-crossing-alarm/story-fni9lkyu-1226808443219
MILLSWOOD residents are calling for action to stop "piercing and distressing" noise coming from a pedestrian railway crossing near their homes.A group of more than 20 residents say an alarm bell at the crossing rings up to 100 times a day to alert pedestrians to approaching trains.
The warning alarm was installed at the corner of Fairfax Ave and Cromer Pde in November as part of the Goodwood Rail Junction Upgrade.
Last September News Ltd revealed [color=#999999]Hawthorn residents were also being kept awake at night by electric signals at level crossings on the Belair line.[/color]
The pitch on these signals has since been lowered.
How is the sound of the ringing bells impacting on your life? Comment below.

Millswood residents are angry about a new warning alarm at the pedestrian rail crossing on Cromer Parade. Picture: Noelle Bobrige

Adam Goodfellow, who lives about 50m from the crossing, said there had been no safety issues with a silent crossing in the past.
"We find it hard to sleep - it wakes me up in the morning because it's such an offending noise," Mr Goodfellow said.
"The alarm is unnecessary and invasive.
"It's a quiet neighbourhood and the pedestrian crossing doesn't get used often.
"We bought the house 10 years ago when there was a quiet pedestrian crossing, but now that's changed."
Lisa Brice, who lives 40m away from the crossing, said she would rather have the crossing removed than continue to live with the noise.
"It cannot go on like this," Ms Brice said.
"The noise is so piercing and distressing."
A train passes through the crossing about every five minutes between 7am and 9am on weekdays, according to train timetables.
The Transport Department has measured the noise 3m away from the crossing at 69dB - about the same as heavy traffic.
A Transport Department spokeswoman said the warning alarm was needed for pedestrian safety, especially people with vision impairments.
She said the alarm volume and tone met all relevant standards, including Environment Protection Authority guidelines and legislation.
The department has built a 1.2m-high wall to reduce noise affecting the nearest house west of the crossing.
Residents met with Opposition Transport Spokeswoman Vickie Chapman last week to discuss the issue.
Ms Chapman said if elected the Liberal Party would explore options to remove the alarm or reduce its volume.
"The community has raised their concerns but there's been a complete dismissal from the government," Ms Chapman said.
How is the sound of the ringing bell impacting on your life? Comment below.

I do find it interesting. I can understand the residents plight. It should be noted that this the crossing immediatley south of the Underpass at Goodwood, next to the entrance to Sasmee Park.

I also look at how silent the electric trains, the speed of trains through the underpass, the blind approach from the underpass and can understand why this crossing became an active one. The silent crossing was fine whilst trains were approaching at 25km/h whist the speed restriction over the diamond crossing in place. This is no longer an issue, and an electric train approaching at 50km/h accelerating up the grade from the underpass will make little noise, and a blind pedestrian could potentially be killed without some form of active protection that is audible.

Perhaps the compromise is that the alarm volume reduced, but remain active once the gates are shut.

Sponsored advertisement

  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Pathetic.

The usual rent a crowd of losers with sour faces.
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

To be fair the trains coming through the underpass make a considerable amount of noise alone so that should be enough to warn someone of an approaching train if the emergency gates fail to get their attention. But it won't help if its coming from the other direction though.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

There is a lot of cycle use of that crossing and with the automatic gates no reason to dismount, a cyclist can ride straight through. The visibility is very poor when approaching from either side, hence the need for an active crossing and warnings.

69 dBA is hardly excessive and there have not been any trains at night; some work vehicles though.

If residents are woken up early in the morning they should do what the people in river boat towns did when the steamer called through at 4:00am; explained the population growth.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
Notice no whinging about the freight trains 8)
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
And the Government moves. [url=http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/minister-koutsantonis-moves-on-loud-bell-causing-residents-angst-near-millswood-railing-crossing/story-fni9lkyu-1226808443219]Minister Koutsantonis moves on loud bell[/url]

Minister Koutsantonis moves on loud bell causing residents angst near Millswood railing crossing

RESIDENTS can finally get some sleep after community pressure has forced the State Government to reduce the volume of an alarm bell at a Millswood rail crossing.

Residents had called for urgent action to stop"piercing and distressing" noise coming from the pedestrian crossing, with the bell sounding as many as 100 times a day.

The bell was installed at the corner of Fairfax Ave and Cromer Pde in November to alert pedestrians to approaching trains.

Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis has confirmed the bell's volume has been temporarily lowered.

"Local Member Steph Key and residents raised the issue with my office and we immediately instructed the department to investigate and find a swift and appropriate solution, while maintaining safety," he said.

Residents are cautiously welcoming the move.

Narelle Hopkins, who lives 50m from the alarm, says while she's not celebrating just yet she is glad some action has been taken.

"Hopefully we are getting closer to having some peace and quiet," she said.

Neighbour Lisa Brice wants a long-term solution.

"I want to know that when I go out to hang up my washing I won't hear the bells, and only then will I be happy," she said.

The warning alarm was installed as part of the Goodwood Rail Junction Upgrade.

The pitch on these signals has also been lowered.

Adam Goodfellow, who lives about 50m from the crossing, said there had been no safety issues with a silent crossing in the past.

"The alarm (has been) unnecessary and invasive,"he said.

"It's a quiet neighbour hood and the pedestrian crossing doesn't get used often.

"We bought the house 10 years ago when there was a quiet pedestrian crossing, but now that's changed."

A train passes through the crossing about every five minutes between 7am and 9am on weekdays, according to train timetables.

The Transport Department has measured the noise 3m away from the crossing at 69dB - about the same as heavy traffic.

A Transport Department spokeswoman had said the warning alarm was needed for pedestrian safety, especially people with vision impairments.

She said the alarm volume and tone met all relevant standards, including Environment Protection Authority guidelines and legislation.

The department has built a 1.2m-high wall to reduce noise affecting the nearest house west of the crossing.

Residents met with Opposition Transport Spokeswoman Vickie Chapman last week to discuss the issue.

Ms Chapman said if elected the Liberal Party would explore options to remove the alarm or reduce its volume.

"The community has raised their concerns butt here's been a complete dismissal from the government," Ms Chapman said.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Messenger Press part of the Sadvertiser need I say any more! Rolling Eyes
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I was cycling along there on my way to the city last week when the crossing activated, my impression was it was about the same as a car horn being beeped. You or I would quite rightly make a noise complaint if somebody sat outside in their car and beeped the horn consistently for up to twelve minutes in the hour.

I think the residents have a fair complaint here (better than the fair complaints about wheel squeal in the hills which wasn't there 20 years ago) and shouldn't be attacked merely for being unfortunate to live in a city where News Ltd has a monopoly on print media. Have the government's claims about noise levels been verified by any independent source yet, maybe a real journallist* or an independent OHS&W consultant brought in?

I agree that an active crossing is needed there in the absence of any plan for a grade-separated option around there. However, applying more local expertise and better community consultation (I bet the residents were never told of the active crossing sirens before they were installed) should have seen the design altered to use upward-firing sound emitters with appropriate wave guides to keep the sound more confined to the area immediately around the crossing instead of cheap omnidirectional emmitters indiscriminately scattering sound in all directions. I guess that's the price we pay for having works like this designed by engineers in air-conditioned offices who have to check the spelling of Millswood when they look it up on Google Maps instead of spending a few dollars more to have it done by locals who know the area.

* InDaily wouldn't do this, not when they are contracted by the government to write nice puff pieces about the government's infrastructure and business developments!
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
In NSW, bells at level crossings near houses are turned off at night.

Also, if there are two bells, one on either side of a double track line, one bell is turned off once the booms are lowered.

It is not known if sirens are ever used in lieu of bells.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

In NSW, bells at level crossings near houses are turned off at night.

Also, if there are two bells, one on either side of a double track line, one bell is turned off once the booms are lowered.

It is not known if sirens are ever used in lieu of bells.
"awsgc24"
These sirens emit a piercing deedle-deedle tone and are located only on each side of an active-gated pedestrian level crossing, as opposed to road crossings which use mechanical bells or electronic emitters putting out a louder synthetic 'bell' sound.

Where a road crossing and gated pedestrian crossing are co-located you get both the pedestrian sirens and the road bells, all the emitters go at full power regardless of the time of day and they do not reduce in volume once the booms are lowered and the pedestrian gates are closed.

I've lived next to a train line in the past (I got used to the noise of a passing train pretty quickly) but there's no way in hell I'd live next to a level crossing here, at some point you need to put your health first.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
That crossing is terrible, I was there when it was first commissioned, the first time they tried to activate it, it didn't activate. When it finally did fire up I quipped that it sounded horrendous, one of the guys there said 'It's meant to make be noticed, it's not supposed to be soothing'. I said 'that's not what I meant'.

You can tell when a set of crossing alarms are set wrong, I was living in Ravensthorpe Ave and I could hear the crossing there. That must be every bit of 200m.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Adam Goodfellow, who lives about 50m from the crossing, said there had been no safety issues with a silent crossing in the past.

"The alarm (has been) unnecessary and invasive,"he said.

"It's a quiet neighbour hood and the pedestrian crossing doesn't get used often.






Close the crossing. Simples!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Contrary to Mr Goodfellow the crossing is quite well used. I am quite sure DPTI would have found it easier to close it when the underpass was built if they thought it was not utilised.

As secretary of and frequent attender at SASMEE I am very well familiar with the crossing.

A problem with the crossing is that it gets a lot of cycle use and its layout now allows them to ride right through.

That Mr Goodfellow thinks there were no safety issues in the past does not allow for a few facts.
In days of yore there was a footbridge at the crossing; our forefathers must have thought there was a problem even with infrequent and slow moving steam trains.
The crossing was on the flat and visibility even then was only just adequate.
Train speeds in the up direction (poor visibility) were slow
Visibility is now quite bad due to the underpass
Train speeds are higher.

It is amazing how the papers always find one spokes person, generally the most ill informed and then gather a coven of sour faced witched for a photo shoot.

Ian
  simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
That crossing is terrible, I was there when it was first commissioned, the first time they tried to activate it, it didn't activate. When it finally did fire up I quipped that it sounded horrendous, one of the guys there said 'It's meant to make be noticed, it's not supposed to be soothing'. I said 'that's not what I meant'.

You can tell when a set of crossing alarms are set wrong, I was living in Ravensthorpe Ave and I could hear the crossing there. That must be every bit of 200m.
Aaron

The new electronic bells are pretty poor in comparison to previous.

I don't think it's really necessary for me to be able to hear the East Ave bells 300m away, in my back room, with the window closed. Far worse than what used to be there - and for what gain? The volume/pitch/tone/timbre is different and causes the sound to travel a far great distance.

Likewise the new bells on the pedestrian crossing next to Sasmee - why do they need to be heard 200/300m away? The are also big silver gates that close automatically! If you can't work out what's going on when they close and the red lights start flashing, I don't think the bells are gonna help too much either. The bells have certainly been readjusted this week as well, but again the volume/pitch/tone/timbre is/was such that the sound traveled a great distance.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The new electronic bells are pretty poor in comparison to previous.

I don't think it's really necessary for me to be able to hear the East Ave bells 300m away, in my back room, with the window closed. Far worse than what used to be there - and for what gain? The volume/pitch/tone/timbre is different and causes the sound to travel a far great distance.

Likewise the new bells on the pedestrian crossing next to Sasmee - why do they need to be heard 200/300m away? The are also big silver gates that close automatically! If you can't work out what's going on when they close and the red lights start flashing, I don't think the bells are gonna help too much either. The bells have certainly been readjusted this week as well, but again the volume/pitch/tone/timbre is/was such that the sound traveled a great distance.
simont141

I appreciate something probably has to be done about the volume of the bells, but unfortunately the combined efforts of our legal profession would ensure that without bells the first person to get trapped and injured in the gates, because they didn't see the flashing lights, would sue the ar$e of the government with the judge letting them walk away with a hefty taxpayer funded compensation package.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Ah, my alter ego is in this thread too.

Simon, the bells are there aside from the lights for those that cannot see the lights, that said, it could be quite baffling to a vision impaired person to hear a crossing alarm 200+ metres away!

I too can attest that the crossing is frequently used, I used to cross it in excess of four times a day heading to and from Goodwood for the city, then whilst walking the dog (and checking on the local brown snake population around the swimming centre). Only on very few occasions did I not either pass others on the crossing or pass people clearly intending to use the crossing.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

From first hand this evening.

The warning signals are not as loud as the trains in fact a train drowns out the warning. This includes the ringing rails as a down train approaches.
I was in the SASMEE club rooms and heard a down train approaching, I had to leave the rooms to finally hear the warning and that was after the train had passed.

I also waited at the crossing as two trains passed. The warning sound in my opinion is not loud enough.

I had just arrived at SASMEE's ground just inside the gate when the warning started. My first impression was that it was the "gongs' for Victoria St Lx.

The warning is not loud enough!

Ian
  simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
I appreciate something probably has to be done about the volume of the bells, but unfortunately the combined efforts of our legal profession would ensure that without bells the first person to get trapped and injured in the gates, because they didn't see the flashing lights, would sue the ar$e of the government with the judge letting them walk away with a hefty taxpayer funded compensation package.
bingley hall

Agree completely. Certainly wasn't advocating no bells.
  dvdplaza Chief Train Controller

Suffice to say that when that "alarm" went off during ABC radio's live coverage the other week I found it to be unbelievably unbearable just listening over the radio - after a while I struggled to concentrate on what they were saying and was instead considering turning off the radio.  Why the devil does it need to be such an earsplitting sound - surely a bell or beep or buzz would suffice?

Ian I'm confused as to the relevance of the crossing volume to the loudness of a train.  If the train is now close enough that it was making a louder noise than the alarm itself then surely, as a species, we are intelligent enough to hear that loud train and think "TRAIN" and the warning tone, err I mean alarm, is no longer relevant at that point?

If the siren is intentionally made even louder than the train itself then surely the human brain will flow through logic such as "FIRE!!!!, no BURGLAR!!!!, no %^*^$SPLAT&*%^$#... ohhhh train, of course...".
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Suffice to say that when that "alarm" went off during ABC radio's live coverage the other week I found it to be unbelievably unbearable just listening over the radio - after a while I struggled to concentrate on what they were saying and was instead considering turning off the radio. Why the devil does it need to be such an earsplitting sound - surely a bell or beep or buzz would suffice?

Ian I'm confused as to the relevance of the crossing volume to the loudness of a train. If the train is now close enough that it was making a louder noise than the alarm itself then surely, as a species, we are intelligent enough to hear that loud train and think "TRAIN" and the warning tone, err I mean alarm, is no longer relevant at that point?

If the siren is intentionally made even louder than the train itself then surely the human brain will flow through logic such as "FIRE!!!!, no BURGLAR!!!!, no %^*^$SPLAT&*%^$#... ohhhh train, of course...".
dvdplaza

dvdplaza, I did not hear the ABC whinge just as you have not heard the warning first hand by being able to inspect the crossing.

We have no idea how the ABC got the warning to be broadcast at "ear-splitting volume", however the ABCs manipulation of recording levels or microphone placement is a distinct possibility. Did you hear the train follow through afterwards? If the warning was ear-splitting the sound of the trains would have blown the diaphragms out of both your speakers/phones and your ears.

I am sorry you did not understand that I was trying to give an indication of comparative sound pressure levels when I mentioned being able/not able to hear the warnings against the train sounds.

As for warning sounds and intelligence; warning have to heard over ambient sounds, that includes personal sound systems often warn by both walkers and cyclists. To my enthusiast's ear a train sound is very recognisable, may be not so to the general public particularly if distracted by their sound system or conversation with a friend.

Ian
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
There's a railway crossing about 1.5 km from my house (plenty of trees and buildings in the way) that I can actually hear clearly with this new electronic bells. With the old system I couldn't hear it at all. Its also pretty irritating standing right next to it.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

There's a railway crossing about 1.5 km from my house (plenty of trees and buildings in the way) that I can actually hear clearly with this new electronic bells. With the old system I couldn't hear it at all. Its also pretty irritating standing right next to it.
mclaren2007

Not the same crossing McLaren.

I was standing under 20 metres from the crossing in question and my first impression was that it was the warnings from Victoria St or Forrestville tram LX.

Sorry to be so sh!tty about this topic, but I am sick of the sour faced "rent a crowds" stirred up to look angry for the media.

They should be thankful there is something there to prevent them having to watch body parts being scraped of the front of a train!

Ian
  waylander Station Master

Indeed cars are far more soundproof, and so are peds ears with personal sound devices blaring at ear damaging levels. I have been crewing the cockle train and had somebody walking down the tracks with ear buds in, no amount of whistling makes them move only the vibrations of the train in the ground alerts them to move off the tracks.

I do prefer the old bells personally over the new gongs, however the new gongs are supposed to be more audible inside vehicles.

The ped x bells really sound bad and should be changed to be at a volume similar to road ped xings at traffic lights so only audible in the immediate vicinity, with a sound similar to existing level crossing bells, visually impaired people generally have better hearing, if both senses are Dulled then usually a guide dog is provide , and for the hearing impaired the lights and gate closing should be enough of a Que..
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
Not the same crossing McLaren.

I was standing under 20 metres from the crossing in question and my first impression was that it was the warnings from Victoria St or Forrestville tram LX.

Sorry to be so sh!tty about this topic, but I am sick of the sour faced "rent a crowds" stirred up to look angry for the media.

They should be thankful there is something there to prevent them having to watch body parts being scraped of the front of a train!

Ian
steam4ian


I admit I did stray off topic a bit

But yes I cannot stand the aforementioned "rent a crowds".
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
We have no idea how the ABC got the warning to be broadcast at "ear-splitting volume", however the ABCs manipulation of recording levels or microphone placement is a distinct possibility. Did you hear the train follow through afterwards? If the warning was ear-splitting the sound of the trains would have blown the diaphragms out of both your speakers/phones and your ears.
steam4ian

Ian,

The ABC use a single reporter with a microphone and a means of getting the signal back to Collinswood in broadcast quality.

His duties are to do vox-pops with locals so if he is doing this, actually interviewing someone, he can not highlight the warning system for he doesn't have the means to do it.

Now I didn't actually hear the report for I was in the back yard, but I did hear the warning devices from the radio so the sound carries which is what I expect it to do.   I would get very annoyed with it after a very short time.

If something is inappropriate how else do you bring it the authorities ears without getting the media involved?

Having said that my impression of the Messenger Press is that they try and push a pet subject concerning railways whether there is substance to it or not.

The reporter in the hills railway diversion rather got put in her place by the responses to her article none of which were what she wanted.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: kipioneer, Pressman

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.