Bad planning

Recently they’ve done some work on the streetscape in my local shopping centre, Centre Road in Bentleigh.

Now, I may not know much about road design, but I think this, at the taxi rank next to the station, is a bad layout.

Bentleigh taxi rank 17/9/2008

Why? Because when the front taxi gets a fare, the others in the queue move up to the front. But they have to pull out into traffic to do so.

I’m all for planting trees and other objects in the road to break it up a bit, but this just seems silly. I suppose it’s possible it was a clumsy attempt at traffic calming, but I suspect it’s just sloppy planning.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

16 replies on “Bad planning”

I can’t quite see what’s on the signs, but isn’t only the first spot a taxi rank anyway? I’ll have to check it out next time I’m down there…

I don’t particularly like any of the streetscape improvements, by the way. Those green strips in the black bitumen are already getting filthy and they just look awkward cos it’s like they are meant to be a path to somewhere, but then there will be a seat over the top. It’s just wrong…

No, all three spaces are within the Taxi Zone. The yellow lines at left are the end of the Bus stop; taxis take the rest of the space up to the pole.

See here and here for my previous posts about the refurb.

There’s nothing wrong with that landscape design as far as I can see – except perhaps the location of the taxi terminus which should, in an ideal (non-Labor) world, be located next to the train station and a bus stop.

As for Mr. Rob Hudson, he shouldn’t be elected. His office is way too ostentatious.

whoa, platinumeuro, that’s a wild generalisation. besides the obvious racist leanings of your post, it’s also quite inaccurate. in my vast experience riding in taxis i have never encountered a rude or smelly driver…obviously a first-year driver wouldn’t know the streets as well as a veteran, but i have never had a problem with a completely clueless driver. as for the ‘illegal immigrants’ remark, i’m not even going to comment.

Reuben, I don’t know what you’re talking about. This taxi rank is next to the bus stop, which is next to the railway station. Has been for years. Ostentatious? Rubbish. It’s just an electorate office. I’ve been inside, and it’s just functional, not beautiful. What would you expect – a hovel?

PlatiNumEuro, your comment has been deleted as aside from the dubious generalisations and abuse of taxi drivers, it is irrelevant to the post, which is about street design and this taxi rank, not taxi drivers.

I’m intending to be more strict in future about the comments I approve for display. The comment rules have been posted here since 2004, and I’ll be updating them shortly. But in particular, keep the comments relevant to the posting, stick to PG language where possible, and abuse will not be tolerated. If you want to rant about your favourite topic, do it elsewhere.

We have a major bus stop (multi destination, mutli buses) in the city where I live in Japan and a 4 storey car park was approved right next to it. The entrance and exit to this car park (complete with the requisite attendants in military-like uniforms and white gloves) is where the buses pull out. Of course, this means traffic chaos at peak hours, not to mention when winter comes and it starts snowing. Not a great feat of planning either.

Sorry to be harsh Reuben, but you’re not paying attention. Go watch a taxi rank for a few minutes. They leave strictly in the order they arrived, and every time one leaves, they all move up in the queue.

I must bite back at you there Daniel, because I’ve seen something different at every taxi rank.

Having said that, I a) don’t observe taxi ranks as frequently as you have (how many hours Daniel :P ?) and b) realise that observation is intrinsically flawed, and since I can’t mathematically describe the taxi movement, nothing can be proven here.

I (briefly) held a taxi licence and am the daughter of a taxi driver. The drivers local to that rank are probably certain that the council planned it like that just to p*** them off.

As for the order in which they move off the rank, it goes something like this:
As a driver comes close to the rank, he signals his availability by “plotting on” to the rank. You can be plotted on to a rank and on to a general area at the same time. As cabs arrive on the rank, dispatch keeps track of who is 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc on the rank and may allocate accordingly. Only the first cab on the rank is allowed to take a walk-up fare. If a fare is called through to dispatch, that fare is offered to the first cab plotted on to the rank – for whatever reason, he may choose not to accept the fare (too far, not far enough, can see a huge crowd of drunken out-of-towners approaching the rank) or he may not accept the fare in time. This happens a lot if the driver is standing at the next cab’s door chatting and smoking. If cab 1 declines a radio job, it will be offered to cab 2 who will more than likely accept and therefore pull away first. Make sense now?

Be nice to cabbies. They have to put up with bloody ridiculous and seemingly pointless concrete impediments in their workplace. ;o)

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