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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year. Congratulations for surviving 2016!

This blog post attempts to wrap up a few loose ends for the new year.

Here’s a short video of the Footscray New Years Eve 9:30pm (official!) fireworks.

2016 was a bit of a strange year. We all know about the seemingly large numbers of personalities (particularly an unusual number of Gen-X heroes, it appeared) passing away.

Locally there seemed to be change all around me. The heart of my neighbourhood changed fundamentally with my local railway station rebuilt. This changed the daily commute for myself and thousands of others.

At home, changing circumstances meant my (now adult) sons moved in fulltime in August. It’s amazing how simple things like the grocery bills and the amount of laundry jumped overnight. In contrast, they’re away at present on holiday, which has left the house feeling quite empty and lonely.

My resolution for the new year? Get my crap together and get more things done, especially at home. Unfortunately I’ve realised I wrote much the same in 2010.

Blog stats for 2016

From Google Analytics, here are the top-ranked posts from 2016. Note that in the top 20, only 7 are from this year. This seems to be the effect of some old posts being prominent in Google for specific popular searches.

  1. 25/5/2013ID card options if you don’t want/have a driver’s licence – 18,501 page views
  2. 23/11/2011How much does a train cost? – 9,229 page views
  3. 18/6/2014Electric kettles use power. LOTS of power. – 8,649 page views
  4. 11/2/2016Skyrail! – all about the Caulfield to Dandenong skyrail project – 8,545 page views
  5. 10/6/2016Things I learnt about the Singapore MRT (and a comparison with Melbourne) – 7,458 page views
  6. 24/9/2014Level crossings: Which are funded to be removed, which are promised? – I do intend to do an update of this one – 5,704 page views
  7. 31/8/2010Who should go to a funeral? – I assume this ranks high on some Google searches – 5,292 page views
  8. 1/7/2015Next gen trains are coming – what can we expect? – 4,241 page views
  9. 21/7/2011How to get ABC iView on your Samsung television – 4,217 page views
  10. 7/7/2015Bentleigh/Mckinnon/Ormond grade separations: Lots of detail – 3,975 page views
  11. 9/7/2016Down in the trench station at midnight – 3,820 page views
  12. 14/4/2016Bourke/Spencer tram stop not fit for purpose – 3,679 page views
  13. 19/4/2013Want roadside assistance but don’t want to fund RACV’s lobbying? Plenty of alternatives – cheaper too – 3,637 page views
  14. 29/8/2016A quick look around the new Bentleigh and Ormond stations, opened today – 3,578 page views
  15. 12/10/2014PTV rail map – latest draft – 3,573 page views
  16. 25/2/2016Subway into SoCross: could it be re-opened? – 3,524 page views
  17. 1/3/2011How Ernst Wanke Road got its name (and how to pronounce it) – 3,304 page views
  18. 14/3/2016Station codes: yes, FKN is the code for Frankston – 2,868 page views
  19. 11/5/2016How to replace a 2000 Astra car key battery – 2,811 page views
  20. 27/3/2012Myki myths 2: Everybody always has to touch-off, every single time, or they’ll be penalised – Nope. – 2,713 page views

The fifth ranked post: Things I learnt about the Singapore MRT – got almost 5000 page views on the day it was published, making for a total of almost 7000 across the site that day, the busiest day of the year.

Back in December 2007 I ran a few SQL queries over my WordPress database to get some stats. Here are some of the same stats again:

Posts for 2016: 141 (279 in 2007 — my pace has definitely slowed down. I’m busier nowadays.)

Approved comments in 2016: 1456 (2014 in 2007)

Top five posts by number of comments:

  1. Skyrail! 122 – this is actually my all-time article with the most comments
  2. Why is this road rule never enforced? 28
  3. How many tracks? 25
  4. Public transport fares rise in January (The things I couldn’t fit into The Age article) 24
  5. “Value capture” development above Ormond station? Good idea… in theory

A couple of selfies to finish off…

I got some great Christmas presents this year, including a lovely pair of RM Williams boots, some Boston T salt and pepper shakers, and this great book:
Christmas present! "Art of Atari"

As 2017 opens, no doubt it will bring both joy and sadness, but one thing I’m definitely looking forward to is the opening of Southland station:
Southland station coming in 2017!

Happy new year!

And a special thank you to those who comment here regularly. You add enormously to the discussion, to my knowledge, and the usefulness of this blog, on many of these topics.

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.

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