Verging on Excellence

Hard verge

This type of verge treatment can frequently be seen around the City of Bayswater. It could be considered by some to be practical, nice & tidy and long lasting. However it can’t be considered environmentally friendly. (Read on to see an environmentally friendly option). 

The paving contributes to the urban heat island effect, as too in fact do the black house tiles. The hard surface prevents water from penetrating the ground and the resultant water runoff can contribute to flooding. The lack of greenery means there is no fauna. This particular development extends for over 30 metres. 30 metres of hard surface.

I recently had a resident email me about an issue he is facing with the City of Bayswater. The resident has been informed that the crossover, (the portion of a driveway between the road and the boundary fence-line), he has installed is not allowed and he must dig it out and replace with a concrete crossover. He’s obviously upset by this, especially as the crossover he has installed uses new technology which costs more than the traditional concrete crossover and is more environmentally friendly. It should be noted that it is required that crossovers have approval before installation, and also that the City does have an obligation to ensure that crossovers will last the test of time, are easily identifiable and do not disintegrate and cause pedestrian obstacles.

This is it:

soft verge

The paving blocks in the background are where the cars are parked, and the driveway, which looks like normal lawn, is being grown in porous tiles made from recycled plastic. Supposedly this new technology has load bearing capabilities which exceed concrete. In addition it obviously also reduces water run-off, replenishes the ground water, cleans the air etc.

I advised the resident to request that the matter be taken to council for determination and have subsequently been informed that it will be coming to the next council meeting. A decision will likely be made on whether to allow the new technology to be used or for it to be replaced with a traditional concrete driveway up to his boundary line. What are your views? Should council insist on the tried and tested concrete crossovers, or should the rule book be updated to be more accommodating of new technologies?

Power to the people.

(Please be aware that these views are my own and have not been endorsed by the City of Bayswater)

8 thoughts on “Verging on Excellence

  1. I notice that neither of your pics has a footpath. My daughter used to live in City of Bayswater and, with three young children, this was a frequent gripe.

    One of the most important issues with footpaths is that they not only be continuous but should be seen to be so. This means that the footpath should continue across the driveway/crossover rather than the other way round – to avoid the impression that the car driver has right of way.

    Permeable materials other than permeable concrete has the disadvantage that any planting in them requires maintenance. Even with maintenance, porous tiles and the like can still present an uneven surface, so, I suggest, should not be used where people are likely to be walking. Without good maintenance (an all-too-common condition of street verges) the soil in them may get washed or blown away presenting both an aesthetic problem and an even worse trip hazard.

    You can get permeable concrete, which reduces stormwater run-off compared to normal concrete, but doesn’t have the same aesthetic or cooling benefits of green matter.

  2. Updated – absolutely. Councils need to take the lead in reviewing new technologies and if they’re shown to be just as effective in performance (providing of course they’s also suitably aesthetically etc.) adopt them – why wouldn’t you?

  3. Good on the resident for thinking outside the box. I hope the council support him and at the same time do something about the plethora of black roofing tiles.

  4. Good points Ian, I agree it is important for the footpath to show priority. Unfortunately there are many streets in the city of Bayswater without footpaths, however in September my motion of establishing a 5 year footpath construction program was unanimously passed by council so hopefully that will lead to more. You’ve hit the nail on the head re the risk of trip hazard; this would surely be the main concern. However on the flip-side, and having recently walked the entire Central Ward again, there are numerous verges already presenting trip hazards.

  5. Hi Chris

    The Bland City expands.

    I have seen this verge!!! It is an absolute classic shocker for which the owner and the council should hang their heads in shame. What the heck is the vision that the council has for the City of Bayswater? The Desert City? Bland and hot.

    This is a classic example of how NOT to build for the environment, the community and energy efficiency.

  6. Great to see the news today that the turf paving trial has been approved.

    I widened my Central ward driveway and crossover early last year with concrete. If turf paving had been available and for a good price at the time, I would have much preferred it, as it would have very much suited the redesign that I did of the front of my house and garden.

    Maybe in a few years it will become more widely available and cheaper and I may just decide to rip that concrete up. 🙂

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