Caltrop on northern PSP (between Sorrento and CBD)

Sent: Thursday, 4 February 2010 10:17 PM
To: clint.cooper@mainroads.wa.gov.au
Cc: Bruce.Robinson@Westnet.com.au; bta_wa@hotmail.com; Spratt, Denise
Subject: Caltrop to be removed at three locations on the northern PSP

Dear Clint,

Last Wednesday I did a “caltrop run” from the Sorrento to the Perth CBD (not my normal riding route anymore, because I am currently not working in the CBD) – the first ride on this route I have had time to do this summer.

I found caltrop had germinated at about 8 different locations near the PSP, with a few large plants actually growing onto the PSP.  Most of the plants were still not too large (thanks to a totally dry Dec and Jan), so I removed them myself and completely filled two large plastic bags, which I carried home in my two back pannier bags and placed in my bin.  At one spot in Osborne Park there were 8 large caltrop plants, which I carefully removed and put into a skip bin I found nearby.  In all, at total of 5 hours spent – 3 hours of weeding work, 2 hours of cycling and a bit of education to a couple of other cyclists who asked what I was doing!

This is now the seventh year I have removed caltrop from the northern PSP route from the CBD.  The number of plants have been substantially reduced on this route (which is of great benefit to all who use it), but some caltrop germinationation is still occurring, and without removal these plants produce so many thorns they can undo the gains made from successive years of weeding.

However, I was unable to pull up and bag caltrop plants found at three of the locations (in Carine and near the City – see the attached photos).  I have submitted three Hazard Report forms tonight to cover these locations.  Can the caltrop plants at these locations be (carefully) removed please.

As discussed previously, I believe all locations that have had Caltrop reports need to be recorded then inspected/ treated 4 times per summer, in mid to late December, January, February and March, for a minimum of 5 years from the initial report or inspection.  It is only by this sort of attention that Caltrop will be effectively controlled, and hopefully eventually eliminated, in the metropolitan area.  With the current distribution of caltrop in Perth it is not a huge job for Main Roads or the Councils to control, it just needs a careful, methodical approach.

I am concerned that all the locations that I removed Caltrop last Wednesday where personally shown to Fiona van Rijnswoud last summer. She indicated to me that Main Roads would plot all the locations of Caltrop that I showed her (using GPS) and enter in a database for use in the path maintenance program. Has this not been done, or is the lack of removal due to a maintenance contractor who still cannot visually recognise the presence of caltrop within a few metres of a bike path, or ones even growing onto the bike path?  Maybe Main Roads could pay a few hundred dollars annually to cycling enthusiasts like myself to keep a particular PSP route free of caltrop if the contractors simply cannot handle this task to the required standard!  (I would donate any payment I received fully to one of the many charities I support!).

Apart from the presence of caltrop, the northern PSP was in good order, with very little glass or sand, so thank the team for that.

About Heinrich

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