Albert Avenue, Chatswood,

Albert Avenue Railway Overpass - Installation of two digital advertising signs to the eastern and western elevations of the railway overpass.

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14 Comments

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  1. David Grover commented

    I wish to lodge the strongest objection to the installation of these signs on five grounds:

    1 The railway overpass is immediately adjacent to the Garden of Remembrance, a sacred local garden area and an historical and listed local heritage area set aside for contemplation and passive enjoyment. Continuously changing brightly illuminated signage is incompatible with its purpose and will compromise its use. NSW Government Legislation SEPP 64 clause 1.3.1 prohibits such signage in land zones listed as heritage conservation or environmentally sensitive areas.

    2 Anzac Day Dawn Services are held annually in the area immediately in front of one of the proposed signs, and would seriously impact the solemnity of these occasions.

    3 The architectural design of the overpass is deliberately integrated with the side walls of the rail corridor and its aesthetic employs an unbroken undulating gently curved architectural surface, designed intentionally to soften the visual impact of the bridge structure and integrate it with the railway station and its stanchions along the length of the Remembrance Garden and this bridge overpass. It is highly effective in this and the addition of large digital signage would significantly compromise this purposeful feature. SEPP 64 specifically states: "Special rules apply to the type of advertisements allowed on bridges and overpasses to ensure that the architectural qualities of the bridge and safety along the transport corridor are not compromised." and in 2.5.5a "The architecture of the bridge must not be diminished....The sign should not compromise the architectural and visual quality of the bridge structure."

    4 There is a busy pedestrian crossing immediately below and in front of this overpass. This crossing is favoured by shoppers, families and is a favoured bicycle route. Constantly changing bright advertising would introduce a distraction to drivers as they approach it and has serious safety implications. This crossing is encountered suddenly by drivers while passing under the bridge, the very moment these signs are designed to attract their attention. NSW Government legislation states that outdoor digital illuminated signage must not be positioned where such safety issues arise and must avoid positions resulting with potential for distraction of drivers.

    SEPP 64 states that the sign must not "in any other way reduce safety for drivers, pedestrians or other bridge users."
    and
    Road Safety Assessment Criteria Table 4 of SEPP 64 states: "1. Would the proposal reduce the safety for any public road?" 2. Would the proposal reduce the safety for pedestrians or bicyclists?"

    Clause 3.3.3 states: "Proximity to decision making points and conflict points:
    It is important that drivers are not distracted near decision making points or conflict points to allow concentration to be focused on the driving task where the driver’s attention requirements are greater....Conflict points are locations such as intersections or pedestrian crossings where crash risk is greater."
    and
    "a. The sign should not be located:
    ...
    ii. less than the safe stopping sight distance from a marked foot crossing, pedestrian crossing, pedestrian refuge, cycle crossing, cycleway facility or hazard within the road environment"

    Note that there are numerous other criteria in Section 3 of SEPP 64 which would prohibit such signage proximate to a busy pedestrian crossing.

    5 There will be a significant visual impact for residents to the west of the bridge, as the signage will illuminate the eastern corner of 73 Albert Av high rise units as well as the Igloo student accommodation adjacent to the sign.

  2. Michael W. Pickles commented

    I fully agree with David Grover. The situating of bright moving info boards above a busy crossing will distract drivers. This is the wrong place on all grounds he states.

  3. Robert Newman commented

    I object to the signage on a number of issues:

    The eastern sign is too close to the Garden of Remembrance which is an area of quiet reflection.

    Both signs are directly above a high pedestrian and cycle crossing area and will distract drivers hence unsafe.

    The light from the western sign is extremely close to residential units, especially the student accomodation (may be named, Igloo?)

    It is needless light pollution for the sake of advertising, virtually thumbing its nose at the local council sustainability projects.

    The statement of community benefit lists that these types of developments allow Transport NSW to improve access to stations but the Minister for Transport has written to the Artarmon Community refusing to improve access to the east side of Artarmon station (the next station down the rail corridor).

    There is nothing in the list of community benefits that didn’t sound like it was grasping at straws by a group of “spin doctors”.

  4. Mary Ann Irvin commented

    I agree with the objections of both David Grover and Robert Newman.
    NSW SEPP 64 conditions should be strictly enforced when considering this application.
    There are no redeeming features to this plan.
    Access to the Artarmon Station platforms from the Eastern side of the line is of utmost importance, and should be given priority.

  5. Louise Whelan commented

    I support all objections posted so far. There have already been pedestrian accidents in the past that I am aware of there and it is clearly a spot where drivers and pedestrians need all their attention skills. The kind of digital adverising described will add risk to safety in this regard, and nothing of any aesthetic value.

  6. Robert Kassis commented

    Let me get this straight. The intended purpose of this development application is to install a device that will maximise the distraction of drivers and vehicle operators by using brightly lit signage and animation.

    This is to the detriment of pedestrian safety as they already have to negotiate a crossing with steep ramps and numerous other distractions in the vicinity.

    I've personally witnessed many near-misses at this location, and I dread the thought of both Council and TfNSW being responsible for creating such a death trap that provides no community benefit other than some revenue in to the coffers.

  7. Bruce Bradshaw commented

    The railway overpass is a grotesque and unseemly piece of urban vandalism that would be greatly improved by billboards - the bigger the better.

    And please don't allow the memory of our fallen soldiers to be sullied by letting people use them as an excuse to resist the evolution of our planned environment. They were the unwitting victims of our country's first foreign war, perpetrators of genocide on behalf of a noxious queen.

  8. Christine Razga commented

    I totally agree with all the objections. It is such a dangerous place to have signage distracting drivers near a pedestrian crossing. Also too close to where people like to sit quietly and either take time out or remember those who lost their young lives in war.

  9. Simon Lelli commented

    I strongly object to this application because it makes the area more dangerous and increases the cognitive load on the drivers in the area.

    There are already 3 sets of traffic lights within a 200 metre stretch of road and several T intersections from different sides and a large car park entrance. As well as normal roads/intersections that location has an additional two small (and somewhat unexpected) access roads immediately adjacent to the overpass on both the East and West sides.

    The possibility of accidents is particularly high as there are multiple modes of traffic including vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians PLUS delivery trucks using the access roads. The area also does not have clear line of sight along that stretch due to the overpass itself - as a driver regularly in the area I know the other side of the overpass is effectively a blind spot until I approach it and I go under the bridge.
    It is obvious that advertising and revenue by owning authorities are indeed an element of our modern world however this particular location is both dangerous and poorly suited for a digital billboard. Even a static billboard would not be ideal but would be better.

    I disagree with they opinion of Bruce Bradshaw I and strongly AGREE with David Grover.

  10. GARRY OWEN commented

    Chatswood RSL sub Branch and Club submit the following.
    It appears the lit signage on the Eastern side of the overbridge will have little visual impact upon the Garden of Remembrance.
    This is because from the Garden there are two substantial trees blocking the view to the proposed sign.
    The visual impact upon memorial and commemorate services consequently would, it seems, be minimal.
    As a distraction from the concept that the Garden is a place of quite retreat and reflection, greater distraction is experienced on a regular basis
    by the arrival and departure of trains at Chatswood Station.
    Notwithstanding the above we believe that consideration should be given to either
    • turning off the sign/s during commemorative day services but not exclusive to, the ANZAC Day Dawn Service & the Remembrance Day Service
    • and, or the signs be used to acknowledge and remember those who served, and the fallen, on those occasions by showing relevant words for the majority of the day such as “Lest we Forget or We will remember them”.
    G J Owen JP
    President. Chatswood RSL Club

  11. David Grover commented

    I wish to respond to the Chatswood RSL submission.
    1 The Eastern signage will impact the Garden of Remembrance as digital signs are illuminated 24 hours a day, resulting in significant light spillage to the Garden. Additionally the increase in urban commercial clutter resulting from such large illuminated and constantly changing signage, where none presently exists, will have a detrimental impact on the Garden precinct.
    2 Both western and eastern signs have serious safety implications which are not addressed at all in the RSL submission.
    3 The suggestion of turning off the signs on ANZAC Day Dawn Service & the Remembrance Day Service and the second suggestion of putting relevant messages on them are self-contradictory. The Garden is intended for quiet contemplation and large illuminated signage is incompatible in an area so proximate to it as these signs will be.

  12. SUE GIBSON SWALWELL commented

    SUBJECT; DIGITAL SIGNAGE – ALBERT AVENUE, CHATSWOOD – RAILWAY OVERPASS

    Having reviewed the abovementioned application, I wish to lodge my objection to the installation of the signage with the utmost disgust, on the following grounds.
    • As an Australian, where since a small child I was always taught that our forefathers fought and died for our Country in war to ensure that as Australians we were free. As such the one most reverent day of the year ANZAC Day was borne. A day held with high reverence, meaning, remembering them you gave their life to give everyone reading this objection a better life and Country. One that I am proud to be, and now this day can be destroyed in Chatswood because of a “digital signage” that cannot be approved under any circumstances.
    • Chatswood’s Garden of Remembrance (listed under local heritage) is immediately adjacent to this railway overpass. This garden serves the Community not just as a place for two (2) special days a year, namely ANZAC DAY & REMEMBRANCE Day but for enjoyment and contemplation and also for the school children to learn about the meaning of the garden and the plagues therein.
    • ANZAC DAWN SERVICE, approving DIGITAL SIGNAGE would totally take away the ambiance and serious impact the solemnity of this service – and if one looks at the words ‘AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER THEM” – because a signage would illuminating and destroying this day.
    • RESIDENTIAL IMPACT – this signage would impact on all residents residing in the units/house around have its NEON LIGHTING DISLAYED day and night all year round. What is more important allowing every person the right to quiet peace and enjoyment and be allowed to sleep or a signage on a bridge?
    • DANGER TO DRIVERS AND TRAFFIC – Driver’s would be distracted by the ever changing signage not just those traversing Albert Avenue, but it would also be seen from the Pacific Highway. So taking into account the busy pedestrian crossing directly below and in front of this overpass, lives are put at risk and therefore comprises a greater SAFETY HAZARD.
    Therefore, I pose these questions to you;

    • IS NOT ANZAC DAY AND REMEBERANCE DAY TO BE OBSERVED IN SILENCE AND REVERANCE
    • YOU MUST AND IT IS YOUR DUTY TO DENY THIS APPLICATION AS IT IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH SEPP 64 AND ROAD SAFETY ASSESSMENT CRITERIA TABLE 4 OF SEPP 64 & SECTION 3 OF SEPP 64.
    • WILL THE PLANNING & ENVIRONMENT MEMBERS ACCEPT LIABILITY IF A CHILD/PERSON IS KILLED AT THE CROSSING BY A DRIVER OF A VEHICLE THAT HAS BEEN DISTRACTED BECAUSE OF THIS SIGN.
    • WILL THE PLANNING & ENVIRONMENT MEMBERS ACCEPT LIABILITY FOR THE CAR ACCIDENTS DUE TO DISTRACTION OF THE DRIVER’S “RUBBER NECKING”
    • WHAT PURPOSE OR SIGNIFIGANCE DOES A DIGITAL SIGN OVER A RAIL CORRIDOR HAVE?
    • DOES THE SIGNIFIGANCE OF THE SIGN OVERRIDE OUR HERITAGE AND BELIEFS THAT AS AUSTRALIANS WE ARE HERE BECAUSE OF OUR ANZAC’s.

    Therefore, I ask that you do no approve this DA on the above grounds.

  13. susie clayton commented

    As one of the nearby residents who would be impacted by this type of advertising, I strongly object to being forced to endure the never ending bombardment of electronic emissions even whilst I sleep. The location of these atrocious billboards will detract from the peace and tranquility that the nearby park offers to residents and visitors. People go there to practise TaiChi, meditation, yoga and lots of other outdoor activities with small children. It is totally inappropriate in a green space area. The mental health and well being of the community must be taken into consideration.There has to be some respite from this and surely there are other more appropriate commercial sites that are available for this type of use.

  14. Ron Oliveira commented

    Hi Guys
    Would appreciate if you could also object to the two 15.5m x 3.2m signs similar to the ones proposed at Albert Street that are proposed at Help Street re: DA 10622 by the railways.

    This has a closing date of 15/2/2021.
    Ron
    Building Manager Regency

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