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Belconnen Town Centre – traffic flow issues

By 2 February 2010 21

We have had so many traffic lights installed into Belconnen that they may actually be visible from space.

It has become a slow painful journey getting to any part of Belconnen Town centre. Nothing seems to be phased to bias traffic to go in any one particular direction.

Would we be better off changing many of the streets to one way streets? This would simplify traffic light phasing and allow room for more bus and bike lanes. Traffic should flow more freely.

Also with the start of construction of the new suburbs in the Molonglo, a new 4 way intersection will be installed at the Bindubi Street/William Hovell Drive intersection as well as the Coulter Drive/William Hovell Drive intersection. How will this affect peak hour traffic heading east in the morning and west through the Glenloch in the evening. Should these intersections have flyovers for William Hovell Drive ?

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21 Responses to
Belconnen Town Centre – traffic flow issues
p1 6:43 pm
02 Feb 10
#1

Should these intersections have flyovers for William Hovell Drive ?

Yes.

Morgan 7:13 pm
02 Feb 10
#2

No traffic lights in this town have been well thought out. BMW estimates urban fuel consumption could be improved by 40% if cities had co-ordinated traffic signals.

I’d like to know who had the bright idea to put traffic lights outside the ABC studio? What assessment of this very quiet intersection determined it needed lights. Now it just causes traffic to bank up on Limestone Ave, well done TAMS

Felix the Cat 7:51 pm
02 Feb 10
#3

Felix the Cat said :

Also with the start of construction of the new suburbs in the Molonglo, a new 4 way intersection will be installed at the Bindubi Street/William Hovell Drive intersection as well as the Coulter Drive/William Hovell Drive intersection. How will this affect peak hour traffic heading east in the morning and west through the Glenloch in the evening. Should these intersections have flyovers for William Hovell Drive ?

Definitely should have flyovers not traffic lights or roundabouts. This is one of the smoothest flowing roads in Canberra, please ACT Govt do not stuff it up.

Which streets are you proposing to change to one-way? It seems they are major roads that have the traffic lights, I think your plan might slow traffic down even more.

Special G 8:31 pm
02 Feb 10
#4

Get a bike and some lycra and then traffic rules don’t apply to you.

SolarPowered 8:33 pm
02 Feb 10
#5

Couldn’t agree more – Belconnen is a mess. I especially hate driving along Benjamin Way with all of those silly turn offs into Westfields, coupled with the pedestrian crossings where people do not look before stepping out.

trevar 9:28 pm
02 Feb 10
#6

What are you talking about? The lights are perfectly coordinated. Every time you get through one set, you come to another red one. Someone has spent a lot of time ensuring that happens for all travellers, day and night, every day of the week. Quite an achievement.

Tuggeranong has precisely the same problem, perhaps with fewer intersections. Some bright spark a decade ago must have decided that Canberra had too many roundabouts and they had to be replaced with traffic lights to combat our reputation for being a city of roundabouts…

JC 10:16 pm
02 Feb 10
#7

There are two entrances to the mall off Benjamin Way and they are quite sensible, one of the good things about Belconnen.

Gotta agree all the changes have made the joint a mess, they should have just left well alone, or raised the level of the bus only road to enter the new stop at the mall.

As for William Hovell and new roads, don’t think the Coulter Drive intersection will cause too many drama’s if it is at level. I mean to say it is already more or less a 4 way intersection, so the re-allignment of Coppings Crossing road will benifit. All they need to do is get rid of the silly 1 lane, 2 lane, 1 lane, 2 lane, 1 lane arrangement either side of the intersection.

With Bindubi it will have a greater effect, because at present traffic heading west along William Hovell doesn’t get stoped all that much. Heading east it gets stopped a fair bit, but shouldn’t be any worse than it is already.

Seriously doubt they will put in fly-overs. Just look at some of the other road projects latley. There are some roads that you would think were quite major where they have wacked in at grade intersections recently. The Barton Highway and Gininderra Drive two perfect examples.

damien haas 10:26 pm
02 Feb 10
#8

Call Tony Gill at ACT Road Services. This is an issue the Belconnen Community Council have an interest as well.

I note that the busway and interchange has been closed for some time, yet the traffic lights at that intersection still work through a cycle as if the buses were coming and going.

damien haas 10:31 pm
02 Feb 10
#9

special G – I visited a friend in hospital tonight. Traffic laws may not apply to cyclists but the laws of physics certainly do. He is a mess, and having surgery in the morning. he landed face first and they had to dig the shattered ipod speakers from his ears among other immediate work when the ambulance carted him in. the lycra had no special protective qualities based on the number of cuts and bruises on him, and the broken clavicle. lucky he was wearing a helmet.

apparently the expensive bike is ok though, but the surgery and recovery are going to put a severe crimp in his summer training program…

caf 12:48 am
03 Feb 10
#10

Should these intersections have flyovers for William Hovell Drive ?

Depends on the estimated traffic volumes. But as long as we’re just guessing wildly, probably not necessary for a good 15 or 20 years I’d say.

Morgan: You’ve obviously never tried to turn out of Lowanna St. That intersection was a notorious blackspot, due to very poor visibility from the side streets along with people barrelling along Wakefield at speed.

coupled with the pedestrian crossings where people do not look before stepping out.

So what – you were going to stop for them anyway, right? Right? Bueller?

SolarPowered 9:02 am
03 Feb 10
#11

caf said…”So what – you were going to stop for them anyway, right?”

Always. It’s not me I’m concerned about, it’s the other morons on the road who drive through there like it is a speedway. Sheesh.

Personally, I always look before stepping out on to a pedestrian crossing. You don’t?

piperdoon 9:07 am
03 Feb 10
#12

damien haas said :

special …. they had to dig the shattered ipod speakers from his ears among other immediate work …

moron – the number of cyclists runners and walkers I with ipod headphones while blythely negotiating the busy street/path etc – sorry to hear of his “accident”, sorry, “taffic collison”, but if he was wearing headphones there’s a large contributory factor at play.

caf 10:46 am
03 Feb 10
#13

SolarPowered: Sure I do – but when driving, I don’t get angry at those who don’t. Not looking before stepping out on a non-crossing, on the other hand…

troll-sniffer 11:31 am
03 Feb 10
#14

Agreed piperdoon.

Cycling is sooo much more than whacking on a helmet and lycra and taking your ‘rightful’ place on the road. I reckon about 40% of my situational and traffic awareness is through what i’m hearing. Putting any sort of confusing noise in there is downright dangerous.

Another safety aspect I insist on when riding in any sort of traffic is my rearview mirror. They are compulsory on cars for a reason, and the same reason translates to bikes, perhaps not as strongly though. The difference in control between glancing at the mirror or turning the head and torso around to accomplish the same task is like chalk and cheese. And just occasionally, if I see for instance a truck coming up behind who will be squeezed for room due to traffic or road conditions, I’ll actively get off the road for the couple of seconds it takes for the situation to pass. The truck drivers generally appreciate the gesture as well.

Finally, no cyclist can do much about being taken out from behind, even a mirror won’t help because by the time the image shows the danger it’s too late, however, for any vehicle to the side or in front, almost all potential accidents can be avoided by the simple act of establishing eye contact with the motorist. I often skirt around behind a car or change a lane if I haven’t been able to establish that the driver has seen me, (sometimes just because they’re wearing sunnies), and at least a couple of times a year I would have probably been cleaned up if I had asserted my ‘right of way’.

prhhcd 1:37 pm
03 Feb 10
#15

belconnen Town Centre – absolute nightmare right now. I go from Chan st via lathlain out to SC drive -5 traffic lights. Has lengthened trip etc. Nightmare. Who designed this?? Seriously. Lets Tar and Feather that person (or committee as the case may be).

SolarPowered 3:04 pm
03 Feb 10
#16

caf said :

SolarPowered: Sure I do – but when driving, I don’t get angry at those who don’t. Not looking before stepping out on a non-crossing, on the other hand…

I’m angry at the people who drive through there without due care ie taking into account two crossings very close together where there are a lot of people around. I’ve seen a couple of near misses. I always drive through there at about 30 or 40 so I can keep my eyes peeled. Really, the whole place should have been designed better. Like I said, Belconnen is a mess.

I also teach my kids to stop and look before stepping on to a pedestrian crossing. Too many careless drivers out there.

prhhcd…I think they use Sim City 2 for their traffic models

tidalik 7:09 pm
03 Feb 10
#17

Wow, Belconnen planning, a topic close to my heart. I hate Benjamin Way and I agree that the traffic changes have made it worse.

With the walkbridge from the old interchange now closed there are heaps of people walking around, and it is actually getting quite a nice busy ‘town’ feel at lunchtimes. Unbelievable I know. Unfortunately, the planners don’t seem to have realised this yet. They need to devote more space to pedestrians and cyclists, and they urgently need to redesign traffic lights to actually give people a turn to cross. Also, unfortunately, people still speed through there in their cars because it is a wide, straight road and I guess it makes them feel really skilled to go fast in a straight line.

Just to comment on something said a little earlier, just this morning I saw a ute run a red light on Benjamin Way and nearly clean up a cyclist. It was only the cyclist’s quick manouevring that prevented him from being squashed. So perhaps the ute driver thought the traffic rules didn’t apply to him either because he was wearing lycra while driving his car and had a bicycle in the back?? [sticks tongue out]

Sorry to hear about your friend, Damien.

youami 12:44 pm
04 Feb 10
#18

Not to mention the use of red light arrows (filter turns) on roads that once had no lights at all. C’mon, are we such a nanny state that we need to be told when to turn right? No longer a city of roundabouts but a city of red arrows! And the TAMS website indicating that the lights are installed against an Australian Standard! Crap! No Australian Standard says that all lights must have red arrows to filter turns. Aaargh!

Hey, what if I wear lycra whilst driving, can I then ignore the red arrows?

prhhcd 12:51 pm
04 Feb 10
#19

Solarpowered: Spot on!

Grail 1:07 pm
04 Feb 10
#20

troll-sniffer – I’ve been riding for years without rear view mirrors, and with music on. Having pass-through ear buds doesn’t detract from your ability to hear cars around you. Having rear view mirrors is just another reason for vandals to attack your bike (even while you’re riding it).

As for Belconnen’s roads, one option is to avoid buying stuff from the major chains and do your grocery shopping closer to home. Ride to the local shops, buy the groceries, ride back. You pay more for the goods, but you save on petrol and gym membership!

SolarPowered 1:31 pm
04 Feb 10
#21

Grail…I applaud the sentiment, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. I do a weekly shop for a family of 4 – can’t imagine lugging that around on my bike :) But I agree – I avoid Westfields as much as possible.

However, we live in the Gungahlin area, so Belconnen is the closest place to find retail outlets. Belconnen will just get busier as more suburbs are built in Gungahlin and the new residents have nowhere to shop locally (besides groceries).

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