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Monaro Highway bumper to bumper

By 3 May 2014 6

Yesterday, I had an appointment in Jerrabomberra at 4pm. Travelling from Kambah, I allowed half an hour, which is plenty of time. Unfortunately, when I reached the roundabout, just before the lights at Mugga Lane and Monaro Highway, there was a policeman redirecting us to go back the way we had come. Thankfully my appointment could be delayed to allow enough time for me to still get there. I took Mugga Lane to Hindmarsh, etc.

On coming back to the Monaro Highway, on Lanyon Drive, 45 minutes later, I saw the traffic was at a standstill heading south, so decided to take the Hindmarsh Drive route. The traffic was backed up all the way back to Hindmarsh Drive–and further to Newcastle Street, Fyshwick (so Mix 106.3 announced)!

Firstly, that was one heck of a traffic jam. Does anyone know what caused it?

Secondly, how often does the Monaro Highway get backed up like that? There must be a lot of people late for picking up children and other appointments. Not to mention the frustration and angst.

Thirdly, why can I not find anything out online about this incident, that occurred yesterday? I was sure there would be something online illuminating the facts.

Lastly, does anyone know when/if the Monaro Highway is planned to be widened to have three lanes in both directions? If I had to travel that road every day, I’d be very cheesed off. There are not enough options for heading to the Tuggeranong Valley to reduce the level of impact that sort of delay has for commuters.

Thanks

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6 Responses to Monaro Highway bumper to bumper
#1
Arkanite9:51 am, 03 May 14

ACTPol_Traffic on twitter posts about these kind of traffic incidents.

#2
milkman12:37 pm, 03 May 14

Thursday evening the Monaro was a parking lot. Literally.

#3
KB19714:13 pm, 03 May 14

The Monro Hwy is generally free flowing even at peak times with the excption of the Isaballa Dve merge in the morning (because of the traffic lights at Mugga lane) and the gaol/Tharwa Dve lights in the afternoon. Stupidest thing they ever did putting the exit to the gaol there, they should have put it at the end of Shepherd st.

But yes, when there is an incident, you get stuck.

The amount of traffic will never get it to 3 lanes, it doesn’t carry enough traffic and other than for 2 hours a day does the job.

#4
agent_clone5:15 pm, 03 May 14

In the late afternoon heading towards Tuggeranong I can’t comment on past Lanyon Drive but, my observations are that between around 5:20 and 5:40 the traffic can build up to about the Hindmarsh Drive off/on point (i..e just past the 100km sign) with reasonable frequency. However the traffic is generally not at a standstill (i.e. parking lot) it is usually just going very slowly at around 20-40km/h unless the traffic lights at the Gaol or Lanyon Drive turn red and you are close to the lights. I haven’t seen it build up to Newcastle Street.
If you aim to get near the Gaol traffic lights around 5:15 or after 5:50 at this point time it is generally fine.

#5
gildrsleeve7:13 pm, 03 May 14

I don’t know about yesterday (Friday, 2 May), but on Thursday (1 May), at about 3:30pm, I got stuck in traffic southbound on the Monaro Hwy, trying to turn westward onto Mugga Lane. Traffic was worse in the northbound lanes, though, because there was a very bad collision right at the intersection. I saw 5 vehicles either damaged or pulled over, but I’m assuming that two or three of those were for either witnesses or the first responders’ own vehicles.

Just north of the lights was a small dark sedan in the left traffic lane, with its front end thoroughly crushed and still steaming. Right in front of the light, also in the left lane (more or less), was a ute or small truck (I’m not sure — was too busy not hitting the cops & fieries in the road to look at it), lying squarely on its left side, no wheels on the ground.

There were officers at the scene already; I got up to the intersection just as a fire truck arrived. There may have been an ambulance there already, but another one drove down Mugga to the intersection just as I was waved through onto Mugga Lane. There was a young-looking woman being tended to, sitting at the side of the road.

The right lane northbound was more or less clear; and the ute or truck was just barely clear of the west-bound lane of Mugga Lane, so police were directing drivers through both, just to keep traffic moving. Anyone coming eastbound down Mugga Lane would have to have been re-directed. Still it was pretty amazing watching just how fast the traffic jam on the Monaro built, in both directions. And it wasn’t even rush hour!

WIN News on Thursday had no coverage of this, nor did the ABC, apparently. There were no newspeople noticeable on the scene when I was there; I thought maybe it happened too late in the day to get into the evening news, so I recorded both local news shows for yesterday (Friday), but neither seems to have covered the accident at all. At least that probably means there were no fatalities. I hope, anyway.

I agree with KB1971, btw — these incidents just don’t happen often enough (thank the gods!) to justify widening the Monaro. And Canberra’s going to have to grow a lot bigger before the base traffic load gets that heavy. Two incidents in two days are suggestively annoying, though.

And of course we have Tralee to look forward to . . .

#6
gazket12:06 pm, 04 May 14

At least you have 4 lanes on the Monaro try William Hovell Dr leaving Belconnen to the city in the morning there are 3 merge spots and most want to be the ignorant prick in front so everything comes to a standstill while they fight over it.

How hard is it to leave a gap so people can merge and keep traffic flowing instead of stopping the whole show.

One section of the Monaro does have 3 lanes it’s just that people can’t merge for the same boneheaded reasons as above and makes the trip longer.

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