The Tacked on Look: ACT Road modifications.

By 18 January, 2013 42

It doesn’t take much looking to find “exciting” roadworks anywhere in Canberra. What I can’t help but notice is that when these works are finished, they all look tacked on and cheap. Then there is quality of build which is usually average to poor.

Cases in point are the new merge lane from Parkes Way to Commonwealth Ave. Rough to drive on, sketchy geometry and still a pile of dirt left nearby. What about the Kings Ave overpass of Parkes Way? Strange twists and turns on almost every approach, and traffic lights with a suburb’s worth of space between them.

Don’t mention the GDE, its intial construction, the duplication, and the astounding exit path for Aranda. Seriously, who approved that? And why?

There are many more examples. I need convincing that doing the job right the first time would cost so much more, that I should be satisfied with the existing result. Am I too fussy, or is this what we have to look forward to in the future?

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42 Responses to The Tacked on Look: ACT Road modifications.
#31
JessP2:18 pm, 21 Jan 13

I have to say that on driving along Alinga street on the weekend, turning right onto Marcus Carke, I was surprised to see new traffic lights going on the extension of Rudd Street, only a couple of hundreed metres from the Marcus Clarke/Barry Drive intersection and then new traffic lights going onto the Kingsley Street intersection.

Thats got to make for a fun drive home at peak hour if they are not syncronised (or if you are out of sync!)

#32
dpm2:47 pm, 21 Jan 13

JessP said :

I have to say that on driving along Alinga street on the weekend, turning right onto Marcus Carke, I was surprised to see new traffic lights going on the extension of Rudd Street, only a couple of hundreed metres from the Marcus Clarke/Barry Drive intersection and then new traffic lights going onto the Kingsley Street intersection.

Thats got to make for a fun drive home at peak hour if they are not syncronised (or if you are out of sync!)

I saw some plans recently (I think they were the Barry drive reno plans up on ACTPLA?) that showed all buses to/from Civic to Belco were going to use the Childers/Rimmer/Kingsleys streets through that corner of ANU to get between Marcus Clarke and Barry Drive. I’m guessing these new lights are part of that plan….?

#33
dpm2:51 pm, 21 Jan 13

dpm said :

I saw some plans recently (I think they were the Barry drive reno plans up on ACTPLA?) that showed all buses to/from Civic to Belco were going to use the Childers/Rimmer/Kingsleys streets through that corner of ANU to get between Marcus Clarke and Barry Drive. I’m guessing these new lights are part of that plan….?

Here it is:
http://www.transport.act.gov.au/Belconnen%20to%20City%20Transitway%20-%20City%20Sector.pdf

#34
devils_advocate3:26 pm, 21 Jan 13

The removal of the ‘give way’ and the insertion of the merge lane on the corkscrew up from parkes way onto commonwealth avenue has made a huge improvement in traffic flows in the mornings.

Also, travelling away from the city, the on-ramp from parkes way onto the GDE (heading towards gungahlin) is just heaps and heaps of fun.

#35
RadioVK9:07 am, 22 Jan 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Deckard said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

peeps

I think you’ve overused that word to death. Please stop.

Explain?

This isn’t the ghetto, you’re not gangsta.

#36
dpm9:50 am, 14 Feb 13

dpm said :

dpm said :

I saw some plans recently (I think they were the Barry drive reno plans up on ACTPLA?) that showed all buses to/from Civic to Belco were going to use the Childers/Rimmer/Kingsleys streets through that corner of ANU to get between Marcus Clarke and Barry Drive. I’m guessing these new lights are part of that plan….?

Here it is:
http://www.transport.act.gov.au/Belconnen%20to%20City%20Transitway%20-%20City%20Sector.pdf

This bit is going to be open/used from 16/2/13: “New ANU bus stop opens 16 February 2013

A new ANU bus stop opens 16 February 2013 on the corner of Rimmer and Childers Streets. ACTION bus routes 6, 8, 10, 300 series, 703, 704, 710 and on weekends 900, 937 and 942 in and outbound will now reroute to access this stop through Rudd Street, Rimmer Street and Kingsley Drive and Barry Drive from this date. View a map of the changes.”

See (as at 14/2/13):
https://www.action.act.gov.au/

#37
Jere134:40 pm, 22 Apr 13

The roads are going from bad to worse in the ACT. I mean, the ACT seems to be relatively proactive about doing something to fix the roads, the only problem is that due to the poor quality of the spray seal used, in many cases they take a relatively smooth road and cover it in very rough aggeregate. Asphalt it seems in the ACT is as rare as hens teeth and while the Gov’t is saving money with limiting asphalt use, we are all paying with chips in our windscreens and paintwork, ugly gravel looking roads not to mention how noisy spray seal is to drive on.

The good news is that the Australian Automobile Association has a petition to lobby the government for better quality roads. Just search demandbetterroads in google.

#38
cranky8:25 pm, 22 Apr 13

Devil’s advocate here.

I take my hat off to the contractor who built Lanyon Drive from the Monaro Highway to the Jerra roundabout. The smoothest bit of road in the ACT.

Suspect the same contractor was involved with the Monaro Highway duplication through Fyshwick. Maybe not quite as smooth, but a lovely bit of road.

ACT Roads should not lose this mobs phone number.

#39
tim_c9:05 am, 23 Apr 13

JC said :

So have any of you bothered to provide feedback using the fix my street page on Canberra connect?

Yes, I’ve had mixed success with it. A lot of the contractors seem navigationally challenged and are unable to locate the problems despite a very clear description of exactly where the issue is (and pinning it on the Google map). There is also a feature for uploading photos but half the time you get a phonecall seeking clarification and when you refer to the photo you attached, they say “What photo? There’s no photo attached.”

If it’s something simple to fix, it will usually get some attention, but usually not on the first report (though you’ll always get some automatic acknowledgement saying something like “a work order has been raised”). I’ve reported some odd linemarkings (or lack of) a couple of years ago and the last time I drove past each of the places, nothing had been done – I think they went into the too hard basket.

The first was the complete lack of lane markings on the eastbound approach to the roundabout at the intersection of Parkes Way and Coranderrk Street – one moment all the traffic is in lanes, the next thing you’re just in an unguided expanse of plain bitumen – quite scary considering how many people drive into and through roundabouts even when they have marked lanes!

The second is Botany Street, Phillip (heading east from the roundabout, towards Hindmarsh Dr) where there are two lanes after the roundabout, then these become one lane without any warning or signage, but a distinctly separate right-turn lane starts from the right – why not just have two lanes continuing as two lanes?

On the other hand, last week I reported a pedestrian signal button wasn’t working and I had notification the same day reporting that it had been fixed (though I haven’t bothered going back to confirm).

#40
tim_c9:29 am, 23 Apr 13

devils_advocate said :

The removal of the ‘give way’ and the insertion of the merge lane on the corkscrew up from parkes way onto commonwealth avenue has made a huge improvement in traffic flows in the mornings…

I’ve never been through there during peak times, but I must say I was very impressed with that change. Often the implemented changes add confusion and have the intent of disrupting traffic flow (probably from an idea that stationary drivers can’t/won’t crash), but that one is an anomaly which is quite straight-forward and seems to have made it easier (and therefore safer) for traffic from either road (ie. you don’t have to look over your right shoulder and be ready to stop for approaching traffic while negotiating the corkscrew (which is shared with a bike lane) – you now only need a ‘merge-sized’ gap), it’s also good to hear it improves traffic flows. All I can say is: It must have been planned/approved by the new guy! ;-)

#41
Felix the Cat12:07 pm, 23 Apr 13

The merging lane as you turn left out of Kingsley St onto Barry Dr (near ANU Exchange) is an accident waiting to happen I reckon. It becomes a bus lane so you need to merge right straight away.

Going the other way into Civic on Barry Dr the buses turn right from the far left lane to go into Kingsley St and this seems to work surprisingly well.

#42
Aeek1:50 pm, 23 Apr 13

Felix the Cat said :

The merging lane as you turn left out of Kingsley St onto Barry Dr (near ANU Exchange) is an accident waiting to happen I reckon. It becomes a bus lane so you need to merge right straight away.

You have 100m to do it. Its in the Road Rules.
“158 Exceptions to driving in special purpose lanes etc
(1) The driver of any vehicle may drive for up to the permitted distance in a bicycle lane, bus lane, tram lane, transit lane or truck lane if it is necessary for the driver to drive in the lane:
(a) to enter or leave the road;

Note 1 Permitted distance is defined in subrule (4).

(4) In this rule: permitted distance means:
(a) for a bicycle lane or tram lane 50 metres; or
(b) for any other lane 100 metres. “

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