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What is your most dangerous stretch of road in Canberra?

By 21 April 2014 47

Hi.
I am interested in people’s thoughts about the most dangerous stretch of road/s in Canberra.  For me it is the Hindmarsh Drive section running from the hospital to the turn off to the tip on Mugga Way.

As a shift worker I drive this piece of road in complete darkness or dimly lit (depending on daylight saving)  in the early hours and late at night.  There are no street lights on this major road which liken it to a dodgem circuit in an attempt to avoid kangaroos.   It is a rare week that goes by without seeing a dead carcass on the road.

A few street lights along this stretch of Hindmarsh Drive would make it easier to see into the distance what the lay of the land is given one cannot always have high-beam on with oncoming traffic.

What is your experience of Canberra roads and what could be done to reduce the hazards?

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47 Responses to What is your most dangerous stretch of road in Canberra?
#1
basketcase11:40 am, 21 Apr 14

My wife commented on Kuringa Dr to a local member. Few months later she gets a letter from the member advising that Kuringa Dr was 237th on the list of dangerous roads and I guess by implication, not worth any work.

After that letter, like your correspondent, I wondered what were the dangerous roads.

#2
bd8412:54 pm, 21 Apr 14

Never had any problems with that stretch of road, all you need to do is take care and watch for kangaroos. Last time I used it there were plenty of cats eyes on the road to guide your travels using normal headlights, barely need high beams as you can easily tell where the road is going.

Northbourne Ave would be close to the most dangerous. High volume of traffic stopping and starting through poorly scheduled traffic lights and a large number of people running the red lights. Add in on road bus stops which hold up traffic and people take risks to weave around the stopped buses in front of other cars. Then consider the idiotic decision to put an on road cycle lane by making the other lanes thinner to the point that trucks and buses don’t fit in the lanes and leave next to no room for error for any user. Other road users are a much bigger hazard than the odd kangaroo..

#3
lostinbias1:44 pm, 21 Apr 14

bd84 said :

Northbourne Ave would be close to the most dangerous. High volume of traffic stopping and starting through poorly scheduled traffic lights and a large number of people running the red lights. Add in on road bus stops which hold up traffic and people take risks to weave around the stopped buses in front of other cars. Then consider the idiotic decision to put an on road cycle lane by making the other lanes thinner to the point that trucks and buses don’t fit in the lanes and leave next to no room for error for any user. Other road users are a much bigger hazard than the odd kangaroo..

I generally avoid riding on Northbourne, but if I have to then I’ll ride on the footpath. The combination of car, bus, and bicycle traffic doesn’t make anyone’s life easy.

I reckon that they should build cycle paths on the median strip, and enforce that as the only way for cyclists to travel along Northbourne. I don’t think a couple of cycle paths would get in the way of the Capital Metro (if it ever actually happens).

As for cars and buses vying for the outer lane, I don’t think there’s much that can be done really.

#4
thatsnotme2:54 pm, 21 Apr 14

It probably to some extent depends on how ‘dangerous’ is being measured.

If it’s measured by response to complaints, and the measures introduced following those complaints, then Spofforth St in Holt would have to be one of the most dangerous streets in Canberra. With its 13 (or 11 now?) speed cushions along its 1.4km length, it surely must be extremely dangerous.

If it’s measured by actual accidents and injuries though…well, I think someone dented a rear fender when someone was backing out of their driveway without looking and got hit once.

Having said that though, it looks like they’re getting ready to build different traffic calming on Spofforth now. If the paint on the road’s anything to go by, they’re going to give some chicanes a go. Anything, as long as they get rid of the bloody speed humps!

To actually answer the question though, of the top of my head I’d say the Tuggeranong Parkway / Parkes Way, the Canberra section of the Barton Highway, the Canberra section of the Monaro Highway, Belconnen Way / Barry Drive, to name a few. Basically any road that gets busy, and has a higher speed limit.

#5
jasmine3:03 pm, 21 Apr 14

basket case – it would indeed be interesting to see the list.

bd84 – It is not about seeing where the road is going, that is not the problem. It is the risk of kangaroos that are known to suddenly jump out at you without warning. Without any street lights there is no illumination into the offside areas. Kangaroos have no road sense.

I should add I have never had an accident on this road and drive cautiously on both the morning and afternoon shifts but I have been lucky. I have seen an accident involving another car and there was nothing the driver could do to avoid the incident. The driver was not speeding.

#6
troll-sniffer3:38 pm, 21 Apr 14

bd84 said :

. Then consider the idiotic decision to put an on road cycle lane by making the other lanes thinner to the point that trucks and buses don’t fit in the lanes and leave next to no room for error for any user. Other road users are a much bigger hazard than the odd kangaroo..

Canberra driver? Have you ever travelled interstate? Northbourne Ave lanes, even with the 30cm per lane taken out for the bicycle lane, are comparatively wide, especially by Sydney standards.

have you considered handing your licence in due to incompetence/inability?

#7
jasmine3:56 pm, 21 Apr 14

I was really just interested in people’s thoughts and did not think such an inocuous subject would bring out the competitive spirit. I am sure there is more than one dangerous, accident prone, risky stretch of road in Canberra that are worth a mention, no matter the reason.

Maybe someone from the ACT government might take note (well we can hope).

#8
bundah4:46 pm, 21 Apr 14

Over the years Hindmarsh Drive has been a shocker with numerous deaths and injuries occurring from Chapman to Fyshwick. It is particularly dangerous when attempting to turn right from Yallourn St into little Canberra Ave due to one’s vision being impeded by parked cars and unsighted speedsters.

Parkes Way and Kings Ave was probably the most dangerous intersection until recently but I gotta say Wentworth Ave gets my vote for the most annoying stretch to negotiate. There are weeds/grass growing between the cracks…

#9
Mr Evil7:21 pm, 21 Apr 14

Potentially the road from home to my work – but only because I get yelled at by my boss if I’m late to work….

#10
cranky7:51 pm, 21 Apr 14

To the best of my knowledge, Hindmarsh between Yamba and Jerrabomberra Ave have a road death toll of 4 (or 5) over the past 15 years or so. 2 accidents, one being three school students losing control at high speed, and another, curious, truck running over a car at the Mugga Lane lights having ‘lost’ his brakes coming down Hindmarsh, killing an innocent lady (and maybe her passenger).

However, I firmly believe that the average speed cameras have increased the number of accidents over the designated distance. A combination of kangaroos and drivers studying their speedos resulted in both my own vehicle and the one hitting me at 80k being written off.

I am awaiting with interest the promised audit of the radar/speed/average speed camera rollout.

#11
VYBerlinaV8_is_back7:55 pm, 21 Apr 14

Hindmarsh drive dangerous? Some people need to get out of Canberra more. It’s wide and multi-laned, well maintained and subject to relatively low speed limits. Try driving to the coast at night by way of comparison.

If you don’t feel you can do 80km’s over the hill at night, then slow down a bit. Driving below the limit is fine, just stick to the left hand lane.

#12
Innovation8:15 pm, 21 Apr 14

basketcase said :

My wife commented on Kuringa Dr to a local member. Few months later she gets a letter from the member advising that Kuringa Dr was 237th on the list of dangerous roads and I guess by implication, not worth any work.

After that letter, like your correspondent, I wondered what were the dangerous roads.

How about another thread as to what priority road improvements have been given by the ACT Government? It seems that the ACT Government don’t/won’t publicise their priority list(s) but seem to tell complainants where their request is “in the queue”. Perhaps RA could keep a running list as to what is the current known priority?

#13
VYBerlinaV8_is_back8:27 pm, 21 Apr 14

Innovation said :

basketcase said :

My wife commented on Kuringa Dr to a local member. Few months later she gets a letter from the member advising that Kuringa Dr was 237th on the list of dangerous roads and I guess by implication, not worth any work.

After that letter, like your correspondent, I wondered what were the dangerous roads.

How about another thread as to what priority road improvements have been given by the ACT Government? It seems that the ACT Government don’t/won’t publicise their priority list(s) but seem to tell complainants where their request is “in the queue”. Perhaps RA could keep a running list as to what is the current known priority?

Top idea. Please implement!

#14
Sandman10:50 pm, 21 Apr 14

Innovation said :

How about another thread as to what priority road improvements have been given by the ACT Government? It seems that the ACT Government don’t/won’t publicise their priority list(s) but seem to tell complainants where their request is “in the queue”. Perhaps RA could keep a running list as to what is the current known priority?

What would a publicly accessible priority list realistically achieve? Everyone’s going to be more vocal about their own road. The government will then need to enlist more resources into explaining reasoning rather than concentrating on just fixing the roads. Your average Joe Public isn’t a trained roads assessor. Let’s not give him the chance to pretend that he is.

#15
familydude7211:56 pm, 21 Apr 14

Kingsford smith dr and the corner of Spalding st. The sign on the side of the road says that 9 people have been killed there since 1979. I have even seen a ute plough into this sign! Ironically, the recent changes to the lane marking as part of the federally funded ‘black spot’ program has made this stretch even more dangerous. As you approach the crest of the hill, the 2 lanes suddenly become 1 – this doesn’t bode well for anyone who has to slow down significantly in order to turn into Spalding st, as the cars behind you are still travelling at 70-80km/h.

#16
Bosworth9:39 am, 22 Apr 14

cycling along northbourne = the valley of death

#17
sepi10:32 am, 22 Apr 14

The Barton hwy roundabout to Gungahlin.

#18
Genie12:05 pm, 22 Apr 14

Being a Northsider (Gungahlin mostly) – the following roads are at the top of my list

1. Gundaroo Drive/Barton Hwy Roundabout
2. Gundaroo Drive between Gungahlin Drive and Mirrabei Drive
3. Horse Park Drive badly needs to be a dual lane. There are no turning spots for cars into Forde and Amaroo causing massive traffic delays in peak hour
4. Hibberson Street

Starke St and Southern Cross Drive on the Magreggor end used to be my biggest nightmare – but it seems to be a hell of alot better now that Florey Drive has lights and there is a second land for cars turning out of Starke St.

#19
Monomyth1:34 pm, 22 Apr 14

My problem with Hindmarsh is the average speed cameras. Instead of motorists slowing down to 60 when they pass a speed camera place at one interval, they now slow down to 60 when they pass by each of the three.

I live at the end of Yamba and work right near QBYN, and I do this trip every day. I find the biggest problem is headign toward Yamba Dr, at the turn-off to the hospital. rising that hill everying drops to 60, and then some people slow down even more to get in to the turning lane.

#20
Innovation1:48 pm, 22 Apr 14

Sandman said :

Innovation said :

How about another thread as to what priority road improvements have been given by the ACT Government? It seems that the ACT Government don’t/won’t publicise their priority list(s) but seem to tell complainants where their request is “in the queue”. Perhaps RA could keep a running list as to what is the current known priority?

What would a publicly accessible priority list realistically achieve? Everyone’s going to be more vocal about their own road. The government will then need to enlist more resources into explaining reasoning rather than concentrating on just fixing the roads. Your average Joe Public isn’t a trained roads assessor. Let’s not give him the chance to pretend that he is.

As an example, I challenge anyone to argue that Spofforth Street in Holt or McCullogh Street in Curtin, although probably deserving of some traffic control at some stage, ever should have been number one on the list for the degree of infrastructure installed on those streets.

#21
Felix the Cat2:17 pm, 22 Apr 14

I don’t understand why Kuringa Dr is deemed to be so dangerous? I’m no Mark Webber but I have driven it in both directions hundreds of times in all manner of weather conditions and different vehicles and never once come close to having a collision. People need to pay attention when driving and not txt their friends or check Facebook and drive at or below the speed limit and make sure their car is in roadworthy condition. Pretty basic really.

#22
Eloise4:17 pm, 22 Apr 14

I have found Kuringa Drive dangerous because of immature drivers speeding ahead and behind. A curving piece of road appears to induce a temporary fugue during which the driver believes they are at Eastern Creek. Bring on the speed camera.

#23
bigred6:06 pm, 22 Apr 14

All Canberra roads are ok, until the LCD factor sets in. LCD = lousy Canberra driver.

#24
Brianna8:36 pm, 22 Apr 14

YES! Being a Gunners person, I have to agree with this. Especially Gundaroo Drive between Gungahlin Drive and Mirrabei Drive. Whose idiotic idea was is to have a dog leg AND a form one lane just past a traffic light in an 80-kph zone?

Genie said :

Being a Northsider (Gungahlin mostly) – the following roads are at the top of my list

1. Gundaroo Drive/Barton Hwy Roundabout
2. Gundaroo Drive between Gungahlin Drive and Mirrabei Drive
3. Horse Park Drive badly needs to be a dual lane. There are no turning spots for cars into Forde and Amaroo causing massive traffic delays in peak hour
4. Hibberson Street

Starke St and Southern Cross Drive on the Magreggor end used to be my biggest nightmare – but it seems to be a hell of alot better now that Florey Drive has lights and there is a second land for cars turning out of Starke St.

#25
Walker8:38 pm, 22 Apr 14

sepi said :

The Barton hwy roundabout to Gungahlin.

It’s all a bit fast and some of the markings feel like they’re missing, if that’s still the case (haven’t been there for a long time).

#26
KB19717:49 am, 23 Apr 14

bigred said :

All Canberra roads are ok, until the LCD factor sets in. LCD = lousy Canberra driver.

This. Most of the issues people are talking about here are not actually road related they are people or some other externally related force.

There are no really dangerous roads in the Canberra CBD. If I had to hazard a guess at a dangerous road it would be the Bobyan Road, uneven surface, off camber and tightening radius corners and then the dirt. It can be quite tricky to drive, especially at the speeds Canberrans drive it. Perfectly safe (well relatively as driving a car is an inherently dangerous past time in itself) if driven to the conditions, as will pretty well all roads in the area.

#27
Weatherman8:14 am, 23 Apr 14

The black spot area in Lyneham is quite bad, on the corner of Macarthur Ave and Northborne Ave. The merge near the netball courts on Northbourne Ave. It is a thoroughfare so people from out of state may not have seen Form One Lane before.

#28
Weatherman8:19 am, 23 Apr 14

The intersection on Coronation Drive near Queen Victoria Terrace in front of the British High Commission and Croquet Club should be marked as a black spot area. It is frequented by a lot of tourists who don’t know how to give way to straight oncoming traffic. It is bound to end in an accident one of these days.

#29
Weatherman8:26 am, 23 Apr 14

The intersection of Francis Forde Boulevard and Horse Park Drive. It was designed for half the amount of traffic flow it has these days.

#30
Postalgeek10:30 am, 23 Apr 14

Intersection of Lefroy St and Canberra Ave. Drivers turning onto Canberra Ave from Eyre St constantly turn across drivers going straight from Lefroy to Eyre St.

Don’t know whether it is dangerous or simply an opportunity for some Canberra drivers to demonstrate their ignorance of basic road rules.

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