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Where has all the traffic gone?

By 10 May 2012 17

On my drive in from God’s Country (Queanbeyan) this morning, I noticed that something I suspected had indeed come to pass: there was very little traffic on the Monaro Highway.  At 8.45am.

Several weeks ago it could take a good 15 minutes to get from Hume through to the airport, but for the last week or so the traffic has been noticeably lighter.  This morning it was a comfortable 100km/k all the way through to Fyshwick, then about 2 minutes of queueing for the bridge, then an easy 80km/h run down past the turf fields.

Anyone know what’s happened?

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17 Responses to Where has all the traffic gone?
#1
longshanks10:27 am, 10 May 12

A similar question perplexes me on a regular basis. Every morning I drive from Weston Creek to Barton via Cotter Road. It’s usually about the same time: 8.45am-ish.

There’s always a bit of a sh!tfight around at the bottom of Cotter Road, due to the roadworks around the RSPCA. But the rest of the trip is really variable. Some mornings the line of cars waiting to turn off the Parkway and up Cotter Road is several hundred metres long – other mornings there’s hardly any one. Some mornings the line of cars waiting to turn off Lady Denman Drive is really long – other mornings not. Sometimes it takes ages to get onto Adelaide Ave from the Dudley Street (after Dunrossil Drive) lights – other times, there’s no traffic at all.

There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just the naturally chaotic and unpredictable state of traffic flows, but I’m happy to be corrected on that.

#2
VicePope10:39 am, 10 May 12

Noticed something similar on a cruise around this morning. Can’t think of an obvious reason, but there may be contributions from the sudden spike in petrol prices (155.9 per litre for E10 at my local), critical mass having been attained in relation to parking availability and cost, a measure of gloom engendered by the budget and the sudden warm weather that may have caused folk to run off for a while. These tend to suggest it will be temporary.

#3
djk11:11 am, 10 May 12

NFI in relation to the OP’s question as I dont use Monaro, but I find traffic is lighter (well to be precise more spread out time-wise) on Friday mornings. Anyone else find this?

#4
Primal12:06 pm, 10 May 12

Noticed the same thing coming up from Tuggers at about 8:55. Made it all the way to the bridge works with no delays and the queue there was so small that I was able to turn off onto Canberra Avenue without missing a beat. Was there a teleworking initiative in the Budget that we all missed?

#5
Jivrashia12:14 pm, 10 May 12

djk said :

but I find traffic is lighter (well to be precise more spread out time-wise) on Friday mornings. Anyone else find this?

Yep, around 8:45am on a Friday traffic is very slim.

I always believed that it was to do with APS’s single-mindedness to get to the office early so that they can knock-off early.

#6
poetix12:22 pm, 10 May 12

Just interested as to why Queanbeyan is being referred to as ‘God’s Country’? Doesn’t god like the socialists over the border?

#7
Watson12:49 pm, 10 May 12

Maybe heaps of people chucked a sickie today because they just couldn’t bare going to work on such a glorious morning? My mood dropped from very high to pretty low when I walked into my office building…

#8
Aaroncbr12:50 pm, 10 May 12

poetix said :

Just interested as to why Queanbeyan is being referred to as ‘God’s Country’?quote]

I think it’s pretty obvious.

#9
Jivrashia12:56 pm, 10 May 12

poetix said :

Just interested as to why Queanbeyan is being referred to as ‘God’s Country’?

The same reason people with red hair are called “Bluey”?

Now… don’t look… or you will turn into salt rock…

#10
Hosinator1:06 pm, 10 May 12

djk said :

NFI in relation to the OP’s question as I dont use Monaro, but I find traffic is lighter (well to be precise more spread out time-wise) on Friday mornings. Anyone else find this?

I noticed the same thing and came to the conclusion that it’s a cobmination of rostered days off, part time workers and people just generally being more relaxed about getting to work on time on a Friday.

#11
TheDancingDjinn2:13 pm, 10 May 12

God’s country? – i don’t think god wears ugg boots as his “going out clothes”

#12
dtc2:18 pm, 10 May 12

Often its due to a traffic blockage miles from where you are. I remember one day the traffic was banked up going into Civic right across Commonwealth Bridge, all around London Circuit and so forth. The cause was the construction of the new ANU residence on Marcus Clarke St had blocked off a lane on Barry drive, and the merging was too hard for most people and slowed everything down. Which banked up Barry Drive, then Northbourne, then London Cct, then Capital Hill, then Commonwealth Avenue, into Barton etc etc.

As you will know from driving into a 60km/h zone after driving along a highway (looking at you, Braidwood), even a slight slowing down of traffic flow has a significant consequential effect and gets worse the more traffic involved. A 10 second delay at the start of traffic can lead to 5 minute delay a couple of km down the road. (this is why, by the way, if there are two areas of road works along a highway, it is actually quicker to block the entire lane for the whole distance, rather than block, allow 2 lanes, then merge into one lane again – 1 lane all the way is quicker than requiring a merger).

This article explains some of it http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071219103102.htm

#13
G-Fresh4:19 pm, 10 May 12

I use Hindmarsh into Fyshwick every day and have noticed a dramatic reduction in traffic in the last week too.

Since the roadworks commenced on the Monaro bridge over Canberra Ave, more people seemed to turn onto Hindmarsh seemingly to skip that bottleneck and take a detour through Fyshwick.

#14
NickD8:07 pm, 10 May 12

Lots of public servants take leave after the Budget is handed down (after working long hours putting the thing together).

#15
EvanJames9:51 pm, 10 May 12

We have gridlock from Qbn into Canberra every morning, so I notice when it suddenly doesn’t lock up and is actually crawling. School holidays are marvellous in this respect, do the mothers driving their kids to school really make such a difference? Mondays and Fridays are usually less awful too, especially Fridays. Around Xmas is bliss. Wednesdays are the worst, horrible.

#16
LSWCHP10:19 pm, 10 May 12

EvanJames said :

We have gridlock from Qbn into Canberra every morning, so I notice when it suddenly doesn’t lock up and is actually crawling. School holidays are marvellous in this respect, do the mothers driving their kids to school really make such a difference? Mondays and Fridays are usually less awful too, especially Fridays. Around Xmas is bliss. Wednesdays are the worst, horrible.

My theory about Wednesdays is that quite a few people work part time, like Mon-Wed or Wed-Fri. So on Wednesday everybody is going to work, which results in a traffic clusterf*ck. The GDE and Parkes Way are generally parking lots on Wednesdays so I try to travel very early or very late.

Otherwise, as dtc pointed out, it’s generally the butterfly effect, ie a small event at one point has major consequences a long way away. I recall sometime last year I think there was a walkathon which used the traffic lights on the northside of the Commonwealth avenue bridge at peak hour. This wedged the bridge, which eventually wedged everywhere else. I spent nearly an hour travelling along Parkes that day, when it usually takes me a few minutes.

Or it could be that the Reptoids have finally started their program of major abductions for food, anal probing etc. :-)

#17
thatsnotme10:47 pm, 10 May 12

It’s something I have often wondered myself. Why on one morning – say a Tuesday – traffic would crawl along William Hovell drive between Coulter Drive and Bindubi St, whereas on Wednesday it’d flow quite nicely. Mondays and Fridays I can understand – they’re the likely days when someone’s going to decide to take a long weekend – but the midweek stuff has always had me confused.

The link in dtc’s post does make a lot of sense though. God knows how many times I’ve been held up, expecting to come up to some flashing red and blue lights…only to somehow seem to cross some imaginary line where traffic goes back to normal. It’s always baffled me.

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