Sands 27 January 2008 43

The other day I was driving from Tuggeranong to Belconnen which I haven’t done for some time as there have been those road works going for what seems an eternity. I was driving northbound on the Parkway, then turned right into Caswell Drive and kept going straight. This road turns into a double lane BUT the lane on the right has been temporarily turned into a lane for traffic coming in the opposite direction (while they work on the southbound road). There was a trailer in front of me so I went to overtake in the right lane – only to find myself facing a four wheel drive coming the other way. Luckily it was far away enough and there was space for me to pull back in, but there were no overt signs that I could see to warn me that it was a two way (except for another 100 metres down the road – which would have been too late!).

I had to go there again today and had a passenger with me this time. While I was driving I explained what happened the other day and they said they would have felt comfortable doing exactly what I did. So anyway, potentially dangerous so please take care on that road.

And for all the instantly negative rioters out there who are going to say “why didn’t you read the signs”, or “you should have been more careful” or “why were you overtaking” etc… I consider myself to be a very cautious driver and nothing I was doing was out of the ordinary. I wasn’t speeding, I wasn’t talking on the phone, I was aware of all signs etc.

The reason I am posting this is because I am shocked at how easily someone could have a head on collision on this particular stretch of road and wanted to bring it to drivers attention.

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43 Responses to BE VERY CAREFUL
el ......VNBerlinaV8 el ......VNBerlinaV8 2:09 pm 03 Feb 08

Oh, OK. That was before I remembered and followed up about the rather LARGE electronic billboard with ‘Two Way’ quite clearly displayed on it…

Fluges Fluges 7:16 pm 02 Feb 08

There’s some bloke in Urban Services who’s gone crazy all around Canberra with a tin of paint. There are bloody confusing road markings all over town.

And, I have to say, I was towing my boat down Northbourne Ave this afternoon and geez it’s hard to stay in a lane. The trailer’s pretty wide, but regulation width. Keeping both wheels within the lane requires a lot of concentration, they only just fit. I reckon the lanes must be the absolute minimum width for a road lane.

It’s because the bloke with the paint tin has painted a line on the road that’s supposed to protect cyclists from getting hit. Trailers sway, it would be really easy to clean up one of those recumbant cyclists by accident.

Sands Sands 10:17 am 02 Feb 08

You were telling me to pay more attention to the signs, but admitted you didn’t even know where they were! 🙂 I loved it.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 el ......VNBerlinaV8 3:57 am 02 Feb 08

Trouble comprehending it, mate? 🙂

Sands Sands 11:44 pm 01 Feb 08

Couldn’t agree more MelonHead. And it makes a lot more sense than “To be honest I don’t even know where the signs are. It just seems patently f*cking obvious that it’s a two-way road anyway.”

?!! I mean really.

MelonHead MelonHead 11:36 pm 01 Feb 08

“There is no reason beyond ridiculous cost-cutting.”

I thought about this and decided it was somewhere between cost cutting and deterring the rat run through Aranda. Think about it. You are whizzing up Caswell towards Belconnen/West Belconnen. You have a choice of the lights at Belconnen Way, then Hayden Drive, then Bindubi St OR that really nice exit ramp (that doesn’t exist) into Aranda and vroom along Bandjalong into Redfern, a screechy past Wests and hey presto you’re back on Belconnen Way past the lights at Bunnings.

The good residents of Aranda would not be impressed. Hence no exit ramp.

You know it makes sense.

howdy howdy 11:59 am 30 Jan 08

I missed the new Aranda turn off the other day, cause the part of Gungahlin Drive I turned onto (coming from civic) used to be a dodgy and very deceptive looking two way thing. Suddenly it was a one way street but I was still too afraid to change lanes and missed the Aranda exit.

Now on my way to Tuggeranong I decided to do an illegal U turn (safely) and head back – missed the other Aranda turn off cause the sign telling you where Aranda is happens to be clear as you drive PAST IT.

On my way to Gungahlin now I realised the error of my ways, took the next exit, turned around (car behind me did the same) and headed back, cursing myself for having to learn the hard way, and being too stoopid to recognise the bridge from the other side.

Don’t worry, now I know how that road works and I wont kill anyone : P

Fletcher123 Fletcher123 11:43 am 30 Jan 08

That whole upgrade has been a shit fight for about 18 months. I live in Aranda, and have seen all the changes over that time.. What I find most ridiculous is turning into Aranda when driving up Caswell Drive northwards. One has to drive all the way to Belconnen Way, do a U-turn and drive back up to the top of the hill in order to turn into the Aranda entry road. There is no reason beyond ridiculous cost-cutting.

MelonHead MelonHead 8:58 pm 29 Jan 08

After reading this thread, complete with its erudite observations, consideration towards others, and generally sparkling repartee, I thought I would take a look at the offending road as it is one of the many fine options for the afternoon commute.

Even knowing what I was looking for, you wouldn’t say it was obvious that the two lanes heading from Gridlock Interchange to Belconnen Way are in fact, a two way thoroughfare.

Usually there are lots of signs and a row of those tall bollards separating the traffic directions for all, or some of the way. Not in this case.

Also, can any one tell me how long a “Changed Traffic Conditions Ahead” sign is valid for? Could one sign erected in late ’06 at each end of the Interchange suffice for the life of the alterations? Do you need to remove them after a while and put them back? Are there subsets of conditions that change? Are these covered by the catch all signage? Are the good men and women constructing this monument to (insert your favourite polly/entity here) so bored with moving signs and bollards that they just couldn’t face one more change, and therefore don’t give a sh*t? Or what? Please learned folk of RA spread some enlightenment.

Sands Sands 7:38 pm 29 Jan 08

The speed limit wasn’t 40kms where I was going. Anyway, mute point now. The sign that is up now wasn’t up that day (or I’m big enough to consider I just didn’t see it). But it’s dangerous enough to draw people’s attention to it – especially if they’re not familiar with that stretch of road. I maintain that the temporary two way lane is incredibly high risk and not worth it in my opinion if even only one life could be lost.

JC JC 2:46 am 29 Jan 08

Sands, yes putting some spin on your story. I did read it, especially the bit about overtaking a car with trailer. Now what speed where you doing? My best is faster than 40. My point was simple slow speed limits are there for other reasons, confusion such as you faced is one such reason. Like I said Canberra drivers seem to ignore signs anyway!!!

hingo hingo 3:41 pm 28 Jan 08

Bus drivers don’t need a throttle or brake, they just need one green and one red button. The green one says ‘Go’ and the red one says ‘Stop’. No need for varying amounts of throttle and brake, smooth driving is for chumps.

Genie Genie 2:41 pm 28 Jan 08

VN – yeah so true with buses…

Although when i got my licence i dont remember learning to always give way to buses as they belive they are the only vehicle on the road.

Many times i am overtaking a bus on a suburban street as the are still indicating left and people getting off only to be almost run off the road coz they will instantly pull out the second the last person gets off/on.

On the other hand I have also watched people fall over many times on a bus – when the driver isn’t conciderate enough to wait until they have sat down (mainly elderly, pregnant, injured people), or atleast not take off so quickly that the movemnet jolts them off their feet.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 el ......VNBerlinaV8 2:13 pm 28 Jan 08

Genie – no complaints as such, but:

Buses have right of way 🙂 What do you want them to do, wait for Canberra’s always generous and courteous drivers to let them in? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Genie Genie 2:03 pm 28 Jan 08

One thing that really pisses me off about that area is when your coming off Caswell and going to go along Parkes Way. There are signs which not to use that part of the road is you want to travel along the Parkway, but people still decide to use it, which causes them to come to a complete stop when trying to merge across 3 lanes before the temporary lights to turn onto the Parkway.

Benma – totally loving you with this comment… How obvious are the god damn signs that say Civic Straight / Parkway turn…. I hate all the arseholes that cant do the 20metre detour so they arent crossing the 3 lnes of traffic (and SOLID WHITE LINES MIND YOU) and almost causing accidents.

Several months ago i was in the slip lane to get onto the parkway having come through the then s-bend. Only the be faced with an idiot in a Holden that i almost t-boned. YES T-BONED… the front of my car was facing his drivers side door… Traffic was held up for a good 5 mins while he negotiated a 20-point turn to face the correct direction..

I am also extremely disapointed by the many ACTION bus drivers who are always cuttin across the traffic – they are larger vehicals and cant drive as fast hence increasing the chances of someone smashing into them…..

The other extremely obviously signage people ignore…. THE FACT ITS ONLY 60k’s !!!! If you want to zoom through there doing 100’s an hour can you not attempt it during peak hour..

Anyways that my gripe for today….. Feel free to complain about everything I have just said.

BenMac BenMac 1:36 pm 28 Jan 08

IIRC there is/was also a large electronic sign (mounted atop a trailer) indicating ‘Two way’.

It’s still there. They’ve just turned it around for southbound traffic to indicate left lane for the City and right lane for Tuggeranong.

burninator burninator 10:55 am 28 Jan 08

An old man in a volvo almost gave me a head-on, as I headed north in the left most lane through there – I believe he was trying to head right, up towards Belconnen.

sepi sepi 10:05 am 28 Jan 08


Signage and road conditions should cater for distracted tourists and p plate drivers etc, not just gun drivers who know the road.

Hugo Hugo 8:24 am 28 Jan 08

Whatever the vagaries of Canberra drivers, and the current signage (observed or not)there IS a problem in this area and it is worthwhile the traffic people looking at it before there is a fatality

el ......VNBerlinaV8 el ......VNBerlinaV8 10:58 pm 27 Jan 08

IIRC there is/was also a large electronic sign (mounted atop a trailer) indicating ‘Two way’.

Agree with JC too, nobody bothers to read the signs anyway.

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