Bus Lanes in Canberra?

peebus 5 April 2013 54

Hi Folks

I’m curious as to the legalities of the mini bus lanes at many Canberra intersections. I understand that they are there to allow busses a head start on the green so they can merge more safely in heavy traffic. But all too many times I’ve had busses come barrelling up from behind when traffic is flowing through on green only to have them use the bus lane and then push back in rather dangerously. Also worth mentioning is how many buses can use the lane together. I’ve seen as many as 4 buses stacked waiting for the bus light – where most intersections only cater timing for a single bus – thus the other few busses in the line make no further gain and again inconvenience normal traffic when they need to push back in.

Are buses allowed to use these bus lanes when the lights are already on green? Or the more pressing question – should busses be allowed to do this? Am I the only one who thinks these two issues are a dangerous practice? Discuss.


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TP 3000 TP 3000 8:12 pm 06 Apr 13

The section of Athllon Drive between Drakeford Drive & Sulwood Drive would be because anyone outside of that section would be using Drakeford Drive to get to the City. With not as much traffic heading to Woden. The came would apply for the section between Melrose Drive & Hindmarsh Drive. Where most of your traffic comes from City bound traffic heading along Melrose Drive.

JC JC 8:32 am 06 Apr 13

gooterz said :

The other side of drakeford drive was duplicated probably when we last had liberal government.

Ahh a cynic. Two points as mentioned above the part of Athlon Drive that is duplicated was done using federal funds for public transport improvements, one lane each way was a dedicated bus lane.

Secondly ACT Labor have actually delivered on lots of road duplication projects. Gungahlin Drive being one, not helped by the ACT Liberals slowing it down in the courts of course, meaning it ended up costing more. Though before I get pounced on clearly Labor did stuff that one up themselves too.

However there are many more that have been delivered without stuff up including in Tuggeranong. I recall it was in the time that Labor has been in power in the ACT that Drakeford Drive was duplicated from Greenway to Calwell. There is of course the more recent duplication of the Monaro Highway over Canberra Ave and Lanyon Drive to Jerra.

Sure more does need to be done such as Athlon Drive all the way from Tuggeranong to Woden and IMO Erindale Drive and Ashley Drive (and this coming from someone from Belco).

As for ACT Libs what road did they duplicate when last in power?

Aeek Aeek 10:30 pm 05 Apr 13

Tenpoints said :

Not sure on whether they are legally allowed to cross unbroken lines to enter into the bus lane, but if it’s the only way to physically move you bus into the lane is by doing just that then I would hazard a guess that… yes?

That’s covered by Special Purpose lanes (Bus, Bicycle, Transit, etc). If you are allowed to use it, you are allowed to cross the solid line. For most people, most of the time, they aren’t allowed to cross it so it makes sense that its solid.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 10:08 pm 05 Apr 13

gooterz said :

Pork Hunt said :

gooterz said :

Stuff the buses there are several places that need duplication.

Why are only parts of Athllon drive drive single lane, and why is there a forced turn at phillip?

Are you and gazket the same person? Can you give that to us in english please?

Athllon drive merges at the intersection of Drakeford where its 2 Car lanes and a bus lane with an additional slip lane.

All 4 of these lanes of traffic merge to a single lane each way, then split apart and join together, go for about a KM as single lane 80km/h undivided road.

Then as it goes past woden it becomes two lanes, yet one of the lanes is forced to turn left. (Meaning 90% of the traffic bottlenecks doing 60km/h in one lane.)

The other side of drakeford drive was duplicated probably when we last had liberal government.

Isabella drive is the same.

I have no idea who gazket or why you think we share a body.

Are you santa claus?

How is it that you come up with stuff like I asked you to explain and then when you do explain, you do so with the eloquence of Shakespeare? State your point properly the first time and stop wasting my time…

Gazket is a rioter, don’t tell me you haven’t seen his posts?

And finally, there is no Santa.

gooterz gooterz 9:43 pm 05 Apr 13

Pork Hunt said :

gooterz said :

Stuff the buses there are several places that need duplication.

Why are only parts of Athllon drive drive single lane, and why is there a forced turn at phillip?

Are you and gazket the same person? Can you give that to us in english please?

Athllon drive merges at the intersection of Drakeford where its 2 Car lanes and a bus lane with an additional slip lane.

All 4 of these lanes of traffic merge to a single lane each way, then split apart and join together, go for about a KM as single lane 80km/h undivided road.

Then as it goes past woden it becomes two lanes, yet one of the lanes is forced to turn left. (Meaning 90% of the traffic bottlenecks doing 60km/h in one lane.)

The other side of drakeford drive was duplicated probably when we last had liberal government.

Isabella drive is the same.

I have no idea who gazket or why you think we share a body.

Are you santa claus?

JC JC 9:38 pm 05 Apr 13

Pork Hunt said :

gooterz said :

Stuff the buses there are several places that need duplication.

Why are only parts of Athllon drive drive single lane, and why is there a forced turn at phillip?

Are you and gazket the same person? Can you give that to us in english please?

What he is saying kinda makes sense, but let me translate. Simply he is saying in some cases what is needed is road duplication that will benfit ALL road users including buses rather than more bus lanes.

Athlon drive is a class example actually. The duplicated part between Farrer and Kambah was actually built using federal finds for public transport improvements with the intent that one lane would be for buses and the other for other vehicles. This is how it operated for a while, but cannot remember how long before it was changed to be two lanes each way. This ended up benefiting everyone. though it is odd that the last km towards Woden remains a single way each way.

basketofcat basketofcat 8:24 pm 05 Apr 13

Jim Jones said :

basketofcat said :

So the buses and the rules quite clearly say that you’re to give way to a bus merging from left to right into existing traffic. What about the reverse, do buses have right of way merging right to left? I’ve been nearly clobbered on several occasions when I’m patiently sitting in the left half of a form one way line and a bus has decided to go straight to the front beside me.

Give way to the bus; how f^&king hard is that?

Ha! Such venom, such spite! OK, now that I’ve reeled you in…

I did have a specific intersection in mind:

https://maps.google.com.au/maps?q=antill+st+philip+avenue&hl=en&ll=-35.247114,149.154336&spn=0.001361,0.002064&sll=-35.247052,149.153886&sspn=0.002723,0.004128&t=h&hq=philip+avenue&hnear=Antill+St,+Australian+Capital+Territory+2602&fll=-35.247114,149.154336&fspn=0.001361,0.002064&z=20

I’m sure a lot of people in Watson, Downer and those generally using Philip Ave / Antill St can attest that the roundabout at the intersection of those streets can become fairly annoying in the morning. A lot of traffic backs up along Philip Ave along Dickson College due to people ratrunning through Ainslie. The flow-on effect is that there’s generally a lot of traffic trying to turn left sound-bound from Antill into Philip; at times there is both traffic in the roundabout from that direction, as well as traffic continuing along Philip.

More than once I’ve been in the left lane, slowly edging forwards and being polite to let cars merge, when all of a sudden a bus continuing in the right hand lane will forcefully merge with little regard for traffic already ahead of it. The bus crosses the lines at the apex of the traffic island in the southeastern corner, both obstructing on-coming traffic and wondering just when it’s going to smash my front right quarter panel.

I imagine the bus driver is trying to avoid blocking traffic trying to go SW through the roundabout… the correct thing to do would be to wait on the NW corner until it’s clear to pass through the roundabout safely without 1) obstructing traffic 2) endangering traffic already in the merge lane.

So yes, I know how to merge, I know how to be polite, I think public transport is great, but I also know when bus drivers could (to paraphrase you) “learn to f^&king drive” in this and similar circumstances.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 7:03 pm 05 Apr 13

gooterz said :

Stuff the buses there are several places that need duplication.

Why are only parts of Athllon drive drive single lane, and why is there a forced turn at phillip?

Are you and gazket the same person? Can you give that to us in english please?

gooterz gooterz 6:37 pm 05 Apr 13

Stuff the buses there are several places that need duplication.

Why are only parts of Athllon drive drive single lane, and why is there a forced turn at phillip?

Tenpoints Tenpoints 5:57 pm 05 Apr 13

Alderney said :

Rule 77 only applies to a bus leaving a bus stop.

Merging is rule 149.

They have no ‘right’ to barge in in any other circumstance.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed that to enter these ‘bus lanes’ the bus needs to cross an unbroken line. At least they do at Athllon & Hindmarsh going towards Woden.

So, are they legally entitled to enter the lane?

77 Giving way to buses

(1) A driver driving on a length of road in a built-up area, in the left lane or left line of traffic, [b]or in a bicycle lane on the far left side of the road, must give way to a bus in front of the driver if:
[b](a) the bus has stopped, or is moving slowly, at the far left side of the road, on a shoulder of the road, or in a bus-stop bay[/b], and
(b) the bus displays a give way to buses sign and the right direction indicator lights of the bus are operating, and
(c) the bus is about to enter or proceed in the lane or line of traffic in which the driver is driving.

Rule 77 applies in the above case, that is a bus leaving the far left side of the road, whether designated bus stop or not. Barging is rude of course but in a perfect world where all bus drivers indicated with notice and all non-bus drivers actually gave way as per the rule then I think the problem would solve itself.

Not sure on whether they are legally allowed to cross unbroken lines to enter into the bus lane, but if it’s the only way to physically move you bus into the lane is by doing just that then I would hazard a guess that… yes?

JC JC 5:21 pm 05 Apr 13

JC said :

That is not true. You do not need to give way to buses merging, normal merge rules apply, which is if the left lane clearly ends the left lane gives way to the continuing lane, if both lanes run into one (the more common form one lane style merge here in Canberra) the car in front has right of way.

Before I get jumped on replace the word car above with the word vehicle, because of course the vehicle in front has the right of way at our form one lanes.

JC JC 5:12 pm 05 Apr 13

teddyhb said :

The bus lanes end with a form one lane, if you cant handle a bus merging at a form one lane I think you might need to hand your license back in.

If you think its dangerous then you may need to learn how to identify hazards on the road before its at the “OMG I am next to a bus at a form one lane and now it we are at a merge! WTF do I do!!!” point

Half correct. Yes the bus lanes do normally end with a form one lane. But one issue the OP is raising, which I see almost daily is where the bus lane is clear but the normal lanes have a green and are moving but are slower off the mark.

Often you will see buses hurtling along their ‘clear lane’ forcing their way into the flow of traffic. When in reality when approaching a form one lane all vehicles need to be adjusting their speed to match the speed after the merge which in most cases means slowing down not powering on through. Of course it isn’t just buses who do this, but really it is not right for a 12T+ bus to be doing that.

Now that isn’t a reason to be handing back the licence.

JC JC 5:05 pm 05 Apr 13

basketofcat said :

So the buses and the rules quite clearly say that you’re to give way to a bus merging from left to right into existing traffic. What about the reverse, do buses have right of way merging right to left? I’ve been nearly clobbered on several occasions when I’m patiently sitting in the left half of a form one way line and a bus has decided to go straight to the front beside me.

That is not true. You do not need to give way to buses merging, normal merge rules apply, which is if the left lane clearly ends the left lane gives way to the continuing lane, if both lanes run into one (the more common form one lane style merge here in Canberra) the car in front has right of way.

The give way sign on the buses are ONLY to allow them to pull away from a stop. Refer to rule 77 of the national road rules.

77 Giving way to buses
(1) A driver driving on a length of road in a built-up area, in the left lane or left line of traffic, or in a bicycle lane on the far left side of the road, must give way to a bus in front of the driver if:
(a) the bus has stopped, or is moving slowly, at the far left side of the road, on a shoulder of the road, or in a busstop bay; and

(b) the bus displays a give way to buses sign and the right direction indicator lights of the bus are operating; and

(c) the bus is about to enter or proceed in the lane or line of traffic in which the driver is driving.

Innovation Innovation 4:56 pm 05 Apr 13

Slightly different view but I think buses should be modified to have larger and more indicators along their sides. Most drivers are good, some don’t give enough notice but we could all benefit from more visible indicators when alongside them.

ScienceRules ScienceRules 4:52 pm 05 Apr 13

Aeek said :

ScienceRules said :

I too have always been mystified by the wisdom of putting the slowest vehicles out in front of the rest of the traffic so they can then pull over and stuff everyone around a second time. Such are the vaguaries of our quaint little town council I guess.

Prejudiced much? Bus lanes are the same across Australia.

Well now I’m mystified as to my anti-bus prejudice. And here I was thinking that I was all modern and progressive. Time to scourge myself with salt encrusted cat-o-nine-tails. Or have a margarita. One of those…

KB1971 KB1971 4:07 pm 05 Apr 13

KB1971 said :

This thred just proves how out licencing training system required work.

A person should me made to drive a selection of vehicles in their class of licence.

Say a C class licence, the vehicles range from 0kg to 4.5t, including combinations. A loaded 4.5t truck could potentially tow a trailer that weighs 4.5t, that is a cobination of 9t.

A learners should be made to drive a car (auto & manual), car trailer combination (& understand what the load limits for the vehicle are) and a small truck, complete with blind spots.

Then, just then, people would not be going “Why did that bus cut me off while I was sitting beside him? Didnt he see me?”

Sorry, first sentence should read; “This thread is a classic example of how our learner driver system requires overhaul.”

KB1971 KB1971 4:05 pm 05 Apr 13

This thred just proves how out licencing training system required work.

A person should me made to drive a selection of vehicles in their class of licence.

Say a C class licence, the vehicles range from 0kg to 4.5t, including combinations. A loaded 4.5t truck could potentially tow a trailer that weighs 4.5t, that is a cobination of 9t.

A learners should be made to drive a car (auto & manual), car trailer combination (& understand what the load limits for the vehicle are) and a small truck, complete with blind spots.

Then, just then, people would not be going “Why did that bus cut me off while I was sitting beside him? Didnt he see me?”

Pitchka Pitchka 3:26 pm 05 Apr 13

I always give way to buses, for those of you who didnt know, im Canberra’s best driver…

When approaching a bus stop, and the bus has indicated right to suggest he is pulling out, i have no issues slowing dowm, flicking the headlights to let him know its all good to go…

My issue is with the cocks^cker bus drivers who indicate last minute and pull out with no regard to traffic i.e.look in side mirror, see car no more than 5 metres behind bus, f&ck the car, im pulling out, its my right of way.

Think their cool in their knee length shorts and shitty blue shirts…

Tenpoints Tenpoints 2:55 pm 05 Apr 13

peebus said :

Curious as to what happens with buses in this case considering their length. If you’re along side, say the front 1/4, of the bus, does the driver have to brake heavily and merge behind? Or does the bus slow down and let the car in given this would be the quicker option…?

Well if you’re along the front 1/4 of the bus but not in front of the bus, as in the nose of the bus is ahead of the nose of your car, then you are technically behind the bus and therefore must give way to merge.

Anyone with a drivers licence should be able to anticipate the size of the gap they will need to leave for a merging vehicle in front of them, and thus avoid having to “brake heavily and merge behind.”

Jungle Jim Jungle Jim 2:47 pm 05 Apr 13

what_the said :

The standard Canberra practice is to drive right up the side of the vehicle while approaching the merge lane then jam out on your brakes sending a cascade effect to the traffic behind stopping it completely.

This has to be one of the most frustrating practices on Canberra roads! See the F1L heading South onto Capital Circle from Commonwealth Ave any time there are more than 5 cars lined up in the left and middle lanes.

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