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Closed lane etiquette on Cotter Road

By longshanks 16 February 2012 29

Cotter Road currently has a lane closed each way on the stretch between the Parkway flyover and the Streeton Drive traffic lights. As you can imagine, between 8am and 9am this causes all sorts of joy for commuters, as three lanes (two on Streeton, one on Cotter Road) become one.

Most people seem to move into the left hand lane well ahead of time, knowing that the right hand lane is closed just before the RSPCA. However, this frees up the right hand lane, and you then have two different types of driver: the first overtakes half the cars in the left lane, sticks his/her indicator on, and merges 60 metres or so before the lane ends, whereas the second overtakes everyone, and forces his/her way in just before the lane ends.

This morning I was wondering what the proper etiquette is. Is there any reason not to make full use of an empty lane? Surely the most efficient way is for both lanes to be full of cars right up to the point of closure, and then merge alternately?

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Closed lane etiquette on Cotter Road
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James-T-Kirk 12:58 pm 22 Mar 12

Surely it is just like driving everywhere else in Canberra – Read the paper (or a good book while you are driving) till something enters your peripheral vision, hit the anchors and swerve…. Then back to the book!

dpm 11:44 am 22 Mar 12

Wow, I went thru there this morning. Now it’s *really* shite! They have now closed one side of Cotter road and made the other side a two-way road (and moved the merge point to just after the Streeton lights). Plus there are goat tracks to/from the defence college/RSPCA (with no lights for them, so in peak hour they can never get in/out!).
I wonder how many months it will be this crap? Getting out of da Creek is now almost as bad as Gunners people have had to deal with for the last few years! Hahaha!
On another note, the electronic signs now warn the road is ‘dual lane’. Isn’t it more correct to call it ‘two-way’?

HenryBG 3:41 pm 17 Feb 12

00davist said :

HenryBG, looking across your comments, it becomes clearer and clearer how much of your time is spent trolling!

It’s really sad to see that there are people out there who’s lives have become so useless, that they descend into this sort of pathetic agitation, just to try and make themselves feel like they have done something for the day.

Don’t bother replying to this Henry, I’m not reading your words anymore, perhaps it’s time you instead found yourself something worth doing.

At least I’ve shamed you into changing your ‘nym. Hopefully there will be second thoughts about the road bullying, too.

00davist 2:45 pm 17 Feb 12

HenryBG, looking across your comments, it becomes clearer and clearer how much of your time is spent trolling!

It’s really sad to see that there are people out there who’s lives have become so useless, that they descend into this sort of pathetic agitation, just to try and make themselves feel like they have done something for the day.

Don’t bother replying to this Henry, I’m not reading your words anymore, perhaps it’s time you instead found yourself something worth doing.

HenryBG 2:34 pm 17 Feb 12

JennD said :

Neither side of this debate is incorrect. Yes we should be using both lanes and merging at the appropriate point, in a sensible way, to allow everyone equal chance to get through. And yes, when people use the right hand lane it seems to slow the left lane traffic. If people were a little more patient though, surely it wouldn’t matter. I drive this road every weekday to get to work, at 8.45am, and i usually use the left lane because the place where the merge happens frequently changes and I don’t think the signage is adequate to tell you where the merge is. For instance, the first ‘Right hand lane closed” sign appears before the traffic lights to turn onto the parkway (heading towards weston) and the merge doesn’t happen until after the roundabout at the RSPCA/Police college at this time. Why wouldn’t people go into the left lane when they see the sign, and then realise they could have been in the right one for some time?

Perhaps a competent exercise in traffic control would see the two lanes *divided* for, say, 200m before the merge point in order to prevent early merging and to provide people such as yourself with much better guidance.

One of the reasons you are afraid of merging “late” is no doubt due to your fear of experiencing discourtesy at the merge point or even a fear of becoming the target for the illegal and dangerous antics of the likes of “Stormboy”.

JennD 2:15 pm 17 Feb 12

Neither side of this debate is incorrect. Yes we should be using both lanes and merging at the appropriate point, in a sensible way, to allow everyone equal chance to get through. And yes, when people use the right hand lane it seems to slow the left lane traffic. If people were a little more patient though, surely it wouldn’t matter. I drive this road every weekday to get to work, at 8.45am, and i usually use the left lane because the place where the merge happens frequently changes and I don’t think the signage is adequate to tell you where the merge is. For instance, the first ‘Right hand lane closed” sign appears before the traffic lights to turn onto the parkway (heading towards weston) and the merge doesn’t happen until after the roundabout at the RSPCA/Police college at this time. Why wouldn’t people go into the left lane when they see the sign, and then realise they could have been in the right one for some time?

balloonatic 1:40 pm 17 Feb 12

Has everyone forgotten how a zipper works? And how fast a good quality zipper can be open or closed?

If everyone in the traffic, both left and right lane, has the forsight to leave enough room for a car in front of them, maybe 1.5 cars to be sure, the merging traffic will flow. It really doesn’t get any simpliar then that. Being an educated society it disturbs me that this isn’t the obvious solution to rectify this problem.

Be patient, help your fellow motorist, they don’t think they are better or more important. You can’t knock someone for stepping out of line and looking for a better way. This is how humanity progresses. Will you enable progression or stand in its way?

The Physics of Merging – from somewhere with much more traffic then little old Canberra
http://www.smartmotorist.com/traffic-and-safety-guideline/traffic-jams.html

dpm 9:48 am 17 Feb 12

trevar said :

Just because you enjoy queuing and choose to be farther back in the queue doesn’t mean everyone should. In the situation you describe, I usually do join the through lane quite early for the sake of ease, but I do that with the knowledge that my other option is to use the closing lane and force my way in, which is usually the quicker option.
This has nothing to do with etiquette; it has to do with choices and whether ease or speed is most important to you at the time you’re faced with the decision.

I think it’s all well and good for people to say ‘use the right lane’ etc as it’s quicker and not illegal. But, the onlty reason it appears quicker ATM is that only a handfull of people take that option, thereby making it quicker for them. If everyone took your advice and used both lanes, both would be at a standstill with each lane, I imagine, about half as long as the current left lane queue (i.e. still damn long!). Basically, both lanes would then be crap. This comes down to the issue of merging.
It will only ever work smoothly if ALL people take the left lane only approach, OR use both lanes AND actually agree to merging sensibly (not likely to happen!). It’s sad as merging onto the parkway can be easily (and best) done at 100kph, yet managing it at 40 is apparently impossible. Situation normal, carry on! 🙂

Alderney 9:31 am 17 Feb 12

The road is there to use, so use it.

I’m an advocate of merging at the merge. However, if you feel you must merge beforehand, that is your choice. You need to be comfortable with both schools of thought.

Merging should always be done nicely; one and one, like a zipper, no-one forcing a ‘right of way’ and then everyone is happy and traffic moves smoothly.

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