18 September 2007

Commonwealth Ave - Floriade Traffic Lights

| barney
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This morning on the way into Civic I noticed something fairly stupid, but maybe the whole thing is a fairly “trivial matter”.

Ok, so I have just pulled up to a stop on the Commonwealth avenue bridge with everybody else (once again), and I was thinking “why the hell do they have traffic lights up there”. Then, as we all got closer to the lights, they turned orange to red and I was thinking “gee, I should have gotten up earlier today”. I then looked to see why the lights had turned red and noticed 1 single person walking across the lights in a less than hurried fashion. By this stage I was frothing from the mouth and my blood pressure seemed to have sky-rocketed as I looked in the mirror and noticed I had turned crimson-red.

My question is this. Why the hell are those lights active at peak hours, and why is it that a single person can stroll across Commonwealth Avenue holding up thousands of commuters ? Would it NOT be a GOOD IDEA to build an overpass in that area, or would this stain the landscape and relegate Canberra to hell for all eternity … ?????

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Should be a couple of ex GMC500 bridge overpasses stored somewhere around here.

Would only require a crane to fling them into place, and (almost) problem solved. For those too frail to tackle the stairs, a shuttle bus every few minutes. All others can get the exercise.

I wouldn’t mind the two minute delay so much. I do mind the fact that as a result of those lights, it now takes me close to an hour to get to work, up from 35 minutes previously.

But yeah, I am just whinging 🙂

The Floriade lights are there because people were crossing there before we had the lights. Do they have the Give Way to Pedestrians signs? How stupid are some drivers that they need such signs?

I’m not sure that many people thought before they started typing, with the exception of *Cameron*, and some others.

So fine then. Don’t build a bridge. Build a hole instead :'(

At the time the Austrian tourist was killed the lights were not installed, and there is also some evidence that she may have been looking in the wrong direction when struck.

hingo_VRCalaisV611:50 am 21 Sep 07

To be fair, the Austrian tourist shouldn’t have been crossing there anyway. If I recall, it was before the lights had even been put up. Doesn’t change the fact that the lights seem to serve their purpose during floriade. Remember there are many elderly and disabled people who visit Floriade who need this crossing. Its not permanent so who gives a toss.

“Tell that to teh family of teh Austrian Pedestrian who was killed at that spot.”

I didn’t realise that incident had happened at this spot.

In any case, I’d probably suggest to them, and to the government, that placing a crossing on a 6 lane major road when there’s an underpass RIGHT THERE anyway is a bit nonsensical. Hard to get hit by an idiot driver when you’re nowhere near the road.

Maybe stopping at these lights could be made optional for drivers during peak hour?

Whoever said running with the bulls was scary???

The point: The lights are stupid
Tell that to teh family of teh Austrian Pedestrian who was killed at that spot.

Build an overpass and people would complain that they have to walk up stairs or ramps etc.

Leave it how it is.

It once took me 6 hours to drive to sydney because a truck fell over on the M5 and caught fire – took about 2 hours to get from narellan road to campbeltown road.

Suck it up canberans – we have it gracefully easy.


Again, 2 minutes was a figure plucked out of nowhere, the whole point being that even a seemingly trivial delay can have consequences.

We’re not talking about getting pushed in front of in line, we’re not talking about stopping at traffic lights. Get real about this and start discussing what, once you get past the window dressing, Barney’s original post is all about: whether or not it makes sense to inconvenience thousands of motorists so the odd pedestrian can stroll across Commonwealth Avenue in peak hour to see some flowers.

I think it entirely reasonable that the thousands of motorists could expect the handful of people arriving at Floriade during peak hour could walk around under the bridge. Or do they not have the 2 minutes to spare in order to do it?

So tell me, if they build that overpass that you think is such a good idea, will you be bitching about the roadoworks? I have a feeling you probably would.

So why don’t you be the one build a bridge and walk on over it (you should even visit Floriade when you get the other side)

I don’t know why you think your so important that TWO MINUTES is such a big delay. Two minutes is a tiny amount of time. If it truely bothers you that something so trivial slows your day down by two minutes, i’d suggest life insurance so at least someone might benefit from your passing from the time when you had a heart attack when someone pushed in front of you at the supermarket.

The temp lights on Lady Denman wouldn’t be needed if a few more drivers thought of backing off to leave a sufficient gap to cross. Then accelerate up to the speed limit (bonus!) to recover all the lost time.
Just part of the Glenoch Interchange road works.

Only Prez Bush (and the Chaser) don’t have to wait at red lights – get used to it.

el ......VNBerlinaV87:23 pm 20 Sep 07

You think the temp lights on Commonwealth Ave are bad? They’re putting *another* bloody set in on Lady Denman Drive, for….


Indeed, the 2 minutes was a figure pulled out of nowhere to illustrate that x minutes per day adds up.

Woody – I’d much rather spend two minutes participating in a whinge on RA than waiting a set of silly traffic lights.

Anyway, not my thread. After everyone jumped on the “let’s spray Barney for being an impatient git” bandwagon I pointed out that the traffic lights are silly, and that time wasted there and at the numerous other ridiculous traffic setups (both permanent and temporary) adds up and has an impact.

As Maelinar said: “The traffic lights appear to have been installed because of stupid lazy pedestrians being too docile to walk an extra 100m around the lakes edge to get to floriade – even though the whole idea of floriade is to go on a nice scenic walk.”

Wordy mcword.

Funnily enough, I never have cause to be on Commonwealth Ave during peak hour anyway. My “razor-sharp schedule” won’t allow it…

Right, you’ve asked for it: I’m going to buy a recumbent bicycle, push the crossing button constantly, and ride back and forth across that crossing all through peak hour tomorrow.

Don’t make any plans tomorrow morning people! 🙂

I think it would be good if everyone, motorists and pedestrians alike, was charged a toll for using these lights. They’re not free to set up and take down, you know!

On the subject of traffic gripes in the city, I currently hate east bound Constitution Ave between London Cct and Allara St… closing off the lane on Constitution Ave in front of the Convention Centre is a silly idea…

Actually, merely playing Devils Advocate here, but there is an underpass 50m away from that traffic light installation.

The traffic lights appear to have been installed because of stupid lazy pedestrians being too docile to walk an extra 100m around the lakes edge to get to floriade – even though the whole idea of floriade is to go on a nice scenic walk.

What’s all this 2 minutes stuff? Last year, I sat in traffic, which started back at the British High Commission, for 20 bloody minutes!!

hingo_VRCalaisV61:15 pm 20 Sep 07

LOL! I can’t believe people are complaining about a set of temporary traffic lights for a few weeks a year. Come on!

The only issue is having to wait two minutes, that is it!. The problem is, Canberrans have it too bloody good.

What is the world coming to when people spend hours complaining about a 2 minute wait at traffic lights and being overcharged $5 measly bucks for a pizza. Get a fucking life.

Woody Mann-Caruso12:57 pm 20 Sep 07

I think it’s hilarious that those who claim their lives are run on razor-sharp schedules which even two minutes could bring undone have much more time than that to come here and bitch and moan.

Honestly – what better ways are there?

Over passes are pretty expensive, and there are higher priority spots – eg the parkway near Defence where people play chicken in large numbers every lunchtime.

And directing people round to the underpass isn’t that practical – most of the Floriade tourists are oldies or people with prams.

IF I were the govt I would continue with the current arrangement of keeping mostorists waiting an additional 2 minutes. Sorry.

“2 minutes lol get a life people and relax.”

I think you’re missing the point.

Barney has already made it clear that the “frothing at the mouth” crap was just thrown in for the sake of it, and that he, like myself and seemingly every other poster in this thread do in fact have a life and are in fact incredibly relaxed.

The point: The lights are stupid. There are much better ways to go about allowing pedestrians easy access to look at the pretty flowers…

Is this yet another whinge about the ultimately insignificant issue of the day? Absolutely. And?

Snahons_scv6_berlina10:59 am 20 Sep 07

if she was hot enough 🙂

In the time taken to wait for the traffic lights I could have gotten a lesbo pregnant, thus negating the need for IVF. I’d even offer a discount from my standard rate.

In 45 seconds VY? 🙂

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt9:06 am 20 Sep 07

What about the option of building a temporary (or permanent) walkway over the road? It would cost a bit initially, but it would mean we wouldn’t need those traffic lights any more at all.

2 minutes lol get a life people and relax.

Those who push the crossing button without breaking stride really get my goat. If you’re walking straight across don’t push the bloody button!

Pity they could put up an idiot-proof fence, and giant signs pointing them down the hill a bit to where they could cross UNDER the road and avoid being splattered.

Yes. It does make a difference. But let’s not get all carried away in thinking that I was serious about the “mouth frothing” etc.

It seems perfectly stupid to allow persons to hold up traffic on Commonwealth Avenue (let alone ONE PERSON). It is like having a Pedestrian Crossing on the Parkway. It’s just plain bloody silly. Sure, people can walk around under the bridge, but do they ? Why would they when they can walk across the road at the designated traffic lights.

It just strikes me as bloody obvious…”starts frothing from the mouth again”.

justbands – I work for myself and have a similar lifestyle to you. As I regularly go to see clients and often have emergencies to fit in as well, 2 minutes can make all the difference. An impact clearly felt differently by everyone – which is why I said some people. Different impacts, yes. Rubbish? No. (Well, maybe a little bit – but certainly not rubbish of the “complete, utter” kind).

I would imagine that Barney’s frustration arises out of the fact that this 2 minutes is an unnecessary delay. As I said before, the utter rage that Barney seems to display is very much over the top. I do, however, agree that the delay at said lights is an unnecessary one that can be fixed simply by not having them active during peak hours (or less responsive to the pedestrian).

ONe morning soon after Floriade last year I saw a woman standing on the median strip madly hitting the button on the traffic light. Only there was no traffic light – it had already been dismantled – there was just a pole and a button. Wouldn’t made a great photos. I’ve often wondered how long she stood there for…

Perhaps a better thing to campaign for would be to move the lights on the northbound carriageway SOUTH to the other side of the entrance to Acton Park. Ever noticed how during events, such as Floriade, or whenever these lights are dragged out of hibernation, that southbound traffic flows better because entering traffic gets a break at the pedestrian lights, while northbound chaos is inevitable with traffic trying to enter a stationery line. This, I believe, is the change we are looking for.
As for the rest, the dates for Floriade are reasonably well published. Leave early. Live with it.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt12:13 pm 19 Sep 07

In the time taken to wait for the traffic lights I could have gotten a lesbo pregnant, thus negating the need for IVF. I’d even offer a discount from my standard rate.

Barney: Get over it.

You: Stop being selfish and learn to share the roads.

Agreeed. I live in Ngunnawal and drive to Woden for work every day. I have probably stopped at those lights once all week. I don’t see that it as a problem. Traffic on the way home is a lot worse though.

I should back that up….I work a demanding full-time job that often requires long hours, I’m married, a father of a school aged child, I train 6 days a week & even manage a fairly normal social life. 2 minutes stuck in traffic (oh, & I go through there every day & have yet to have been held up for anything like 2 minutes!) would make no real difference to my life.

I can understand some minor annoyance, however frothing from the mouth, blood pressure rising & going red in the face is WAY over the top. I think Barney should see a Doctor before he has a heart attack.

> For some people, 2 minutes each day (in addition to the rest of the usual time) stuck in needless traffic can have massive consequences

Rubbish. Complete, utter rubbish. If you absolutely need to be somewhere at a certain time, you would never leave it so tight that 2 minutes would make any difference.

I’m not sure that it’s worth frothing at the mouth over, but I agree with Barney in that it is ridiculous. It should not be active during peak hour. Simple.

For some people, 2 minutes each day (in addition to the rest of the usual time) stuck in needless traffic can have massive consequences – particularly if there’s no warning to encounter it. Clearly everyone that is into Barney over this one has all the time in the world.

I would kill for an extra 10 minutes per week – even if that were sleep 😉

Canberra is spoilt with traffic – if we have to wait for more than 2 minutes at a standstill, we go nuts.. Let me just say though, people who ride in the right lane and sit right next to the person in the left lane should just dead themselves.

Build a bridge…then get over it. What a fricking whinge. “Oh no! My life has been delayed by 30 seconds!” For fcuks sake. Yes, it is a small inconvenience for a few weeks each year. Yes, you’ll still live.

It’s only for a few weeks a year. Get over it.

As someone heading to Floriade today, I appreciate those lights.

Gee barney, what would you have done with the two minutes you could have saved by not stopping for the lights?

Brokered world peace? Saved a life? Made a child smile?

I find it more annoying when there is a constant stream of people crossing there after the lights turn green. Its simply rude.

My question is this. Why the hell are those lights active at peak hours

My question is this – why are you driving.
Seems liek you like teh stress.

I get caught in that crap every day – so I just leave 15 earlier.

Its only for a few months.

I still have nothing to complain about compared to most other major cities in Oz.

10 long deep breaths should help you cope.

Traitorsgate1:29 am 19 Sep 07

As a New York cabbie once said to me moments after a pedestrian glanced off the side of his cab – “As soon as they step off the curb, their in play.”

I think the most annoying thing about the whole set up is that they have to close the left lane (citybound) just so traffic can exit from the side road, thus causing tailbacks stretching back over the bridge.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart11:33 pm 18 Sep 07

An overpass in that area would be ridiculous considering that there is underpass about 200 metres away. Unfortunately not enough people (especially tourists) know about the underpass, and therefore want to cross the road.

The traffic lights do help with the increase in traffic entering and exiting the carparks in that area though, and I would much rather have traffic lights than pedestrians running across the road in that area.

Hey this is Canberra. We do not stop for pedestrians here so what is the fuss about?

You have been reported to 1800 123 400

Or pack the shottie, and deal with pedestrians in the traditional way.

The solution is to just leave for work earlier, therefore beating the bulk of pedestrians AND traffic.

i get both sides of this argument.
surely though, during peak hours, they can program them differently, to better enable flow of traffic…

Calm down tiger. They are only operational for a few weeks a year during Floriade.

Those lights might have been put there for Floriade? An old lady got skittled as she made her way to Floriade some years back.
Canberra’s roads are failing to cope with peak hour traffic, everywhere. Hey, let’s keep building the population! We have to have more people.

I usually work in Belconnen, but had a meeting this morning on the southern (dark) side of the lake. I struggled through the extra traffic on Barry Drive due to the Glenlock road works, only to reach standstill traffic just after the tunnel at ANU. Luckily the morning proceedings started fashionably late. Even luckier that I live and work in Belconnen (99% of the time) otherwise we might see some Floriade attendees bouncing off my Subaru.

Definitely agree that the timing for the lights needs to be changed for weekdays.

Yep – traffic lights should be psychic and when there’s only one person crossing the lights should yell out ‘run run’ and only last for seconds.

wow, if you were frothing at the mouth and going crimson red from just that, i’d really hate to think hwat’d happen to you if something even slightly bad ever actually happened to you. imagine if your “fast food” order was held up by 30s, would you go on a murderous rampage?

so yes, trivial. i fear not the most trivial thing you whinge about, though..

I’d be more concerned about the fact that the city-parking-leaches have discovered that the free parking at Floriade is very close to the city.

Suck it up buttercup…

Woody Mann-Caruso8:27 pm 18 Sep 07

You need medication. Strong medication. Now.

philbert83au8:16 pm 18 Sep 07

They’re definitely set to ‘grandma walking speed’ for the extra long time they stay red, I’ll agree.

I agree with your opening remark.

“Why the hell are those lights active at peak hours, and why is it that a single person can stroll across Commonwealth Avenue holding up thousands of commuters ?”

So their basically like the green cycling lanes then?

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