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Do we have a local media?

By EvanJames - 3 May 2012 35

We had a major traffic accident yesterday afternoon, and a major arterial road was closed just before evening rush hour/s began.  This was Pialligo Avenue, between Canberra Airport and Queanbeyan.  Used by thousands of cars and motorbikes in both directions… in fact it’s become so busy in the evenings that it clogs up east-bound, and in the dark you have to be careful not to believe the 100 km/hr sign because encountering stationary traffic at 100 becomes exciting. I suspect that this is what happened, as this morning there was a great deal of sand and oil at the top of the hill, where the overtaking lanes return to one lane.

You would expect that the local radio would be onto it, alerting the thousands of motorists about to head up that road that they would be turned back.  But in the afternoons, 104 pipes some asinine talking show from Sydney. At news time, they had a “traffic report” which appeared to have been pre-recorded.  106 had some local guy, great, but mentions of this road being closed were few… well I heard one mention from him in the 1.5 hours it took me to get from the airport to Queanbeyean.

Worse than this though, is their regular Traffic Report by someone bubbly by the name of “Ilano”.  After I and several hundred others had been turned back at the concrete processing place, and inched back past the airport, and onto the the also-clogged Dairy Flat Rd/Monaro, “Ilano” chirpily announed that Pialligo Avenue had now been re-opened! Evidently a number of us heard this, as several cars turned around and headed back to Pialligo.  By this stage the roads around the airport were a mess, as it was just after 5pm.

No, Pialligo Avenue was not reopened, so once again we all turned at the Concrete place. Quite a few people had parked and were trying to find someone to ask how long the road would be closed for.  And back, inching past the airport, along Moreshed, onto the now very-clogged Dairy Flat, through the also-clogged Fyshwick, and a long crawl onto Canberra Avenue.

During this time I went around 106 and 104 FM, and 666 ABC on AM, and the best you got was the briefest mention that Pialligo Ave was closed.  Later, looking on the ‘net, there was nothing on the ACT Policing site, nothing on the Canberra Times site, and the radio also seemed to lose interest.

Was I the only person wondering, why wasn’t our local radio stations helping by alerting people about the closed road and the clogged roads, so people might at least change their plans, or know what was going on?  At one point, the chap on 106 announced the traffic report, and mentioned Pialligo was closed… and then played “Ilano” who happily told us about all the usual roadworks.  Not the closure of a major arterial at evening rush hour.

What’s Your opinion?

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35 Responses to
Do we have a local media?
EvanJames 4:48 pm 03 May 12

I have a shocking thing to tell some of you: the majority of the population does not use twitter. No, really. And, hopefully, 100% of the people driving in yesterday’s traffic snarl-up were also not using twitter.

A medium used by a minority of the population and not legal to be used while driving is not really a valid way to alert motorists of a major road closure. It certainly didn’t work last night.

I was moving between 104,106 and 666 for the 1.5 hours I was stuck in that traffic, and heard two announcements that Pialligo Ave was closed, and one announcement that it was open. For a pretty major incident that happened at a very busy time, they should have been updating regularly.

It sounds like the police had information out on their twitter feed, why didn’t the radio stations mentioned broadcast it? (and not broadcasat incorrect information like 106 did)?

There was a steady nose-to-tail stream of cars arriving at the roadblock, turning and going back, twitter was of zero assistance to them. I bet many of them had the radio on though.

Keijidosha 4:46 pm 03 May 12

I’m mildly irritated about how far the ACT Government are lagging behind with online services, especially roads/rego. The NSW myRTA website (and more relevantly the live traffic desktop and mobile apps) are really useful. Meanwhile in Canberra we couldn’t even renew rego online until recently, and the Rego ACT website has remained basically unchanged since it was introduced nearly a decade ago.

Ilana 4:36 pm 03 May 12

Hi there Evan, it’s me, Ilana, the chirpy and bubbly traffic girl.

If you see any problems on our road in future, feel free to give me a buzz on 6230 1126. I always appreciate information from listeners. I can be reached on that number between the hours of 6 – 9am and 3 -6pm Monday through to Friday.

Thanks for the post and I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the future.

All the best,


MrMagoo 4:36 pm 03 May 12

SnapperJack said :

Well if you listen to “106 and 104 FM and 666” what do you expect? 2CC were all over it and had local traffic reports and talkback callers, but I suppose you regard 2CC as one of those yucky right-wing shock jock stations and prefer to exist in a little bubble indifferent to the views of mainstream Australia.

I think making the claim that mainstream Australia is represented by those who call 2CC is a ‘bridge too far’ in any context.

However, I think the traffic updates on any of the commercial stations are just another excuse for advertising really. Ilana (if that is in fact her real name) on Canberra FM is a vacuous nufty who doesn’t know how to pronounce half the roads she mentiones and is hardly on top of current traffic conditions. Given that I heard her on the way through Newcastle last week giving updates up there it is fair to say she is also located in a buidling somewhere in sydney being fed info that is sadly time lagged.

qbngeek 4:30 pm 03 May 12

MEh, I knew about it at about 4:20 through 106 FM (not my choice but that is what is on in the office). I also check the twitter feed mentioned above everyday about 5 mins before I leave work.

Not really anyone elses problem if you failed to use the resourses out there, especially when ACT policing have a twitter feed for traffic.

carnardly 4:23 pm 03 May 12

only on hands free though! No holding mobiles in the car remember. 🙂

Tom Green 3:58 pm 03 May 12

Did you ever try… y’know, picking up your mobile phone and calling the station?

You do realise of course that these people are not omnipresent right? They do rely on a whole array of sources for frequent updates. One of which is drivers.

So, here’s a suggestion, rather than writing a vaguely passive-aggressive post; in future, why don’t you try out the novelty of that new-fangled gadget they call the mobile telephone?

SnapperJack 3:58 pm 03 May 12

Well if you listen to “106 and 104 FM and 666” what do you expect? 2CC were all over it and had local traffic reports and talkback callers, but I suppose you regard 2CC as one of those yucky right-wing shock jock stations and prefer to exist in a little bubble indifferent to the views of mainstream Australia.

dpm 2:41 pm 03 May 12

I second @ACTPol_Traffic. It’s quite up-to-date, and most importantly, they very reliably indicate when the road is reopen – that is the thing that makes it most useful.

Also, check out Waze:
If it was more widely used, it would be super useful.

666 did mention it, but you have to be listening at the right times to hear it. They also had to admit they didn’t know if it was reopen or not (near 5:45pm). Apparently they don’t keep an eye on the @ACTPol_Traffic feed.

Lastly, I have to give thumbs up to the NSW RTA Live traffic app (when travelling in NSW):
It’s damn good.

BenMac 2:31 pm 03 May 12

Not sure about last night, but I heard multiple times on 104 that Pialligo was closed after noon due to a 3 car crash at the Glenora Dr intersection.

pptvb 1:12 pm 03 May 12

666 were giving regular updates, though upon hearing the location I lost interest.
I think your main problem is listening to 104 & 106 and expecting, well, anything intelligent!

am307 12:34 pm 03 May 12

well, now that explains the traffic yesterday! 104 very rarely give traffic updates southside.

Holden Caulfield 12:33 pm 03 May 12

I was listening to 666 yesterday afternoon and the stack at Pialligo was getting heaps of mentions. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the detail given, but I think they may have mentioned road closures.

Sounds like it was a good night for me to be late leaving work, as I would normally get onto Fairbairn Ave from the Monaro Hwy. By 6:45pm when I did leave the traffic dramas seemed to be over.

Otherwise, I generally check the twitter feed Genie mentioned before starting my commute home.

Jivrashia 12:30 pm 03 May 12

Genie said :

Twitter – @ACTPol_Traffic

It’s not just traffic report.

Brisbane flood was followed by many twitter feeds, and not a few of them where able to avoid dangerous situation by getting on the internet and looking at the tweets.

Signs of the times I guess.

Genie 11:43 am 03 May 12

Twitter – @ACTPol_Traffic

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