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Does the GDE need a Calvary access road?

By johnboy - 22 August 2011 40

Last week a baby was born in a traffic jam on Gungahlin Drive, which will at least be useful practice for the rest of its life.

Today Alistair Coe is asking why one can’t get from this supposedly arterial road to Calvary Hospital sitting pretty much next to it:

The ACT Government was advised to build an access road for emergency purposes from the GDE to Calvary Hospital by the Liberal Chaired Planning and Urban Services Standing Committee as long ago as 2001, said Alistair Coe, Shadow Minister for Urban Services.

The issue has been highlighted with the dramatic delivery of a baby on the roadside because the couple could not get through GDE traffic.

I am concerned about the Governments inability to manage the GDE has lead to severe traffic jams which has made the journey to Calvary Hospital much longer than it should have been.

In this case, there was a happy ending and I congratulate the couple, but it shows if you do not plan and build properly there can be very real consequences.

Welcome to the world, you’re now an opportunity for Alistair Coe to say “I told you so”.

What’s Your opinion?

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40 Responses to
Does the GDE need a Calvary access road?
what_the 12:23 pm 22 Aug 11

There’s an off-ramp like 300m from the hospital?

The only hold ups I usually see are twits that are paralysed due to there being no sign telling them they’re allowed to proceed into an intersection or mount a gutter to get out of the way, that or like half of Canberra drivers they haven’t ever checked the rear mirror to see the blaze of lights and sirens behind them.

Mysteryman 12:17 pm 22 Aug 11

BREAKING NEWS: ACT Labor are useless clowns when it comes to managing roads and roadwork.

Chop71 12:07 pm 22 Aug 11

Luckily it’s an alive mum and baby, gratz to the family.

It’s a pity though that the worst possible outcome would have made for more chance of action.

nsn 11:59 am 22 Aug 11

As I understand it, the fact that a direct access road was originally planned from the GDE to Calvary is the only reason for the weird U-turn arrangements under the bridge at the intersection of GDE/Caswell Drive and Belconnen Way. For some reason, a decision was made not to proceed with such a direct access road, but the bridge was still built the way originally designed. I’m pretty sure the road signs there still have text for “Calvary Hospital” signposted that way, but they are just covered up.
I’ve often wondered how much the decision to ditch the access road, obviously made late in the process, added to the cost of the bridge over Belconnen Way.

yellowsnow 11:49 am 22 Aug 11

ps sorry about the typos in my post — I submitted prematurely, an all too common problem

yellowsnow 11:45 am 22 Aug 11

25 mins from Harrison to the hospital in the morning peaks sounds pretty good to me.

Not that, contrary to some of the comments blaming the husband for taking the GDE – judging by media reports it the woman in labour drove herself! While simultaneously calling/texting her mum and trying to entertain a kid in the backseat. Very impressive multitasking. So she gave birth in the driver’s seat and caught the baby herself, while driving. And seemed pretty non-fussed about it all

Surely this is the story (amazing as it is) the media and politicians should be focusing on, not the non existence of an additional slip lane which wouldn’t have shortened the trip. Some will argue that the woman shouldn’t have left it so late before going to the hospital, but with labour it’s hard to know when to go as sometimes labour takes 24h+, at other times one or two hours, and doctors generally advise against going too early

Keijidosha 11:44 am 22 Aug 11

As I travel to and from the City I often see ambulances stuck in traffic around the intersections of Belconnen Way/Hayden Drive/GDE. Typically this is because numpty drivers are doing their level best to clear a path by getting each other’s way, panicing and blocking half a lane, or sitting there blissfully ignorant of the flashing lights and sirens.

At this point I wonder why there was no slip lane/flyover constructed on the GDE for emergency access to Calvary. Of course then I realise that such a feature would be rendered useless by the fact the rest of the GDE is a parking lot.

For a city supposedly designed for cars we sure have a lot of traffic headaches.

Gungahlin Al 11:37 am 22 Aug 11

We have a post on this on including a response from the new mother herself.

It was Haydon Drive. Not sure a new entrance would have made a difference in this instance, but an emergency use only entrance wouldn’t be a bad thing. A general entrance – no. Already we are told the whole Gungahlin Drive will be kept to 80kph due to the regular conflict points along it. Any more and they’ll throttle us down to 70 or something…

Sometimes I forget what it feels like to drive at 100kph…

EvanJames 11:19 am 22 Aug 11

I read the article in the CT, and, I may have read it wrong, but, it appeared that it took them 25 minutes to get to the hospital from Gunghalin? I’m not sure that this constitutes a compelling case for a new road, for people having babies.

BenMac 11:10 am 22 Aug 11

I heard the baby was born on Hayden Dr. They turned off at Ginninderra Dr because of the traffic. If an access road was there, could he made it in time anyway?

I have always found it strange that there isn’t road there with the hospital, quite literally, a stone’s throw from the GDE. Much quicker for ambos as it would come out right in front of A&E.

The Antichrist 11:02 am 22 Aug 11

Yes of course there should be a road straight from the GDE to Calvary !

Hell, they should have built a road directly from this couples house to the ER carpark !

Clearly, leaving home a bit earlier – say, when contractions started, was never an option…..

p1 10:59 am 22 Aug 11

Why would you take the GDE if your wife was in labour? Or even due in the next month?

OverLord 10:56 am 22 Aug 11

Sweet. I would have just argued for this cause I work at Calvs, but now that there is a baby involved, it’d a dead cert now. I’m thankfull someone is thinking of the children.

Spectra 10:55 am 22 Aug 11

I remember seeing such a lane on some plans many years ago, and I did wonder where it had gotten to. Seems like it would be kind of pointless for the northbound lane, but might save a minute or two southbound (which might make all the difference in emergency situations). Having said that, if there was a full-on traffic jam, I don’t see how the extra little bit of road would have helped – you still would have needed to actually reach the access road, which means you’re very close to the Belconnen way intersection anyway. Was it really a situation where being able to get off at a spot 300m away would have made a difference? Or is it, god forbid, simply the Libs searching desperately for any excuse, no matter how ridiculous, to attack the government?

aidan 10:54 am 22 Aug 11

There is a fine line between effective opposition and just being a whinger.

Alistair is on the wrong side of the line in my opinion.

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