Now I have ranted on this topic previously but thought with the number of road-based posts cropping up recently I thought I would add a post to gauge what others see in this.
My gripe with ACT has always been the use of red arrows to prevent drivers turning right at all times day or night, even when there are considerable gaps in the flow of oncoming traffic.
According to the TAMS website, “…the ACT uses the same national standards to determine the use of arrow signals as other states in Australia.
The reason we have so many red arrows is because of safety, and basically stems from the high quality road system in the ACT. Many of our arterial roads are multi-lane with a speed limit of 80kph. Research clearly shows that the higher the speed of the oncoming traffic and the wider the road that has to be crossed, the more difficult it is for a right turning driver to choose a safe gap in oncoming traffic...”
Absolutely ridiculous! I think it is because the traffic signals are recycled from other states. But anyway my rant isn’t about using hand-me-downs. If safety and speed are the real issues, then why do those same intersections with red arrows allow traffic turning left onto the same road free to turn at any time? In fact, most intersections in ACT have a left-turn slip lane and contradict national standards.
Secondly, let me give you an example of why the excuse of safety and speed is nonsense. Canberra Av and Nyrang St intersection has lights with red arrows. Less than 50m to the west the intersection Canberra Av and Dalby St has no lights but the same road conditions (ie. side street turning onto road with 80km/hour limit) apply. In fact, you could argue Dalby St is more dangerous due to the rise of Canberra Av from Hume Pl (roundabout) that limits view of oncoming traffic moreso than the intersection with lights. I just think it is part of the nanny-state and inconsistency with road design and possibly the fact that ACT is relatively immature when it comes to major road construction and traffic volumes. Do others agree? I have also seen many intersections where they have installed red arrows where they previously had none or installed red arrows at intersections as they upgrade them.
And don’t forget that stopping a major road for one car to turn right costs money, time and fuel. Spread the cost of waiting unnecessarily for 30 seconds by 300,000 cars etc etc. btw, in case someone runs me down, I do support safety and traffic management, so wherever the intersections do warrant red arrows I don’t see a problem.