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Getting out of Hackett sucks. ACT Gov to the rescue!

By BimboGeek 28 April 2010 23

Thanks to those jerks at Canberra Times (oh we love to hate them) for bringing us the news that they’re finally doing something about the crappy traffic in Hackett at the Phillip Ave/Majura Ave intersection.

It’s a complete disaster there at 8am.  I understand that people are quite innocently trying to get past Hackett, but some of us actually have to live there and it’s pretty frustrating that we can’t even get out of our driveways because our neighbours from Watson and further North are using our streets as shortcuts.

They are proposing to put in traffic lights in such a way that it directs traffic around the outside of Hackett, with timing set to encourage large flows back to what’s supposed to be the main route.  There have been other ideas proposed like speed bumps (or those wiggly speed traps like they have at ANU) down the suburban streets. I say do it all!!!

[ED – We’re assuming the “they” refers to the ACT Government and not the Canberra Times which only thinks it’s the government.]

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23 Responses to
Getting out of Hackett sucks. ACT Gov to the rescue!
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DBW 11:46 am 07 Mar 11

ACTPLA seem to have just put up the DA for Phillip Ave/Majura Ave intersection works.

“Proposal: PUBLIC WORKS-ROADS. Upgrade of the Phillip Avenue and Majura Avenue intersection to signalisation including pavement widening; new footpaths; services relocation and removal of 3 trees. Open for public comment until 31/03/11.”

Looks like they’re finally getting on with it..

http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/topics/your_say/comment/pubnote?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHAlM0ElMkYlMkZhcHBzLmFjdHBsYS5hY3QuZ292LmF1JTJGcHVibm90ZSUyRnB1Ym5vdGVEZXRhaWxfbmV3LmFzcCUzRkRBX25vJTNEMjAxMTE5NTc0JmFsbD0x

Watson 9:59 am 07 Mar 11

sepi said :

PS – I think a roundabout might do it.

I am not at all a fan of small roundabouts, but I think in this case it would be way more efficient than lights. And presumably cheaper?

I also do not understand why people keep going back every morning. There are alternative ways to go South. They are all fairly busy that time of the morning, but not nearly as frustrating as waiting to turn right for half an hour and getting annoyed with all the selfish pr!cks not letting anyone in.

p1 9:36 am 07 Mar 11

The problem as I see it, isn’t so much people having trouble leaving Hackett, but rather they stupidly keep going back in again.

CHackett 10:31 pm 06 Mar 11

A year after the Canberra Times story about a traffic solution nothing has happened except the morning peak hour traffic in Hackett gets worse.

laughtong 8:27 pm 29 Apr 10

troll-sniffer said :

I can think of many lights in Canberra that could be turned off outside peak hours to everyone’s benefit. The most useless set of lights in all of Canberra, at Windeyer St and Philip Ave, would be an obvious choice. The lights on Limestone Ave and other suburban throughways of similar traffic patterns would work perfectly well as Give Way situations overnight and on weekends. Many other examples exist. I can’t see it happening in my lifetime though.

In fact there is a set of part-time lights controlling access on Athllon Drive to the Isabella Drive/Drakeford Drive/Athllon Drive roundabout in the evening peak. It controls the traffic coming out Tuggeranong Town Centre and allows the southbound traffic on Drakeford Drive a better run. It has been operating like that for several years.

Gungahlin Al 11:11 am 29 Apr 10

sepi said :

Al – have you driven down this problem intersection during peak hour?

Traffic can already back up two blocks for the left turners, who have complete right of way. If you put a give way sign up (not sure where it will go either), then I agree with hackett council – anyone coming from the back half of Hackett will not ever get out.

Yes Sepi, I was one of those rat runners for a long time. And made the choice not to take up a house on Maitland specifically because it was a rat run. Remember that I have been campaigning to have this intersection fixed for years, first putting it to John Hargreaves in April 2007 – to no avail but big surprise that! (Nowadays when not cycling, I just use Northborne but turn the car off at the red lights…)

And I can attest that the left turns will clear easily. But isn’t is a serious indictment of how bad the problem has become when even the rat runs have become congested??

But the point of my post was that surely it warrants a trial? If I am wrong then the lights proceed – little lost.

If I am right though – $1,000,000 saved now, and many years of electricity costs avoided to boot.

troll-sniffer 10:25 am 29 Apr 10

Unfortunately I don’t think the installation of traffic lights at the top of Majura will stop the rat-running through Hackett. It will lessen it a bit, but motorists will still be jockeying for position at the intersection, half will still try and get a perceived advantage by turning left out of Hackett. Not only that, we will have another pointless set of lights running 24 hours a day to solve a problem that lasts for a couple of hours 5 times a week.

UNLESS the traffic engineers adopt a RADICAL solution never before seen in the world (except for most of Europe, Africa, South America and Asia that is) and make the lights only part time. Yes, despite the overwhelming consensus of Australian traffic engineers, the rest of the world have for years defied this perceived wisdom that lights must stay on 24/7. They have recklessly embraced a sensible policy that allows traffic lights to be turned off when not needed. The resulting carnage has to be seen to be believed, as motorists pass recklessly withing 20 metres of each other, some stopped as they are in a Give Way situation, others proceeding as though the lights weren’t there, and normal Give Way rules applied. I have seen it with my own eyes, unfortunately I didn’t have an iphone to record it as proof, but I think a goodly number of RiotAct readers would also have seen the idea in place, and would agree that it does work.

I can think of many lights in Canberra that could be turned off outside peak hours to everyone’s benefit. The most useless set of lights in all of Canberra, at Windeyer St and Philip Ave, would be an obvious choice. The lights on Limestone Ave and other suburban throughways of similar traffic patterns would work perfectly well as Give Way situations overnight and on weekends. Many other examples exist. I can’t see it happening in my lifetime though.

sepi 9:44 am 29 Apr 10

PS – I think a roundabout might do it.

sepi 9:44 am 29 Apr 10

Al – have you driven down this problem intersection during peak hour?

Traffic can already back up two blocks for the left turners, who have complete right of way. If you put a give way sign up (not sure where it will go either), then I agree with hackett council – anyone coming from the back half of Hackett will not ever get out.

bd84 10:11 pm 28 Apr 10

Another Stanhope “fix” which will probably cause more problems than there currently is. If they had half a brain they would realise that there is a bigger problem that exists to make people detour from the main routes. If they put the other half of their brain together with the 1st half, they would realise sticking some traffic lights in isn’t going to be the magic fix it is claimed.

One day they will realise that developing new areas before putting in the necessary transport infrastructure does not work. Gungahlin Drive, Gundaroo Drive, Northbourne Ave are great examples of this, Horse Park Drive will likely be the next.

housebound 9:50 pm 28 Apr 10

johnboy said :

A planning failure in Gungahlin? Surely you jest?

The planning failure IS Gungahlin.

Gungahlin Al 8:14 pm 28 Apr 10

ML-585 said :

What would you prefer: a fairly busy road running some distance behind your property or grid-lock at your front door? The people have spoken and they chose grid-lock on their once quiet suburban streets.

Yes, AFAIK Monash Drive has been removed from the Territory Plan or is about to be.

No it hasn’t.

The ACT government wants to scrap it. NCA have agreed to canvass the community about it at some stage to be decided. GCC oppose the removal until we have a government that has the vsion to deliver us a vialeublic transport solution. Without that, we willontionue to build roads for cars, and Monash will be unavoidable.

Back OT,CT report the pre-budget announcement on this as being a $1M installation – up from the $500K that Road ACT originally advised us.

For a problem that exists for just 5 hours per week, and not on school holidays. Traffic lights chewing juice 24-7, light pollution for the surrounding residents.

Absolutely something has to be done though, and I have been proposing a simple Give Way sign on Phillip Ave inbound, giving dominant flow to the right turn from Philip into Majura. With the congested flow cleared, the surge and gap from the lights back down Phillip would come back into play, and Hackett residents would have no problem getting out of Hackett on Phillip, as have resiudents there has been concerned about with my proposal.

But all I’ve been asking is that before a half (or whole) million gets slapped down for this 5-hour problem, let’s trial my idea for a few months? Likely cost $20K. But no.

So good that a serious problem is going to be fixed and itr will be a big boost for residents on Madigan and Maitland Streets. But I’d rather see my idea trilled to see if a mil can be put to better use.

buzz819 3:58 pm 28 Apr 10

Speaking of Gungahlin, what is going to happen when the suburb of Crace get’s built and people move in..

How the f&ck are they gonna get out of there in the morning? Gundaroo Drive already get’s backed up all the way to the first roundabout in to Palmerston??

It’s interesting and I am in a quiver of anticipation for it to start…

johnboy 3:42 pm 28 Apr 10

A planning failure in Gungahlin? Surely you jest?

Aurelius 3:38 pm 28 Apr 10

I can’t help thinking that if there was more employment in Gungahlin, there’d be fewer commuters from Gungahlin going down the GDE/Northbourne, and overflowing into neighbouring areas.
Planning failure, perhaps?

ML-585 2:59 pm 28 Apr 10

What would you prefer: a fairly busy road running some distance behind your property or grid-lock at your front door? The people have spoken and they chose grid-lock on their once quiet suburban streets.

Yes, AFAIK Monash Drive has been removed from the Territory Plan or is about to be.

BimboGeek 2:35 pm 28 Apr 10

Holden Caulfield said :

ML-585 said :

MONASH DRIVE.

Haha, good call. Only, the same residents would most likely complain about that road too. Hasn’t it officially been scrapped now?

Oh I hope not! I can see how Monash Drive could really suck and why I wouldn’t want it running near my house, but as long as it included lots of underpasses for walkers and an off-road bike track, I think the pros would outweigh the cons!

Holden Caulfield 2:32 pm 28 Apr 10

ML-585 said :

Here’s a thought. Why not build an arterial road for Watson and Hackett residents that bypasses Northbourne Ave. Gungahlin commuters could also use it instead of Majura Ave/Limestone Ave (or other routes through Ainsle). It can be called ….

MONASH DRIVE.

Haha, good call. Only, the same residents would most likely complain about that road too. Hasn’t it officially been scrapped now?

BimboGeek 2:14 pm 28 Apr 10

Thanks for the clarification Johnboy. I can be a bit frothy and incoherent when I get excited!

sepi 2:01 pm 28 Apr 10

They do need to do something, as right now it is really dangerous.

A never-ending stream of people turning left off Phillip Ave means that the enormous queue of right turners (and the few insane people trying to turn right out of Majura – which I would not attempt if you paid me), all of this traffic only gets though if someone ‘lets’ them turn in front of direct traffic.

Sometimes there is a sort of 3 way ‘turn taking’ game of chicken going on. he potential for someone to think someone is letting them in and then crash is huge.

I think the traffic lights are going to bank up more than they imagine, but at least it won’t be so scary.

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