Monaro Slowway

zig 26 February 2008 60

This morning and most mornings now it takes me on average about 30 minutes to get from Chisholm to Fyshwick due to number the vehicles clogging the Monaro highway. The distance I travel to work is only about 15km’s which means I have an average speed of just 30km/h. The speed limit for the Monaro is 80km/h and 100km/h in parts. I can’t change my working hours as they are dictated by my employer.

My wife has also found that it is quicker to travel to Civic via Woden/Adelaide Avenue during peak times than by travelling down the Monaro Slowway.

Is it just me or are Canberra roads inadequate in coping with even a slight increase of normal peak traffic?

The ACT road planners seem to keep adding extra sets of traffic lights and reducing the speed limits on the Monaro highway which doesn’t make any sense. It is a highway, it shouldn’t have traffic lights at all, just overpasses, underpasses and merging lanes. Why do we pay car registration for inadequate roads?

Every afternoon when I go home, the traffic lights for the ACT Jail are constantly going red/green for the construction labourers that knock off after their days work which clogs up the Monaro even more. Why did they put traffic lights in and not an underpass/overpass arrangement?

Most ACT cabbies I have spoken too, seem to indicate that ACT road planning only looks 2 years ahead and not 5-10 years ahead.

Anyone know any detail or background behind the ACT road planning mentality? Things are only going to get worse unless the ACT gets some decent public transport or upgrades it’s roads to deal with peak volumes of traffic.

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
60 Responses to Monaro Slowway
Deref Deref 4:17 pm 22 May 11

LimitedNews said :

Tony Gill is the head of Roads ACT. He is from Dublin, before they got metropolitan rail. Roads and cars are all he knows.

The Christ help us if it was headed up by someone who didn’t know anything about roads, then.

It’s a bloody disgrace is what it is – the greatest single failure of self government IMO.

It’s idiotic to compare us to Sydney and Melbourne. 25 years ago we had superb roads which were more than adequate for the traffic. We had the space to build decent roads as population and traffic increased; Sydney and Melbourne had houses and buildings in the way.

Yes, competent driving and courtesy would help, but it won’t solve the problem that our roads are simply inadequately designed for the traffic volumes they need to carry.

No doubt governments would all say “but we can’t afford to fund decent roads”. Hello? Not enough money to do the job we require you to do? Raise bloody rates and taxes, idiots. And to counter the inevitable “would YOU be prepared to pay higher rates and taxes for decent services and infrastructure?” – my bloody oath I would.

ant ant 12:48 pm 03 Mar 08

It just keeps getting worse. Today, traffic coming to a standstill just after Fairbairn turn-off (coming from NSW), stop start until Fairbairn Ave turnoff, and then to a stop again before the ceremonial Duntroon entrance.

They talk about Russell roundabout locking up in a few years, well it’s doing a good job of it from the north and south already! 5:54 pm 02 Mar 08

It’s because the local Gov’t mis-managed the money and they are broke! plus they are cheap! They keep opening up new land for development (ie; increasing Canberra population), but not increasing the infrastructure!! Remember all this when it’s election time!

ant ant 10:28 am 01 Mar 08

Cranky is on to something. I was musing on this the other day. Workplaces, especially at the airport, introducing a wholesale slippage of start/finish times.

Having people turn up from any time from 8am to 9.30am isn’t so great, because one reason you all come to the workplace is to work with the other workers there. What would work better is some places saying we start at 9.30, or 10am, and slip the going-home time accordingly. For the airport, it’d have to be a bit more dramatic, as when I come to work late, to be there by 9.30am, I see the Majura/Fairbairn/Pialligo crawl is still in effect, while the rest of the roads have unclogged by then.

It’s going to get horrific when they start the roadworks there.

cranky cranky 6:18 pm 29 Feb 08

Perhaps a concerted effort to spread the standard working hours over a wider period of the day would pay far greater dividends than adding lanes in reducing congestion.

Traffic at 6.30 – 7am on the Monaro is a breeze, as it also is post 9am.

The days of 8.30 – 4.51 for the PS are long gone. Perhaps an even greater spread of working hours could be of benefit.

Doctor Evil Doctor Evil 6:02 pm 29 Feb 08

Isn’t the GDE a road that wasn’t there before – i.e. it already is an extra two lanes?

And for the earlier posters who suggested merging lanes should be like a zipper – that’s fine until you get some knob jammed in it…..

caf caf 4:43 pm 29 Feb 08

Thumper: Well, I’ll take a photo sometime for you. Anyway, you’re now changing your argument. I for one am reluctant to second-guess those who do traffic for a living – if the analysis has indicated that one lane each way will do for the immediate future, then I’m all for it (because spending the money later rather than sooner saves us money). I agree that the system of providing for future expansion is a sensible and money saving option, and I’m happy that they seem to have done that.

Let us see how the traffic volumes settle down once all the roadworks are finished, and then we’ll know whether the roads needed to be wider from the start.

Kramer Kramer 2:06 pm 29 Feb 08

“We should make the lanes narrower. Road lanes in Canberra seem wide to me, in comparison to some other places. For example, if we reduced the lane size a bit, and the shoulder width a bit, the both the Parkway and Monaro could become 3 lanes in each direction.”

Great idea, we could then have multiple cycle lanes on arterial roads, which would make it much safer for me to overtake other cyclists during peak periods.

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 1:20 pm 29 Feb 08

If half of us drive monster trucks, we can utilise the space by driving over shorter cars.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 12:06 pm 29 Feb 08

We should make the lanes narrower. Road lanes in Canberra seem wide to me, in comparison to some other places. For example, if we reduced the lane size a bit, and the shoulder width a bit, the both the Parkway and Monaro could become 3 lanes in each direction.

Thumper Thumper 12:00 pm 29 Feb 08

Could have fooled me caf, doesn’t appear to be a lot of space left.

Even so, it should have been made two lanes each way from the start.

caf caf 11:52 am 29 Feb 08

Thumper: It’s one lane each way – there’s a difference between “dual carriageway” and “more than one lane each way”. The northbound and southbound lanes are separate carriageways, with sufficient empty space between them to add an additional lane in each direction in the future without requiring any more land clearing or earthworks.

Mælinar Mælinar 11:30 am 29 Feb 08

Thumper – you are discounting that the next big sattelite town in Canberra is going to be right in the middle of your trajectory into work – no more 20 min rides for you in a couple of years or so.

Speaking of which – Molongolo valley – single lane road with an intermittently closed/flooded bridge. Watch that space for a disaster we could have avoided by good planning.

Thumper Thumper 11:11 am 29 Feb 08


In that case, I’ll look a little closer.

And last time I drove on it the road was one lane each way, has this changed in the last two days?

caf caf 10:55 am 29 Feb 08

Thumper: Actually, the GDE has followed exactly the same principles. Take a look around at the Gininderra Dr and Belconnen Way overpasses – the foundations and earthworks for a second carriageway bridge have been put in place. And the road itself is a dual carriageway, with sufficient space left between the northbound and southbound lanes to add a third and fourth lane in the future.

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 8:44 am 29 Feb 08

I agree with the lack of planning – for years, the supports for the extra bridge were sitting at the end of drakeford drive. Even though they had to do some modifications to bring them into line with this weeks road safety standard, the bulk of the effort had already been done, and it was a relatively simple matter of adding the bridge spans.

Remember the telephone exchange, built in the 1970’s, and used in the late 80’s. It sat in what is now the Tuggeranong town centre waiting – I bet Telecom were happy that they spent the money when it was cheap….

But, the current government simply doesn’t plan – They might look to next election year, but they don’t do 10 and 20 year forward infrastructure plans.


Thumper Thumper 8:37 am 29 Feb 08

One problem this town now experiences is the lack of foresight or planning in infrastructure.

When I first moved to canberra I was often astounded to see two bridges built over creeks, etc, but only one road. Obviously whoever was planning the road had planned for the future and thus built a second bridge to cater for another lane, or two of traffic.

Evidence of this can still be seen around the place.

These days we get the GDE being built as one lane, and no contingency to be able to make it dual passageway.

I would suggest the same goes for the Monaro Highway and various other major roads where, rather than having good planning for the future, the government has simply whacked in traffic lights wherever there seemed to be a problem.

Oh for some decent foresight and planning again.

Let’s hope the rather impressive looking Glenloch Interchange proves me wrong.

BTW, takes me 20 minutes from West belconnen to Civic, no matter what time I leave. No complaints here 😉

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 8:26 am 29 Feb 08

News just in – I left home this morning at 7.07am and arrived at my office at 7.28am – And I used the Monaro Highway.

Wow – on the whole, everybody was being good, and sticking in the left lane, and those who were asleep at the wheel allowed enough space around them, so I could simply overtake at 140+ Km/h in the left hand lane, before they could even react.

Passing Hume, I left the customary line of rubber just before the dumb arse speed camera. It was so satisfying.

Then, on past the new prison, still, everybody being good in the left lane. Even past Fyshwick, it was all good.

Coming around the big roundabout, there was *no* traffic, so it was a simple case of dropping it from 5th down to 3rd, and flooring it, around what was, effectively, a sweeping left hand bend. Then it was through the defence precinct – Nobody asleep in the middle of a crossing – all good.

I was pleasantly surprised, but will admit that the wait for the coffee shop was cold, as they hadn’t opened yet. Damm we need more consistiency in this town.

el ......TECortina 250 Deathtrap el ......TECortina 250 Deathtrap 9:01 pm 28 Feb 08

I’d bus it to work if the 20 minute drive didn’t take 55 minutes by bus.

zig zig 5:45 pm 28 Feb 08

Perhaps what Canberra needs is a good old pandemic? How about a good ole dose of Bird Flu in Richardson?

Meh I guess they all don’t work anyhow so it wouldn’t make much difference to the amount of traffic. 😛

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site