Silly main road design

JC 7 February 2012 45

Who is it in ACT roads that comes up with new road designs? Drove through Molonglo the other day along Cotter Road to discover that the alignment has changed and it now heads through the middle of the two new suburbs of Wright and Coombs towards Uriarra road. To get to the Cotter and suburbs such as Duffy a left turn is now required into Cotter Road. I assume at some point the road from Adelaide Ave to the new turn off will be renamed something else otherwise it will be odd having a road change name with a left hand turn.

Anyway the alignment and new arrangement makes sense, but what doesn’t is the fact that this road, which is clearly a major feeder road has those silly side roads coming off it, presumably with high density housing to be put alongside. Surrey if this is a major road why have any small side streets off it? Why not do what was done in the older suburbs and have one or two roads leading into the suburb and have every other road feed off these? Why do we need minor roads like this coming off a main road? They could still build all the high density housing they wish without these silly minor roads coming off the major road.

Out Gungahlin way they have done the same thing along Flemington Road and Gundaroo Drive between Horse Park and Mirrabei Drive, again both roads that by rights should be major thoroughfares.

Anyway have a look at these Nearmap pics. First showing the new arrangement in Molonglo.

Then Gundaroo Drive in Gungalin. Isn’t it plain to see that it would have been better for Gundaroo Drive to continue as a main road to Horse Park Drive? Now everyone who lives north of Horse Park Drive will need to come through the middle of a residential area to get to the town centre. Plain stupidity.

And finally Flemington Road. Again pointless having these piddly roads off what should be a main road. The alignment should have also ended up running onto Mirrabei as a main road instead of feeding into the main shopping/pedestrian area of Gungahlin.

Oh one last thing why are all left turns at lights now being built with such hard lefts, whereas in the past they were a lot gentler?


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KB1971 KB1971 9:39 am 09 Feb 12

JC said :

No wasn’t complaining about it being an inconvenience or having to slow down, was actually simply making an observation if you care to look at the first post. In a latter post I gave an example of where an intersection has been modified and I personally reckon made it more dangerous in the process.

I also notice that the new left turn off the Barton Highway onto Kurringa Drive has been built the same.

As for John Gorton Drive (aka the road previously known as Cotter Road), my issue is it is a main thoroughfare and I believe they have built it in a way that once it starts to get congested will cause issues, caused in particular with traffic entering or leaving those silly service roads or doing U turns at major intersections to access service roads on the other side. As the road has been designed for 70km/h do we really want cars slowing or entering slowly from these very regular service roads when a very simple solution would be to have major intersections and have the service roads coming off these instead, which is a traffic environment that is more akin to local traffic.

The whole thing could have still been built as a major transport thoroughfare for buses, bikes, pedestrians and heaven forbid cars with high density housing alongside, just without the parallel service roads. To me that is a win win win for everyone and easy to acheive in a green fields site.

Now speaking of public transport what corridors are going to be made available for buses to access the city in particular, or are we going to go back to the 60/70’s way of thinking and just assume everyone is going to live and work in the local area?

Sorry JC I mixed up the second response with your OP as this thread has been hijacked somewhat.

This is a popular way to do things in other places like Melbourne (Sydney not so much as it is a dogs breakfast) & I guess the local planners have decided to follow suit. I personally dont really see a problem with it as it will give the residents a quiet street to reverse into. Limestone AV is a prime example so is just about any road in Sydney of what I call bad residential planning (King Georges road comes to mind).

I have used sideroads like this in larger cities & I think they work quite well.

As to the answer to your question about having feeder roads, you will have to ask TAMS about that one.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 9:08 pm 08 Feb 12

KB1971 – Ratrunner? What is that exactly? Yup, looked it up. Nope, the back streets are too twisted and I don’t have the acceleration to make it viable. In that train of thought though, what makes Cotter Road a backstreet??? It would be a rural road by any standard. With an 80km/h speed limit, not the kind of place you want to be slowing down 60km/h to avoid knocking someone over or hitting an oncoming vehicle.
Bike lane within city limits? How far does the city go towards Cotter? Surely not to Mount Stromlo? I’m talking about the rest of the journey where smooth open road driving should relax one, not cause constant braking and accelerating such as is seen all the way to the edge of the Brindabellas during the training exercises we regularly see.
My comment on government expectations was based on the design of Molonglo, being limited to one car off street parking in multi-storey dwellings. Obviously, one of the many people living in and paying off one of these hyper-priced mansions will have to take buses or ride to work. Control by design.
Turner is just a stroll from work, Molonglo is quite a hike for most. Big difference. They are using inner city strategies with outer suburb problems and encouraging it by placing a cycling facility right next door.
While we are making it personal, may I insinuate you are a Nimby, living the PS life and riding or walking to work without a care for those who haven’t inherited or cannot afford to live in the inner city.
I’d call you a yuppie. Especially with your intimate knowledge of government policy, I’d say definitely a pube. My comments on cyclists is not invalid, as I’ve had on many occasion on Cotter road to slow down to a crawl because of oncoming traffic and rider/s occupying the lane, only to have to “gas up” our greenhouse because of them when accelerating to the limit again. energy saved by cyclist vs extra fuel used by me??? Can someone figure that one out to see who wins, environment or leadfoots?
BTW, thanks for backing me up JC. Good info.
Lets stick to opinions about the subject matter, not opinions about people we don’t know.

JC JC 6:09 pm 08 Feb 12

KB1971 said :

I think you guys are reading too much into it, the way I read it, the OP was talking about the inconvenience of having to slow down & take notice of the traffic as he is entering a main road. This is a traffic calming measure, not a conspiracy to remove vehicles from the road.

As far as the access to the new Mologlo suburbs is concerned, the Cotter road is being upgraded to cope with the traffic flow (how well this will work will remain to be seen), ok its not a parkway but is that required just yet? That particular area will be pretty well full with no further scope for development. The next area is south Belco (near Coppins Crossing) for which they will direct traffic onto Willian Hovell Dve so there will be no more need to upgrade roads for that.

As far as Cotter Road goes, the bit that has no cycle lanes on it really is low traffic compared to other roads, yes it is busy with rat runners not saving any time in the morning but normally it is pretty quiet. I am thinking wildturkeycanoe is a rat runner but I could be wrong.

Part of my retort to wildturkeycanoe was basically to call him on his crap, yep he can hate cyclists all he wants but really if he is going to make wild statments he needs to back them up. Saying the government wants us all on public transport is a crock because they would be sacrificing a source of revenue & no government wants to do that.

No wasn’t complaining about it being an inconvenience or having to slow down, was actually simply making an observation if you care to look at the first post. In a latter post I gave an example of where an intersection has been modified and I personally reckon made it more dangerous in the process.

I also notice that the new left turn off the Barton Highway onto Kurringa Drive has been built the same.

As for John Gorton Drive (aka the road previously known as Cotter Road), my issue is it is a main thoroughfare and I believe they have built it in a way that once it starts to get congested will cause issues, caused in particular with traffic entering or leaving those silly service roads or doing U turns at major intersections to access service roads on the other side. As the road has been designed for 70km/h do we really want cars slowing or entering slowly from these very regular service roads when a very simple solution would be to have major intersections and have the service roads coming off these instead, which is a traffic environment that is more akin to local traffic.

The whole thing could have still been built as a major transport thoroughfare for buses, bikes, pedestrians and heaven forbid cars with high density housing alongside, just without the parallel service roads. To me that is a win win win for everyone and easy to acheive in a green fields site.

Now speaking of public transport what corridors are going to be made available for buses to access the city in particular, or are we going to go back to the 60/70’s way of thinking and just assume everyone is going to live and work in the local area?

KB1971 KB1971 4:36 pm 08 Feb 12

chewy14 said :

KB,
that’s exactly what it means.
They are trying to remove the reliance on cars by making them harder to use and public transport easier. If they wanted you to use your car for these trips they would build more roads like the Tuggeranong Parkway between areas with few road connections like what JC was saying in the original OP.

I’m not actually saying there’s anything wrong with that approach. I think more sustainable transport is a good thing, but there is definitely no doubt that they are trying to stop people using their cars as much as they do now by reducing your ability to easily do so.

Ideally in the future we’ll have a much better bus/tram public transport system than we do now and people will use it much more frequently. The planning in the strategy is a good step to achieving this.

Fair enough but I don”t see it that way at all. Motor vehicles are so entrenched in our society that there will have to be a major shortage of something for them to become obselete.

I think you guys are reading too much into it, the way I read it, the OP was talking about the inconvenience of having to slow down & take notice of the traffic as he is entering a main road. This is a traffic calming measure, not a conspiracy to remove vehicles from the road.

As far as the access to the new Mologlo suburbs is concerned, the Cotter road is being upgraded to cope with the traffic flow (how well this will work will remain to be seen), ok its not a parkway but is that required just yet? That particular area will be pretty well full with no further scope for development. The next area is south Belco (near Coppins Crossing) for which they will direct traffic onto Willian Hovell Dve so there will be no more need to upgrade roads for that.

As far as Cotter Road goes, the bit that has no cycle lanes on it really is low traffic compared to other roads, yes it is busy with rat runners not saving any time in the morning but normally it is pretty quiet. I am thinking wildturkeycanoe is a rat runner but I could be wrong.

Part of my retort to wildturkeycanoe was basically to call him on his crap, yep he can hate cyclists all he wants but really if he is going to make wild statments he needs to back them up. Saying the government wants us all on public transport is a crock because they would be sacrificing a source of revenue & no government wants to do that.

One other thing, the Tuggeranong Parkway was built in the days of Federal Government (as will most of Canberra with the exception of Gunners) & roads were built with little care for the cost. All you have to is drive on Erindale/Ashely/Johnson Drives in Tuggers to see that they were inteded for dual carraigeway to be completed at a later date (that never came). Local government in the ACT does not have that money to throw around now so they have to make it go further.

chewy14 chewy14 3:54 pm 08 Feb 12

KB1971 said :

chewy14 said :

Perhaps you’d like to read the ACT Planning Strategy.
http://timetotalk.act.gov.au/storage/1222_PLANNING_STRATEGY_TAGGED_PDF_FINAL.pdf
Particularly the parts about these transitways.

Or the Riotact discussion on it 4 months ago:
http://the-riotact.com/draft-act-planning-strategy-up-for-discussion-infill-ahoy/56828/comment-page-2#comments

“To lower Canberra’s carbon emissions, the community will invest in sustainable transport and buildings. There will be a shift from its current dependency on the motor vehicle to more sustainable options. Electric cars, walking and cycling and the newly built light rail/sustainable public transport system will make Canberra a city less dependent on motor vehicles. Incentives and planning codes that reduce energy and water use in new and old houses will conserve resources. Older houses will have been retrofitted to improve their environmental performance.”

Less, does not mean none 😉 & yes every Government in Australia is trying to acheive this because the public, guided by the media, are expecting it plus oil is not going to last forever.

It is a long bow that the territory plan specifically means that TAMS will build slower intersections so people do not use their cars anymore…..

I say:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOzG7bBylRo

KB,
that’s exactly what it means.
They are trying to remove the reliance on cars by making them harder to use and public transport easier. If they wanted you to use your car for these trips they would build more roads like the Tuggeranong Parkway between areas with few road connections like what JC was saying in the original OP.

I’m not actually saying there’s anything wrong with that approach. I think more sustainable transport is a good thing, but there is definitely no doubt that they are trying to stop people using their cars as much as they do now by reducing your ability to easily do so.

Ideally in the future we’ll have a much better bus/tram public transport system than we do now and people will use it much more frequently. The planning in the strategy is a good step to achieving this.

KB1971 KB1971 2:44 pm 08 Feb 12

Some more:

“Canberrans lead the nation in commuter cycling. Evidence shows that where Canberrans live close to work, they will walk or cycle. Between 2001 and 2006 the number of people in Turner walking to work increased from 6% to 24%. Making it easier to walk or cycle, by not only improving the infrastructure but reducing the distance, will make it easier for more people to incorporate this activity in their routinie journeys.
To keep Canberra a clean and easy, safe place for people to get around, we must reconsider how we plan and design our city. Cars will always have a role but a convenient public transport system, good walking and cycling networks can offer some practical alternatives for many of our weekday trips.”

KB1971 KB1971 2:12 pm 08 Feb 12

chewy14 said :

Perhaps you’d like to read the ACT Planning Strategy.
http://timetotalk.act.gov.au/storage/1222_PLANNING_STRATEGY_TAGGED_PDF_FINAL.pdf
Particularly the parts about these transitways.

Or the Riotact discussion on it 4 months ago:
http://the-riotact.com/draft-act-planning-strategy-up-for-discussion-infill-ahoy/56828/comment-page-2#comments

“To lower Canberra’s carbon emissions, the community will invest in sustainable transport and buildings. There will be a shift from its current dependency on the motor vehicle to more sustainable options. Electric cars, walking and cycling and the newly built light rail/sustainable public transport system will make Canberra a city less dependent on motor vehicles. Incentives and planning codes that reduce energy and water use in new and old houses will conserve resources. Older houses will have been retrofitted to improve their environmental performance.”

Less, does not mean none 😉 & yes every Government in Australia is trying to acheive this because the public, guided by the media, are expecting it plus oil is not going to last forever.

It is a long bow that the territory plan specifically means that TAMS will build slower intersections so people do not use their cars anymore…..

I say:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOzG7bBylRo

chewy14 chewy14 11:10 am 08 Feb 12

KB1971 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

All this realignment does is get the motorist used to the slow traffic on Cotter Road, where cyclists occupy the lanes doing only 25km/h and bank up traffic due to the non-existence of overtaking lanes.
Also, the government is expecting everyone in Molonglo to ride to work or catch buses so a major free-flowing arterial road is not required. This applies to any new suburbs extended out from the edge of Canberra in the future. Simple.

Ohhh the travesty that someone should ride a bike on a back road………(which incidentally has bike lanes along most of its length within the city limits).

Also, please post links to the government policy for all to see, it would be most interesting.

Perhaps you’d like to read the ACT Planning Strategy.
http://timetotalk.act.gov.au/storage/1222_PLANNING_STRATEGY_TAGGED_PDF_FINAL.pdf
Particularly the parts about these transitways.

Or the Riotact discussion on it 4 months ago:
http://the-riotact.com/draft-act-planning-strategy-up-for-discussion-infill-ahoy/56828/comment-page-2#comments

KB1971 KB1971 10:22 am 08 Feb 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

All this realignment does is get the motorist used to the slow traffic on Cotter Road, where cyclists occupy the lanes doing only 25km/h and bank up traffic due to the non-existence of overtaking lanes.
Also, the government is expecting everyone in Molonglo to ride to work or catch buses so a major free-flowing arterial road is not required. This applies to any new suburbs extended out from the edge of Canberra in the future. Simple.

Ohhh the travesty that someone should ride a bike on a back road………(which incidentally has bike lanes along most of its length within the city limits).

Also, please post links to the government policy for all to see, it would be most interesting.

JC JC 7:31 am 08 Feb 12

Sgt.Bungers said :

JC said :

The newer style doesn’t slow them the fuck down, that’s the issue. The real idiots still go like a bull at a gate and then need to turn into the outside lane, creating double trouble. So everyone else that can do the right thing gets punished. And before anyone goes on the attack it isn’t about saving a few seconds either.

So what you’re saying is that you believe intersections are safer when the average driver has less of a cue to slow down, thus resulting in less time to negotiate the corner, and resulting in hastier decisions? That it’s safer for motorists to drive at higher speed through low angle slip lanes, even when Australian Road Rule 72.4.b requires motorists to give way to pedestrians on a slip lane, even if a pedestrian crossing doesn’t exist… Because otherwise, idiots are going to go through at high speed and make things dangerous?

Not sure I’m following your train of thought!

Go stand on the corner of Coulter Drive and Belconnen Way for an hour or so, then maybe you will.

Deref Deref 7:03 am 08 Feb 12

Bluenomi said :

While I’d love to look at your maps to see what you are talking about I’m not going to sign up for a website just to do it.

+1

What an idiotic concept.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 5:18 am 08 Feb 12

All this realignment does is get the motorist used to the slow traffic on Cotter Road, where cyclists occupy the lanes doing only 25km/h and bank up traffic due to the non-existence of overtaking lanes.
Also, the government is expecting everyone in Molonglo to ride to work or catch buses so a major free-flowing arterial road is not required. This applies to any new suburbs extended out from the edge of Canberra in the future. Simple.

BicycleCanberra BicycleCanberra 12:22 am 08 Feb 12

Sgt.Bungers said :

It’s amazing how many transport discussions on the RA descend into “everything is all cyclists fault”.

High angle corners have been deemed by transportation engineers all around the world as being a far safer style of corner in urban areas.

Information provided in the links below recommend high angle corners for pedestrian safety, not just cyclist safety.

Providing free left turns is still inherently car friendly design, when you take into account the desire lines for traffic as opposed to pedestrians and cyclists ( Cyclist using shared paths ). There is really no need to have slip lanes and it doesn’t increase congestion.It is all about appropriate signal phasing that keeps traffic moving.

The desire can be the same for Pedestrians and cyclist rather than an obstacle course like the new arrangements at Melrose/Hindmarsh intersection in Woden
ACT roads has learned nothing in creating cities for people! You would have thought that as they are looking at redesigning Northbourne Ave with separated cycle infrastructure, they would be doing it here in Molonglo.
This type of intersection is designed for high level motor vehicle use and not ‘transport use’.

http://youtu.be/FlApbxLz6pA
http://youtu.be/6aOrVDl_7z0

yellowsnow yellowsnow 12:09 am 08 Feb 12

chewy14 said :

The terrain is flat? What planet are you living on?

Well it ain’t exactly the Himalayas. Or even Black Mt, or Capital Hill

The area we’re talking about (Cotter rd bw Streeton Drive and Eucumbene) is gently undulating – unless maybe you’re an ant. If engineers can build the GDE through Black Mt, or dig a massive hole in contaminated ground to forge the North Weston Ponds, they should be able to build a road through the undulating flatlands of northern Weston Creek without too much difficulty or expense, without diverting the road 100m south to circumvent a molehill.

Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 10:48 pm 07 Feb 12

JC said :

The newer style doesn’t slow them the fuck down, that’s the issue. The real idiots still go like a bull at a gate and then need to turn into the outside lane, creating double trouble. So everyone else that can do the right thing gets punished. And before anyone goes on the attack it isn’t about saving a few seconds either.

So what you’re saying is that you believe intersections are safer when the average driver has less of a cue to slow down, thus resulting in less time to negotiate the corner, and resulting in hastier decisions? That it’s safer for motorists to drive at higher speed through low angle slip lanes, even when Australian Road Rule 72.4.b requires motorists to give way to pedestrians on a slip lane, even if a pedestrian crossing doesn’t exist… Because otherwise, idiots are going to go through at high speed and make things dangerous?

Not sure I’m following your train of thought!

I say keep the high angle corners, and crack down hard on idiots who drive with reckless disregard for the safety of anyone else.

JC said :

The older style turns worked until the roads were buggerised by adding bike lanes, even though in the case of Belconnen Way there is a perfectly good bike lane right alongside.

It’s amazing how many transport discussions on the RA descend into “everything is all cyclists fault”.

High angle corners have been deemed by transportation engineers all around the world as being a far safer style of corner in urban areas.

Information provided in the links below recommend high angle corners for pedestrian safety, not just cyclist safety.

http://www.urbanstreet.info/3rd_symp_proceedings/Safety%20Effect%20of%20the%20Skew%20Angle%20in%20Right%20Turn%20Maneuvers.pdf

http://www.ite.org/css/online/img/Figure10-11-edit.jpg

http://www.ite.org/css/online/DWUT10.html

chewy14 chewy14 10:28 pm 07 Feb 12

JC,
That’s the point. The goal is to create a critical population mass around these hubs in the future so you don’t have to go through them. You’ll be stopping there and hopping on a bus/tram/train to get where you’re going.

JC JC 9:57 pm 07 Feb 12

funky said :

Is there something wrong with you? From what you have seen they need to slow the f#ck down when making that turn and then there is no problem. You and your mates, who had no problem seenig cars and BIKES (motor), are the ones who generated the stats used in the studies that detected the problem and came up with the safer alternative.

The newer style doesn’t slow them the fuck down, that’s the issue. The real idiots still go like a bull at a gate and then need to turn into the outside lane, creating double trouble. So everyone else that can do the right thing gets punished. And before anyone goes on the attack it isn’t about saving a few seconds either.

The older style turns worked until the roads were buggerised by adding bike lanes, even though in the case of Belconnen Way there is a perfectly good bike lane right alongside.

JC JC 9:53 pm 07 Feb 12

chewy14 said :

Because by backing them onto the road you would be splitting the development and this would ruin the functionality and I think it would look extremely ugly. They’re meant to be a community and public transport hubs, so having the shops and residences facing the the main road links them much better. They’re not designed to allow you to drive your car through as fast as possible.

They are main roads which should be designed to get people from A to B without too many obsticals. That’s the problem they CREATE issues like this then need to slow people down when if designed properly there should be no need. As for the design of the developments why do they need to be ugle if designed backwards. There are plenty of examples in suburbs such as Harrison and Franklin where the houses and pedestrian traffic fronts the road and vehicles are on a service road behind.

Now in this case of this new road through Molonglo and Flemmington road you could have the main road as the transport corridor with cars and public transport freely moving without obstacles, have the high density housing on the side with the local traffic behind, away and safe.

As it stands there is a gord awful mix of what should be a main arterial road, with fast and slow traffic, it’s a receipt for trouble.

And no I am not in a hurry to get from A to B, but don’t see the point of poorly designing new roads that create needless issues.

funky funky 8:50 pm 07 Feb 12

Quote”
I have no trouble seeing cars and bikes coming on the older turns and I in fact even give way to them. From what I’ve seen of the tighter turns is it is encouraging many to turn left into the right hand lane rather than the left, so they have two lanes of traffic to watch for and double the chance of being hit. The worst such example being Coulter left onto Belconnen way (city bound) end Quote”

Is there something wrong with you? From what you have seen they need to slow the f#ck down when making that turn and then there is no problem. You and your mates, who had no problem seenig cars and BIKES (motor), are the ones who generated the stats used in the studies that detected the problem and came up with the safer alternative.

chewy14 chewy14 7:52 pm 07 Feb 12

JC said :

chewy14 said :

As far as I can see the government is trying to create transport hubs along these feeder roads which have high density housing built along them to enable higher use of public transport.
As well as this, a lot of these developments are going to be mixed use with commercial shops/restaurants etc on the bottom floor/s with residential above, so the service roads enable people to find and use these businesses.
The road in Molonglo is going to be John Gorton Drive which I think is going to be built similar to Flemington road.

You can still do that without having these service roads off and parallel to the main road. Just back the development onto the main road and provide the service road on the other side with access off the minor road. I do wonder as some elluded to before if it is a way of providing a buffer without actually providing one. As without these service roads they would probably need some parkland/verge, by having the service road they don’t as the service road provides the buffer.

Because by backing them onto the road you would be splitting the development and this would ruin the functionality and I think it would look extremely ugly. They’re meant to be a community and public transport hubs, so having the shops and residences facing the the main road links them much better. They’re not designed to allow you to drive your car through as fast as possible.

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