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The Tacked on Look: ACT Road modifications.

By MelonHead - 18 January 2013 42

It doesn’t take much looking to find “exciting” roadworks anywhere in Canberra. What I can’t help but notice is that when these works are finished, they all look tacked on and cheap. Then there is quality of build which is usually average to poor.

Cases in point are the new merge lane from Parkes Way to Commonwealth Ave. Rough to drive on, sketchy geometry and still a pile of dirt left nearby. What about the Kings Ave overpass of Parkes Way? Strange twists and turns on almost every approach, and traffic lights with a suburb’s worth of space between them.

Don’t mention the GDE, its intial construction, the duplication, and the astounding exit path for Aranda. Seriously, who approved that? And why?

There are many more examples. I need convincing that doing the job right the first time would cost so much more, that I should be satisfied with the existing result. Am I too fussy, or is this what we have to look forward to in the future?

What’s Your opinion?


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The Tacked on Look: ACT Road modifications.
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tim_c 9:29 am 23 Apr 13

devils_advocate said :

The removal of the ‘give way’ and the insertion of the merge lane on the corkscrew up from parkes way onto commonwealth avenue has made a huge improvement in traffic flows in the mornings…

I’ve never been through there during peak times, but I must say I was very impressed with that change. Often the implemented changes add confusion and have the intent of disrupting traffic flow (probably from an idea that stationary drivers can’t/won’t crash), but that one is an anomaly which is quite straight-forward and seems to have made it easier (and therefore safer) for traffic from either road (ie. you don’t have to look over your right shoulder and be ready to stop for approaching traffic while negotiating the corkscrew (which is shared with a bike lane) – you now only need a ‘merge-sized’ gap), it’s also good to hear it improves traffic flows. All I can say is: It must have been planned/approved by the new guy! 😉

tim_c 9:05 am 23 Apr 13

JC said :

So have any of you bothered to provide feedback using the fix my street page on Canberra connect?

Yes, I’ve had mixed success with it. A lot of the contractors seem navigationally challenged and are unable to locate the problems despite a very clear description of exactly where the issue is (and pinning it on the Google map). There is also a feature for uploading photos but half the time you get a phonecall seeking clarification and when you refer to the photo you attached, they say “What photo? There’s no photo attached.”

If it’s something simple to fix, it will usually get some attention, but usually not on the first report (though you’ll always get some automatic acknowledgement saying something like “a work order has been raised”). I’ve reported some odd linemarkings (or lack of) a couple of years ago and the last time I drove past each of the places, nothing had been done – I think they went into the too hard basket.

The first was the complete lack of lane markings on the eastbound approach to the roundabout at the intersection of Parkes Way and Coranderrk Street – one moment all the traffic is in lanes, the next thing you’re just in an unguided expanse of plain bitumen – quite scary considering how many people drive into and through roundabouts even when they have marked lanes!

The second is Botany Street, Phillip (heading east from the roundabout, towards Hindmarsh Dr) where there are two lanes after the roundabout, then these become one lane without any warning or signage, but a distinctly separate right-turn lane starts from the right – why not just have two lanes continuing as two lanes?

On the other hand, last week I reported a pedestrian signal button wasn’t working and I had notification the same day reporting that it had been fixed (though I haven’t bothered going back to confirm).

cranky 8:25 pm 22 Apr 13

Devil’s advocate here.

I take my hat off to the contractor who built Lanyon Drive from the Monaro Highway to the Jerra roundabout. The smoothest bit of road in the ACT.

Suspect the same contractor was involved with the Monaro Highway duplication through Fyshwick. Maybe not quite as smooth, but a lovely bit of road.

ACT Roads should not lose this mobs phone number.

Jere13 4:40 pm 22 Apr 13

The roads are going from bad to worse in the ACT. I mean, the ACT seems to be relatively proactive about doing something to fix the roads, the only problem is that due to the poor quality of the spray seal used, in many cases they take a relatively smooth road and cover it in very rough aggeregate. Asphalt it seems in the ACT is as rare as hens teeth and while the Gov’t is saving money with limiting asphalt use, we are all paying with chips in our windscreens and paintwork, ugly gravel looking roads not to mention how noisy spray seal is to drive on.

The good news is that the Australian Automobile Association has a petition to lobby the government for better quality roads. Just search demandbetterroads in google.

dpm 9:50 am 14 Feb 13

dpm said :

dpm said :

I saw some plans recently (I think they were the Barry drive reno plans up on ACTPLA?) that showed all buses to/from Civic to Belco were going to use the Childers/Rimmer/Kingsleys streets through that corner of ANU to get between Marcus Clarke and Barry Drive. I’m guessing these new lights are part of that plan….?

Here it is:
http://www.transport.act.gov.au/Belconnen%20to%20City%20Transitway%20-%20City%20Sector.pdf

This bit is going to be open/used from 16/2/13: “New ANU bus stop opens 16 February 2013

A new ANU bus stop opens 16 February 2013 on the corner of Rimmer and Childers Streets. ACTION bus routes 6, 8, 10, 300 series, 703, 704, 710 and on weekends 900, 937 and 942 in and outbound will now reroute to access this stop through Rudd Street, Rimmer Street and Kingsley Drive and Barry Drive from this date. View a map of the changes.”

See (as at 14/2/13):
https://www.action.act.gov.au/

RadioVK 9:07 am 22 Jan 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Deckard said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

peeps

I think you’ve overused that word to death. Please stop.

Explain?

This isn’t the ghetto, you’re not gangsta.

devils_advocate 3:26 pm 21 Jan 13

The removal of the ‘give way’ and the insertion of the merge lane on the corkscrew up from parkes way onto commonwealth avenue has made a huge improvement in traffic flows in the mornings.

Also, travelling away from the city, the on-ramp from parkes way onto the GDE (heading towards gungahlin) is just heaps and heaps of fun.

dpm 2:51 pm 21 Jan 13

dpm said :

I saw some plans recently (I think they were the Barry drive reno plans up on ACTPLA?) that showed all buses to/from Civic to Belco were going to use the Childers/Rimmer/Kingsleys streets through that corner of ANU to get between Marcus Clarke and Barry Drive. I’m guessing these new lights are part of that plan….?

Here it is:
http://www.transport.act.gov.au/Belconnen%20to%20City%20Transitway%20-%20City%20Sector.pdf

dpm 2:47 pm 21 Jan 13

JessP said :

I have to say that on driving along Alinga street on the weekend, turning right onto Marcus Carke, I was surprised to see new traffic lights going on the extension of Rudd Street, only a couple of hundreed metres from the Marcus Clarke/Barry Drive intersection and then new traffic lights going onto the Kingsley Street intersection.

Thats got to make for a fun drive home at peak hour if they are not syncronised (or if you are out of sync!)

I saw some plans recently (I think they were the Barry drive reno plans up on ACTPLA?) that showed all buses to/from Civic to Belco were going to use the Childers/Rimmer/Kingsleys streets through that corner of ANU to get between Marcus Clarke and Barry Drive. I’m guessing these new lights are part of that plan….?

JessP 2:18 pm 21 Jan 13

I have to say that on driving along Alinga street on the weekend, turning right onto Marcus Carke, I was surprised to see new traffic lights going on the extension of Rudd Street, only a couple of hundreed metres from the Marcus Clarke/Barry Drive intersection and then new traffic lights going onto the Kingsley Street intersection.

Thats got to make for a fun drive home at peak hour if they are not syncronised (or if you are out of sync!)

Loxmyf 2:13 pm 21 Jan 13

The one that gets me is the upgrade of the intersection of College St and Cooinda St in Bruce.

The intersection at Whelan St has been here for longer than I’ve been in Canberra, likely built when the houses in there were.

The Cooinda St intersection was a horrible intersection with one lane each way, lots of buses and no separate turning lanes. With a lot of newly licensed uni students using the intersection, it could get congested very quickly and accidents were a common occurrence..

A couple of years ago, TPTB decided to upgrade the College St/Cooinda St intersection. It was a long overdue upgrade. The trouble is, they didn’t align it with the unused portion of the Whelan St intersection 100m down the road. They ignored the pre-laid out divided intersection that had been there for at least 8 years and made the road angle back to single lanes each way (albeit with turning lanes).

RadioVK 1:20 pm 21 Jan 13

Deckard said :

J0HN said :

I heard that the GDE was taken from an American road design.

Wasn’t that the urban myth of the glenloch interchange? Before the GDE was a glint in your mother’s eye…

I’ve also heard the same thing said about the old Belconnen mall car park. I think it was a pretty widespread urban myth at the time, and used to explain all sorts of crap road design.

Madam Cholet 12:04 pm 21 Jan 13

youami said :

Well looks like the problems with the intersection at Edinburgh Av/Parkes Wy nr Nishi was realised today; a black Astra was T-boned whilst trying to do the change-lane shuffle. Not my car or accident but worth mentioning as it is only a week or so before everyone comes back to work.

Just regaling Monsieur Cholet about this new disaster yesterday. And I remarked how when the post Xmas traffic returns all hell will let loose as the change was made basically as work days petered out last year. I might start taking Constitution Ave instead. Oh wait, I can’t because that’s a complete disaster too right now.

Went down to have a look at the new lights at Conder (gosh I lead an exciting life!!), and I can confirm that yes, they are in a particularly stupid spot where two lanes start to become one. Not only will this ensure bingles between competing cars, but will also ensure that peak hour traffic coming home to Gordon and Banks will probably back up over the roundabout she the lights change.

youami 11:35 am 21 Jan 13

Well looks like the problems with the intersection at Edinburgh Av/Parkes Wy nr Nishi was realised today; a black Astra was T-boned whilst trying to do the change-lane shuffle. Not my car or accident but worth mentioning as it is only a week or so before everyone comes back to work.

AussieRodney 12:28 pm 20 Jan 13

JC said :

So have any of you bothered to provide feedback using the fix my street page on Canberra connect?

Yes, I have. Contact is usually pretty quick & activity does eventually take place.

To add to the list, on the GDE northbound over the Barton Highway, on the far edge of the bridge there’s a drop that can almost swallow a small car.

bundah 10:14 am 20 Jan 13

Of course it would be too much for someone from TAMS to respond to all the valid concerns highlighted here on RA.But then again how does one defend the indefensible?

JC 8:49 am 20 Jan 13

Antagonist said :

cranky said :

Deckard said :

J0HN said :

I heard that the GDE was taken from an American road design.

Wasn’t that the urban myth of the glenloch interchange? Before the GDE was a glint in your mother’s eye…

This nonsense goes back even further to the design of State Circle around Parl House.

Wasn’t all of Canberra designed by an American architect named Walter Burley Griffin?

It sure was, NOT. He and his wife designed ALL of Canberra’s subrubs, including Woden, Weston Creek, Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Gungahlin. Way back then they knew that this city would be dominated by the car, so they designed all the roads and all the suburbs. Pretty modern thinkers weren’t they?

JC 8:46 am 20 Jan 13

Spykler said :

The old Belconnen bus interchange was apparently based on an American design, but when we constructed it out here it was soon discovered that it worked way better if the vehicles drove on the right-hand side of the road..
Another Canberra Urban myth?- couldn’t say for sure…

100% an urban myth and depending upon how you view it they didn’t actually run on the wrong side of the road. The interchange was design with a central platform so passengers didn’t have to cross the road like they do now if they wish to change bus. As the doors are on the left of the bus this means the buses need to run to the right of the platform, just as they do on the road. It may seem they are going the wrong way, but in reality the roads down the side of the platform were separate one way streets. The same is also true for Woden and Tuggeranong Interhchanges, though not quite as obvious as Belconnen was due to their respective designs.

Admittedly when first built the buses DID run on the wrong side of the road on the Belconnen busway, this was for about 100m before Benjamin Way. This was so buses entering the interchange from the busway and those exiting onto the busway could turn at the same time. To do this there was a crossover next to the Churches Centre. This was later removed and buses entering and exiting then had different light phases.

Anyway even if you do consider buses went the wrong way through the interchange it is hardly an American design. If that design was used in America as is, yes the buses would be going the ‘right’ way, but their doors would be on the wrong side compared to the platform.

poetix 10:15 pm 19 Jan 13

Antagonist said :

cranky said :

Deckard said :

J0HN said :

I heard that the GDE was taken from an American road design.

Wasn’t that the urban myth of the glenloch interchange? Before the GDE was a glint in your mother’s eye…

This nonsense goes back even further to the design of State Circle around Parl House.

Wasn’t all of Canberra designed by an American architect named Walter Burley Griffin?

Marion Mahony Griffin and her husband, yes. She studied with Frank Lloyd Wright.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 9:23 pm 19 Jan 13

Deckard said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

peeps

I think you’ve overused that word to death. Please stop.

Explain?

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