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Ask RiotACT: Are traffic lights the answer?

By reactor 14 October 2015 28

Ask RiotACT
Recently the ACT Government put out a flyer about road changes coming for the Gungahlin area. Amongst these was the proposal to signalise the large roundabout at the intersection of the Barton Highway, William Slim and Gundaroo Drives.
Does anyone else think that putting traffic lights on the roundabout is a half-baked solution and that the whole problem couldn’t be better solved with just some more time and money and a bit of innovative thinking?  
Shouldn’t the highway, which carries heavy vehicles, go up and over and be straight?  It is a dangerous intersection.  I wondered if there was any other way possible and practical within a reasonable cost (given the long term benefits).  
How come we can put in flyovers for the GDE (or even the tiny road leading to Sutton over the Federal – by NSW Government I guess) but not have a straight Barton Highway?


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Ask RiotACT: Are traffic lights the answer?
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miz 3:50 pm 16 Oct 15

bd84 said: . . . another half-assed road infrastructure job of the ACT Government, like all the other road infrastructure projects in Gungahlin at the moment. Their practice is to ignore the problems for decades, then try and solve the problem in the cheapest and illogical way, when they could have fixed it years ago for a cheaper price.’
Welcome to Tuggeranong’s world for the past 20 years!

rosscoact 2:46 pm 16 Oct 15

JC said :

If so no comparison as not lights on that one or are you maybe suggesting the government needs to build a replica of the Arc de Triomphe in the roundabout as street art? Maybe more like the Arc de Triomphe Carrousel which is found in Place du Carrousel near the Louvre. Maybe a good idea because then when an overpass is eventually built it could be used as the mid span support.

Super idea. Some outriggers with rotating Eiffel Towers would complete it. Please run for the Assembly on this ticket.

dungfungus 2:10 pm 16 Oct 15

JC said :

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

JC said :

This kind of arrangement is very very common in the UK and it does actually work.

Well, if we want to emulate the UK, let’s cut loose and build a magic roundabout – this would have the added benefit of creating a new tourist attraction for our town:

High Wycombe, one roundabout turned into 6 interlocking roundabouts:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/61165493641f7104df39b6d2214c1ad6a41579dc.jpg

Hemel Hempstead: 7 roundabouts in one:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/08/13/article-2391834-1B474150000005DC-939_634x412.jpg

Our government prefers something more Parisian so nothing less than a roundabout as grand as the Arc de Triumphe will do!

The Arc de Triomphe is an Arc, not a roundabout. It does have a roundabout that goes around it called Place Charles de Gaulle. Is that what you mean? If so no comparison as not lights on that one or are you maybe suggesting the government needs to build a replica of the Arc de Triomphe in the roundabout as street art? Maybe more like the Arc de Triomphe Carrousel which is found in Place du Carrousel near the Louvre. Maybe a good idea because then when an overpass is eventually built it could be used as the mid span support.

I deliberately set that up for you as you love to split hairs. What else could I possibly mean?

JC 1:05 pm 16 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

JC said :

This kind of arrangement is very very common in the UK and it does actually work.

Well, if we want to emulate the UK, let’s cut loose and build a magic roundabout – this would have the added benefit of creating a new tourist attraction for our town:

High Wycombe, one roundabout turned into 6 interlocking roundabouts:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/61165493641f7104df39b6d2214c1ad6a41579dc.jpg

Hemel Hempstead: 7 roundabouts in one:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/08/13/article-2391834-1B474150000005DC-939_634x412.jpg

Our government prefers something more Parisian so nothing less than a roundabout as grand as the Arc de Triumphe will do!

The Arc de Triomphe is an Arc, not a roundabout. It does have a roundabout that goes around it called Place Charles de Gaulle. Is that what you mean? If so no comparison as not lights on that one or are you maybe suggesting the government needs to build a replica of the Arc de Triomphe in the roundabout as street art? Maybe more like the Arc de Triomphe Carrousel which is found in Place du Carrousel near the Louvre. Maybe a good idea because then when an overpass is eventually built it could be used as the mid span support.

rubaiyat 11:13 am 16 Oct 15

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

JC said :

This kind of arrangement is very very common in the UK and it does actually work.

Well, if we want to emulate the UK, let’s cut loose and build a magic roundabout – this would have the added benefit of creating a new tourist attraction for our town:

High Wycombe, one roundabout turned into 6 interlocking roundabouts:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/61165493641f7104df39b6d2214c1ad6a41579dc.jpg

Hemel Hempstead: 7 roundabouts in one:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/08/13/article-2391834-1B474150000005DC-939_634x412.jpg

Our government prefers something more Parisian so nothing less than a roundabout as grand as the Arc de Triumphe will do!

This is the delightful Blot on the Landscape bitumen and concrete desolation, that $30 million gets you:

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/content/dam/images/1/w/r/f/y/image.related.articleLeadwide.620×349.1wrhf.png/1334134776627.jpg

dungfungus 11:05 am 16 Oct 15

HenryBG said :

JC said :

This kind of arrangement is very very common in the UK and it does actually work.

Well, if we want to emulate the UK, let’s cut loose and build a magic roundabout – this would have the added benefit of creating a new tourist attraction for our town:

High Wycombe, one roundabout turned into 6 interlocking roundabouts:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/61165493641f7104df39b6d2214c1ad6a41579dc.jpg

Hemel Hempstead: 7 roundabouts in one:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/08/13/article-2391834-1B474150000005DC-939_634x412.jpg

Our government prefers something more Parisian so nothing less than a roundabout as grand as the Arc de Triumphe will do!

HenryBG 10:58 am 16 Oct 15

JC said :

This kind of arrangement is very very common in the UK and it does actually work.

Well, if we want to emulate the UK, let’s cut loose and build a magic roundabout – this would have the added benefit of creating a new tourist attraction for our town:

High Wycombe, one roundabout turned into 6 interlocking roundabouts:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/61165493641f7104df39b6d2214c1ad6a41579dc.jpg

Hemel Hempstead: 7 roundabouts in one:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/08/13/article-2391834-1B474150000005DC-939_634x412.jpg

JC 10:22 am 16 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

$30 million to gold plate an intersection that has opened up a huge chasm across the road and only funnels more traffic along the same roads? A very expensive dirty short term “solution” that never gets the “We’ll all be bankrupted” into the same lather as a clean long term solution.

The cleaner solution you refer to would not be of any use to this intersection. The vehicles that use this are no where near the light rail route and many are travelling Gungahlin to Belconnen. Unlike the planned route, which I am very much on record saying I support, Gungahlin to Belconnen wouldn’t work. Doesn’t have the population density to make it work. So this is an example where road transport is the answer and bottle necks like this need to be minimised.

rubaiyat 8:59 am 16 Oct 15

Mysteryman said :

rubaiyat said :

Felix the Cat said :

Traffic lights are a cheap “fix” by the govt just to show they are doing something, even if that something is going to make very little difference to the problem.

Traffic lights are far from a cheap fix.

They are very expensive to install and maintain, which is why there are so many roundabouts, down to those ridiculously small obstructions in the middle of suburban streets.

Overpasses are horrendously expensive by comparison. The Russell Overpass cost $30 million.

What a load of garbage. In context of the general transport expenditure and road maintenance, and the huge volumes of people that use that roundabout daily, traffic lights as proposed are absolutely a cheap fix. Even worse, is that they aren’t adequate for that intersection. A flyover is the only sensible choice.

For someone who’s all aboard the spending of what will undoubtedly be close to (or arguably more than) $1b on a light rail that will service less people daily than the intersection in question, you should be careful throwing around terms like “horrendously expensive”.

No way other than to describe it as horrendously expensive. It is also horrendously ugly.

$30 million to gold plate an intersection that has opened up a huge chasm across the road and only funnels more traffic along the same roads? A very expensive dirty short term “solution” that never gets the “We’ll all be bankrupted” into the same lather as a clean long term solution.

Uhavebeenserved 10:07 pm 15 Oct 15

Traffic lights are not the answer that will make it worse. An over pass is the best answer. You want traffic to flow not stop and start. That is what is happening now. Use some common sense and deploy a long term solution instead of a short term fix.

wildturkeycanoe 9:57 pm 15 Oct 15

Why don’t they just put in some regular bus services from Yass to Canberra and reduce the number of vehicles on the road? Maybe more express services from Belco direct to the G? The only reason there is so much traffic is that there are no alternatives.

dungfungus 6:09 pm 15 Oct 15

henryans said :

Answer is to provide roads that support 50,000 people living in the G, not some green social engineering light rail rubbish, where the cash can be spent improving hospitals, roads, education, homelessness and so on. Barr and Ratenbury say they are peoples leaders, but me thinks they want a green legacy more than anything

Green vistas and rainbows for everyone.

rubaiyat 5:10 pm 15 Oct 15

henryans said :

Answer is to provide roads that support 50,000 people living in the G, not some green social engineering light rail rubbish, where the cash can be spent improving hospitals, roads, education, homelessness and so on. Barr and Ratenbury say they are peoples leaders, but me thinks they want a green legacy more than anything

Absolutely!

Politicians who are concerned more about the people’s and country’s health, than about cars or where to find free parking, do not have the 3 minute attention spans of “real” people.

Mysteryman 1:38 pm 15 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

Felix the Cat said :

Traffic lights are a cheap “fix” by the govt just to show they are doing something, even if that something is going to make very little difference to the problem.

Traffic lights are far from a cheap fix.

They are very expensive to install and maintain, which is why there are so many roundabouts, down to those ridiculously small obstructions in the middle of suburban streets.

Overpasses are horrendously expensive by comparison. The Russell Overpass cost $30 million.

What a load of garbage. In context of the general transport expenditure and road maintenance, and the huge volumes of people that use that roundabout daily, traffic lights as proposed are absolutely a cheap fix. Even worse, is that they aren’t adequate for that intersection. A flyover is the only sensible choice.

For someone who’s all aboard the spending of what will undoubtedly be close to (or arguably more than) $1b on a light rail that will service less people daily than the intersection in question, you should be careful throwing around terms like “horrendously expensive”.

JC 12:05 pm 15 Oct 15

rubaiyat said :

Felix the Cat said :

Traffic lights are a cheap “fix” by the govt just to show they are doing something, even if that something is going to make very little difference to the problem.

Traffic lights are far from a cheap fix.

They are very expensive to install and maintain, which is why there are so many roundabouts, down to those ridiculously small obstructions in the middle of suburban streets.

Overpasses are horrendously expensive by comparison. The Russell Overpass cost $30 million.

These are the huge expenses that those who fantasise about roads, cars and freeways ignore.

Just think of the bonus though. These projects throw up huge barriers for anyone not in a car, forcing them to use cars in a vicious spiral of bad decisions.

This is one road project that really does need money spent on it to do it right and an overpass is the right thing.

That said I am surprised at the doom and gloom (well actually not really this is The Riotact after all) related to the lights. This kind of arrangement is very very common in the UK and it does actually work. Though where you would normally find them is where a motorway passes over on an overpass and the roundabout is used to distribute the side road traffic on and off the motorway. Refer to para 1. Though with an overpass the traffic volumes then wouldn’t warrant the lights in this case.

henryans 11:30 am 15 Oct 15

Answer is to provide roads that support 50,000 people living in the G, not some green social engineering light rail rubbish, where the cash can be spent improving hospitals, roads, education, homelessness and so on. Barr and Ratenbury say they are peoples leaders, but me thinks they want a green legacy more than anything

Skyring 7:50 am 15 Oct 15

This intersection should have been a flyover in the first place. The government knew the population estimates and traffic flows – after all they were approving all construction in Gungahlin, just count the noses – and it was obvious that some fairly serious roads needed to be built.

The roundabout has been a disaster from day one – except for tow truckers and panel beaters – and with increased traffic flows in both directions, traffic has become slower. Traffic lights are not going to increase the speed of traffic flows.

I just don’t understand why the government didn’t opt for the obvious solution from day one. If they were after votes – as governments usually are – then why not experiment with good planning and administration than the current schemozzle?

A bunch of traffic lights at this intersection merely reinforces my opinion that we are paying way too much – not for roads, but for government.

rubaiyat 6:15 am 15 Oct 15

Felix the Cat said :

Traffic lights are a cheap “fix” by the govt just to show they are doing something, even if that something is going to make very little difference to the problem.

Traffic lights are far from a cheap fix.

They are very expensive to install and maintain, which is why there are so many roundabouts, down to those ridiculously small obstructions in the middle of suburban streets.

Overpasses are horrendously expensive by comparison. The Russell Overpass cost $30 million.

These are the huge expenses that those who fantasise about roads, cars and freeways ignore.

Just think of the bonus though. These projects throw up huge barriers for anyone not in a car, forcing them to use cars in a vicious spiral of bad decisions.

gazket 12:19 am 15 Oct 15

the Gov announce light rail for public servants to Russell 400 million and traffic lights for the scumbags using the most dangerous roundabout in Canberra 30 million.

9 sets of traffic lights at a roundabout is just pathetic.

Holden Caulfield 10:54 pm 14 Oct 15

arescarti42 said :

The key factor here is cost – grade separated flyovers are monstrously expensive.

This comment would carry a lot more weight if we weren’t spending a 10 figure sum on a toy train.

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