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Unnecessary road signs; what a waste of our money!

By DavoDavo - 23 January 2010 37

I’m getting increasingly fed up with the appalling waste of taxpayers’ money on the ever blossoming of more and more road signs throughout Canberra.

A classic one is “Park In Bays Only” (yeah, I know they’ve been around for a while now). I ask you, as if the clowns that don’t park correctly take any notice in the first place – and even if they do they don’t give a rat’s arse anyway.

However, the one that takes the cake is the sign for the poor, hard done by cyclists who can’t navigate their way around without the nice, fancy blue and white signs provided for them. The one I have in mind is the one on the corner of the Tuggeranong Parkway and Boddington Crescent, it says “Kambah Shops 0.2 kms” and points across the road. You can see the damn shops from the stupid sign – they are on the opposite corner!!

When I first came to Canberra (in the good old days – 1974), there was a strict rule that no signs went up unless they were absolutely necessary, these days there are so many you would be forgiven for running off the road trying to read them all.

Grrr! Now, where’s my angle grinder….

What’s Your opinion?

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37 Responses to
Unnecessary road signs; what a waste of our money!
Jerry Atric 9:24 am 24 Jan 10

SPEED KILLS! Well not exactly. It happens when you stop. However while you are thinking about the literary merit of the sign, you bang into the car in front of you who is also so engaged. Road signs should provide information for the immediate circumstance not try to be some sort of ‘al fresco’ driving school.

trevar 7:38 am 24 Jan 10

thomped2 said :

Bring back Natural selection…. (Darwin awards)


As is universally acknowledged in the teaching profession; if you treat students like idiots, that’s precisely what they’ll turn out to be.

I think the most stupid signs are those that warn you of speed cameras. I think the damn things should not only be unsigned but also hidden; they might actually serve their purposes that way.

thomped2 12:28 am 24 Jan 10

Bring back Natural selection…. (Darwin awards)

miz 11:29 pm 23 Jan 10

Actually I wish there was a ‘Park in Bays Only’ sign at the Gowrie Oval! People park all over the shop including right down the middle of the parking lot, so everyone gets parked in and can’t even loop about to exit. Grrr! Wouldn’t happen if there was a sign!

The signs I hate are the nanny signs about dying in a ditch and suchlike. They are very distracting and anger-inducing. Wish they’d spend that money beautifying the vegetation on the road sides instead. (I am thinking of Isabella Drive – such a scruffy-looking arterial road. We only got roundabout plantings a few years ago- finally! – and HOW old is Tuggers? Such government neglect is shameful and does not give a good impression of Canberra. And the horrid signage just adds to the scruffiness).

funkylovebunny 11:23 pm 23 Jan 10

The ANU campus has got to be one of the worst offenders here!

cleo 11:18 pm 23 Jan 10

Well I don’t know about that, I wish they had more signs, as I was attempting to go along the parkway to tuggers, the road was closed off, no detour signs, no previous warning that the road would be closed, very annoying!

imarty 8:53 pm 23 Jan 10

I thought exactly the same thing this morning when riding with my young fella. He pointed to a new sign and asked what it said.
It was one of those blue and white ones with a bike and pedestrian symbol with an arrow. That was it. I asked myself WTF before explaining to my son it was to explain we need to share the path with people walking. I rode on thinking whyTF and what a waste of money, not to mention the time and resources that would have gone with planning and implementing this ridiculous idea. F#cking Stanhope.

krats 7:51 pm 23 Jan 10

You forgot to mention all the “GIVE WAY”sign’s,on each and every roundabout.There are two(2)on every approach.Were these sign’s on special at GO LO?Buy one get 5000 free.Or were they at Hot Dollar, 4500 for $1.10 (inc GST)…Please explain

Igglepiggle 7:14 pm 23 Jan 10

I have 2, both at The Canberra Hospital:
Firstly, at the entrance to the car park next to the helipad: a big yellow & black sign which states: “Ice may exist”. Existentialism at its best.
and Secondly, at the entry to the foot bridge leading to the Psychiatry ward: “Entry to Psych ward only, no exit” I imagine that would be fairly frightening if you were acutely disturbed and being admitted.

Eby 7:08 pm 23 Jan 10

I cant say I mind the government spending money on stupid signs that promote road safety or provide directions.

Much more useful than spending money on stupid flower-pots on the Northbourne Ave street lights.

Felix the Cat 6:58 pm 23 Jan 10

I agree there are a lot of what seems to be unnecessary signs around. The ones I particularly don’t like are the portable neon ones like the water usage ones (these ones are ok…just) but are actually advertising a shop sale, not some road hazard. I think Domayne in Fyshwick is a regular offender here. Another sign that I don’t understand is on GDE near the Belconnen Way off-ramp and it says something like “No $ area”. WTF is this about?

MrPC 6:26 pm 23 Jan 10

Canberra turns over a substantial number of residents right around this time every year. They are typically young, uni educated, spent a few years as a student (thus are used to living in penury and probably aren’t overweight, are used to walking or cycling and probably don’t own a car), just got a job, and need to decide whether to drive or not once they have a few grand together for a 2nd hand car.

Ideally it should be made as easy for them to cycle to local destinations as possible (and perhaps intertown as well).

These signs would help.

bd84 6:01 pm 23 Jan 10

The “park in bays only” signs are there basically so they can book people who don’t park in marked bays in the carpark, otherwise it’s not signposted as no parking/stopping etc you can legally park there.

But yes there are signs out there that have little or no use..

basketcase 5:04 pm 23 Jan 10

I remember hearing on the ABC radio, good 20 or more years ago that there was a sign over kill, 800+ signs between the Federal Hwy border and Civic. With so many signs, it’s no wonder people tend to ignore (speed?) signs (I think that was the gist of the report).

Anyway, getting back to the “stupid” sign above, I would suggest it is not so stupid if you were a visitor here toddling along on your bike. A sign that said “Shops” might invoke a detour to the shops for coffee?

Taking a cue from Adelaide’s Torrens Linear park way, Canberra could do with some more signs on a grander scale. The Lake Burley Griffen loop is a prime candidate for lots of touristy information signs that are both visible, readable and maintained which could offer a lot more value for the tourist rider.

Canberra’s centenary is 2013, so maybe such signage could be made a centennial project.

futto 4:48 pm 23 Jan 10

my favorite one is the “Drv N txt U B Nxt” or whatever it is on the parkway. The first time i saw that, i could not read it (i still use full sentances and punctuation in SMS messages). I looked a bit longer than i should have and almost had an accident.

The irony was not lost on me.

The next time you drive around, really LOOK at all the signs in Canberra. We have far too many.

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