Ok so I have posted a similar rant before (refer here) but I have to have another go at the ridiculous so-called “standards” that TAMS in ACT claim they use to install traffic lights with filter turns.
Yes, I am talking about those damn red arrows, forcing unnecessary delays to roads that barely warrant traffic lights in the first place. It seriously has nothing to do with safety for the most part.
The claim is they install the lights according to Australian standards. Not so sure that is truly right so if anyone has any evidence I would be interested. Nowhere else in Australia is there a standard in place to install filter turns at every intersection. TAMS claim it is because our roads are wide, our speed limits are 80km/h –or maybe it is because TAMS thinks that we as drivers are stupid and can’t think for ourselves.
I have also been told by a former police officer that yet another reason going around to stop turning right on green is due to the ability that ACT drivers can make U-Turns at traffic lights where signs permit.
So then, why has there been new traffic lights installed at Norse Rd with a filter turn? The road is single lane 60km/h no median strip, with probably less than 10,000 cars per day. The heavy vehicle alternative route around Queanbeyan is less than 100 metres up the road on a corner with limited visibility, but with no lights – my opinion a much more dangerous intersection. TAMS logic just drives me crazy! Of course the claim by al that it is safer, yes it sure is, but lets be consistent here for all intersections: no other state or territory has the same level of restrictions and they offer flexibility to cater for intersections based on level of traffic –Canberra doesn’t. Even in Queanbeyan they turn the arrows off after 8pm (eg. Canberra Av and Ross Rd). If one could count the time over a month that vehicles have had to unecessarily stop to wait for a green arrow or conversely wait for vehicles to cross in front of them, I bet that would equate to several tonnes of CO2 and $$$ in additional freight times and lost earnings, vehicle wear and tear, plus the frustration and stress on drivers. I accept some intersections require greater control but for a city like Canberra with a population of just a measily 300-odd thousand we are treated with kid gloves living in standards that are designed for cities with millions of vehicles –so patronising, maybe the small city syndrome– I know how to turn right with care! By contrast, I was in the US in September and every traffic light in the country by default allows you to turn right on red (equivalent to our turn left on red) unless a sign say not to. 20 million cars in California alone and they have less rules than Canberra!
Ok… so do I need a new hobby or am I justified in this rant? If we want ACT to be a leader in the environment and Canberra a sustainable city and be the leader in innovation, intelligence, responsibility, and encourage people to live here then we need to make the city more dynamic. At the moment we are being hand fed our lives drives in a way that leaves us complacent should we ever leave the ACT!
I want to know the real logic behind these ridiculous decisions and if others are as frustrated as I am.