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What are the worst traffic lights in Canberra?

By Crazed_Loner - 22 October 2014 40

By the ‘worst’, I mean the most frustrating and disruptive, the ones that always seem to be red, no matter from which direction you approach them, and particularly if it’s on the more important road of the two at an intersection.  The ones which really get on your wick.

My own ‘top two’ are the Hindmarsh Drive-Dalrymple St-Mugga Lane intersection, followed very closely by the Gungahlin Drive-The Valley Ave-Kosciuszko Ave.  I hate that latter one with a passion and go out of my way to avoid it.

What about yours?  Have a good vent.  But seriously, maybe this could highlight some fundamental road or traffic signal design issues and might lead to the ACT Government taking action to improve them.  Or not.

What’s Your opinion?


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40 Responses to
What are the worst traffic lights in Canberra?
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tim_c 9:26 am 27 Oct 14

gbates said :

The worst traffic lights in Canberra are the ones on the intersections that don’t actually need traffic lights….

You mean like Dudley St & Cotter Rd at Yarralumla? Most people I speak to are convinced those lights were a mistake and that when the contract was issued, the incorrect location was written into the contract and that the intention was actually for the lights to be installed at McCulloch St/Cotter Rd intersection (which has subsequently had lights installed). There were never any collisions there until they started installing the lights.

tim_c 9:22 am 27 Oct 14

Leon said :

However ‘bad’ traffic signals are for drivers, the pedestrian signals are almost always worse….

If only they would program these lights so they’d just change with the car lights, and then the buttons would only be needed for quiet times. Almost invariably, I get to a set of lights, hit the button and realise I’ve just missed the sequence and have to wait the whole cycle before the pedestrian lights go green.

tim_c 8:26 am 27 Oct 14

Hindmarsh Dr, Badimara St & Thuggeranong Parkway, heading east in the morning…
The first set (Badimara) go green, but no one can go anywhere because the next two sets are red the spaces in between are full of cars. By the time the last set go green and people start to move, the first set are red again. If you get through in less than 10 minutes you’re doing well.

gbates 10:23 pm 26 Oct 14

The worst traffic lights in Canberra are the ones on the intersections that don’t actually need traffic lights. The intersection of Eggleston Cr and Melrose Dr is a perfect example. The installation of these lights has seen a significant degradation in traffic flows out of Chifley as people wait at a red light to turn left while there’s nothing coming on Melrose.

Other local contenders surely lie in some of the seven sets of traffic lights that lie in the 1800m stretch of Hindmarsh Dr between Melrose Dr and Palmer St. This ridiculous abomination of traffic planning reduces this arterial road to a parking lot. Any advantage that people might feel at being able to turn right at any intersection is surely cancelled out by the miserable experience getting through all the intersections before it.

BlackLine 12:27 pm 25 Oct 14

Ruxyrob said :

” I agree with padge48 & Kellamity’s posts. Drakeford Dve is shocking! The red arrows should be programmed to turn off so a right-hand turn can be done safely if there’s no oncoming traffic.”

It was like that many, many years ago. The problem is that stupid people were getting themselves seriously injured – and sometimes killed – because they were trying to cross three lanes of traffic when the intersection was not clear.

padge48 said :

” the whole of Drakeford drive from outer Tuggeranong to Kamabh …painfully slow red light fever …you can expect to have to stop every half kilometer and if you hit one red light you get them all… a must to avoid…”

I have noticed this. If you get the first green and sit on 90 the whole way (speeding) then you can get a run on all of them (northbound and southbound). Get one red – get them all.

The number of red lights you meet on Drakeford Drive depends on the time of the day and the direction you are travelling.
This website http://www.tams.act.gov.au/roads-transport/traffic/trafficsignals/drakeford_drive from TAMs explains how all the lights on Drakeford Drive are coordinated to minimise the number of reds the major traffic flow encounters.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to do this for both directions at the same time. So if you are travelling against the major traffic flow, that is, northbound in the afternoon or southbound in the morning you will just about hit every red light. From what I have experienced, if you are travelling with the major traffic flow at about 80 km/h then you may get one red light but the rest are usually green.

Antagonist 10:15 am 25 Oct 14

Ruxyrob said :

I agree with padge48 & Kellamity’s posts. Drakeford Dve is shocking! The red arrows should be programmed to turn off so a right-hand turn can be done safely if there’s no oncoming traffic.

It was like that many, many years ago. The problem is that stupid people were getting themselves seriously injured – and sometimes killed – because they were trying to cross three lanes of traffic when the intersection was not clear.

padge48 said :

the whole of Drakeford drive from outer Tuggeranong to Kamabh …painfully slow red light fever …you can expect to have to stop every half kilometer and if you hit one red light you get them all… a must to avoid…

I have noticed this. If you get the first green and sit on 90 the whole way (speeding) then you can get a run on all of them (northbound and southbound). Get one red – get them all.

braddonmonsta 9:24 am 25 Oct 14

All the Northbourne cross streets in the city are infuriating.

If you turn right from Northbourne (southbound), you have to wait in the median to cross the other carriageway. However, even when the northbound light goes red, you have to inexplicably wait for the eastbound lights.

Why not ditch the green arrows on east-west traffic and let people turn when it’s safe? (obviously not Barry Drive, but would work everywhere else)

Ruxyrob 8:11 am 25 Oct 14

I agree with padge48 & Kellamity’s posts. Drakeford Dve is shocking! The red arrows should be programmed to turn off so a right-hand turn can be done safely if there’s no oncoming traffic.

Kellamity 9:17 pm 24 Oct 14

The lights here all suck because they all have green turning arrows. What’s up with that? Takes twice as long at every intersection. Then when the arrow is red and there is no one coming, you still have to sit there. Why not just go green and let everyone have at it? Canberra is weird.

padge48 4:19 pm 24 Oct 14

the whole of Drakeford drive from outer Tuggeranong to Kamabh …painfully slow red light fever …you can expect to have to stop every half kilometer and if you hit one red light you get them all… a must to avoid…

shirty_bear 10:48 am 24 Oct 14

dkNigs said :

Are traffic engineers in the ACT incompetent, lazy, or they just stopped hiring them sometime in the early 00’s?

Outsourced, you’d reckon. To Bangalore, you’d reckon. They’d look out the window at Bangalore traffic and figure they’re doing a bang-up job in Cbr.

Either that, or it’s the job they saved for the work experience kid. And his heart clearly wasn’t in it.

pink little birdie 9:37 am 24 Oct 14

JC said :

pink little birdie said :

The lights of Allawoona and Ginninderra drive but only because it’s a 3 way intersection and there are idiots who turn right from the straight lane out of Allawoona when it’s a green straight but a red right turn arrow. The only reason the lights is in that configuration is for pedestrians crossing Ginninderra drive on the east side of the intersection.
It will be better when Lawson is up or they build a path between Allawoona and Aikman on the south side of Ginninderra Drive.

Was trying to work out what you were talking about so opened up google maps. The zoomed out image shows the pre-lights configuration, but the zoomed in one shows EXACTLY what you are talking about, including a red ute turning right from the left lane. Obviously it isn’t right, but I can see why some may think that it is ok. Personally until Lawson is connected they should probably allow it, there are plenty of T intersections where it is allowed.

I don’t mind them turning from that lane when there is a green arrow. It’s the issue that there they turn right on a green straight and red arrow. The only time the lights are in that configuration is when a pedestrain is trying to cross with the green man accross the road where the cars are turning into.

It’s a little better now that the path along the north of Ginninderra is open all the way (people just cross at the next 4 way one which is way safer). But when it’s a 4 way it should be slower but safer.

jcitizen 11:10 pm 23 Oct 14

dkNigs said :

The ones outside bloody Bunnings in Belconnen. They just put them in and turned them on. No timing with the lights before or after. They constantly kill what should be a green run up Belconnen Way.

+1

Nightshade 9:50 pm 23 Oct 14

Road_Monkey said :

Worst lights in Canberra? None, its the ones in Sydney or Melbourne. After being in those cities Canberra doesn’t look so bad.

I have the opposite experience. I go to Sydney reasonably often to visit family and the lights are nowhere near as painful as in Canberra. Driving on major roads like the Pacific Highway or Pennant Hills Rd, sure there are some red lights – but it wouldn’t be more than a quarter of the time. I actually feel I’m making progress rather than bunny hopping down the street with a red light at every intersection. I was so irritated with Canberra lights after one interstate trip that I kept a tally for next couple of weeks – 66% were red, even though I was generally on major roads travellng in what I’d have thought was the dominant direction for the time of day.

JC 8:52 pm 23 Oct 14

pink little birdie said :

The lights of Allawoona and Ginninderra drive but only because it’s a 3 way intersection and there are idiots who turn right from the straight lane out of Allawoona when it’s a green straight but a red right turn arrow. The only reason the lights is in that configuration is for pedestrians crossing Ginninderra drive on the east side of the intersection.
It will be better when Lawson is up or they build a path between Allawoona and Aikman on the south side of Ginninderra Drive.

Was trying to work out what you were talking about so opened up google maps. The zoomed out image shows the pre-lights configuration, but the zoomed in one shows EXACTLY what you are talking about, including a red ute turning right from the left lane. Obviously it isn’t right, but I can see why some may think that it is ok. Personally until Lawson is connected they should probably allow it, there are plenty of T intersections where it is allowed.

dkNigs 7:37 pm 23 Oct 14

HenryBG said :

Northbourne Avenue. Heading North, usually, every single light changes to red as I approach it.

Easily explained. You’re not doing the posted limit from 10+ years ago of 70kmph. The one they timed the lights with and never fixed. Are traffic engineers in the ACT incompetent, lazy, or they just stopped hiring them sometime in the early 00’s?

dkNigs 7:35 pm 23 Oct 14

The ones outside bloody Bunnings in Belconnen. They just put them in and turned them on. No timing with the lights before or after. They constantly kill what should be a green run up Belconnen Way.

John Moulis 7:02 pm 23 Oct 14

I’ve noticed that the new lights at Eggleston Cres/Melrose Drv Chifley have suddenly become very slow over the past week or so. They seem to have been rephased because when they were installed a few months back they were in sync with the Botany St lights directly in front (travelling north). Now it is quite common for the Eggleston lights to be red whilst the Botany St lights are green creating a potentially dangerous and confusing situation.

Kim F 6:08 pm 23 Oct 14

I once, with witnesses came onto Northbourne Ave from the Federal Highway and got to the Kent St exit at Deakin on Adelaide Ave, without any red lights and not breaking any road rules. It helped being 3:00 am I guess

pink little birdie 4:32 pm 23 Oct 14

The lights of Allawoona and Ginninderra drive but only because it’s a 3 way intersection and there are idiots who turn right from the straight lane out of Allawoona when it’s a green straight but a red right turn arrow. The only reason the lights is in that configuration is for pedestrians crossing Ginninderra drive on the east side of the intersection.
It will be better when Lawson is up or they build a path between Allawoona and Aikman on the south side of Ginninderra Drive.

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