Driving & Traffic


The Victorian Government published double page ads in The Age and Herald Sun today, announcing the EES of North East Link. I urge anyone interested in the project to read through the document (from NEL website) and make submissions.

If you drive along Springvale Road in Melbourne’s east a lot like me, you will notice three sets of traffic lights at Nunawading within a 1km stretch.
Set 1: intersection of Whitehorse Road and Springvale Road (notorious black spot)
Set 2: intersection of Springvale Road and Silver Grove
Set 3: near intersection of Springvale Road and Market Street. This set will turn red at random to allow for U-turn traffic southbound and also vehicles entering Springvale Road northbound from a housing estate right next to the lights.
This morning on my way to work, I notice VicRoads have installed a fourth set of lights, right outside Nunawading railway station, just 200 metres south of set 2. As if there are not enough traffic lights in the area! The northbound lanes of Springvale Road is often congested at morning and evening peaks, even after the level crossing was removed a decade ago, and I feel the additional lights will make the situation even worse. If anything, VicRoads should be encouraging pedestrians to use the Nunawading station underpass, which was built during the level crossing removal but is underutilised.

EDIT: I have since found out the new traffic lights were installed as part of Box Hill to Ringwood share used path project, to allow cyclists a more direct route through Nunawading station precinct to Walkers Road. When the new lights become operational, set 2 and/or set 3 will become redundant and I think VicRoads should consider axing either or both sets of lights.

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That’s nothing compared to many areas in Sydney. The most notorious-for me- is a stretch of Lane Cove Road between the M2 and Epping Road; five sets in a little over a km and on a very busy arterial (the primary way to get from southern Sydney to the F3).

It’s total chaos through there most of the day, to the extent that I have to carefully plan any trips I have to make that use the route.

Looking outside the metro areas, Bathurst has a hell of a lot of consecutive traffic lights on the Great Western Highway.

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I know the infamous Punt/Hoddle has tons of lights within a miniscule distance. They’ve recently re-designed the corridor i believe with continuous flow

Well, that really is nothing compared to the Pacific Highway or Pennant Hills Road, which are the two main alternatives. I notice Google Maps usually routes you via Lane Cove Road and the Lane Cove Tunnel instead of the Pacific Highway if you’re travelling to the city or south-eastern suburbs.

In other traffic-related news, the M4 East is due to open imminently, providing a bypass of the most congested section of Parramattta Road:

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Our Glad has announced it will open at 2:00am this Saturday morning.

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The Albion Park bypass can’t come soon enough (it’s already 20 years too late). The traffic through there this afternoon (1600) was a shocker, considering it’s school holidays. It was actually worse northbound i.e. going towards Wollongong CBD.

There has been an explosion of new housing in the area over the last decade so I guess the gridlock is no surprise. Ten years ago you got a decent if heavy run through there outside of school pick up and major holiday times.

I’m sure @SouthCoastTV can elaborate as I think he lives in the area.

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I r member that run being terrible in the early 90s, it must be hell now

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It’s an absolute nightmare. The traffic is grid-locked even outside of peak hours and weekends are never any better. It’s actually so bad that if I have to go out anywhere during the day, I always aim to make it back home before 2.30pm in the afternoon (which is when the peak hour begins).

Yep. The Shellharbour area has had a massive population boom in recent years, as there are new housing estates being built out in Tullimbar, Shell Cove and Calderwood. There is also the West Dapto release area to the north, which is expected to house up to 60,000 people in the next 30-40 years. Driving through the Illawarra is honestly no different to driving through Sydney’s suburbs nowadays. Even the Princes Motorway is quite often choked with traffic.

Yeah, I actually don’t understand why traffic is heavier heading northbound now. In the past, the traffic on the Princes Highway used to be worse heading south (as people would be leaving work from Sydney or Wollongong), but for whatever reason, now the reverse is true. Maybe more people are commuting to Nowra and the Shoalhaven for work?

Yep. The Princes Highway through Albion Park Rail has always been a bottleneck. There were talks of building a bypass even dating back as early as the 1960s.

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Problem is every time they improve one section of the highway the bottleneck gets moved elsewhere.

I have relatives in Albion Park who have to leave for work 30-40 minutes earlier now that construction of the bypass is underway. Another relative in Shellharbour works in the Dapto area and now finds it quicker to drive to work via Shellharbour Road and Northcliffe Drive (longer route) than take the highway. I always take one of the Port Kembla exits now when I visit relatives in the Shellharbour area. Less frustrating than sitting in traffic at Albion Park.

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Albion Park is the last true bottleneck between Sydney and Nowra, though. Historically, the Dunmore Bends combined with Albion Park and the Minnamurra Bends to create the mother of all jams during holiday times.

Nowra itself is another bottleneck that needs to be fixed, though the traffic volumes here are less than in Wollongong and Shellharbour.

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Yes, I’m surprised a town the size of Nowra doesn’t have a bypass yet given north of Sydney even smaller towns like Karuah and Bulahdelah have 4 lane bypasses.

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It’s next after Berry to bomaderry

The Princes Highway has long been the poor cousin of the Pacific Highway. The Pacific has been the priority for the last twenty years and probably rightly so; the South Coast does have some bad stretches of road that need to be fixed, though.

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Kiama bends remains an accident black spot and a bottleneck at peak times (weekends, early morning/late afternoon) even with the improvements that came with the Princes Highway upgrade at Gerringong and the North Kiama bypass.

The area around North Nowra is a nightmare even in the middle of the day and will remain so until the new river crossing is built and the intersection upgrades that will come with it are completed. It’s an embarrassment that the south bound crossing, dangerous and well past its use by date, is still in use.

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Yes; that’s why I prefer going through Goulburn and Braidwood if I’m travelling to Batemans Bay and further south. You do miss the excellent pies at Hayden’s Ulladulla, though.

The Kiama Bends have never been a problem for me but I avoid peak holiday times like the plague; I can see how it would be a problem though with the slower 80 kph zone and trucks pulling up on the hills (especially northbound).

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Just drove through the new M4 tunnel between Homebush and Haberfield. The verdict? It’s a tunnel. :stuck_out_tongue: Hard to judge just how handy it will be at this stage.

Also has an annoying “alarm” that jams your radio (DAB for me, didn’t know if it affects AM or FM) and “welcomes” you to the new tunnel and tells you to check speed limits etc…

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How much time did it save you?
Would you use it regularly?
Is it worth the $4.27 toll each way?

So DAB is rebroadcast in the tunnel?