I thought the worst when I heard the intersection of Toorak Road and *unt Road would be closed. It was worse than I imagined. Our normal Saturday morning routine when I am not working is we drive down St Kilda Road, turn left into Commercial Road and right into a side street that leads to the Prahran carpark, where we can do all our grocery, fruit and vegetable, flower, liquor shopping and have breakfast at one of three usual places.
Our return is via Greville and Moubray Streets into St Kilda Road as by the time we leave the shops, Commercial Road can be congested.
I am smart though. I knew the closure of the aforementioned intersection would cause a big traffic build up in St Kilda Road and Commercial Road, so I went down Queens Road, turned into Beatrice Street which becomes Moubray and then Greville Street. But I forgot about the crane collapse and Moubray Street was closed. I went down to High Street and then up St Edmonds Road to the car park.
By the time we had finished shopping, it was 11.30 and the traffic was clearly a nightmare. I headed back down St Edmonds Road to High Street and before I reached the intersection, I realised High Street traffic was at a crawl, as was St Kilda Road in towards the city. A normally ten minute trip took nearly thirty minutes. R and I both said to each other, we should have gone to the shops in South Melbourne.
Later in the day we drove to Station Pier for coffee and a naughty pastry. The traffic was in its normal frustrating state, nothing remarkable. What I did see was in addition to the normal road closed signs, which I do understand why people ignore, was on all roads electronic flashing signs quite clearly saying the intersection of Toorak and Punt Road was closed. All day when I have been out on the balcony at different times I have seen most cars go up Toorak Road to the closed intersection and the monster queue of traffic coming back down Toorak to turn left into St Kilda Road. It has been a most extraordinary day of traffic viewing from our balcony and I could be typing for another half an hour about the the things I have seen today. Haha to the driver of a van who bottomed and I think damaged his van on a tram safety zone prow when he made a rash U turn in front of a tram.
In conclusion, if you see a black and yellow sign telling you a road is closed, take notice and consider what it might be about. If you see a big flashing electronic sign that tells you an intersection is closed, it means the intersection is closed and so seek an alternative route, and preferable an alternative route to the alternative route everyone else is using. A flashing electronic sign that says an intersection is closed does actually mean an intersection is closed.
We all make mistakes when driving, but I can't believe the sheer stupidity of what I saw today. In a Yarra Trams own goal moment, YT tweeted about delayed trams because of traffic congestion along the aforementioned roads when the reason for the traffic chaos was tram track renewal.