Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vic Roads, At Your Service

Let me say that I find the state of the Queensway Underpass at St Kilda Junction awful. It used to be well maintained and tended. The grass was mown, the ivy clipped and irrigated marigolds adorned its walls. It is nothing like that now. Vic Roads must have decided that their roads do not need to be things of beauty, but maintained as cheaply as possible.

In other areas verges and trees used to be trimmed around before mowing, now grass is poisoned resulting in bare earth. Rubbish and tree branches were picked up before mowing, now they mow through rubbish, shredding it and mow around fallen tree limbs and branches, or occasionally stack them on one of the poisoned bare earth areas.

Look at all those cars and all the taxes that accrue from their use and Vic Roads can't even keep weeds off islands on one of Melbourne's busiest roads.

Vic Roads also seem to be unable to keep up with mowing grass. Mow is not really the right word. Slash is more appropriate. For once the grass seems to winning over the weed killer. It is about about 1/2 a metre high now. I am starting to like the the look of the corn fields rising as high as a mile.

But while Vic Roads may not have money to keep their road verges maintained, they sure have plenty of money to spend elsewhere. What about this traffic light signal for cyclists. If it operated independently in some way, it may be worth while, but it does not. It flashes red in unison with the pedestrian lights and holds red and green with the pedestrian lights. How much did that cost? How many traffic lights are so treated? What is the point?

Now, when is a red light not followed by a green? When it is a car and pedestrian shared space. In my experience cars and pedestrians do not mix well and are better kept separate, but Vic Roads have decided that pedestrians and cars can get along and cohabitate in a shared space. I am sure this car/pedestrian cohabitation is why there is not a green light. It is a bit fun to see how cars hesitate when they have stopped at a red light and they are then faced by no lights. It is just another absurd project funded by Vic Roads. What really annoys me about this set of traffic lights is that although they have pedestrian push buttons to activate the lights, they are on a set cycle and change whether a pedestrian has requested a walk call up or not.

Does anyone remember an announcement a few years ago about Yarra Trams and Vic Roads co-operating to improve tram flow? Vic Roads would take manual control of traffic lights to speed trams on their way if they were late. As I suspected at the time, it has turned out to be a load of tosh. Last Saturday R and I were in a tram trying to cross the the major intersection of Flinders and Swanston Street and Flinders Street traffic kept blocking the intersection and the tram could not get across. Eventually the driver just went against a red light.

Vic Roads can't move Melbourne's traffic around very well and seems to be very anti moving trams along their way too.


  1. I don't get it. Why do they want people wandering all over the road at that particular location? Is it a tram stop or is it just for fun?

  2. Thanks for the comment Ben. It is always the posts that I put the most effort into that get the least comments. I expect City of Port Phillip had considerable input into the design. Let us just call it CoPP wankery. Mind you, one or more new stops at Docklands are interesting. Raised platform stops, but with cars going past the stop. You wait for the tram at the waiting area but with a road in between. Perhaps that is the way of the future for many tram stops.

  3. I haven't come across this nonsense before but no doubt we will shortly.
    *sigh* More bizarre road rules to relearn *rolls eyes*

  4. Jayne, I don't think rules apply to those on broomsticks.

  5. I don't travel on this sectional but I think Vic Roads are very lax in a lot of areas. Your pics are lovely.

  6. Fen, they seem to do big projects well, but not the day to day stuff.


Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.