Australian Motorways

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crazyknightsfan
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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by crazyknightsfan » Fri Feb 07, 2020 01:13

Berk wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 22:38
Not just there, anywhere. Except in Tas, they seem a bit more used to unsealed roads (although there aren’t that many more than on the mainland).

Working out where to go in Australia, it was crucial to understand which routes used sealed roads, and which ones didn’t.

Given that you’re not covered for “off road” stuff (and that includes unsealed roads), I decided to give them a miss. Maybe another time.
Lots of rental companies will let you take their 4WD vehicles on unsealed roads, I do it all the time. But the Tanami Road, and a handful of others, are specifically listed as 'no go' roads even for 4WDs in most rental company Terms.

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Re: Motorways in Victoria, Australia

Post by Peter Freeman » Thu May 28, 2020 06:54

A303Chris wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 13:54
I'm planning to go late February, early March to take in the Melbourne Grand Prix
Chris, if you did make it to here, you must have been very disappointed when the GP was cancelled at the very last minute due to Covid-19 !

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Re: Motorways in Victoria, Australia

Post by A303Chris » Thu May 28, 2020 13:25

Peter Freeman wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 06:54
A303Chris wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 13:54
I'm planning to go late February, early March to take in the Melbourne Grand Prix
Chris, if you did make it to here, you must have been very disappointed when the GP was cancelled at the very last minute due to Covid-19 !
Luckily I made a change in plans and plan to go next year. My uncle, in Adelaide, was diagnosed with cancer in May last year and given 12 months to live and I just did not think it was right to stay with family in March, given that. He is still with us, but only has weeks left. The plan is to go with my cousins husband from Adelaide next year
The M25 - The road to nowhere

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by Peter Freeman » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:29

Berk wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:31
There’s another thing - Aussie roads often have right-hand lane drops, or off-slips.
Hmmm, not sure what you mean there.

Yes, some AU rural motorways are sub-standard, with some or even many un-signalised at-grade intersections (like some UK D2APs). But right-hand-side off-ramps and on-ramps at GSJ's are very rare. Non-intersection lane-drops (eg. where a 3-lane carriageway becomes 2-lane, or at the end of a climbing lane) are always on the left (opposite to the UK's usual fast-lane loss).

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by sydneynick » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:16

Berk wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:31
There’s another thing - Aussie roads often have right-hand lane drops, or off-slips.
I missed seeing that first time around. Off the top of my head, I can think of only one right off-slip in NSW and that is the exit from M5 eastbound to Bexley Road: https://goo.gl/maps/hVgWM4Qh4YLdUGZM6

There are a few places where an on-ramp enters from the right. The most notorious is where the Federal Highway from Canberra joins the eastbound Hume Highway. The on-ramp has a fairly tight curve, so traffic entering the Hume is often travelling slower than the 110 km/h limit. Traffic in the right lane of the Hume often has to brake to avoid vehicles that are entering. It would be very dangerous if the Hume carried heavy traffic.

There is also at least one right on-ramp at the interchange of the Cross-City Tunnel and the Eastern Distributor in Sydney, but the speed limit is 80 km/h and congestion often means that the actual speed is much slower.
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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by Peter Freeman » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:18

1. Isn't there a RHS off-ramp somewhere heading north on Warringah Fwy?

2. Regarding the M23/M31 merge -

a. Until the recent re-numbering to M23, it was not named or claimed as a motorway
b. It was built VERY long ago.
c. It has an AADT of 7500 in each direction, which wouldn't warrant even a D2AP in the UK.
d. The 7500 vpd Sydney-bound on the M23 from Canberra merges with only 6000 vpd coming up from Melbourne on the M31. That totals 13500 vpd heading NE on the M31 to Sydney: Australia's busiest long-distance rural motorway! Considering the 7500:6000 ratio of Sydney-bound traffic at that merge, the right-hand-side on-ramp to save one bridge is the rational design. Lane allocations and geometry could and should be better!
e. The demand for the acute-angle at-grade movement, M31 Sydney-bound to M23 Canberra-bound, is virtually zero.

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by Bryn666 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 18:02

Quick question for you - why does the Perth freeway network look so much more like it copied everything from the USA, including the streetlights?

Sydney and Melbourne look distinctly Australian, but apart from driving on the left, the Farmer and especially the Mitchell Freeway in Perth could be in Ohio or Florida.
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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by crazyknightsfan » Fri Jun 05, 2020 01:37

Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 18:02
Quick question for you - why does the Perth freeway network look so much more like it copied everything from the USA, including the streetlights?

Sydney and Melbourne look distinctly Australian, but apart from driving on the left, the Farmer and especially the Mitchell Freeway in Perth could be in Ohio or Florida.
When the freeway system was being developed in Perth, the main consultants were De Leuw Cather (an American engineering consultancy relatively unknown today but was responsible for a lot of freeway planning/design in the US, Australia and elsewhere) who brought with them US styles of signage, streetlights etc. WA being quite an isolated part of Australia has resisted harmonisation of standards, and just kept doing its own thing based on that US influence.

Prior to about the 1990s, the freeway signage in Perth was even more American with use of cardinal directions quite frequently. The 1990s brought the use of proper destination signing along much of the freeway and signage more in line with wider Australian Standards.

A simple example is this early 1980s era direction sign pointing to the freeway, which was replaced in the 2010s with this sign which is more in line with modern Australian signage. Note that the State Route numbering system was introduced in 1986, so the older freeway sign pre-dates route numbering.

An influx of British engineers within Main Roads WA (HE equivalent) over the past decade means that there's starting to be a lot more of a British influence, the most obvious example being Main Roads' current obsession with roundabouts over traffic signals. Where new sign types are needed to deal with unusual or complex road layouts, you can often seen the inspiration is from UK signage - e.g. this lane allocation sign in Bunbury.

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by sydneynick » Fri Jun 05, 2020 01:55

Peter Freeman wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:18
1. Isn't there a RHS off-ramp somewhere heading north on Warringah Fwy?
You are quite right. There are off-ramps in the middle of the freeway in both directions, and you have to go right to enter them.
I can always tell if politicians are lying. Their lips move.

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by Peter Freeman » Fri Jun 05, 2020 03:41

crazyknightsfan wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 01:37
An influx of British engineers within Main Roads WA (HE equivalent) over the past decade means that there's starting to be a lot more of a British influence, the most obvious example being Main Roads' current obsession with roundabouts over traffic signals.
An unfortunate effect of this UK influence is Perth's recent implementation of two-bridge elevated roundabouts over motorways/DC's. This has also occurred elsewhere (eg. Hunter Expressway M15 in NSW), fortunately very limited. Storing up a future problem, just like the UK has suffered. It's only a matter of time until the signals are added! It took me a long time to learn - now it seems that Australia's got to go through it.

Dubai (which I visit frequently as my daughter lives there) is similarly afflicted, their source also being expat UK traffic consultants. Despite my excitement with much of Dubai's fabulous infrastructure development, there's a lot of inappropriate design on theír beautiful roads.

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 09:40

Thanks for the explanation - a cousin of mine moved to Perth a few years ago so it always intrigued me. She jokes that Australians refer to Perth as the 'wild west' with it being so far from anywhere else.

It is unfortunate that all our bad design ideas are the ones we export. I had people complain when I suggested locations for DDIs in the UK, because apparently a DDI is confusing to use whereas this (https://www.roads.org.uk/badjunctions/47-1042) abomination is clearly fine.
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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by jackal » Fri Jun 05, 2020 21:20

Roundabout GSJs and dumbbells are everywhere now, including places like the US where the proportion of UK consultants are far too low to be much of a factor. They are just a logical design in many locations, providing journey time savings and increased safety compared to traditional signalized GSJs. The problem in the UK is that such moderate capacity designs are used in inappropriate locations, including as system interchanges, but signals would fare no better.

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by Bryn666 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 00:05

jackal wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 21:20
Roundabout GSJs and dumbbells are everywhere now, including places like the US where the proportion of UK consultants are far too low to be much of a factor. They are just a logical design in many locations, providing journey time savings and increased safety compared to traditional signalized GSJs. The problem in the UK is that such moderate capacity designs are used in inappropriate locations, including as system interchanges, but signals would fare no better.
Correct; our roundabout interchanges are deployed abroad by other engineers where they are suitable. Whereas we reckon they can be used anywhere and everywhere. And the more complex the signal layout the better, as seen at Postwick, or the mega junctions in Leeds that take up acres of land because a flyover would have ruined the area in a way that the barren landscape of tarmac such as Sheepscar doesn't...
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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by Glenn A » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:18

Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 18:02
Quick question for you - why does the Perth freeway network look so much more like it copied everything from the USA, including the streetlights?

Sydney and Melbourne look distinctly Australian, but apart from driving on the left, the Farmer and especially the Mitchell Freeway in Perth could be in Ohio or Florida.
I noticed that in 2006 when I was last there.
Another thing I did notice, on Highway 1 to Bunbury, when the traffic thins out, there is a 110 km/h speed limit on the S2. This would be the Aussie equivalent to our 70 mph speed limit on S2s prior to 1974.

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by Peter Freeman » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:17

Bryn666 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 09:40
She jokes that Australians refer to Perth as the 'wild west' with it being so far from anywhere else.
I don't know whether this is still current, but there was a period during which Sydneysiders referred to residents of Victoria as 'Mexicans' (south of the border). :wink:

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by crazyknightsfan » Mon Jun 08, 2020 01:46

Glenn A wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:18
Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 18:02
Quick question for you - why does the Perth freeway network look so much more like it copied everything from the USA, including the streetlights?

Sydney and Melbourne look distinctly Australian, but apart from driving on the left, the Farmer and especially the Mitchell Freeway in Perth could be in Ohio or Florida.
I noticed that in 2006 when I was last there.
Another thing I did notice, on Highway 1 to Bunbury, when the traffic thins out, there is a 110 km/h speed limit on the S2. This would be the Aussie equivalent to our 70 mph speed limit on S2s prior to 1974.
110km/h is the default rural speed limit in WA, and doesn't differentiate between single or dual carriageway.
However the higher traffic sections of S2 highway are generally built a bit better than the UK with decent sealed and unsealed shoulders
https://goo.gl/maps/QTavfTBe9dfRPykG6
https://goo.gl/maps/WbL2SQzZrzwtD9DT7
Starting to get wide centreline treatment here however I don't think many sections are on Street View yet.

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by Peter Freeman » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:15

Following my despairing remarks up-thread about UK-style elevated roundabout GSJs appearing in Australia, I checked up on their locations. This list might not be exhaustive, but -

6 on M1 in and, mainly, south of Brisbane
5 on Tonkin Hwy in Perth (all very recent)
3 on M15 near Newcastle
1 on Armadale Road in Perth (very recent)
1 on M5 in Brisbane
1 on M79 near Bendigo (the only one, and a weird one, in Victoria)
1 on M31 at Goulburn (it's been there since my first journey Mel-Syd in the late 1970's)

Most of these are in fairly rural locations and, TBH, are unlikely to clog up in the foreseeable future. For example, the Goulburn one still usually seems deserted after 45 years, even though hatched down to single-lane circulatory! Still, they are over-kill at present and inadequate in the future, and the more usual (for AU) dumbbell would have been far more appropriate.

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by crazyknightsfan » Wed Jun 24, 2020 05:06

Peter Freeman wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:15
Following my despairing remarks up-thread about UK-style elevated roundabout GSJs appearing in Australia, I checked up on their locations. This list might not be exhaustive, but -

6 on M1 in and, mainly, south of Brisbane
5 on Tonkin Hwy in Perth (all very recent)
There's now 6 on Tonkin Hwy - Morley Drive, Hepburn Ave, The Promenade, Stock Road, Neaves Road and Brand Highway. All from the past 2 years or so.
Peter Freeman wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:15
3 on M15 near Newcastle
1 on Armadale Road in Perth (very recent)
]\
Construction has just started on two more at Armadale Rd/Solomon Rd and Armadale Rd/Tapper Drive.

There is also a similar interchange which is nearly complete at Wanneroo Road/Joondalup Drive intersection, as an isolated grade-separation.
Peter Freeman wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:15
1 on M5 in Brisbane
1 on M79 near Bendigo (the only one, and a weird one, in Victoria)
1 on M31 at Goulburn (it's been there since my first journey Mel-Syd in the late 1970's)
The Goulburn Bypass opened in 1992, so the roundabout dates from then. Maybe you're thinking of the Federal Highway interchange which opened about 1972.

There are also several elevated* roundabouts on the Pacific Hwy between Sydney and Brisbane - off the top of my head there is:
> Richardson Rd, Raymond Terrace (1990s) - note that Masonite Rd at the other end was also going to be a similar layout but the grade-separation hasn't yet occurred
> Bulahdelah Bypass northern interchange (2013)
> Taree Bypass southern end (1990s)
> Oxley Highway interchange (1990s)
> Blackmans Point interchange (c 2017)
> Tweed Coast Rd at Chinderah (1990s?)

There's also one on the Newcastle Inner City Bypass at University Drive (1990s), Princes Highway at Oak Flats (2001) and a modified version with the through route in a tunnel under a small single roundabout at Leura (early 2000s).

I believe the Oak Flats interchange may be converted to a signalised roundabout as part of the Albion Park Rail Bypass currently under construction.

* I've also counted identical interchanges with the roundabout at ground level

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Re: Australian Motorways

Post by sydneynick » Wed Jun 24, 2020 13:03

Peter Freeman wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:15
Following my despairing remarks up-thread about UK-style elevated roundabout GSJs appearing in Australia, I checked up on their locations. This list might not be exhaustive, but -

1 on M31 at Goulburn (it's been there since my first journey Mel-Syd in the late 1970's)
I don't think so. The Goulburn bypass opened in December 1992, and the roundabout GSJ west of Goulburn came into use then.
I can always tell if politicians are lying. Their lips move.

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