Australian road markings

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Peter Freeman
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Re: Australian road markings

Post by Peter Freeman » Wed Aug 04, 2021 13:53

Here's a case of something commonplace for the UK but unusual in Australia: signalisation of a large roundabout.
https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Ku ... 53.0568433

The sequence of images below shows what was done. The end result is not quite a roundabout - there are four signalised 2-phase crossroads, each carrying only one-way roads. I believe this is a better outcome than simply signalising the approaches and the circulatory carriageway: easier to understand, easier to drive, and probably safer. However, it does involve more re-shaping, so is more expensive. The outcome, of course, while an improvement, is still unsatisfactory. You'd never build such a thing from scratch.
Kuluin sequence compressed NEW_7347.jpg

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Bryn666
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Re: Australian road markings

Post by Bryn666 » Wed Aug 04, 2021 14:40

Peter Freeman wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 13:53
Here's a case of something commonplace for the UK but unusual in Australia: signalisation of a large roundabout.
https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Ku ... 53.0568433

The sequence of images below shows what was done. The end result is not quite a roundabout - there are four signalised 2-phase crossroads, each carrying only one-way roads. I believe this is a better outcome than simply signalising the approaches and the circulatory carriageway: easier to understand, easier to drive, and probably safer. However, it does involve more re-shaping, so is more expensive. The outcome, of course, while an improvement, is still unsatisfactory. You'd never build such a thing from scratch.
Kuluin sequence compressed NEW_7347.jpg
Oh, we would.

That is how you should be doing signalised 'roundabouts' though - if you retain the geometry of a normal roundabout and simply put signals on it, you remove the intervisibility, you have drivers needing to crank their necks to make sure someone hasn't shot the light, etc, and the overall driving experience is made worse. This version also increases stacking space whereas conventional roundabouts with signals have stop lines barely 50 metres apart in places.

The layout you have is suitably low speed to remove the risk of high speed collisions which conventional roundabouts with wide entry deflections don't do, you can - if need be - provide direct NMU routes and incorporate walk-with traffic staging much easier, and the use of perpendicular crossings improves the experience for the NMU, they're not off desire lines and they're not also praying someone doesn't gun the light and run them over.

So once again, Australia has managed to improve on a concept even if it is still not a fully desirable finish.
Bryn
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She said life was like a motorway; dull, grey, and long.

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crazyknightsfan
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Re: Australian road markings

Post by crazyknightsfan » Thu Aug 05, 2021 04:44

This intersection in Brisbane is essentially the layout Peter posted above, but constructed from scratch like this (as far as I know):
https://goo.gl/maps/s79jZ2Az7SK4kAey7
It's definitely not a roundabout but functions the same as a signalised roundabout.

This may have been posted before, but Eelup Rotary in Bunbury WA signalised nearly 10 years ago and seems to function very well. With only two-phase signal operation required, it's a bit more efficient than a normal four-way signalised intersection would be, but it uses up a horrendous amount of land.
https://goo.gl/maps/AJqwzQR4QCsuMW43A

Peter Freeman
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Re: Australian road markings

Post by Peter Freeman » Thu Aug 05, 2021 06:03

crazyknightsfan wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 04:44
This intersection in Brisbane is essentially the layout Peter posted above, but constructed from scratch like this (as far as I know):
https://goo.gl/maps/s79jZ2Az7SK4kAey7
It's definitely not a roundabout but functions the same as a signalised roundabout.
That one's 3-level, so it's a 'square stackabout'. The USA has some of those. I still don't like it though: inefficient space usage and too many signals to pass through on the long-turns (turning right). The unusual 3-level single-point on Brisbane's Southern Cross Way is better.
This may have been posted before, but Eelup Rotary in Bunbury WA signalised nearly 10 years ago and seems to function very well. With only two-phase signal operation required, it's a bit more efficient than a normal four-way signalised intersection would be, but it uses up a horrendous amount of land.
https://goo.gl/maps/AJqwzQR4QCsuMW43A
Huge area indeed: typical UK design, though fortunately only two lanes. It will function well enough there, since they are not really traffic-heavy roads, but it's not "more efficient than a normal four-way signalised intersection". Yes, the signals at each arm have only two phases, and they may well be coordinated, but you do have to pass through three sets. When it became too congestion-prone, they should have performed a Melbourne operation on it: rip it up and lay out a large multi-lane 4-way cross!
Last edited by Peter Freeman on Thu Aug 05, 2021 14:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Australian road markings

Post by crazyknightsfan » Thu Aug 05, 2021 06:29

Peter Freeman wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 06:03
crazyknightsfan wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 04:44
This may have been posted before, but Eelup Rotary in Bunbury WA signalised nearly 10 years ago and seems to function very well. With only two-phase signal operation required, it's a bit more efficient than a normal four-way signalised intersection would be, but it uses up a horrendous amount of land.
https://goo.gl/maps/AJqwzQR4QCsuMW43A
Huge area indeed: typical UK design, though not multi-lane. It will function well enough there, since they are not really traffic-heavy roads, but it's not "more efficient than a normal four-way signalised intersection". Yes, the signals at each arm have only two phases, and they may well be coordinated, but you do have to pass through three sets. When it became too congestion-prone, they should have performed a Melbourne operation on it: rip it up and lay out a large multi-lane 4-way cross!
The signals are quite well coordinated for WA and manage the extreme holiday peaks a lot better than the roundabout used to. In normal operation the signals are timed so that the platoon entering on the first green reaches the third set of signals just as it turns green, so it's almost the same as a dedicated right turn arrow at a normal four-way intersection. For the minor right turn movements (N-W, W-S) it functions like a two-stage right turn with little delay.

The reason I suggest it's more efficient than a normal two-way intersection is:
1. Two phase operation means more green time per hour, than 3 or 4 phase operation that is required for a normal four-way intersection.
2. The roundabout geometry allows for northbound right turns to operate partly at the same time as southbound through movements, which isn't possible with a standard four-way intersection.
3. The large radius turning paths allow these movements to occur at higher speeds - say 50km/h instead of 20-30km/h - particularly helpful during holiday peaks.

Current traffic volumes on the approaches are:
- Forrest Highway - 31k vpd
- Robertson Drive - 17k vpd
- Sandridge Rd - 17k vpd
- Koombana Dr - ~15k vpd

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Chris5156
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Re: Australian road markings

Post by Chris5156 » Thu Aug 05, 2021 06:42

Peter Freeman wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 06:03
crazyknightsfan wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 04:44
This intersection in Brisbane is essentially the layout Peter posted above, but constructed from scratch like this (as far as I know):
https://goo.gl/maps/s79jZ2Az7SK4kAey7
It's definitely not a roundabout but functions the same as a signalised roundabout.
That one's 3-level, so it's a 'square stackabout'. The USA has some of those.
In the US they're sometimes referred to as three-level diamonds or "volleyball interchanges". I think Brisbane's is a volleyball rather than a UK-style stackabout. Wikipedia agrees and has listed this junction on its page about three-level diamonds.
This may have been posted before, but Eelup Rotary in Bunbury WA signalised nearly 10 years ago and seems to function very well. With only two-phase signal operation required, it's a bit more efficient than a normal four-way signalised intersection would be, but it uses up a horrendous amount of land.
https://goo.gl/maps/AJqwzQR4QCsuMW43A
I expect a roundabout of that size would take signalisation better than most UK roundabouts. Its size means there's stacking space between each entry point, and angles of approach are fairly generous. It's actually a lot bigger than most roundabouts here (having a diameter of about 188m), and would be comparable in size to a signalised roundabout GSJ like this one on the M25.

Peter Freeman
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Re: Australian road markings

Post by Peter Freeman » Sat Aug 07, 2021 00:48

Chris5156 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 06:42
In the US they're sometimes referred to as three-level diamonds or "volleyball interchanges". I think Brisbane's is a volleyball rather than a UK-style stackabout. Wikipedia agrees and has listed this junction on its page about three-level diamonds.
Yes, a 'volleyball'. I really don't like that name: '3-level diamond' is more descriptive and rational. The Wikipedia article is good. It comments, and Jackal has previously pointed out, that they are often built in the USA, especially Texas, as an interim measure, anticipating, with admirable foresight, a staged conversion to a 4-level stack.
I encountered at least one, in 2009, in San Antonio. Looking on Google Earth now, I can't be sure which one it was, but I do see interchange 151/16 that is obviously part-way through such a long-term staged conversion: https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Ra ... 98.7072294
I don't expect the Brisbane example to experience this process: one of the grade-separated roads is well below freeway quality.

Peter Freeman
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Re: Australian road markings

Post by Peter Freeman » Mon Aug 16, 2021 11:10

Here's another roundabout conversion project currently underway in Queensland, Australia. It demolishes one of the existing curved bridges (in order to provide more lanes, presumably in response to unbalanced flows) and retains the other one. I think it will still feel like a roundabout, but the assignment of lanes and the way they're marked out relate it also to a signalised diamond. Here are images of the current and future layouts -

Bruce Hwy - Nambour Connection Road 1.jpg
Bruce Hwy - Nambour Connection Road 2.jpg

A good outcome? Definitely an improvement, but building two new bridges instead of one would have allowed a DDI to be created instead.

This interchange is only a few km west of the rather similar conversion posted earlier in this thread, and is again indicative of AU's recognition of the unsuitability of a roundabout format for well-trafficked motorway interchanges. It's also only ten km north of QLD's first DDI (of three so far planned), and along with those DDI's it shows this road authority's willingness to innovate. Bruce Highway M1 here is currently only D2M, but the area north of Brisbane is populating rapidly. The location on google maps is here -
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-26.673 ... 201,16.39z

This adjustment is part of a low-key improvement to a few km of the M1. That project's website, with scheme diagrams and video fly-throughs, is here -
https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects/bru ... terchanges

Peter Freeman
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Re: Australian road markings

Post by Peter Freeman » Mon Oct 25, 2021 06:17

Video mainly just for fun, but illustrates many characteristic features of AU motorways and the way we mark and sign them.

You'll notice some items British-looking, many American-looking, and some pure Australian. The driving too. This route crosses Melbourne from an outer SE suburb to the northern exit from the built-up area, a distance of 80km. It traverses M1, M2, M80, M31 - four of our major freeways. Journey time 90 minutes (relaxed progress) condensed to 20. It seems to have been filmed in 2018, late on a cloudy summer evening, so the traffic's light. Video source not known to me.

Items of interest -

Sections of D2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Sections of HS, ALR, and our common 'semi-ALR' (shoulder tapers in and out where there's space left over).
Almost continuous Smart features - roll-out still in progress.
Use of red X over left lane to facilitate a merge (on the elevated section of M2).
Blue signs for tollways, green for freeways (probably a Melbourne-only convention).
Extensive 80km/hr speed limit through the central area.
2-lane diverges with single lane drop, with no ghost islands.
Clues to future widening allowance (space for more arrows on gantry signs).
Many glimpses (not while active, and some difficult to spot) of ramp meters. There's one (2 lanes wide) near the video's start, on the ramp where the M1 is first entered; and there's one (4 lanes wide) where the M3 merges into the M1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGz_8LTuMn8

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Re: Australian road markings

Post by Peter Freeman » Sun Nov 14, 2021 08:05

Here's an interesting example of roundabout navigational advice as executed in Australia. The intersection is in an outer suburb of Melbourne. It's the only triple roundabout that I'm aware of (we have several closely-spaced doubles, as I know the UK does). It works reasonably well, but I'm surprised that it's persisted in this form for so many years, and has escaped conversion to, for example, a triple T-intersection with coordinated signals.

If you're interested and can be bothered, you may figure out where each of the signs is located. Five are located on the approaches, and one is within the complex. Interestingly, some signs show the islands, while some don't, even though they could. Following the signs is remarkably simple, even if not familiar with the layout, if you know the name of your destination road.

On google maps : https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Mo ... !4d145.315

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