Revisiting Melbourne’s clogged intersections

Recently I’ve blogged about idiot drivers queuing through intersections, and police holding jaywalking blitzes. So what has changed in the past few months?

Cars queuing through intersections are still blocking trams.

Z3.144 and D1.3501 wait for a car blocking the tracks at Swanston and Flinders Streets

And the police are still booking pedestrians who cross against red lights.

But have the Victoria Police realised there is a fresh target out there, ready to get fined for blocking intersections?

Pedestrians might still be the soft target for police, but someone at Yarra Trams has realised they need to take matters into their own hands to keep the city moving.

Yarra Trams operational staff ask motorists to clear the tracks at the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets

A few weeks ago I was at the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets during peak hour, where I found a member of the tramways staff waiting by the intersection, ready to tap on the window of every motorist who got in the way.

Yarra Trams staff ask another motorist to clear the tram tracks: Victoria Police nowhere to be seen

But despite their efforts to keep the intersection clear of traffic, trams still continued to bank up along St Kilda Road, with the queue extending the length of Princes Bridge, moving forward at a rate of one tram a minute.

Another two minutes on, Z3.199 has crept up two spaces

So how many more jaywalking blitzes will Melbourne witness, before we finally see trams pass freely through an intersection?

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5 Responses to “Revisiting Melbourne’s clogged intersections”

  1. Andrew says:

    1/ It is for Victoria Police to enforce road laws and clearly it is not doing so. Guilty.

    2/ The intersection is the responsibility of Vic Roads. Its role is to make sure intersections work and obviously the intersection does not. Guilty.

    3/ Yarra Trams runs our tram system and it is up to it to ensure the smooth running of the network. Stationary trams indicate it is not performing either. Guilty.

    4/ The tram employee is going above and beyond the call of duty by being in the middle of a busy intersection. Commendable but somewhat dangerous, I would have thought.

    5/ Some tram drivers act illegally to get through the intersection. They should not be put in that situation.

    5/ More people are added to Melbourne’s population every day, meaning more cars on the roads. This problem is not going to go away itself and needs addressing rather than ignored by all of the above.

  2. enno says:

    “3/ Yarra Trams runs our tram system and it is up to it to ensure the smooth running of the network. Stationary trams indicate it is not performing either. Guilty.”

    Rubbish. Yarra Trams has almost no influence over traffic congestion, road planning, lane management, or traffic signal operation. If you want an on-road light rail system, well you got one. How does that make them “guilty” ?

  3. Andrew says:

    Enno, Yarra Trams need to effectively lobby the government and Vic Roads, along with being able to get police for traffic control. I would have thought having influence with other areas that affect its system would be an important part of their business.

  4. Mike says:

    Is that intersection worthy of a red light camera?

    There’s one on the corner of Elizabeth & Victoria St that catches all the left-turning traffic (turning to go east). It does seem to have helped stop cars gridlocking that turn. This benefits the route 19, 59 & 57 trams, which otherwise used to get caught with the east-traveling Victoria St traffic.

    A road safety blitz to target gridlocking drivers across the city and the major thoroughfares in/out of the city is badly needed. Too many drivers just have it in their heads that they need to dart across before the lights turn red, even if the intersection isn’t clear.

    Not too dissimilar perhaps to fools blocking railway crossings?

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