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Tram Stops

Melbourne / Victoria Transport Discussion

Tram Stops

Postby Croc » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:36 am

Has anyone else noticed that when the capacity of tram stops was increased in St Kilda road was increased that the tram stops were positioned so that they reduced the lane widths? Buses along the 216 219 and 220 routes and any buses using St Kilda road would notice that they now often get stuck - especially when there are cars waiting to turn. This is avoidable and didn't occur prior to the closure of Grant Street and changes for the Grand Prix.

Did you notice then when they built the super stops in Collins Street that they left parking and road warning signs so that they now reach over the road creating a hazard and that they were very slow to trim back the trees which, having previously only covered parking areas, were now obstructing the traffic lanes causing damage to vehicles? It took them weeks to address this.

Did you notice that when recent tram stop works were conducted along Docklands Boulevarde (or what used to by Dynon Road) that the temporary barricades set up were set up in a haphazard way that meant that a bus couldn't get between them (and they stretch for over a kilometre) without contacting them and potentially causing damage to vehicles? This is typical for tram works around the city. The signage was also insufficient.

Did you notice that the locations of tram stops at the top ends of Collins, Bourke and Lonsdale Streets are positioned such that a full size coach can no longer turn left into any of these streets?

Has anyone noticed that many tram stops have now been moved from the Departure side of intersections to the Approach side thereby: 1. Reducing the ability of coaches to turn left (for example turning from Collins St into Swanston Street when facing East - yes I know we are not allowed to do this any more, but were until recently we could with a permit) 2. Creating confusion about right of way (i.e when a tram that if proceeding straight ahead ahead would have right of way stops to collect/drop a passenger and so a turing vehicle then turns (or commences to turn in front of it)

To exlain this last point more clearly. It is clear that a tram entering an intersection and travelling straight ahead has right of way ahead of a vehicle turning right in front of it. Where the tram stop is on the departure side of the intersection then the tram proceeds through the intersection and once clear loads or unloads on the other side and the turning vehicle passes behind it. When, however, the tram stops before entering the intersection to load or unload then, then having not taken its right of way vehicles will turn in front of it. If the turning vehicle completes their turn before the tram is ready to move on then everyone is happy and the traffic flow is maintained. However that is often not what happens. After a turning vehicle has moved more then half way through the intersection the Tram drivers will often then bring their vehicle right up against the turing vehicle such that the turning vehicle can no longer see the road ahead of them and can no longer complete their turn safely. When this happens a very dangerous situation is created that is unnecessary. I assume that this is in a misguided attempt by the tram driver to take the moral high ground and enforce their right of way - but this logic is flawed - the tram does have the right to intersection first but having not taken this right of way (because they stopped to load) then has an obligation to allow the vehicle that entered the intersecton before him to complete his turn. This is the same courtesy that we allow trams when they enter an intersection late as the lights change but other traffic waits fro them to complete their turn in their lumbering slow and noisy way. I understand the frustration of the tram driver as the poor infrastructure planning has created this avoidable situation. (But, the next tram driver to do this to me will get to meet me in person!)

Those planning revised tram infrastructure intended to make their service more accessible to people in wheelchairs, with prams, etc have, through their lack of planning and the poor way that changes have been implemented have introduced new hazards for tram drivers and other roads users and done long term damage to the accessibility of the city for tourism - especially for groups visiting by road from interstate and specifically disadvantaging businesses who are unfortuante to need access to particular streets (for example those entering theatres alng Collins, Bourke, etc)

With a bit of thought we could all play nicely.
..
Croc
 
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