Australian Commuters Puzzled Over New Interchange
Commuters in Sydney, Australia, have reportedly voiced some complaints after travelling through the city’s inner west due to a misleading new road sign and a typo in the markings for a bus lane.
According to reports, the issues surround the WestConnex Rozelle interchange, where drivers noticed a road sign that seemed to suggest a toll for a typically free tunnel, as well as a double typo in the markings for a bus lane.
About the Mistakes
According to The Australian, the new toll sign on the WestConnex Rozelle interchange—or "spaghetti junction"— caused many drivers to try switching lanes, contributing to the buildup.
“Clearly it’s confusing, that spaghetti junction is difficult to navigate and a lot of cars’ GPS haven’t caught up because there has been no traffic activity before today,” NSW Premier Chris Minns told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.
“We’ll change that sign and I understand the Minister for Roads is putting up those portable electronic signs to show people that you can use that road in particular and not pay the toll.
“Hopefully, no one is reversing their way out of a very difficult and dangerous intersection because that’s very dangerous,” he added.
The new interchange reportedly connects drivers to the M4 and M8 tunnels, the City West Link, and the Western Distributor and gives access to the Anzac Bridge.
Another report found that since the confusion was pointed out by drivers, new road signs have been placed to specify to motorists that there is no charge for travelling in that direction.
Just two days later, however, another report from Yahoo New Australia announced that yet another mistake was found near the interchange—this time as a double typo printed onto a bus lane.
The typo, which appears twice in the left turning lane at the intersection at Darling Street, reportedly reads: "Buses expected," instead of "excepted.”
Sydney residents reportedly joked about the mistake online. "If I was a road, I'd expect buses too," one joked. While another stated that, "I get my bus near there and I'm constantly expecting buses that don't show, so seems accurate.”
Residents of Inner West have reportedly continued to voice their complaints about the strip of road, specifically the signage that has confused drivers.
According to the report, the Inner West Council has been contacted for comment in relation to the typo and ongoing congestion.
Now, news.com.au states that urgent construction has begun on the interchange to open a new lane for general traffic in hopes of reducing traffic and travel times.
Construction on the new lane is expected to be finished by Saturday, Dec. 9, while Transport for NSW reportedly looks into adding a further lane on Victoria Road in the area before it merges into one lane to join the Anzac Bridge.
Additionally, operational changes to the Western Distributor, created to help traffic flow as motorists cross the Anzac Bridge, will reportedly also continue.
Australian Roads Minister John Graham reportedly called an urgent meeting of senior transport executives to discuss the interchange issues.
“We must be vigilant that we do not simply shift the problem up the road in what is a constrained traffic environment since the opening of the new Rozelle Interchange,” he said.
“Work will begin at night and Transport has already done a lot of work to effectively redesign the road. I want to thank motorists again for their patience as we try to make the right changes to the system as it settles.”
Officials at the meeting decided that the extra lane will stretch over 400 meters at the major “pinch point” where the City West Link merges with the new Crescent Overpass.
Minns stated that these new decisions must take into account the possible “unintended consequences” when made under pressure.
“I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the previous government where they promised a smooth running for millions of people into the city, the road opens, and we get the exact opposite,” Minns said.
The $3.9 billion junction was reportedly created to reduce traffic on Victoria Road by up to 50%.
Other Road Marking Errors
In April, a combined footpath and cycle path in the United Kingdom was reportedly “out of this world,” sporting a pedestrian character that looked more like a space alien.
The character was first spotted by John Stickland, a member of the Facebook group "Plymouth Street Scenes," who uploaded a photo of the “space alien,” prompting others to poke fun at the paint job located on Runway Road.
A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council agreed that Stickland had a point, also confirming they had since been in contact with the utility company responsible. The company reportedly agreed to revisit the site.
In a statement, Plymouth City Council said: “Your reader has a point. It’s not the most artistic likeness of a human or a bike but it seems it has sat there unnoticed for quite some time.
“We are checking our records and think this may have been there for some time—possibly back to 2021. When utility companies dig up pavements we ask them to replace like for like on road markings. We agree it doesn’t look good and have raised this with the company responsible who have agreed to revisit this.”
Also, in November, Residents in Hartford, Michigan, were reportedly upset with the results of a road lining effort, which left one of the town’s roads with curved lane markers.
According to a report from WWMT, Interim City Manager Linnea Rader was planning to meet with the painting contractor to decide on the proper corrective action.
“The street striping that was completed this weekend has been a hot topic around the city. Neither the residents nor the city are happy with the results,” an announcement on the City of Hartford’s Facebook page said.
“In the meantime, rest assured the city will not be paying for work they are dissatisfied with. Thank you all for your patience while we address the situation.”
While many residents were upset over the mistake, some took to Facebook to voice a milder point of view.
“Honestly I'm surprised more roads don't look like that. Given the uneven, bumpy, bad pothole patches and sunken manhole covers on every road ... there isn't a road anywhere that is easy to paint lines straight,” user Scott Perin commented on a Facebook post from WWMT on the incident.