Sunday, October 21, 2012

5 things I noticed about Melbourne roads

So, for the last 48 hours I've been driving an 8 seater bus around Melbourne. I specialise in the Kew-Airport run, the Balwyn - City run, and the Footscray to Kew run. I've developed an intense relationship with my hired sat-nav.

Melbourne is a different driving experience to Sydney and Brisbane. Five things.

1. There are two types of roads: Freeways (fast but expensive) and tram roads (a challenge to my godliness).
2. Cars aren't a priority on tram roads. The pecking order seems to go: trams, pedestrians, bikes, cars.
3. Melbournians are surprisingly patient about the slowness of travel. Glen Ferrie Road? Yes, I guess it's quite slow. We. Haven't. Moved. For. Five. Minutes!!!
4. If you take a wrong turn in Melbourne, your can recover from it pretty easily. Just do a U turn on a tram line or something.
5. It would be possible to live without a car in Melbourne. More so than B or S anyway.


  1. Imagine how much fun Brisbane traffic would be if the trams were still running.

  2. Gary - imagine how much less traffic there'd be if the trams were still running. Although trams have a feature that is both a pro and a con for reducing traffic congestion - the tracks. With tracks in place, people have a better idea of where the route goes and that there is a fair chance something will turn up eventually however, the need for tracks means that you can't change the route to meet changing demographics.

    Simone - I once beat a tram almost 2km down Sydney Rd just by walking because it was stuck in traffic. And yes, it is possible to live in Melbourne without a car but for some things it's more convenient - we had to use taxis after my heart op because there was no way I was going to be able to walk 1km from the nearest tram or train stop to my sister's house (they weren't home so we were able to stay at their place).

  3. @Laetitia - The inner city streets in Brisbane are too narrow. Every road with trams would have to be a permanent clearway for them to work. The streets were surveyed as wide as Melbourne's but some bright spark thought they'd never need anything that wide and narrowed them.
    You're right though, as soon as I realised trams were just buses on tracks my anxiety about them went away.

  4. I laughed reading this. You've captured Melbourne beautifully!

    We noticed that Melbourne drivers are pretty happy to let people in front of them, much more so than in our hometown of Adelaide. But then, in Adelaide, the traffic clears at some point!