Erk Pod 272 – On The Road Again

Welcome to episode 272 of Erk Pod. On this episode recorded in Erk’s car:

Duration: 85 minutes

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  1. Speed cameras / Speeding / Road Speeds.
    I don’t really have a problem with our current road speed limits. They may seem a bit low at times but unfortunately they do have to cater for all levels of driving ability, all ages and classes of vehicles and even all weather conditions. It is an unfortunate fact that most drivers are not capable of making decisions about “driving to the conditions” and so these decisions must be made for them.

    Increasing speed limits would lead to the situations that less capable drivers would, and rightly so, not travel to the speed limit and would make more capable drivers angry and inpacient at their lower speed. Increasing driver education or making tests more stringent is not always the solution as each person tends to have a certain limit to their abilities. Some people will never become better drivers no matter how much education you throw at them. What are we going to do – not allow these people to drive? There’s one way to reduce traffic congestion.

    The reasons behind our speed limits are not always obvious. While it may sound great to increase the speed limit on the M4 to 160 km/h the problem is that the on ramps are too short making it difficult if not impossible for most cars to reach 160 km/h and be able to safely merge on to the motorway causing more accidents. East of around the Cumberland Highway overpass there are a lot of entry and exit points to the M4 in close proximity. Increasing the speed limits around here would cause problems due to all the merging and lane changing required and vehicles wanting to leave or exit the motorway would have great difficulty and cause problems to through traffic.

    What needs to happen is that motorways be re-designed and the concept of collector & emitter lanes introduced, were basically additional lanes (leftmost lanes) are built for the sole purpose of carrying traffic that has just joined the motorway OR is going to leave the motorway at the next exit. These lanes could then safely carry the slower traffic while through traffic can then safely do higher sppeds.

    I don’t believe that higher speeds necessarily cause more accidents – however when an accident DOES happen the effects are far worse. An accident between a car travelling at 160km/h and a stationary object is not survibable given our current level of technology.

    Metrobuses (Red Buses):
    While the increased frequencies and new routes these buses operate on are very welcome (I now travel on the new M52 most days to work between Parramatta and Rydalmere) the annying thing is that these buses do not have public timietables. The metrobus concept includes having no public timetables – just frequency guides. This includes on the internet, printed paper timetables or timetables on bus stop poles. They don’t exist. You know the frequency at which your bus is operating but not the time at which it should arrive. This is barley acceptable at the peak frequencies of every 10 minutes – but when frequencies drop to every 15 minutes off peak, or every 20 minutes evenings and weekends – it is very annoying not to know what time the next bus should be arriving so that you can plan to arrive at the bus stop and not wait for 20 minutes – and so that you can plan what time to leave home in order to get to work on time.

    The reason this is done is that the Metorbus concept has cross-regional routes which are pretty long from end to end. This makes it very probable that buses will get delayed at some stage during the run or that bunching will occur (30 minutes without a bus and then 3 come at once). By not publishing public timetables commuters can not complain that the bus is running late.

  2. Excellent ambient noise as you were recording and driving. You know I’m a fan of ambient noise in podcasts.
    It was nice having you and Judy on Gemini Dragon. 😀 That was a good time!

    Please send me the promo for your book, and I will play it on my show.

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