Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Terrific Traffic Dynamics

Christchurch motorists have behaved in a  much more considerate way  since 22 Feb 2011.  Rocky roads, blocked off streets and  big changes to traffic  flows now means snarl ups, grid lock and  long queues are common.  I used to think that being stuck in  traffic for two changes of lights was gridlock. Well, that is now normal in  many parts  of town.  A trip that used to  take 10 minutes  can now  take 40 minutes at the wrong time of the day.

The interesting response to all of this  has been one of tolerance, acceptance and consideration.  It is now the norm to let  traffic  join a queue from a side street. Buses are  given right of way when  pulling out of bus stops as a matter of course. We, as  harassed motorists,  are giving constant consideration to our fellow road users including the poor cyclists who now  spend  a lot of their  road  time in mountain  bike  country,.

This new  behaviour is good.

Right now we have about 30 road crews out working across Christchurch on earthquake recovery. As we get seriously in to the  2.5 billion  horizontal infrastructure  (pipes, cables and roads) you can expect to see over 150 road crews working daily across the city. This is going to put further strain on  our transport systems and constantly change traffic flows.   As this  pressure increases the new behavioural patterns  being witnessed today are going to be even more important. The new considerate Christchurch drivers will also make it easier to adopt a defensive driving stance, as we get used to the imminent changes to the intersection road rules.

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