I can’t help noticing that when traffic is relatively light, this sign on Kings Way always it’s 4 minutes to Williamstown Road.
This seems as optimistically unlikely as those old Citylink travel time promises. Google Maps reckons it’s 7.7 kilometres, and estimates a travel time without traffic of 6 minutes.
The speed limit along the freeway and over the Westgate bridge is 80 km/h, which by my calculations makes it just under 6 minutes if you were able to consistently do the speed limit for the whole distance. To do it in 4 minutes you’d need to be zooming along at about 115 km/h.
The estimate to get to the Western Ring Road seems a little more accurate.
Of course the very reason these signs are needed is because travel times on the roads can vary widely. In peak hour they are crowded and slow… in a city the size of Melbourne, this is inevitable, because it’s simply not efficient to move people in ones and twos in their cars.
Vicroads figures just released show that traffic continues to get slower… and that’s despite a multitude of motorways having been built, extended or widened over the last decade. This graphic from the PTUA:
In a big city I contend that it’s probably not possible to fix road congestion. But is it possible to reduce overall average travel times for everyone (not just motorists)?
Well yes it is. Vancouver’s managing to do it. How? By not building motorways, but upgrading public transport instead. The more people are off the road, the better.