Since 2010

Where Montague meets Lorimer

There’s this road junction here in Melbourne where Montague Street crosses Lorimer Street/Convention Centre Place:

OpenStreetMap view of junction

It’s a miracle this junction works at all during peak times (zoom out when viewing it on a map to see the whole terrifying thing) but it mostly does, except for one scenario which I wanted to report to VicRoads. The feedback form I found wants words and there’s no way I could explain the issue without pictures, so here I am describing it in full colour for all to see.

When travelling through the junction northbound on State Route 30/55/Montague Street, and sitting at the lights waiting to cross Lorimer Street, there are five lanes. Traffic in the two right-hand lanes must turn right into Convention Centre Place, and the other three lanes continue on the north side of the junction.

So for traffic passing through the junction it’s three lanes in, three lanes out. Here’s how it should work:

Image from Google Maps

But for some reason this is what actually happens:

Image from Google Maps

I try to position myself in the left lane in preparation for the next turn I usually take, and about 75% of the time I use this junction I end up having to take some sort of action to avoid being sideswiped by cars in the middle lane.

I’ve noticed that if traffic is light and does not have to stop at the lights, everyone goes where they’re supposed to. It’s only when traffic is setting off from a red light that this happens. And of course once the first car in the middle lane takes the wrong path, all the cars behind do the same thing.

I suspect it’s because the middle of the junction is also the middle of the “turn” - the middle of the curve the road is taking - and drivers assume the junction is straight-and-true so take the lane directly in front of them.

Road markings are an obvious solution to a layman like me, but that would presumably cause other problems given the markings already on the road surface.

Anyway, I’ll send my feedback off to the relevant authority. What else can I do?