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Old October 2nd, 2011, 08:46 PM   #721
CairnsTony
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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
Tony seems to refer to the part of Australia that is actually capable of being inhabited by larger groups of people. So not mere surface, but the the coastal strip from Port Augusta to Cairns plus a few other areas. When you take those, Tony's equivalent "a few larger European countries" then appears correct.
Indeed. It's still a very dry continent, so whilst there is an incredible feeling of space, resources can be stretched as we still find ourselves supporting a very high energy/water/land guzzling nation. In drought years, farmers can really struggle and there are severe water restrictions in the cities. In 'La Niña' years such as 2010-2011, you have the opposite with severe flooding. Having said that, so much of the countryside earlier this year that is so often dry and parched looked green and lush.

So some areas may look productive but would be less likely to support big cities due to extreme wet and dry, nor would many Aussies want it to. We like our space even if three quarters of the people still cram themselves into five small corners of the country.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 09:07 PM   #722
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I posted this a couple weeks ago, if that can help :



So big and so little crowded. I just love Australia.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 09:14 PM   #723
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I posted this a couple weeks ago, if that can help :



So big and so little crowded. I just love Australia.
I'm often reminded that it is a shorter distance from London to Barcelona than from Cairns to Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland and by some distance, and Qld isn't even the biggest state!
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 09:42 PM   #724
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Little digression, but another thing I love with Australia is its beautiful, symmetric shape. I find it's the country that looks the best on a map (maybe I could add France as well)
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 11:37 AM   #725
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The emptiness pisses me off.
Where is our New York, Bankgok, Seoul, Tokyo?
Hell, I would even settle for a Kuala Lumpur.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 03:27 AM   #726
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Open spaces are not excuses for not building top-notch long-route highways or at least vastly improved roads. Take the example of US: I-10, I-70 and especially I-80 crosses hundreds of miles of sparsely populated areas.

Sure, Australia is far less populated than US was in the 50s, but Perth and Adelaide, for instance, need a better road link than the current one. At least, a 1+1 highway with partial junctions all the way. The Perth-Darwin links ought to be improved. I'll cut some slack to Alice Springs.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 05:58 AM   #727
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[QUOTE=as the 'big dipper'.


Looking north west at Cowan - note the rather large cuttings.

this was obviously taken awhile ago since then its been upgraded to 3 lanes each way from wahroonga to north of gosford.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 10:49 AM   #728
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Sure, Australia is far less populated than US was in the 50s, but Perth and Adelaide, for instance, need a better road link than the current one. At least, a 1+1 highway with partial junctions all the way. The Perth-Darwin links ought to be improved. I'll cut some slack to Alice Springs.
The traffic volumes on the Eyre Highway are less than 500 vehicles per day, plus you can drive 110 - 120 km/h without a problem. A major intercity highway outside the eastern coastal zone with 4 000 vehicles per day is already quite something.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #729
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I posted this a couple weeks ago, if that can help :



So big and so little crowded. I just love Australia.
Brilliant picture.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #730
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Originally Posted by natfat madd ****** View Post
this was obviously taken awhile ago since then its been upgraded to 3 lanes each way from wahroonga to north of gosford.
Yeah, I took it in May 2006.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 01:15 PM   #731
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The traffic volumes on the Eyre Highway are less than 500 vehicles per day, plus you can drive 110 - 120 km/h without a problem. A major intercity highway outside the eastern coastal zone with 4 000 vehicles per day is already quite something.
The Perth street directory shows a proposed road going east known as the "New Perth-Adelaide Highway" (or something like that, can't be arsed looking for it) - this is likely to be a new alignment heading out of Perth only, probably just to nearby Northam.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 01:21 PM   #732
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Quote:
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The traffic volumes on the Eyre Highway are less than 500 vehicles per day, plus you can drive 110 - 120 km/h without a problem. A major intercity highway outside the eastern coastal zone with 4 000 vehicles per day is already quite something.
On the main routes of the Outback (say, Auslink corridors), you usually look at one vehicle every couple of minutes during daytime. Grade separation, duplication or even the odd overtaking lane is just a waste of money.

What is worth some further thought in my view are bypasses of towns along those Auslink routes through the Outback, e.g. Katherine, Alice Springs, Port Augusta. Those towns would be relieved from road trains, for the road trains themselves it saves the hassle of having to drive through a (kind-of) crowded area for which the road trains were not designed anyway. And for normal vehicles it just gains a few minutes; even though that gain is not the largest advantage of a bypass route like this. One argument against bypasses like these is probably that fuel stations and supermarkets would probably immediately move to a bypass location, so that the bypass is no longer a proper bypass. But maybe still worth the thought.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 02:05 PM   #733
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What is worth some further thought in my view are bypasses of towns along those Auslink routes through the Outback, e.g. Katherine, Alice Springs, Port Augusta. Those towns would be relieved from road trains, for the road trains themselves it saves the hassle of having to drive through a (kind-of) crowded area for which the road trains were not designed anyway. And for normal vehicles it just gains a few minutes; even though that gain is not the largest advantage of a bypass route like this. One argument against bypasses like these is probably that fuel stations and supermarkets would probably immediately move to a bypass location, so that the bypass is no longer a proper bypass. But maybe still worth the thought.
Whilst that may be the case in terms of vital services being shifted to the bypass, it also provides opportunities for main street revitalisation.

There are a number of towns along the Hume Highway (the inland route between Sydney and Melbourne) that have been now been bypassed as part of the upgrade to a dual carriageway for the entire 900km+ length, but their main streets have been done up and look really good now, with an array of outdoor furniture, narrowing the width of the street with blisters, and the like.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 03:42 PM   #734
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Your main street indeed looks nicer if it is not a highway. But, while I'm not very familiar with the Hume Highway corridor, many towns bypassed by the Pacific Highway (or still to be bypassed by the Pacific Highway) did not have the highway in their main streets. The Pacific Highway tended to be a bit outside of the city centre, not in it. That of course still leaves a good room for improvement in those areas of town that used to be highway, but it is not necessarily about main street revitalisation.

In the Outback, the situation is comparable. The city centres of towns like Port Augusta, Alice Springs and Mount Isa are off-highway too. But the highway still runs through town, and bypassing would form a good relief.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #735
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Quote:
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Open spaces are not excuses for not building top-notch long-route highways or at least vastly improved roads. Take the example of US: I-10, I-70 and especially I-80 crosses hundreds of miles of sparsely populated areas.

Sure, Australia is far less populated than US was in the 50s, but Perth and Adelaide, for instance, need a better road link than the current one. At least, a 1+1 highway with partial junctions all the way. The Perth-Darwin links ought to be improved. I'll cut some slack to Alice Springs.
But Australia is far less densely populated than the USA, more than an order of magnitude less, and the distances are much greater. Adelaide to Perth is 2700 km while say Phoenix to Los Angeles is 600 km.

If the terrain is not difficult and the road reasonably engineered and the traffic volume low, there is little advantage to extravagant improvements as it is already perfectly easy to do 120 km/h even on a two lane single carriageway road. Typically cross-traffic is much less still, and so a simple stop sign and possibly a right turning lane (where relatively busier) is all that is really needed at intersections.

This is my experience in South Africa, and Australia is even larger and less populated. The A1 highway between Adelaide and Perth looks practically identical in construction to the less-used South African national roads, such as say the N10 between Upington and Nakop (the only difference is the colour of the lines).

A1 Eyre Highway
N10 Upington-Nakop

This type of road is perfectly adequate for its function.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 05:00 AM   #736
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Your main street indeed looks nicer if it is not a highway. But, while I'm not very familiar with the Hume Highway corridor, many towns bypassed by the Pacific Highway (or still to be bypassed by the Pacific Highway) did not have the highway in their main streets. The Pacific Highway tended to be a bit outside of the city centre, not in it. That of course still leaves a good room for improvement in those areas of town that used to be highway, but it is not necessarily about main street revitalisation.

In the Outback, the situation is comparable. The city centres of towns like Port Augusta, Alice Springs and Mount Isa are off-highway too. But the highway still runs through town, and bypassing would form a good relief.
I am more familiar with the Hume Highway rather than the Pacific Highway as it closer to where I live, but historically, the Hume Highway has been also the main street through town - for Camden (where I live), and further to the south for Mittagong, Goulburn, Yass, Gundagai and Albury. Not too sure about the Victorian section though.

The "former" path of the Pacific Highway (it still exists as various state routes but the freeway now carries the national highway number) went through the Gosford town centre, on the western outskirts of the Newcastle city centre, through Raymond Terrace and Taree, about 5km to the west of Port Macquarie, through Macksville, through Nambucca Heads, on the western outskirts of Coffs Harbour town centre, on the southern side of the river in Grafton (the town centre is on the northern side), and through Ballina and Tweed Heads. So a bit more of a mix compared to the Hume Highway. The Princes Highway to the south (the coastal route to Melbourne) is also more like the Hume as it goes primarily through the towns, but there is not much planning for bypasses any further south of Nowra at this time, probably because the traffic levels don't warrant it (with the exception of summer maybe), and the Hume is a lot more direct in terms of getting to Melbourne. However, the Princes is considered a more scenic route, but ~200km longer.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 08:11 AM   #737
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I am more familiar with the Hume Highway rather than the Pacific Highway as it closer to where I live, but historically, the Hume Highway has been also the main street through town - for Camden (where I live), and further to the south for Mittagong, Goulburn, Yass, Gundagai and Albury. Not too sure about the Victorian section though.

The "former" path of the Pacific Highway (it still exists as various state routes but the freeway now carries the national highway number) went through the Gosford town centre, on the western outskirts of the Newcastle city centre, through Raymond Terrace and Taree, about 5km to the west of Port Macquarie, through Macksville, through Nambucca Heads, on the western outskirts of Coffs Harbour town centre, on the southern side of the river in Grafton (the town centre is on the northern side), and through Ballina and Tweed Heads. So a bit more of a mix compared to the Hume Highway. The Princes Highway to the south (the coastal route to Melbourne) is also more like the Hume as it goes primarily through the towns, but there is not much planning for bypasses any further south of Nowra at this time, probably because the traffic levels don't warrant it (with the exception of summer maybe), and the Hume is a lot more direct in terms of getting to Melbourne. However, the Princes is considered a more scenic route, but ~200km longer.
the old hume hwy that went through albury was exactly the same as the current pacific hwy through coffs harbour. the old hume hwy bypassed the town centre 1 km east. it skirted around and under the town centre. most of the other towns that are now bypassed had the old hume run right thru their town centres even the victorian ones like Barnawatha, wangaratta, chiltern, wodonga etc.(you'll notice that with the current hume hwy that runs right through the town centres of holbrook and tarcutta which are both underconstruction for bypassing)
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Old October 6th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #738
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The "former" path of the Pacific Highway (it still exists as various state routes but the freeway now carries the national highway number) went through the Gosford town centre, on the western outskirts of the Newcastle city centre, through Raymond Terrace and Taree, about 5km to the west of Port Macquarie, through Macksville, through Nambucca Heads, on the western outskirts of Coffs Harbour town centre, on the southern side of the river in Grafton (the town centre is on the northern side), and through Ballina and Tweed Heads. So a bit more of a mix compared to the Hume Highway.
Indeed. It being understood that, in some of those cases, the "through town" means "edge of city centre". On the Hume Highway, and some other highways too, it was / is indeed much more like Main Street.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #739
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If traffic volumes are low, doesn't bypassing small towns cause them to die off? This type of town often relies a lot on passing trade. Or are you talking of highways that are much busier and cause problems for the town?
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Old October 7th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #740
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When I raised my original point about bypassing towns along the major Outback highways, I was definitely talking about routes with very low traffic volumes. Routes like the Hume Highway and the Pacific Highway have traffic volumes that are much higher, so that bypasses were pretty much inevitable.

With respect to the "dying off" of towns to be bypassed, my quick thought is that it will not be that bad. These towns remain regional centres and its supermarket, banks and local government functions will not go away if the town gets bypassed. But as I also mentioned, some functions are likely to move to the bypass area. Fuel stations, fast food restaurants and motels are all after the through traveller and need visibility from the highway. But I don't think that these functions will die altogether; the demand for a certain level of services in the area remains.
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