By Phuong To

    Driving through the west is not easy as it seems. While it is obvious that the road rules should be followed, some roads would be very confusing for first-time drivers. On the other hand, some roads take on a life of their own, with their own rules which have been ingrained into drivers before the new road development. Likewise, there are numerous strange road constructions that might surprise those that don’t live in the west.

    Hence, there are many routes that need careful consideration before you risk your life on these roads. The following are but a few examples of what to look out for in the west:

    • Barkly St and Gordon St

      • Note that the right lane is only for turning right here. However, we still get the frequent road user that will try to use the right lane to overtake the straight lane. Notice that there is not really a lot of space for this dangerous manoeuvre but people in a rush will try to do everything just to save even a second.
    • Barkly St and Geelong Rd

      • This is one of the most dangerous intersections, and numerous accidents have occurred over time. One of the main reasons is the number of traffic lanes, coupled with a long delay  in the changing of traffic lights, electrical outages and fast lane speeds. Another problem is the right turning lane at Barkly st coming into Footscray. This is another lane that is meant to turn right, however, many drivers often chose to go straight which infringes onto the car on the left’s space.
    • Leander St, West Footscray

      • One of the many features you will see in the western suburbs is the planting of trees on the side of the road. This can be very restricting if the plants are planted on both sides with the road only being big enough for one car  to go through. Avoid these if possible.
    • One-way Paisely St

      • Through the streets of Footscray, one would notice multiple one-way roads, and Paisely street is one of these. This is mainly due to the road being used as a pit stop for buses. Those first time drivers in the area, beware of the street as numerous buses will be slowing you down.
    • Suffolk St, West Footscray

      • Three speed bumps in the span of 450m on this street is road management overkill. It should be noted that this is not a main street filled with cars speeding through but a normal residential street.
    • Essex St

      • On this street you may see an unique “mini” speed bump. This is meant to act like a speed bump but at probably one-fifth of the size of a normal one.
    • Melon St (near South road)

      • For a street of normal proportion there consists of a massive roundabout that is quite obstructive when driving. As the roundabout is very low, some people don’t notice it at night as they would take it as a normal road and drive through. It is for this reason that one would most likely receive a fine in this area.

    Take care out there.

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