The mind boggles at the logic of the powers-that-be when it comes to the installation of traffic lights.
The understanding is that traffic lights are installed to improve traffic flow and safety.
However, there are some sets of lights in the Southern Highlands that truly challenge this theory.
Those that quickly spring to mind are the Merrigang Street lights and the lights located on Bessemer Road Mittagong at both the Bowral Road and Old Hume Highway intersections.
The Merrigang Street lights have been a bone of contention since their installation, but they are in and they are what is relied upon to control the flow of traffic in a safe manner.
However, the question needs to be asked “if safety is a priority then why haven’t right-hand turning arrows been included at these lights?”.
Right-hand turns are permissable but it’s a matter of do so at your own risk – and at peak traffic times that risk can be very real.
Possibly the biggest challenge is when travelling north along Bong Bong Street with the intention of turning right into Merrigang Street.
At peak times it is common for only one car to manage a turn with each set of green lights. And in those cases they are turning after the lights have changed to amber and the southbound traffic on Bong Bong Street has stopped for the changing lights.
There is the potential for a green turning arrow on these lights – it shows up when it’s red – but you never see it turn green.
Then there are the traffic lights at the Bessemer and Bowral Roads intersection in Mittagong.
There is rarely a time when this section of road is not busy yet, again, there is no right turn arrow for the south bound traffic wanting to turn into Bessemer Road.
There is a similar situation for traffic at the other end for north bound traffic on the Old Hume Highway wanting to turn right into Bessemer Road. There is a designated right hand turn lane, but no green arrow.
This section of Bessemer Road is home to two major traffic destinations – McDonalds and Mittagong RSL Club – the traffic flow could be far better managed for safety with a simple green arrow at both sets of lights.
At all three intersections the inclusion of a green arrow would mean motorists could navigate, what is now a potentially hazardous traffic situation, with ease and safety.