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20.10.09

They’re Turning Weird in Melbourne - Intro to the Hook Turn

Trams provide regular public transport across the inner suburbs of Melbourne and in times when the freeways and tollways around the city are called car parks (Monash Carpark, Eastern Carpark etc.) by frustrated Melbournites, trams can provide calmer access to many locations.

Mostly things go well for residents and visitors alike, but there is a facet of Melbourne not seen elsewhere. They are labeled with numerous epithets by those who don’t understand them and they provide an easy way to spot visitors to the city.

Hook turns. More recent tramlines are laid in the median strip of roads so they have a free run through traffic, but in the city that isn’t possible. So, at labeled intersections in the centre of Melbourne, right turns are done from the left side of the road.

In Australia, driving is on the left side of the road, like the UK. So as you approach a labeled intersection, wanting to turn right, you move into the left lane and put on your right blinker. (indicator) You proceed through the green light to a point where you’re directly in front of the traffic waiting for their red light to turn green, moving (if possible) to the left of the lane you were in so traffic behind you can go through. And wait.

When the light on the road you wish to turn onto goes green, after checking your rear view for drivers who think red lights mean go really fast to get through before the other road takes off, you promptly (delays will get you honked) turn to your right and travel off down the road.

2 comments:

Dave DeWall said...

And I thought traffic was weird in Manila. I haven't seen the hook turn yet on our little island in the Philippines, but I'll be watching for it. Enjoyed reading your posts.

JM said...

Thanks for stopping by, Dave. :)