Learning to Drive Around Melbourne
Reading the last email newsletter from Newcomers Network made me chuckle, as I recalled the situation my mother and I found ourselves in a couple of weeks ago.
‘Have Melways (printed street directory) will travel’ is basically my motto, and the concept of having difficulty getting around Melbourne is one I usually have difficulty comprehending.
However, my attitude was put to the test a couple of weeks ago, when returning from a day’s touring around Victoria visiting Open Gardens, and I put the blame fairly and squarely at the feet of CityLink.
Navigating Melbourne Highways
Merrily driving down the Calder Highway, by now ready to call it a day and fall in a heap on the couch, I had forgotten about CityLink, until the large ominous sign appeared advising that the toll road commenced in two kilometres. Shortly after the sign, there was an exit, and not knowing whether there would be another in what remained of the two kilometres we took it.
The next half an hour or so saw us in the automotive equivalent of the old Luna Park maze. Just when we thought we had found a way out, we discovered that all roads do not lead to Rome, but rather back to the highway.
Mum was hurriedly trying to get her bearings, so that our friend Melways could save us, but to no avail. We just drove around and around and around, and always there it was, the freeway – or rather the freeways.
At one stage we found our way on to the Hume, which was excellent, as from there we knew we could exit at Bell Street. Then shock/horror, the signs seem to indicate we are heading out of town, and back to the Open Gardens.
Had it not been a Sunday, I might have almost been tempted to keep heading for the hills, finding accommodation for the night, and resting up before tackling the journey again the next day.
Eventually, and by sheer chance, we did find our way on to the Hume and to the Bell Street exit.
It must be said that by this time we were hysterical with laughter.
Now I know, the simplest thing (though not nearly as much fun) would have been to stay on the freeway and pay the toll, however I must admit it never occurred to me.
I usually don’t need the toll roads, am not in favour of toll roads, and I don’t possess an e-TAG. My plan for the evening consisted of falling in a heap on the couch, and did not include contacting the toll police to pay the penalty for overshooting the last exit.
It did make me think though, it would be far more user friendly if the CityLink signs said ‘Second last exit before toll’ or ‘last exit before toll’, rather than two kilometres to toll.
But then, they’d be missing out on the income from those who choose not to spend Sunday evening driving around and around in circles in a fit of the giggles with their Mum.
Thanks once again for your assistance, and I will continue to check out the links and networks referred to in your site.
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