Cycling in Melbourne Australia
I'm quite new to Melbourne and just wanted to get some information on traffic light phases. I was approaching a set of lights in Abbotsford, (near Hoddle St I think - can't remember where exactly), and I was astonished at how quickly they turned from amber to red. I thought I had plenty of time to make the orange safely instead of braking abruptly, but before I knew it the light had turned red and I found myself running it unintentionally. It freaked me out a bit as I'm quite the stickler for road rules. Coming from Brisbane, it felt as though the amber lights back home last at least twice as long as Melbourne ones do. Is this a known thing with traffic lights down here - or am I just going mental?
You must be mental, have you tried our weather yet?
If you have entered an intersection, and the light turns red when you are in it, you are perfectly legal. For cars as it is for bikes.
(Of course, if you intentionally try to make the amber, then that's pushing it - not that it appears you did that).
However, many drivers are far more accommodating of larger vehicles pushing the boundaries than small - trucks/buses OK, cars meh, bikes, notsomuch.
To answer your question... it varies from intersection to intersection. One I regularly ride... Queensberry St headed West over Elizabeth St, has to cross 8 carriageways of traffic AND tram lines. That one has a r-e-a-l-l-y long amber. Others, notsomuch.
You can contact VicRoads and suggest they make changes. Especially where the road is a designated bike route and/or has bike lane/whatever. Also, keep an eye on the pedestrian crossing lights (if it has one) as the red man flashing gives you a warning.