Reasons for de-scoping the Western Distributor
To all parties with an interest in the Western Distributor
Here is Victorian Transport Action Group’s (VTAG’s) paper that assesses the impact of the Western Distributor (WD) and offers 10 recommendations to make it more socially, environmentally and economically acceptable.
- Reasons for de-scoping the Western Distributor (pdf, 967kb)
VTAG’s major concerns with the WD include:
- It costs $5.5 Billion and is 11 times larger than the road proposal of the Andrews Government elected in 2014.
- Transurban’s original ‘unsolicited bid’ has become a massive road cluster linking freeways and arterials in such a way that it induces traffic into the inner and western suburbs and maximises toll revenue for Transurban.
- The planning and EES processes are insufficient to protect communities from night time truck noise, carcinogenic exhaust emissions and other severe negative community health impacts.
- WD will blight homes, land, parkland and waterways and cause worse truck problems in local streets.
- WD denies western suburbs residents’ proper public transport services.
- WD shifts freight from freight trains to monstrous road trucks and worsens road traffic congestion and trauma.
- There is a lack of governance and objectivity to ensure that private sector profiteering is not in conflict with the public good.
How to Stop a Highway
Interesting timing with US Department of Transportation releasing this handy toolkit about how to influence and/or stop bad infrastructure projects.
The Department of Transportation releases a plain-language toolkit to help citizens weigh in on all kinds of projects—so they can thwart the bad ones
CityLab: How to Stop a Highway (13 December 2016)
The Department of Transportation releases a plain-language toolkit to help citizens weigh in on all kinds of projects—so they can thwart the bad ones.
So, let’s say your state department of transportation wants to widen the highway in your neighborhood. It’s a horrendous idea—more noise, more pollution, and a bigger tear through city streets.
But how do you tell them so? The project’s draft analysis is thousands of pages long, full of technical verbiage you’d need degrees to understand. The public forums are cage fights between cranky neighbors and engineers with jargon-studded retorts for every possible complaint. Besides, what’s the point? The highway’s coming, whether you pipe up or not. That’s what always happens. Right?