Melbourne faces death by gridlock, even with billions spent on new roads

The Age: Melbourne faces death by gridlock, even with billions spent on new roads Josh Gordon (25 November 2016)

Melbourne commuting times and costs, 2016, Photo: Infrastructure Victoria

Melbourne commuting times and costs, 2016, Photo: Infrastructure Victoria

Melbourne is set to become so choked by cars in coming decades that the average speed during the morning peak will drop to just 31 kilometres an hour – even with billions of dollars of planned road and rail upgrades.

In a depressing analysis of the challenges facing Australia’s fastest growing city, Infrastructure Victoria bluntly warns it will be impossible for Melbourne to build its way out of congestion.

Ramping up the case for a new regime of road pricing to better manage demand by replacing the inefficient and unfair melange of charges faced by motorists – including fuel excise, rego fees, licence fees, stamp duty, tolls and parking fees – the infrastructure adviser warns frustrations for drivers and public transport users will only grow. Continue Reading…

Video: Flemington Road’s Lemon-scented Gum

Watch: The Lemon Scented Gum from algarhythm on Vimeo

This short 5 min video shows the chain sawing of the 94 year old Lemon scented gum on Flemington Rd Parkville in Victoria Australia, by VicRoads on June 25 2016, despite it’s heritage, environmental and community value. The tree is listed on the significant trees register maintained by National Trust of Victoria, has had a baby born underneath it in the 1980s and people have written love letters to it. I wanted to show the abundant bird life living in this tree (about half way through) and also document how a healthy tree specimen has been destroyed for extremely spurious reasons. In this era of climate change we should not be allowing trees to be cut down that don’t need to be.

Listen 1: Anna Lanigan speaks to Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle on talkback with Jon Faine, ABC 774, 6th July 2016

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Listen 2: A song for Flemington Road’s much-loved Lemon-scented Gum – “Lemon Scented Sanity” by Mary Holdsworth & Patricia Mortensen from the CD “Heart Upon The Shore”

Get involved: join Guardians of the Flemington Road Gum on facebook: meet 7am this Saturday 9th July at the tree (120 Flemington Road, Parkville) for a public meeting

Posters and flyers you can print/distribute to show support for the Lemon-Scented Gum campaign

  1. Poster 1
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Additional information

National Trust of Australia (Victoria) update: Flemington Road gum tree still standing, but for how long?

Petitioning VicRoads Our Lemon-scented Gum is worth saving

How community action re-politicised transport planning in Victoria

It emerged as the key issue in the Victorian election and arguably led to the downfall of a government – but the East-West Link tollway also set a blueprint for community activism with impact.

The Centre for Urban Research’s Dr Crystal Legacy has researched the community-led anti-tollway campaign and examined how it came to have such a significant political effect.

The proposed 18km East-West Link tollway was designed to link Melbourne’s Western Ring Road and Eastern Freeway but community opposition to the project spread when the Napthine Liberal government signed contracts in 2014 to construct the multi-billion dollar project before taking the plan to an election.

Legacy says the government’s decision to remove the community from the transport investment decision-making process and its attempts to depoliticise the decision only served to “hyper-politicise” the project.

“Politically engaged citizens will go to great lengths to create their own spaces where deliberations about the transport problems, priorities and investments can occur, but in a manner that allows alternative transport futures such as public transport to also be considered,” she says.

Campaigners engaged heavily in social media, community-led forums and one-to-one consultation sites to garner support for their plight. Continue Reading…

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