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?

Continue Reading…

The secret report Napthine won’t let you see

The Age: The secret report Napthine won’t let you see. November 24, 2014. Peter Martin

Much work went into the preparation of a state-based reform agenda, so why has it never been released?

A report into a state-based reform agenda has not been released to the public.

Within months of becoming treasurer, Kim Wells commissioned a report. He asked the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission to deliver “a state-based reform agenda” – a user manual for boosting Victoria’s economic growth.

It had been abysmal for two years. High population growth was masking “dwindling growth in productivity and in per capita GDP – the main determinants of growth in living standards”. And the Australian dollar was set to remain high, “threatening the competitiveness of Victorian exports”.

Wells knew the problems. He wanted Victoria’s strengths benchmarked against those of other states and he wanted a list of options that would “yield the greatest potential benefit in light of Victoria’s relative competitive strengths and weaknesses”.

He wanted it within in nine months. Continue Reading…

Third Vic council takes action over Link

AAP: Third Vic council takes action over Link November 20, 2014
A third Melbourne council has launched legal action against the controversial East West Link road project, alleging changes to the design signed off in September could be unlawful.

Moonee Valley City Council is seeking to have Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s decision to approve changes to the $6.8 billion first stage of the roadway quashed by the Victorian Supreme Court.

It is also seeking orders to prevent the project moving forward in its current state without the legality of the decision being clarified.

Documents lodged with the court on Thursday by Moonee Valley say the amended design is so substantially different from the original design it could no longer be considered the same project.

Moonee Valley council says additions including a four-lane off-ramp at Ormond Road, a new four-lane road through Debneys Park and a new elevated off-ramp will devastate the suburbs of Flemington, Travancore and Moonee Ponds. Continue Reading…

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