Traffic in the Inner North

Carlton Main Sewer

YCAT Editorial

With the ill conceived East West Link taken off the agenda, the Andrews Government has announced a new agency Infrastructure Victoria to advise on major projects for the State.

Among other things, the agency will review the traffic and connectivity issues along the Northern Corridor that the East West Link proposal comprehensively failed to address.

Some observers fear that Infrastructure Victoria might revive the East West Link again. They could do worse than begin with a review of the 21 draft recommendations of the Landmark Norther Central City Corridor Study (1999-2001).

The Draft (and final) NCCC report found that if all the recommendations were implemented, there may not be a need for a tunnel.

One of the study recommendations was to close Scotchmer St at the Nicholson St median.

In consultation with stakeholders, remove or reduce the impact of through traffic and trucks on Gatehouse Street, Harker Street, and the Michael, Scotchmer and Pigdon Street route.

At the time, this was met with considerable opposition from local residents and incredulous traders. It was one of the factors that spooked then transport minister Peter Batchelor to promptly shut down the study before a final report.

Fifteen years later, the draft recommendations remain a draft. Despite a concerted attempt by the now scrapped Linking Melbourne Authority to discredit the study, the recommendations remain solid and reasonable today.

In an interesting twist of fate, the recommendation to close Scotchmer to through traffic has come to pass. Last October, Melbourne Water closed Scotchmer St just east of Nicholson St. It’s planned to remain closed until at least June 2016 while the Carlton Main Sewer is replaced.

So far, the sky has not fallen and the shopping villages of North Fitzroy and Nicholson St seem no worse off. The cycling route has improved and there are fewer trucks.

It would be a good opportunity for Yarra Council to update their Local Area Traffic Management Study to investigate the benefits of making this closure permanent.

Obviously doing just one out of 21 recommendations will not solve all the problems. But there has been progress on many of the recommendations, including some of the improvements to the 96 and 86 tram routes, improvements to the DART bus routes and a study into Doncaster rail.

Some of the other traffic calming recommendations have also been fully or partially implemented.

It’s time for a review.

Votezilla: East West Link impact upon 2014 State Election

TunnelPicket_Vote4Card.Nov2014

First up, here’s for a word to two from Tunnel Picket, it has to be said that their actions in 2013 and 2014 seriously placed East West Link into the wider public debate, and front and centre on the 2014 state election agenda >>

The most important thing before choosing to vote

Where my Democracy Sausage? A map of sausage and cake availability on election day.

Also see 2014 Victoria State Election Day Sausage Sizzle and Cake Stall Map – SnagVotes!

How to Vote – here’s a basic guide from VEC

How to vote: State elections – The Legislative Assembly and The Legislative Council

Analysis

We can’t go past Antony Green’s election commentary and interpretation:

Anthony Green’s Election Blog: 2014 Victorian Election – Summary of Nominations

A record 896 candidates will contest the 2014 Victorian election, an increase from the 711 candidates that contested the 2010 election. For both houses the number of candidates sets a new record. There are 545 candidates contesting the 88 lower house (Legislative Assembly) electorates, up from 502 in 2010 and representing an average of 6.2 candidates per electorate.

Pendulum | Key Seats

Additional state election analysis

Continue Reading…

A Referendum on Melbourne’s future

A Referendum on Melbourne’s future By Andrew Herington

The Prime Minister has sealed the fate of the controversial East West Link. When Tony Abbott declared the November 29th Victorian election to be a referendum on the project, he gave the winner a mandate – that most precious of things in politics.

If Labor wins, the project is dead. Daniel Andrews’s recent answers have been emphatic. If the Liberals win, it will have the political legitimacy that it has so far lacked. The final hurdle for the project would be whether the planning approval survives each of the three Supreme Court challenges currently underway.

Lend Lease and its consortium partners would still face protracted and well organised community resistance. In the early months, this would focus on sit-ins to prevent the excavation of a huge cutting in the central part of Royal Park – the largest hole ever proposed to be dug in Melbourne.

Denis Napthine has misread the public mood and put all his eggs in one basket, making the tollway the cornerstone of his Government whilst Daniel Andrews has staked his reputation on reversing the hastily signed contracts. The tollroad may turn out to be a very large political hole. Continue Reading…

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