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.

Melbourne no aceptará la autopista ‘East West Link’

La compañía española Acciona es parte del consorcio seleccionado para construir la primera fase de una carretera de peaje de 18 kilometros de largo que atravesara la cuidad de Melbourne en Australia.  El proyecto se llama el East West Link.

La carretera atravesaría una de las zonas más antiguas y densamente pobladas de la ciudad. Unas docenas de casas y negocios serán derribados y unos cientos de casas y negocios serán adquirido obligatoriamente. Imagínense que esto mismo pasara en los barrios de Madrid, o en las areas céntricas de Barcelona!

El parque más grande y antiguo, el Parque Real – conocido como “los pulmónes de la ciudad” – perderá en la parte occidental su tranquilidad, al quedar debajo de siete viaductos. Uno de los viaductos pasará al lado de un edificio de viviendas sociales, al décimo piso. En este complejo de viviendas residen muchos refugiados y gente vulnerable.

Se perderá zona verde bien preciado para la recreación y un humedalpara plantas y pájaros indígenas.

Esta construcción costará cinco mil millones de euros, pero todavía no es oficial el cargo fijo que se pagará a Acciona y al consorcio durante 25 años. Esto causará un gran impacto en el presupuesto del estado, desviará fondos que podrían ser mucho mejor invertidos en proyectos eficientes de transporte público, salud y educación. El contrato comercial no es transparente pero se sabe bien que los costos superan a los beneficios.

Es preocupante que Acciona está dispuesto a participar en un proyecto que hace tanto daño al medio ambiente, es una contradicción absoluta a lo que pretende ser. Continue Reading…

Neither of the Major Parties intend to build Metro

Two articles published independently yesterday show just how corrrupt transport policy has become.

Alan Davies, at the Urbanist, argues in Is Labor Genuine About Building Melbourne Metro that neither party has any intention of starting the Metro project in the next term. The Liberal’s realignment to suit the propoerty developers in Montague means that the 50 million planning over the last four years has to be restarted. Labor is using the level crossings as an excuse to delay the project. In any case, it would require a change or heart in the Abbot Governemnt (or a change of governmnet) to get federal funding for a rail project. Even if that was forthcoming, both parties are now committing to signing the East-West’ Link $18 billion cheque for $1million per metre, bankrupting the city for a generation.

Also published yesterday was an article in The Conversation by Associate Professor Philip Laird of the University of Wollongong called Australia’s transport is falling behind on energy efficiency. Laired is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a Companion of the Institution of Engineers. Continue Reading…

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