City of Yarra – Media Release: Yarra rejects Hoddle Street overpass proposal (10 December 2008)*
Proposed multiple overpasses on Hoddle Street would only worsen gridlock on the arterial and create local eyesores, the City of Yarra said today. City of Yarra Mayor Cr Amanda Stone said the local community would be horrified with the Government’s proposed “spaghetti” solution to fixing congestion along Hoddle Street.
“I would anticipate that we are going to work hard as a community in the next 12 months to make sure that the overpass plan meets the same fate as the now-dumped East-West road tunnel proposal,” Cr Stone said.
“The City of Yarra is working to develop Hoddle Street into a boulevard and then the government comes out with a proposal that would only make it even more of a traffic sewer,” she said.
“We don’t want concrete eyesores plonked along one of our main arterials, with no consideration for how they impact on our residents’ visual amenity or how they create physical divisions between our communities.
“Melbourne cannot build its way out of congestion through creating new roads.
“Research as well as real life has shown us again and again that new road projects might work for a while, but in the long term, you end up with roads just as congested as what you started with.
“The only lasting solution to traffic congestion comes when you create real public transport alternatives.”
Cr Stone said the transport plan was deju vu for the City of Yarra, as the Government’s decision to extend clearways was also car-centric and ignored the real solutions provided by public transport.
She said the Government had failed to seize the opportunity to build a rail link between Doncaster and Clifton Hill, as identified and promised more than 30 years ago.
“The 600,000 people who live in the Doncaster growth corridor are not linked to Melbourne by rail,” Cr Stone said
“While we are pleased the corridor is to get more regular bus services, a rail link is necessary if we want people to have a realistic option of ditching their cars.
“And if the Government’s $360 million bus plan is effective in reducing congestion along Hoddle Street, then doesn’t that raise questions about whether the overpasses will even be warranted?”
She said the Government’s decision to spend $5 million on a study into the Hoddle Street overpass proposal lacked long-term vision when compared with the joint submission from Yarra, Melbourne and Manningham Councils to Infrastructure Australia for a $5 million feasibility study into the Doncaster rail line.
Cr Stone said the City of Yarra was awaiting further information from the Government on the timelines and parameters of the Hoddle Street study, and would be ensuring that the community’s concerns were voiced throughout the process.
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