Saturday, March 27, 2010
Renaming Kingsway to Sukhumvit
It was mid morning when I took this snap of Kingsway, a road near us and one I use often. It is supposed to be a quiet time for traffic, when people are at work, children have been delivered by car to school and there are a few people just going about their business. By the gaps between the cars, you can tell it is a quiet time.
Further along to the left is what I probably think of as our local pub, the Palmerston. To get to it, we have to cross Kingsway. I refer to it as Sukhumvit. If you are familiar with Bangkok, you will get that.
While St Kilda Road carries a huge number of cars too, along with trams, it is much more peaceful than Kingsway and Queens Road. Traffic sewer is a good description of Kingsway and Queens Road.
I recall a year or so ago when the Domain Tunnel was closed for a couple of weeks after a horrendous accident in the tunnel, a VicRoads spokesperson saying that that yes, the closure would cause problems, but Kingsway and Queens Road have a huge capacity to move traffic. Indeed they do, but over the past year I have noticed, and experienced that these roads have passed their ability to move the traffic along them efficiently. They are no longer free flowing major roads, but stationary bumper to bumper roads. They are not unusual. This is happening all over greater Melbourne.
What to do? Start by having a train that takes ten minutes to get from Flinders Street, to So Cross Station and then to the airport. I think the planned underground railway from Footscray to Caulfield is a great plan. Just get on and build it. Train line from the City to Doncaster, train line from Huntingdale to Rowville via Monash Uni, hands down misere.
Apart from the airport train line, none of those will help Kingsway and Queens Road. Go west young man, go west. Many have and many young women too. It is not unreasonable to suggest that a train trip to Geelong should not take longer than twenty minutes. Some people in the west have good access to a train to the city. Why don't they use it? Well, they do to the point where no more people can fit on the trains. Why aren't we building new train lines to the west and north west where the population is growing at an extraordinary rate? As the houses are built, so should be the infrastructure, including train lines.
When that is all done, I might just have a nice local road to drive on that is not bumper to bumper traffic. Selfish? Yep, but you all know something has to be done.