Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Going east, going west

Let me get this straight. While people agree we should have a train to the airport, a train to Roweville, servicing Monash University, a train to Doncaster and the proposed Metro Tunnel, the government wants to build a road tunnel across the inner northern suburbs which I see as mostly benefiting freight trucks. In a previous post, I named it in advance with a tip of my hat to Lindsay, the Fox Tunnel.

A tunnel sounds somewhat innocuous as it goes underground and won't affect many people. Wrong. Well over one hundred houses will be compulsorily acquired. Can't say I'd care for my abode to be 'acquired'. The tunnel will end in a park, Royal Park. Long have our State Governments stolen bits of our parks, but from what I understand, rather a lot of Royal Park will be taken for the tunnel exits.  

It might be worthwhile if it had a huge community benefit, but it doesn't. It will only assist a very limited number of people, as I have already suggested, mostly freight trucks but regardless, it will fill up and become congested, just as every other similar infrastructure road project has.

The real problem is Melbourne's increasing population. More people means more people moving around. I've had years of seeing roads and motorways built and they have only ever been a short term solution, yet our governments won't spend money on efficient public transport, which is surely a better way to move masses of people around our city.

I thought the new on ramp from Kingsway to the West Gate Freeway would alleviated traffic congestion below the Highrise. Nope. It is worse than ever now, as the workers in the area exit to the residential western suburbs, by car and by tram and then train. There are just too many cars for the roads to cope. There is an adequate number of trams, but they are too small and the trains can't cope either.

I don't think it is a good idea to increase Melbourne's population anymore. We can't cope with the numbers now, and our politicians seem unwilling to spend money where it is desperately needed, into the mass movement of people by public transport.

15 comments:

  1. Apparently all governments are the same. In Brussels several tunnels were built to cross the town with the result that they are always congested ! It's a real catastrophe ! If they want to dig holes it would be better for a bigger tube net and leave the cars outside town, like they do in London !

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    1. Gattina, I thought Brussels would be civilised, without cars in its centre.

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  2. It does seem to be a widespread problem Andrew. You know exactly how I feel about the many millions being spent on Elizabeth Quay while our roads are inadequate for Perth's fast growing population. It would seem that monuments to oneself outweigh the needs of the population :)

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    1. Grace, I have heard traffic congestion is a real problem there now. You needs some toll roads, that's what you need.

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    2. Don't even joke about it Andrew!!! I actually did hear some talk about it but seriously it would not be agood move over here.

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  3. oh god I dread the whole business. Like you I don't think it'll help but also I selfishly can see that since I travel from inner nth to east everyday along that very route my trip in and out of work is going to be a big clusterfuck followed by probably having to pay tolls in order to use the same route I always have (for free).

    It's a shame they can't invest money into a better PT system. Hell, banning trucks/vans from the roads during peak hour would probably help a lot initially as well!! Every time there is a traffic jam there's always a truck involved for some reason. Maybe I'm just prejudiced against them... but I've noticed it! lol

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    1. M, by the time the tunnel is built, your situation may be very different. For sure, trucks are disproportionately responsible for snarls.

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  4. Andrew, I admire your restraint. It would be very easy to go on and on about the exponential rate at which royal park is shrinking, and the idiocy of government attitudes to public transport, or the expansion, further and further from the city, of housing estates with no infrastructure. The further they go, the more ghettos they build.

    As you say, it's a giant fox pass.

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    1. FC, I think it is almost criminal that housing estates are built in the outer areas without public transport. I like Royal Park as it is not over manicured like most parks. Not that I don't like manicured parks too.

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  5. Cities are too often victims of their own success. I've become such a country bumpkin that I'm in shock at city traffic when I witness it (even in a small city like Edinburgh or Glasgow)and I won't drive in city traffic! Give me a train or tram any day.

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    1. Craig, I fear that is exactly what Melbourne has become. We are over 4 million and rapidly heading for 5. I found it ok driving in England. Everyone is so polite, too polite really. But I'd much rather be on a train or a tram too.

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  6. Sydney is now a giant parking lot at peak times, out the front of my place has two traffic jams a day and I don't live on a main road.
    Merle........

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    1. You can find a place to park in Sydney Merle? Not too many without paying, I should think. I enjoy looking down on the heavy traffic outside our place, but I would not in a conventional house.

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  7. Apparently no one (who's advocating for the tunnel/road) cares that real people are going to lose houses they've lived in for years and years. I find the whole thing really depressing.

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    1. Fen, when we lived in Balaclava we had neighbours who had lived in their modest houses for 50 years. How cruel that people can be kicked out of their life time home like that.

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