In about 1982 we were living in East Malvern and traffic was quite heavy in Waverley Road where it joined Malvern Road. A year or two later the South Eastern Freeway was extended further inward to Toronga Road and lo and behold, the traffic in Waverley Road was gone. How good are freeways! Yet, a decade or more later I was in the area and inexplicably, Waverley Road was even worse than it had been ten years earlier. That is two lanes of inbound to the city traffic sitting stationary. Why aren't they on the freeway? Oh, that is two lines of stationary traffic too.
Then came City Link, which is marvellous unless you want to use it in peak times. My teeth gnash as I sit in stationary traffic and know I am paying directly from my pocket for the experience. Liberal Party politicians are fond of saying, what would Melbourne be like without City Link and a widening of the pay roads they took over from the government that were previously free to use. I would suggest during peak times, the traffic would be no worse.
I think it was before City Link when the Ring Road opened. Almost from day one it was disaster. It wasn't too long before it had to be remade and widened, and is still a horrible road to drive on and is regularly congested.
The Calder Interchange on the Tullarmarine Freeway used to get horribly congested and the government spent millions re-designing it and the design was good. But guess what. It now gets horribly congested.
The government spent a huge amount and caused a long period of inconvenience while it had the Monash Freeway widened and improved. Yep, that would be the road you sit on in your barely moving car.
Sister was the first person to drive me along the new Hallam bypass some years ago. We agreed, two lanes in each direction did not allow for an increase in traffic and my hasn't traffic increased, to the point where cars more often than not in peak traffic are stationary.
Let's build a bypass around Geelong. Well, many cars use it, but traffic along the main route through Geelong but I would suggest it is no better and just as congested as ten years ago.
But this is the clincher for me. When we first moved to The Highrise some Friday nights the traffic would get into a horrible mess, with traffic banked up down St Kilda Road and and cars from Toorak Road blocking up the intersection and I thought it was a bank up of traffic trying to get onto the West Gate Freeway. When the entrance to the West Gate Freeway was redesigned and built at a huge cost and with the addition of massive flyovers, I thought the problem would be solved. It was not. The traffic below The Highrise is in a mess every night now. It is the sheer volume of traffic. My journey time from work to home has increased immensely. I am really not happy.
A huge expenditure on public transport is needed, but that will only ameliorate the problem. The real problem is the the huge population growth, mostly from immigration, permanent and non permanent. While a higher birth rate is regularly mentioned, what is not pointed out is that is immigrants with the higher birthrate.
Australia has built its economy, and quite successfully so far, on a Ponzi scheme of huge population growth. Meanwhile, we suffer a lowering of our living standards by such a high population growth. Ponzie schemes eventually collapse and I have no reason to think Australia won't at some point in the future. Eventually our major cities transport systems will just grind to a halt, that is the roads, the trams and the trains.
The answer? Stop population growth. It will mean a collapse of many industries and as we are a rich country, we will assist all of those affected. We then catch up on infrastructure by borrowing money at very low interest rates because we can and then perhaps think about increasing our population.