Transport connectivity

From YCAT: East West Link Comprehensive Impact Statement Submission
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1. Transport Connectivity - Department of Planning and Community Development The Minister for Planning has issued Terms of Reference, under which the Assessment Committee will assess the CIS and submissions in response.

Extract: (7) Terms of Reference: Conduct a Public Hearing, in accordance with Division 2 of Part 8 of the Act, to hear properly made submissions confined to the following matters.

(7) (a) Whether the impacts of the project on the traffic performance of roads connecting to the project, and the surrounding road network, as well as on connectivity for public transport, cycling and pedestrians, have been appropriately addressed.


[edit] EWL CIS documents for reference

All CIS documents

[edit] Extract

The project will provide a freeway standard alternative for cross-city travel and reduce Melbourne’s heavy reliance on the M1 corridor. The project also offers the potential for substantial travel time savings for east-west trips, a reduction in congestion at critical points along the road network, a decrease in traffic volumes along Alexandra Parade and less through-traffic on surface roads in inner northern suburbs. Specific actions would be taken to manage and minimise any temporary impacts to traffic during the project’s construction.

According to the Scoping Directions, "The above assessments of transport and traffic impacts are to:

  • incorporate appropriate sensitivity analyses, including with respect to traffic scenarios;
  • assess plausible project variations to the extent practicable; and
  • be supported by appropriate, documented peer reviews."

[edit] Transport Connectivity

Notes for Submissions on Transport Connectivity: You can Edit this page to add points or comments This is where you can set out any concerns about how the EWL would affect traffic and public transport/cycling/walking in your area, or in other areas that will be impacted. Consider both what would happen during construction and once (if) it is built. Do you think that the CIS adequately addresses things like toll-evading, rat running? Does the CIS adequately address tram and train and cycle path connectivity? Consider extra trucks avoiding tolls at night. Will local roads become more congested when the project encourages more cars and trucks? And most importantly, Does the CIS address all of the Transport Integration Act Decision Making Principles?

From Yarra CIS forum: Summary of table comments from info session – 7 Nov 2013 (pdf)

  • CIS is not comprehensive (depending on final design, no-one gets a chance to consider or comment if road shifts etc)
  • Impacts on existing road networks (public trams and bikes)
  • Impact upon proposed Copenhagen lane for Wellington Street, Collingwood - major component of Yarra Councils Bike Strategy
  • Prioritising of road/ freight over community/state infrastructure
  • Disruption of road system encourages rat-running in local streets
  • Uncertainty for residents when road alignment can be altered
  • 24/7 construction is a concern. 3000 employees, where will they park?
  • Impact on resident parking – need some provisions for protecting resident parking
  • This is about freight on the Eastern and to the port. Dangerous as loads aren’t allowed through tunnels, they will use area around it.
  • Putting heavy freight into heritage inner urban area is a major concern.
  • Pedestrian bridge relocation - difficult access, less convenient and safety issues
  • Impacted Trenerry Crescent underpass?
  • Access/ escape points from tunnel
  • Loss of side road – north of Alexandra Parade and on Hoddle Street

[edit] Motion Passed by City of Yarra Council 14 December 2004

"The number one environmental problem in Yarra is growing volumes of traffic on out roads. This growth is underpinned by the steady expansion of freeways and decades of neglect of alternative transport modes. The transport situation is urgent."

[edit] Transport Connectivity

I think it's been proved that building motorways does not improve transport connectivity across the road system. Any temporary improvement is overwhelmed by growth of traffic, stemming from various causes. An article by John Odgers and myself (see below) testing the proposition that one of the most cited cases of a 'successful' project, City Link, produced a reduction in congestion and faster traffic speeds. It did not.

Max Lay said in The Age of Oct 30th this year: 'Opponents play the congestion card, arguing that previous projects have not eliminated congestion, forgetting that this was never their intent'. Max was formerly Director of Major Projects at VicRoads and RACV Chair. In fact, as our article shows, it was in fact the intent of City Link to reduce congestion and speed traffic. The EW Link is being peddled as a 'congestion busting' road. The Link cannot succeed financially unless it increases congestion!

The full reference for the article is LOW, N.P. and ODGERS, J. – ‘‘Rethinking the cost of traffic congestion, lessons from Melbourne’s city link toll roads’, Urban Policy and Research 30 pp. 189-205. (2012) Another article that may be relevant is: LOW, N.P. and ASTLE, R. – ‘Path dependence in urban transport: An institutional analysis of urban passenger transport in Melbourne, Australia, 1956-2006, Transport Policy (16 (2) pp. 47-58 (2009).

[edit] Impacts around the Western Portal

East West Link Traffic Flow around Western Portal, The Flemington Association

[edit] Induced Traffic

Induced traffic growth refers to the new demand created for road travel following a reduction in travel times brought about by an increase in road capacity. Induced travel has not been fully counted for in the traffic modelling. Traffic modelling for future transport projects should include induced travel. Frankston Bypass EES Inquiry Report, Chapter 6.2

[edit] Traffic Modeller's Broken Promises

EastWestLink “congestion-busting”? They promised that for Citylink, and it wasn’t. [1]

How long until Elliot Avenue and Macarthur Road need widening through Royal Park?

"Elliott Avenue (between Flemington Road and the new interchange with the project road) – The forecasts indicate that Elliott Avenue does not have sufficient capacity to be able to accommodate the expected increase in traffic volumes of up to 10 per cent. Treatments would be needed to mitigate these impacts (see the discussion of operational impacts below)." - Linking Melbourne Authority | East West Link | Comprehensive Impact Statement Chapter 7 Page 32

More of Royal Park will be taken to accommodate the widening of Elliot Avenue and Macarthur Road.

[edit] The traffic forecasts do not include the full East-West Link

"It should be noted that, as this assessment was conducted for the Eastern Section only (Part A and Part B - Hoddle Street to the Port area), it did not contemplate the traffic and transport impacts and benefits that could arise from the operation of the full East West Link." - Linking Melbourne Authority | East West Link | Comprehensive Impact Statement Chapter 7 Page 13

Buried in the East-West link CIS, Technical appendix E, Figure 18, shows that the tunnel will actually increase the traffic congestion on St George's Road, which is shown in red. But St George's Road is not included in the table of impacted roads. So the level of impact on North Fitzroy Village is negative, but difficult to judge.

The diagram also shows very significant increases in the quiet heritage streets of Clifton Hill East (Clifton Hill Village East) This major impact on Clifton Hill is buried along with any other fact that does not sell the benefits of the project in a biased CIS. How long till Hoddle Street needs widening into the Darling Gardens and Mayor's Park to feed the toll road?

[edit] Reduction in Driving

In the US:

In Australia

Also, as population ages (e.g. in Manningham) they are less likely to want / be allowed to drive.

[edit] Northern Central City Corridor Study

This study showed that the East-West tunnel was not needed, and that it would make things worse.

The study investigated alternative strategies that were more cost effective. The study has been buried, mentioned only obliquely in the CIS under "misconceptions", and not referenced

"The NCCC Strategy recommends that Government does not proceed with any major road improvements such as an east-west tunnel linking the Eastern and Tullamarine Freeways, or a tunnel from the Eastern Freeway to the CBD, because:

• Increased road space in inner areas will encourage rather than discourage car use

• The tunnel projects studied are unlikely to give economic returns in proportion to the investment required

• The high level of investment required will divert resources from investment in other transport needs, which is more aligned with Government targets and Melbourne 2030." Summary of the NCCC Strategy, pg 13

[edit] Will the tunnel fix congestion ?

The proposition that roads cure congestion has been thoroughly discredited.

Look at the great congestion buster of CityLink. After it failed to fix congestion it was widened. That too has failed to fix the problem.

[edit] What's the problem that the project will solve?

"Traffic volumes along the Eastern Freeway are not forecast to increase significantly in 2031 without the East West Link – Eastern Section as delays along the freeway and Hoddle Street are expected to deter people from using the freeway. In addition, car travel to the CBD is forecast to decrease from all directions." - Linking Melbourne Authority | East West Link | Comprehensive Impact Statement Chapter 7 Page 29

[edit] Public Transport

[edit] East-West Public Transport along the Corridor

Public Transit is lacking between Clifton Hill and Melbourne Uni, making it unattractive to take this journey by PT.

According to sheets 14 and 15 of the CIS Mapbook, they will take the space allocated to the Doncaster Rail reservation (currently in the middle of the freeway), making it much more difficult for this project to be completed in the future.

[edit] North-South Public Transport across the Corridor

There is no measurable commitment that north-south routes would be improved. Just a hypothesis derived from a traffic model. Any gaps would be filled by single driver cars given the current macro economic and urban development policy settings

When the Eastern Freeway was opened, Premier Hamer promised traffic light priority for Trams across Alexandra Parade. That was in 1977. We are still waiting.

[edit] Bicycle Network

[edit] How would the project impact Bicycle connectivity?

BV's submission:

Interruptions to Wellington Street route.

No East-West bike routes existing or proposed.

VicRoads has systematically neglected bicycle paths in the area to create the crisis that they now seek to fix with a very uneconomic tunnel. The cost of creating a world class bicycle network is orders of magnitude less expensive than the reference project, and the cost benefit is huge - both for the cyclists, and for the road space they free up. The only infrastructure provided is for circuitous recreational riding. Well done to the City of Yarra and the City of Melbourne for creating bike paths where they could. But VicRoads refuses to connect the networks together.

[edit] Capital City Trail

Major bike path linking Docklands to northern suburbs will be impacted by the works in Royal park.

[edit] Walking

What are the difficulties facing pedestrians in your area?

Will the new roads and ramps make it easier or harder to get around?

Will the noise and pollution discourage walking? Particularly in parks.

For information and ideas on walking issues, see the Victoria Walks website. See their recent submisison to the Melbourne plan.

Reducing traffic, obesity, and pollution can be a stroll in the park. Shane Green reports on pedestrian power, The Age September 22, 2013

Hoddle Street bridge will be practically impassable for pedestrians.

There are long waits are traffic lights. The project proponents say that the waits will get shorter, but the Eastern Freeway is being widened to carry more traffic. So there will still be long delays on toll-free Alexandra Parade, Princes Street, Macarthur Road to get cars in and out of the city. Elliot Avenue will be harder to cross.

The project does not include any measures to limit traffic on local roads, or on arterial roads.

Alexandra Parade and Princes St footpaths do not even meet the minimum legal width of 1m.

Pretty much no pedestrian north-south access during construction as Gold St crossing will disappear as will Groom St overpass until tunnel and associated works completed. And then?

[edit] Freight

LMA have conceded that EW is all about freight and discuss freight under Transport. The Eastern Freeway carries significantly less freight than the M1. Turning the northern suburbs into a freight corridor will have major impacts for local amenity, air pollution, noise, congestion, and make roads more dangerous. Interestingly traffic modelling platform they chose did not include freight. Makes any conclusion on freight traffic doubtful.

In this section describe how the Government's freight state will keep you awake.

Refer to the following in the CIS: :Freight provisions in EW CIS need to be seen in the context of Victoria - The Freight State released on August 13:

East West Link is ‘trucking’ awful

[edit] What does the CIS say about Freight?

Searching for Freight in the CIS brings a lot of references.

[edit] Residents Against the Tunnel - Traffic connectivity

Here are some suggestions for the sort of things you might like to include about Transport Connectivity in your submissions to the CIS Assessment Panel due 12 December 2013:Whether the impacts of the project on the traffic performance of roads connecting to the project, and the surrounding road network, as well as on connectivity for public transport, cycling and pedestrians, have been appropriately addressed.

[edit] Key points

  • construction phase and post construction need to be adequately and separately addressed
  • impact on connectivity for local residents is very significantly determined by the final details of the project likely to be ‘decided’ by the builder after the CIS process is complete with no opportunity for citizens contribute in any meaningful manner
  • disruption to local connectivity (in all forms: cars, trams, trains, pedestrians, cyclists) during construction phase along the proposed route is massively understated with addition of one truck every 13.3 seconds (405 TRUCKS per hour).

  • impact of workers arriving and leaving the site, 24 hours a day, 360 days a year for around 5-7 years not addressed in terms of daily logistics for nearby residents, and no detail of provision of parking for construction workers
  • traffic impacts cannot be scrutinised according to key traffic modelling data as assumptions (dictated by project proponents) cannot be viewed, challenged or queried by alternative experts or citizens
  • modelling system used for EWL is flawed according to Doug Harley, manager of network modelling and analysis at VicRoads

  • worrying lack of detail on data for predicted additional freight traffic resulting in inadequately addressing impacts of large volumes of commercial freight (to avoid toll road or due to hazardous nature of freight) through ‘highly urbanised landscape that includes long-established neighbourhoods and communities.
  • Impact of removing green buffer median strip on Eastern Freeway and increased freight trucks on car drivers’ driving experiences inadequately addressedproposed treatments of impacts are almost universally characterised by optimistic aspirations rather than any useful detail (eg north south public transport ‘would’ improve ‘if’ changes are made to traffic signal phasing on Alexandra Parade).
  • Comparisons of traffic load and connectivity between 2011 and 2031 with or without the proposed EWL is flawed as it does not account for modelling of traffic loads based on funding alternative transport investments to model and measure the impact on connectivity from alternative transport investments (as suggested by 2008 Eddington Report)

  • Claims of reduced traffic volumes on local roads, particularly Wellington Street and Johnston Street, without providing evidence
  • Significant impact of inflicting a freight transport wedge through inner urban, historical and residential areas from Moonee Valley through to Collingwood without scope for evidence-based analysis of macro-level options from transport experts independent of LMA
  • EWL has primarily promoted as a ‘congestion buster’ (with no discernable evidence) and not as an alternative freight route to the Monash as claimed in objective (Section 7.1): “Improved cross-city transport connectivity, the provision of an alternative to the M1 corridor and quantifiable travel benefits for Melburnians are central to the objectives of the East West Link

  • Impact of increased congestion in existing Eastern Freeway not addressed or analysed in any detail
  • predictions of no impact on congestion on related roads (particularly Hoddle Street) appear unjustified despite predicting a significant increase in morning peak traffic from the western suburbs using the tunnel and exiting at Hoddle Street to access the CBD (where is this referenced?) and 40-50% increase in traffic on the Eastern Freeway (p32)
  • This claim is also contradicted by LMA figures that only 30% of Eastern Freeway morning peak traffic travels to the CBD and another 30-40% (??) travels to areas around the CBD or the inner north indicating that 60-70% of traffic emanating from Eastern Freeway will not use tunnel, suggesting this traffic continue to use local linking roads such as Hoddle Street, Wellington Street etc. with impact of toll levels inadequately addressed as proposed baseline toll not provided, and what level of toll has been assumed for modelling projections which then lends itself to spurious claims for tunnel usage that cannot be assessed by parties independent to project proponents– no detail on impact of toll-evasion and resulting rat-running through local streets

  • ‘High levels of transport accessibility and local amenity are also critical to maintaining Melbourne’s reputation as a highly liveable city.’ (7.1)
  • ‘For Melbourne to remain nationally and internationally competitive and continue to sustain economic and employment growth, it needs to be a well-connected city with access to a range of travel options and choices.’ (7.1)
  • no detailed strategies or analysis of improvement of traffic connectivity through a range of travel options (not just roads) which inevitably restricts choice or access including as a range of public transport – unfair and inequitable

  • Forecasts of traffic congestion to 2031 without the EWL are made on the basis of no other actions being taken to ameliorate traffic
  • Does not address the current and future congestion on the access roads to the CBD (Hoddle St, Nicholson St, Flemington Rd etc) at both ends of the EWL tunnel