Traffic and Melbourne's CBD
Great article on diverting commuter traffic from some main parts of the CBD in The Age (online) today. Read it here.
Do you think changing traffic signals is better than charging a toll (which will effect poor people more than rich people)?
Who will be responsible for upgrading the city bypass roads?
Maybe we need to question why people (I'm talking about private commuters here, not service vehicles) travel through the CBD in the first place - especially when public transport in the CBD is so good.
Anyways... give us your thoughts.
28th August, 2003 12:28:09
I think, first, that your last point isn't accurate. Firstly, most through traffic is service vehicles. Secondly, public transport to/from the CBD is good for most places, some of the time. Getting across the CBD is not near as convenient (try it).
According to the Melway (p24 Ed.29), only King St. is currently a bypass route for the city. I'd also argue that it is also the only busy street in the city (for most streets in the CBD, you can cross without using the lights at almost any time - try doing that in the suburbs). The bypass routes list eight entry points (roughly South-West, West, Airport, Sydney Rd., North-East, Kew/Doncaster, East, South East and South). If you were to watch traffic at any of those entry points you'd be amazed how little traffic is actually in the CBD, because these streets/freeways are very busy.
From a bypass point of view, the city really needs three things IMO (all expensive, prob. requiring tunnels). One, connect the Eastern Freeway to Tullamarine (currently, Alexandra Parade, Cemetery-Melb. Uni. and Royal Park). Two, connect the Eastern with Monash Freeway and the Nepean Highway (currently Hoddle St., Punt Rd.). Three, rationalise the mess of freeways near Southgate, and the routes to the Nepean Highway (which needs work itself). That basically gives you a ring, so any traffic entering is doing so to park (which is a public transport issue). The responsibile authority for bypass roads is VicRoads.
As far as this proposal is concerned. They may cut down traffic on King St. but I doubt it will do much else. The problem is that some major roads just stop and feed onto smaller streets, and that is the issue that needs to be addressed.
With that in mind, here is my brief city redevelopment plan:
1. Rip up the railway tracks along the river to open that up to development/parkland, putting the entire city-loop underground. This should have been done already as far as I'm concerned. It is rather indicative of the type of government we have that pretty circuses like Docklands, the Aquarium and Fed Square were built, but actual useful infrastructure projects were not. This opens up some of the rail-area between the city and docklands as well.
2. Put Flinders St. underground between Spencer St. and Russell St. with access at King St., William St. and Queen St. The above ground of Flinders St. would then be a tram/pedestrian zone that gives easy access to the river/Northbank precinct.
3. Straighten the road from Queensbridge to go up Market St. (following the tram) (again, no access to Flinders St.) getting rid of the road nightmare at that intersection.
4. Block St. Kilda Rd. to traffic at Linlithgow avenue. All citybound traffic should then either go west (for King/William/Queen) or east, via tunnel under the river to join Batman Ave./Exhibition St. Not via the city's most important pedestiran area at Flinders St./ Fed Square. The taxi-rank also needs to be moved.
5. Start/stop the majority of south-bound trams at the new superstop next to Fed. Square. The problem with Swanston St. as a pedestrian zone (when it was) was that there were too many trams to make road crossings safe. Most of them are empty; only trams needed to serve Melbourne Uni should be running.
6. Since it doesn't go anywhere anymore, make Elizabeth St. a pedestrian/tram area only along with all the "Little" streets between Swanston and Elizabeth (which are anyway for part of the day).
Hmmm, that will do for today.
btw, you don't have to use the <hide> tags on all your posts. Just the ones more than a page or two.
PS. Amusing aside from the Melway. They actually refer to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre as "Jeff's Shed" in the index. I'm not sure whether that makes it an official name or not.
Russell 28th August, 2003 19:50:38
And Sydney too...
On a similar topic, Michael Jennings reports that Sydney might be considering a London-style congestion charge. All these proposals seem to be part of a "get cars out of the city so we can be like Europe" push, but in true anglosphere style it's not a strategy so much as a wish-list.
Russell 28th August, 2003 20:22:32