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West Gate Tunnel

Melbourne / Victoria Transport Discussion

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West Gate Tunnel

Postby Roderick Smith » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:38 pm

Roderick.

June 29 2017 West Gate Tunnel will jam traffic 12 to 14 hours a day, slow trams: city council .
Melbourne City Council says the proposed West Gate Tunnel toll road will cause peak-hour traffic conditions for up to 14 hours a day in North Melbourne, funnel cars into the city centre and slow down trams.
In a highly critical submission to the Andrews government on the planned $5.5 billion Transurban motorway through Melbourne's inner west, the council also argues it will ruin its plan to rejuvenate the long-neglected Moonee Ponds Creek corridor.
An artist's impression of the West Gate Tunnel. Photo: Supplied .
The environmental effects of the proposed West Gate Freeway widening, tunnel under Yarraville and elevated roadway are now being analysed by an planning panel appointed by Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
In its submission on the plan, released on Thursday night, council officers argue that the road's design is not good enough. The report will be voted on by Melbourne City councillors on Tuesday.
graphic.
The council, it says, "recognises the need to provide better access to the city from Melbourne's west, to reduce the negative impacts of truck traffic on residential areas ... and to manage congestion on the M1. However, we do not consider that the [project's] design will meet these objectives."
Instead, the road will "lead to significant impacts which cannot be appropriately managed", the city council says.
These include:
•Off-ramps from the road feeding traffic directly into North Melbourne, resulting in "peak hour conditions for 12-14 hours every day along four east-west streets".
•Negative effects on tram performance across northern Melbourne.
•Devaluing a large parcel of land next to North Melbourne railway station known as E-Gate, which was meant to be developed entirely for housing.
•Excessive development of road infrastructure over the Maribyrnong River and along its banks, precluding the future public use of these areas.
And the council argues that the plan by Transurban and the Andrews government to elevate the toll road above Footscray Road "will create a significant barrier for [the tollway's] 100-year life, undermining the future potential of developable land within five kilometres of the city centre".
The council report says that Infrastructure Victoria has suggested a new container port away from the city centre, at a location named Bay West near Avalon, will be needed from around 2055. For this reason, the Victorian government should be be planning for the future possibility of phasing out port operations around West Melbourne – not locking in an elevated roadway and port infrastructure.
The council's submission said that improving access to the central city was crucial, but that the "appropriate way" to do this was to improve public transport, cycling and walking.
It said planning for the West Gate Tunnel compared poorly "with the approach taken with Metro Tunnel in which a significant effort is being made to integrate the project with the existing fabric of the city and the future vision of significant growth".
The council's transport spokesman, councillor Nic Frances Gilley, said the tollway "goes against many years of well-established transport policy", and would simply "funnel more traffic into North Melbourne and Docklands, causing longer peak hour conditions and creating delays to tram and bus routes".
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said the West Gate Tunnel would slash congestion, provide a dedicated link to the port and connect people to jobs, education and services.
"A thorough and independent investigation into the environmental effects of the project is currently under way to make sure we get the best possible outcome for the community," Mr Donnellan said. "We encourage everyone to have their say by making a submission."
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/west- ... x1h6d.html
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Roderick Smith
 
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West Gate Tunnel

Postby Roderick Smith » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:27 pm

This does appear to repeat all of the earlier mistakes: simply funnelling more vehicles into the city centre. All public-transport devotees will be howling with rage.

Roderick.

July 18 2017 Daniel Andrews' West Gate Tunnel vision for Melbourne not the way forward .
Melbourne City Council is, on the whole, a conservative organisation, and not just because lord mayor Robert Doyle is a former Liberal Party state leader. Its senior officers and councillors have long tended towards the risk averse.
Take the council's 2013 response to the doomed East West Link project. Despite serious internal concerns about the tollway, what made it into the council's public response was a polite argument against the road's more egregious impacts on Royal Park and Moonee Ponds Creek.
More videos Building the West Gate Tunnel.
The West Gate Tunnel, originally known as the Western Distributor, is a proposed 5km tollway to link the West Gate Freeway at Yarraville with CityLink at Docklands.
Today, Transurban's West Gate Tunnel is the latest tollroad on the agenda – an attempt by the Andrews government to deal with Melbourne's rapid population growth in the west.
The $5.5 billion road starts in Altona North, dives under Yarraville and emerges in West Melbourne, allowing traffic from the west to go either north on the Bolte Bridge, or into the city.
Illustration: Andrew Dyson.
The council's submission to government hearings on the road, starting on Wednesday, shows it has for once shrugged off its usual reluctance to criticise.
The off-ramps Transurban wants to build into the city centre spurred the council's opposition: 18,000 cars a day will be disgorged into North and West Melbourne from those ramps – undoing $20 million the council has spent since the 1980s reducing traffic in the area.
One of these city off-ramps will be created by carving up public land next to North Melbourne railway station. Known as E-Gate, this land has been set aside for more than a decade for eventual housing.
Instead of simply admitting it is bad news for the area, the government argues the West Gate Tunnel will attract residents and businesses to the urban renewal precinct because of increased connectivity.
An artist's impression of the Footscray Road elevated freeway. Photo: Western Distributor Authority .
The council's response? "The City of Melbourne considers this statement to be false and there is no evidence provided to support this claim."
Think about that. The city council is either accusing the Andrews government of lying, or of being so loose with what's actually going on that it isn't much bothered about what Transurban's toll road does to 20 hectares of prime public land.
A section of Houston's Katy Freeway, which is believed to be the widest in the world.
Then there's this: the council's submission makes clear the full extent of what is to be done to Footscray Road. Transurban wants to build a six-lane elevated freeway above an existing 12-lane road.
It's less than Houston's world-record-holding 26-lane Katy Freeway but, with 18 lanes, Footscray Road will surely win the Australian prize for the road with the largest capacity.
An artist's impression of the West Gate Tunnel's inbound gateway. Photo: Western Distributor Authority .
graphic.
The council says adding road infrastructure on this scale will overwhelm for evermore what is a fairly degraded area – deleting any chance of it being anything but a freight wasteland.
Another damning observation concerns ramps for trucks to and from the Port of Melbourne near the Maribyrnong River.
"The scale of infrastructure being introduced [there]," the council argues, "appears to be disproportionate to the level of access actually required."
Perhaps worst of all, as the submission also points out, is that cars coming off the tollroad will almost certainly slow trams and buses servicing the rest of Melbourne.
There is widespread agreement among economists and transport planners in Victoria that improving access to Melbourne's central city area will boost the state's economy.
But the Andrews government, like the Napthine government before it, is clinging to an outdated view that driving a car into the city should still be encouraged. Why else would it allow a road like this with new city exits to even be considered? Surely not just so Transurban could make money.
Instead of encouraging tens of thousands of cars into the city centre via a new toll road, the government should be finding new ways to get people into town by public transport, or by walking or cycling if they live nearby.
The government's own agency Infrastructure Victoria has recommended in its 30-year strategy a range of projects to speed access to the central city. None are freeways.
Melbourne City Council's submission to the West Gate Tunnel hearings cites a second Melbourne Metro rail tunnel as a better idea than the West Gate Tunnel. "This is a much higher priority for use of scarce capital funding", it says.
It also floats Melton rail electrification, higher-capacity metro trains, better bus services and expanding the SmartBus network, increasing the Regional Rail Link's reach, tolling more freeways or just improving the existing rail system with high-capacity signalling as other projects that would be more beneficial to Melbourne's western suburbs.
Instead, what Melbourne is getting, is another big road that will – to once again quote the council – "deliver a significant gain for the private company which proposed it".
Victorian taxpayers will pour billions into building this road. As more facts emerge about it, the gains for Transurban become clearer. The gains for the rest of us less so.
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/daniel ... xcrx2.html
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Re: West Gate Tunnel

Postby Roderick Smith » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:13 pm

Note the YT submission.
Roderick.

Councils argue new toll road will create more traffic congestion.
Herald Sun July 20, 2017.
MELBOURNE councils have lined up to slam the proposed West Gate Tunnel project, warning it will funnel more traffic congestion throughout the city.
The responses to Andrews Government’s major road project warn of traffic flooding inner city streets, arterial roads and freeways including the Tullamarine and Monash.
The environmental effects of the project — which includes widening the West Gate Freeway.
and digging a 4km tunnel linking the freeway near Yarraville to the Maribyrnong River — are this week being assessed by a panel appointed by the state government.
In its submission, the City of Port Phillip said the project’s benefits would be short-lived and won’t be the “congestion buster” that was being promised.
“Council believes that induced demand will have a flow on effect to the wider road network as more car trips are made on the surrounding road network,” the council said.
“Adjoining roads such as the Tullamarine Freeway, Monash Freeway, inner city streets and arterial roads in the City of Port Phillip are already congested and the Project will place further stress on these roads and the livability of the surrounding neighbourhoods.”
The proposed new West Gate Tunnel will spill traffic to other major roads, councils have argued.
The City of Yarra said the tunnel, which was proposed by proposed by infrastructure giant Transurban, would generate “tens of thousands” more vehicle commutes into inner-Melbourne every day.
“Some of this traffic will be pushed through North Melbourne and Parkville and into the City of Yarra,” the council said.
“This traffic will worsen local traffic conditions in the City of Yarra, particularly along arterials such as Victoria Parade and Alexandra Parade which are already at capacity.”
Scores of residents complained about increased congestion in the inner-west, including on Dynon Rd which will have a direct connection to the new toll road.
In its submission, Moreland City Council said the government’s Environmental Effects Statement failed to take into the account all the traffic which would spill onto the local road network.
“The modelling does not appear to provide any detailed analysis on local road impact north east of Dynon Road,” the council said.
Hobsons Bay City Council said it did not oppose the project but it created a “high risk” of traffic impact including new traffic tolls causing trucks to use local roads.
The RACV said the West Gate Tunnel was a crucial project but it should include a direct connection between the elevated road along Footscray Road and Bolte Bridge.
A submission by Yarra Trams warned about more traffic encroaching on tram tracks, resulting in increased crashes.
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said the toll road would reduce traffic on Spencer and King Streets in the city, and take 9000 trucks off local streets in the inner west.
“We’re getting on with building the West Gate Tunnel because drivers in the west and Geelong desperately need an alternative to the West Gate Bridge,” he said.
“The EES shows that the Tunnel will slash congestion from Geelong to Pakenham and throughout the road network, taking 28,000 vehicles off the Westgate Bridge and 22,000 off the Bolte.”
www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/coun ... e00b49a501
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