From The Age opinion pages (17 March 2008)
WITH EastLink due to open in the middle of this year, inner-city Melbourne will need to brace itself for the additional traffic that will hit the end of the Eastern Freeway.
Around 140,000 vehicles use the Eastern Freeway every day, and EastLink is expected to add more than 20%.
So where do these extra vehicles go? As 90% of Eastern Freeway traffic heads for the city centre and surrounding areas, the fight for exit spaces to the city will intensify dramatically.
Hoddle Street, Melbourne's busiest road, where 37% of cars and 35% of trucks leave the Eastern Freeway, will have to take even more, causing traffic snarls at intersections along its length.
Also, the influx of EastLink traffic into Smith and Brunswick streets will delay trams. Yarra Trams can forget its aim of increasing tram speeds along what are some of their busiest routes, including Swanston Street and Royal Parade.
All this is the result of outdated transport planning by the Government, which clings to the myth that congestion in a city the size of Melbourne can be resolved by freeways that move mostly sole-occupant vehicles. It is committing billions of dollars to projects that only worsen congestion.
Read the complete opinion