18 March 2008

Policies leave the city choking on traffic fumes

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All this is the result of outdated transport planning by the Government, which clings to the myth that congestion in a city the size of Melbourne can be resolved by freeways that move mostly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

1 comment:

Onegrab said...

Frankston line hits rock bottom!

In my experience 'peak-hour' performance (arrival at destination within 6 min) would be quite the opposite to the 92.1% (Feb 08) that connex report. I have recorded cancellations & arrival times for the fston line over past few weeks. The measures utilised for performance do not accurately reflect what is happening during peak-time. This small sample is based on Carrum (home) to Melb Central (work) from Tues 11th to Tues 25th March.

- Tues 25/3: 7.41am arrived 8.34am (8 mins late).
- Thurs 20/3: 7.29am & 8.16 am cancelled. The 8.10am arrived at 9.30am! (34 mins late).
- Wed 19/3: 7.41am arrived 8.45am (19 mins late).
- Tues 18/3: 7.54am arrived 8.49am (11 mins late). 4.45pm cancelled. 5.01pm arrived 6.06pm (22 mins late)
- Mon 17/3: 7.41am arrived 8.36am (10 mins late). 7.54am cancelled. 5.14pm cancelled.
- Fri 14/3: 4.35pm arrived 5.34pm (8 mins late).
- Wed 12/3: 8.54am arrived 9.55am (12 mins late). 4.45pm cancelled.
- Tues 11/3: 8.15am arrived 9.12am (10 mins late)

We should be seeking a greater understanding of the performance measures and whether they are an accurate reflection of our peak travel times (when most of the public rely heavily on these services).

Add to the above the over-crowding of trains and its easy to see why Melbourne's commuters have had enough. Over-crowding is well publicized, yet greater understanding of the rationale is required. Is there a correlation between late departure times and cancellations on over-crowding? For example, what are the effects on passenger numbers of a peak-hour train (City-loop) departing 3-5 or 5-10 mins late or not running at all? The over-crowding would be more attuned to travelling in a third-world country not a "World's top 10 places to live destination like Melbourne!".

We have an opportunity for Connex and the State Government to respond positively to address this situation. We have not even hit the wet season when trains typically run late due to poor weather conditions!

Please update your 'arrival time' delay and cancellation experiences each day so these stakeholder groups will have to stand up and take accountability and action.

Robert (Frankston line)