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:

Transport Connectivity (CIS Chapter 7 & Technical Appendix E)

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.

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 addressed
  • proposed 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