You can’t keep a good transport expert down

It’s good to see that Melbourne academic Paul Mees continues to fight the good fight for rational public transport policy, unbowed by the disgraceful actions of his employer the University of Melbourne in recently demoting him at the behest of the Victorian government.

In an article in some obscure corner of the Fairfax press yesterday, Mees called “bullshit” on Brumby government transport consultant Sir Rod Eddington’s “blueprint” for future Melbourne transport infrastructure, based as it is on yet more expensive public/private freeway and road tunnels and a token (and totally unnecessary in Mees’ view) partial duplication of the CBD railway loop:

How could supporters of public transport question the wisdom of spending $8.5 billion on rail? Isn’t it time Melbourne put serious money into an underground line to enable more trains to run to the city centre?

The simple answer is that Melbourne has already done just this. That’s what the City Loop, which cost $5 billion in today’s money, was all about. It’s set out in the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan, which shows the system was intended to handle much higher volumes of trains and passengers than it carries today.

Mees argues that the billions should be spent on extending the existing rail network to areas it currently doesn’t service at all, and electrifying the lines to huge growing dormitory regions like Caroline Springs and Melton.  I’m not a Melbourne local, but Mees’ argument strikes me as almost unarguably correct.  The projects Eddington is spruiking might be more manna from government heaven for MacBank or the beleagured Babcock and Brown, but they appear to have little or no connection with developing a rational plan for  Melbourne’s future transport infrastructure for an era of global warming and peak oil. 

Paul Mees you’re a hero.   Maybe it’s time that voters in the overwhelmingly Labor electorates of all those huge and growing suburban regions not serviced by the current rail network started asking some aggressively skeptical questions of Mr Brumby: such as why are you victimising experts like Mees while employing massively conflicted and completely unqualified corporate  tycoons like Eddington to advise on future urban transport needs?

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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JC
JC
15 years ago

Mees argues:

The priority now should be to start work on those long-overdue new lines, plus electrifying existing routes to places such as Caroline Springs and Melton.

But rail lines work best in straight-line commutes. Most people who live in those far out areas actually would have little need to commute into the city, as they are very unlikely to work there.

Only 15% of commutes these days are straight line into CBD . The rest are across suburbs and public transport is very inefficient in helping people get to these destinations.

Cars are the only functional transport mode for these far out burbs simply because the residents work in all directions.

based as it is on yet more expensive public/private freeway and road tunnels and a token (and totally unnecessary in Mees view) partial duplication of the CBD railway loop:

I really don’t know what Mees is talking about here. For example the privately funded Connect East toll way (opening June 29th) from Frankston to outer eastern burbs and also connecting with the Monash Freeway will be very successful particularly for commercial transport needs. In fact it will open up the Mornington Peninsula by cutting up to 30 minutes to a CBD trip. Neither Babcocks nor Macquarie are funding ConnectEast as it is a separately listed entity on the stock exchange. I think its a fantastic buy at 95 cents yielding 12% with potentially large upside.

The Monash Freeway has so much traffic (which is partly tolled) is now adding another lane in some areas to help solve congestion problems mainly associated with cross city commercial transport.

Brumby hss so far been a very sensible decent premier and Mees has yet to demonstrate what Brumby has done wrong in following what seems to be perfectly reasonable advice. If Mees wants to see more public transport use he should support the elimination of height restrictions across the city.

conrad
conrad
15 years ago

“its time that voters in the overwhelmingly Labor electorates”

Doesn’t that explain why no-one does anything? They’re not in marginal electorates (c.f., the slightly faster than slow train/bribe to Ballarat which got Kennett kicked out). Even if they were, it’s not like the Liberals are particularly viable in Victoria. Sometimes you wonder if a monkey would be able to be a better opposition (although they’re better than their counterparts in NSW). Also, sticking massively loss-making public transport in way-out places encourages people to live there and hence contributes to urban spraw, which the essentially defunct Melbourne 2030 plan was supposed to stop.

JC: If you look at the employment statistics and demographics what you will find is that these little no-where land suburbs have very low employment prospects, so whether people are working in Melbourne or somewhere else is an empirical issue (I know the data exists somewhere…). However, it’s clear most can’t work in Melton etc. because there are few jobs there, so it’s not clear to me that the 15% figure would be applicable to those regions. Also, they don’t need to work in the city, but rather on a train line.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

Ken – your phrase “overwhelmingly Labor electorates of all those huge and growing suburban regions” almost certainly describes the problem, though the key word is “overwhelmingly”. In the Doncaster area, it’s an overwhelmingly Liberal electorate, and that’s almost certainly a huge part of the reason that governments have seen no advantage in providing improved public transport.

JC – I agree that EastLink largely makes sense – that particular corridor was poorly serviced (though primarily only at the northern end), and it should allow commercial operators to save significantly on fuel. Indeed you could argue that approaching oil supply restraints and consequent price rises almost guarantee that new freeways are not likely to generate much more traffic, as opposed to taking the pressure of existing roads. However, I doubt that much consideration was given to whether it made sense, for instance, to plan for development of a light-rail line along the freeway route.

As for building height restrictions, while “elimination…across the city” is surely overkill, I don’t know how any serious advocate of helping cities reduce their reliance on automobile traffic could not support relaxing restrictions on residential development that are preventing the natural tendency of cities towards higher density. Another regulation that is working heavily against public transport is the one that requires major shopping developments to provide free off-street parking, which forces everyone to subsidise car users.
There’s also regulations that unreasonably restrict the use of bicycles – taking them onto trains and buses, using more than 200W of power to motorise them etc. etc. – that don’t help either. In fact, government policy and spending in general still overwhelming favours motorists, and I suspect it will be a some time before that changes.

rog
rog
15 years ago

JC has a point, its OK to go to the CBD as all networks radiate out from a central point but its near impossible to travel along the chord efficiently. This is where rail falls down into a heap, for a variety of reasons most rail heads or stations are nowhere near major shopping centres and service centres

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

And if you look at cities with good public transport networks, they aren’t based entirely around radiating from a central point.
E.g…http://www.paris-tourist-information.co.uk/images/maps/paris-metro-map.pdf

JC
JC
15 years ago

Conrad:
According to Allan Moran of the IPA rail and other mass transit programs work fine when there is population density of about 40,000 per square mile. Melbourne runs at about 1,500 per sq mile and 5,500 at its most dense. In other words public transport can only be made to work at great cost in terms of subsidies.

If you look at the employment statistics and demographics what you will find is that these little no-where land suburbs have very low employment prospects, so whether people are working in Melbourne or somewhere else is an empirical issue (I know the data exists somewhere).

so if that’s the case ( and I dispute it) why would you want to be spending a huge amount of money on rail lines for potentially blue collared workers heading into the city which is mostly an area for white collar work.

However, its clear most cant work in Melton etc. because there are few jobs there, so its not clear to me that the 15% figure would be applicable to those regions.

Why? Jobs are actually quite diffuse.

Also, they dont need to work in the city, but rather on a train line.

What?

JC
JC
15 years ago

A viable long term transport infrastructure plan certainly has to deal with the dispersed nature of peoples transport needs, both for shopping and employment

Yes, which for outer burbs means basically a car as travel is quite diffuse.

Making 50 year plans for a largely car-based transport infrastructure makes very little sense. Even leaving aside global warming issues, quite optimistic projections of peak oil indicate that it will have well and truly passed before then, so that petrol prices will be at stratospheric levels.

that’s making several assumptions that i wouldn’t exactly buy into.

It assumes that technology will remain the same with car engines which is something that looks increasingly remote especially with firms like Telsa making a decent pitch at electric cars. By 2012 the firm will be hitting that market with a SUV shaped family car pitched at the middle class for around US$35,000. this is a very interesting company to watch over the next decade. It was created by a bunch of silicon valley computer geeks who used computer technology to create an electric car that does 0to 60 mph in about 4 seconds. They used computer battery tech as the way forward.
http://www.teslamotors.com/

More expensive oil is a problem, however it assumes that energy will remain expensive into the never never. I wouldn’t bet on that quite yet.

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

I certainly wouldn’t bet on peak oil, now or ever, in any way shape or form. In fact I would bet against it if I could figure out how (besides overly low-correlation bets like owning oil stocks, or Saudi real estate).

As am on-again off-again (now on) Melburnian I can definitely agree that the non-radial transport (or lack thereof) is a big problem.

But ultimately the future lies in better ‘cars’ (whether petrol or otherwise) and not (just) better public transport. There is just nothing like a car’s independance, versatility and efficiency, and there never will be. I never drive to work, mainly because it would be slower and I wouldn’t achieve anything else whilse en route (in the train I can read and on my bike I am exercising).

I and my wife often ride/walk to shops etc when I have time (especially with the kids) but replacing our existing car-trips with public transport would add a crippling amount of time to those trips and we would simply not consider it. An oil price at which petrol was more expensive than the extra time of public transport is pretty hard to imagine.

Note that at present the most environmentally-friendly cars are small modern turbo-diesels.

Alan Davies
Alan Davies
15 years ago

Here’s some reliable numbers to underpin the issues raised in this discussion. They show that the ‘weight’ of Melbourne’s jobs is clearly in the suburbs.

At the 2006 Census, just 14% of all jobs in metropolitan Melbourne were located in the CBD (down from 17% in 1981). This is a broad definition of the CBD. It includes Docklands, Southbank and those parts of Carlton and Fitzroy immediately north of Victoria Pde. Less than one third (28%) of jobs were located in the inner city (within 5 km from the CBD).

On the other hand, more than half of all jobs (59%) were more than 10 km from the CBD. Anyone who doubts that Melbourne’s job geography is suburban should consider that there were more jobs located >20 km from the centre in 2006 than were in the inner city!

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

Further to my previous comment, I should add that overall, I agree with at least having voices like Mr Mees’ included, and with the scepticism that should attach to the likes of Mr Eddington, whose primary business consists mainly of telling Labour governments what they would like to hear so that they ask him to do so again, thus increasing his ‘influence’ and thus increasing his market rate.

Alan, I don’t doubt it. The main issue is price. I do however think that that data strongly supports both extending the existing electric links (and presumably also extending capacity) as well as NPOV’s point about housing/height regulation (even if NPOV implicitly defines ‘serious’ in a way that excludes a very large part of his beloved greens).

wilful
wilful
15 years ago

I’m rather sceptical of Mr Mees and many of his arguments, he gets quite a lot wrong quite frequently, and was right to lose his job at Melbourne, or at least be disciplined.
Academic freedom doesnt include the right to slander (or is it libel?). That out of the way, his positive solutions are pretty self-evidently correct, it doesnt take a genius. We need steadfast, trenchant critics in the state, it would just be nice if they werent twats, too often wrong.

Eddingtons terms of reference were (deliberately?) too narrow, and need to form part of a larger plan for Melbournes transport that is sadly lacking. But Eddington was right in saying that a massive switch to PT is just fanciful, and the tunnel is justifiable. How its financed, as a toll road, is outside the scope of this issue. PPPs are a rort, but not his fault.

If you were spending $8 billion on rail, however, I really dont think the new tunnel is the best way to go about it. Mees solutions are much closer to the money.

JC, I wouldnt trust a single word or figure that Alan Moran of the IPA produces on this issue or anything. Hes so driven by ideology hell make any fact fit. It may be inevitable that PT requires subsidies, but I would suspect that with reasonable full cost accounting these would be similar or less than those for private transport (not even including carbon taxes).

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

Patrick, there’s certainly nothing “beloved” about my relationship with the Greens – they cause me to despair almost as frequently as the major parties.
But in the case of regulations restricting denser residential development, I’ve never heard any one associated with the Greens party make any comment regarding them, but I doubt it would take much to convince them that the current legislation is too restrictive.

JC – while there’s no doubt that much of Melbourne is insufficiently densely populated to support truly effective public transport systems, I don’t believe the 40,000 per square mile figure is any sort of necessary minimum. The density of Zurich is somewhere just over 10,000 per square mile, and is known for its good public transport.

wilful
wilful
15 years ago

Also, height density regulations mostly exist due to that annoying thing democracy, embedded in culture. If blocks of flats could be built anywhere, well I don’t think that many extra blocks of flats would in the grand scheme of things be built. People don’t want to live in them, it seems.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big supporter of Melbourne 2030 and think a denser city is vital to it’s future prosperity. I just don’t think it’s gonna happen, and it wont be the Government’s fault. The Liberal Party and all the petit bourgeoisie are dead-set against it.

The real solution is more regional town growth. Melbourne shouldn’t be the first and last port of call for new immigrants.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

Patrick, I do have to ask…what exactly do you mean by “I certainly wouldnt bet on peak oil, now or ever, in any way shape or form”? Are you seriously claiming you don’t believe that oil production will ever reach a geologically-restrained peak? Or simply that you’re confident that alternative sources of energy will smoothly replace the need for oil without any serious economic or lifestyle impact? Either way, I do wonder what sources you have available that make you so confident…you might wish to pass them on to the likes of, e.g. IEA head Fatil Birol, or Total CEO Christophe de Margerie, or Conoco CEO James Mulva, who, among others, have all conceded that oil supply constraints will only get worse in years to come.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

wilful – I certainly accept that many height restrictions are there because of, essentially, NIMBYism – and I support the democratic right of communities to vote for them: but that doesn’t mean I think governments couldn’t show a bit more leadership and attempt to convince voters that the upsides of denser residential developments are worth the downsides. I would think a smart government could sell the idea that, say, allowing certain areas to move to 3-storey housing (the norm in many European cities) would revitalise the neighbourhood, make it more sustainable, increase property prices etc. etc.

wilful
wilful
15 years ago

Well the government is currently revising the planning system to greatly limit the power of councils to set height limits, to howls of outrage. I live in one of the very few areas where the Council is saying ‘let er rip’ and there’s a good chance it will happen, due to transport infrastructure (Footscray BTW). Can’t wait, as long as the design is decent and there aren’t too many shoddy tenements built (man some of that student housing is woeful).

How could a government try to ‘sell’ denser housing? Isn’t that a step too far with social engineering?

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

I already gave examples of how they could try to sell it. Sure, you could argue it was a form of social engineering, but it’s a case of the government *reducing* restrictions (i.e. you can now choose to build 1, 2 or 3-storey houses, rather than just 1 or 2), and not increasing them, so it’s then up to individuals to decide whether they wish to take advantage of the looser restrictions.
I also suspect there are restrictions that currently don’t allow people to convert loft-space into living areas, that are unfairly preventing denser living.

BTW, thank you to whomever it was that edited my previous post!

Oh and Patrick, one other thing – I too would bet on Saudi Arabian property, precisely because of Peak Oil. The Sauds seem quite determined to get the maximum possible wealth they can for their oil, and they know only too well that they will be the world’s only major exporter within a decade or so.

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

NPOV,

Are you seriously claiming you dont believe that oil production will ever reach a geologically-restrained peak? Or simply that youre confident that alternative sources of energy will smoothly replace the need for oil without any serious economic or lifestyle impact?

Essentially, the former. It may get more expensive to extract, but then we’ll find more, and then that will become cheaper to extract, etc. One day, in principle, we’ll run out, but even then we’ll have learnt to synthesise it efficiently, if we still need it.

The biggest problem with oil appears to be nothing to do with getting out of the ground, at the moment at least. It appears to be that there is a lot of very cheaply available oil but that the holders of that oil have an economic incentive to produce less, and only a political(social) incentive to produce more. See further.

I also suspect that the latter will render oil largely redundant well before we even exhaust the easily extractable bits.

As for sources, I will never forget an Economist article (again) from about 2000 listing the numerous distinguished experts who had predicted the imminent exhaustion of everything from oil to copper to food to zinc. I believe textbooks in the early 80s would frequently give the mid-90s as about the end of copper, for example.

conrad
conrad
15 years ago

“Also, they dont need to work in the city, but rather on a train line.”

Sorry for not that being clear — basically, you don’t need to work in the CDB, but you need to be able to go from point to point. So for example, you could go from Melton to, say, Richmond, and that wouldn’t so bad because all you need to do is interchange somewhere in the middle.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

Patrick, oil is a very different resource to commodities such as copper or zinc – I have no concern we’ll ever run out of raw materials. Anyway, I’m not going to get into a discussion about Peak Oil here – it’s a huge topic and one on which there are far more qualified people to speak. FWIW, while I see some significant strain on the system over the next 10-15 years, I think within my lifetime (I’m planning on making it to 2050!) we’ll have worked out how to adapt to a world with far less oil than we use today, and the average quality of life in Australia will be generally the better for it.

Jeremy
Jeremy
15 years ago

I love the argument of the anti-rail brigade that people don’t really need public transport into the city. It won’t be used!

Reeeeeaaaaally.

Then why are the roads from every outer suburb into the city packed beyond measure every morning and every evening?

wilful
wilful
15 years ago

Actually jeremy I’m not sure that’s the argument put by anyone here. I think everyone knows we’ve got too little transport connectivity across the board, including into the city, but there is non-existent cross-city PT. If you’re allocating scarce resources, where is the greater immediate need?

Helen
15 years ago

I live in one of the very few areas where the Council is saying let er rip and theres a good chance it will happen, due to transport infrastructure (Footscray BTW). Cant wait, as long as the design is decent and there arent too many shoddy tenements built (man some of that student housing is woeful).

[And previous comment]: Wilful, if you did use rail transport from Footscray at peak periods, you’d know that the system is at capacity by the time it gets to that station. If there were an extra few thousand commuters living in Footscray they’d have to put on buses, or something, because there really is no further slack in the system. So the transport infrastructure is not a reason for more density.

But,

How could a government try to sell denser housing? Isnt that a step too far with social engineering?

How about some engineering engineering? How about building them decently, for a start? Developers should walk around St kilda and Elwood and learn why people have always enjoyed living in the old Deco and “depression era” flats. Solid construction, courtyards for BBQs and child’s play, leafy planting – people might actually feel like living in something like that rather than the current rash of solar-inefficient, “quirky” “townhouses” which infest the place now.

wilful
wilful
15 years ago

hell yeah helen, and the total gap between the 8.25 and the 8.45 is inexplicable to me.

The big site development along Barkly street in west Footscray is going to add several thousand potential commuters to West Footscray station. This is simply an impossibility.

But is a tunnel via the University of Melbourne the solution?

And I am sceptical/hesitant about governments mandating taste. I love the old flats, but they’re not very high density and probably uneconomical for a builder these days. And they’re cold and not a lot of the ones I’ve experienced were so good with passive solar design.

And you’re perhaps overly harsh about the townhouses. The recent rule changes regarding efficiency are definitely seeing improvements.

But back to rail – build it and they will come I reckon.

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

You shouldnt keep accepting glib claims that the system is at capacity, its just an excuse to allow them to avoid having to make the necessary capital investments, and instead dole out huge lucrative PPP road tunnel and tollway deals to MacBank etc, so the Vic politicians can join Bob Carr in lucrative consultancies after political retirement.

Nor should you assume that roads are bad and governments are always wrong just because they are morally corrupt!

Melbourne would, actually, definitely, benefit enormously from at least a better inner eastern South-North link and a better northern East-West link. Melbourne would also benefit from, much along the same lines as better switching etc to sustain greater rail traffic, better traffic management and more co-ordinated lights, etc, and probably congestion charges (as long as they really were ‘congestion’ charges, and not just taxes like in London). Happily, nearly everyone in Melbourne already has an ‘e-pass’ for the freeway so congestion charging could be very easily implemented.

That said, those links would pretty much have to be tunnels and would cost several billions. They are also so large and complex projects that they probably have to be PPPs if they are to get done. But they would have to be pretty carefully designed PPPs to ‘work’ (ie to deliver a reasonable return to the private sector participants at a reasonable cost to the State).

Better public transport may well be a better short-term bet because it probably a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to implement.

JC
JC
15 years ago

I love the argument of the anti-rail brigade that people dont really need public transport into the city. It wont be used!

Lefty, we’ve had countless discussions on your blog over this very issue, yet you persist with the same argument over and over again.

Here, if you don’t believe me, take a read of Allan Moran’s essays and explain exactly where you think he’s wrong.

Start from the top and work your way down.

http://www.ipa.org.au/help/search/search/public+transport

You’re wanting to spend billions of dollars on a public transport system that will require a ton of subsidies for upkeep relatively few people will use.

Reeeeeaaaaally.

Then why are the roads from every outer suburb into the city packed beyond measure every morning and every evening?

How is this an indicator of public transport needs? The bloody cars could be coming from anywhere… and they are coming from anywhere unless you think people who live in the outer burbs all work in the CBD.

Unless you can show that commuting needs are not diffuse: that only 15% of the working population works in the CBD then you don’t have an argument.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

Ken, Punt Road goes through one of the densest parts of Melbourne outside the CBD. If there’s anywhere where better PT (esp. heavy rail) should be economically justifiable, it’s surely there. OTOH, it’s hard to see how road capacity could be improved much in that area.

JC
JC
15 years ago

N

people are transiting through this area (Punt road). That’s the mistake lefty makes. He sees a lot of traffic on a road and immediately thinks it’d because of a lack of public transport but it’s not. That Punt road area is heavily serviced by public transport around it. In fact it would be easier for moat people to catch a tram train or bus to go into the city from the Punt road area. The traffic is a consequence of a longer north south commute.

FXH
FXH
15 years ago

Ken – Mees may or may not been given a rough time by Melb Uni – I’m far from convinced its uniMelb wrong Mees right. I suppose on the basis that a guard dog that annoys the neighbours and barks all night at shadows and kills cats and possums and mauls the occassional little kid and keep visitors away might be said to have deterred a possible burglar Mees is a success. But adding extra length of lines onto an already at capacity system with no increase in lines in/out from existing stations is just stupid.

Everything I know about queueing and supply systems and rail and transport theory (which may well be two fifths of sweet fuck all) leads me to accept the argument that the system is at or near capacity rather than Mees dismissal.

There is this weird assumption around that everyone on the outskirts of Melb needs to travel into the CBD. When I last worked in an outer ish suburb for Local Gov this myth was busted by an actual survey and figures – the majority of people worked and played within a 15 ks radius of where they lived. Thats radius, not direct line into CBD. A surprisingly large % of people had not even visited the CBD in the last 6 months. Even though they had a railway station and a direct line in.

The big supply / distribution centres for food etc are in Cranbourne, with others in the North around the Western ring Road and in the West. Not in the CBD.

We need more trams, light rail and good roads to ease “crosstown traffic”.

Ken – battling through Punt Road and Chapel St traffic is worth about 10 years remission off purgatory.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

JC, I’m not so sure – some of the worst times for traffic there seems to be when there’s major events on at or around the MCG. That certainly happened to us last time we went to the MCG – if there’d been train access from where we live (Doncaster East), we certainly would’ve left the car at home (or at least, at the train station). Instead, the options that metlink.melbourne.com.au gives us are:

a) 2 buses + 1 train: 1hr 08m

or

b) 1 bus + 1 train + 1 tram: 1hr 08m

vs 30 minutes driving even *with* significant traffic (indeed, with no traffic at all, we could drive to the MCG in just over 15 minutes).

Mind you, that’s not nearly as bad as trying to get PT to North and North Western suburbs, or to due-Eastern suburbs.

Patrick
Patrick
15 years ago

Ken

With trams whizzing across town laterally to connect with twice as many trains running in and out of the city on the existing lines, lots of car drivers would very quickly discover that public transport was a much better bet than sitting in bumper to bumper traffic watching the fuel gauge fall.

I’m not convinced (of this last point), but I think that separating tramways and roads wherever possible would be an extremely good idea. However, some of the key bottlenecks I can think of where this would not be possible would include Punt Rd (agree, FXH, truly horrible) Glenferrie Rd, Bourke Rd and Sydney Rd – doing so would effectively reduce these to single-lane roads each way, unless you took a reasonable chunk out of some very-highly-congested footpaths.

I’d love to see it, and it makes excellent conceptual sense, but it strikes me as extremely difficult.

A Punt Rd raised freeway might well work ok – although you would have a very hard time from residents! I think the tunnel is politically necessary for that reason. Maybe residents should have to either pay up or put up? (And I absolutely agree that the rest of us should pay up too, in the form of tolls).

Significant chunks of land around Punt Rd are actually already either owned or caveated by Vicroads for this purpose, btw.

NPOV, what better PT would you suggest? As JC points out, that is already surely about as good as it gets in Melbourne now!

wilful
wilful
15 years ago

Ken, Eddington’s tunnel goes under Alex parade and towards (eventually) Footscray and Geelong and Ballarat roads, with a stop off for the Tulla and somewhere in the inner north. The contentious point is whether there’s a southern entrance to service the city. He says no, I think macBank would say yes, and we wont know about Brumby’s view until the end of the year at least.

He does put paid to the idea that it’s all going into the city and a couple of whopping great arterials will fix it. Less than half the Eastern Fwy traffic ends up in the city.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

Patrick, I’m hardly qualified to make realistic estimates about what PT options would help reduce congestion along Punt Rd, but rail access to the North Eastern Suburbs would be a start. It’s also quite difficult to get from say, Abbotsford to St Kilda by public transport, requiring significant walking and two trains (~40 minutes, vs 10 minutes by car).

JC
JC
15 years ago

man transport infrastructure is expensive.

Connect East cost about $1.5 billion to construct which is for around 39 km of road.

that works out to a staggering $38.5 mill per Km.

JC
JC
15 years ago

My understanding is the government has rights to the eastern end of Punt road for widening

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

Ken, if the housing along Punt Rd was mostly 2 or 3 storey, then I doubt there’d be much complaint about an elevated light rail line. But I’m pretty sure it’s actually mostly single storey – and much of it is in slightly shabby condition. Actually what’s more surprising is that Punt Rd has never attracted much commerical/retail development. To what degree this is due to government regulations I’m not sure, but they must be having an effect.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

“Eastern end”? The most eastern point of Punt Rd is where it becomes Hoddle St, no? Though I was thinking as much of Hoddle St as Punt Rd in previous posts.

JC
JC
15 years ago

umm Sorry Meant the eastern side of the road…. not the eastern end.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

Well, the grid in Melbourne (east of the CBD) is on about a 10deg(?) angle relative to due North, so technically it does run from South-West to North-East.

NPOV
NPOV
15 years ago

Hah…10 deg was a complete guess, but screen-grabbing a map from whereis and using paintbrush to measure the gradient, I was pretty much spot on.

I obviously have far too much time on my hands.