Banyule Council Community Transport Workshop

Read more about the recent Banyule Council Community Transport Workshop which was attended by a number of Friends of Banyule members. We will continue to follow up with Council on what the review process will be for current and future strategies and report back to you on relevant outcomes and how interested members of the community can continue to be involved.

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Goal and Context

The goal of the workshop , as explained by Scott Walker, the director of city development at Banyule, was to provide the community with the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Banyule City Integrated Transport Plan; the previous plan for 2003-13, has recently expired and a new one is now needed. He noted in his opening comments that the two most common issues mentioned by Banyule city residents are “trees and transport”; also, that transport and land use – what is built where – are inextricably linked.

Background Information

Three people gave brief presentations in order to brief the 50-some residents, who had braved the wild and wooly weather that autumn Tuesday, some even by bike, with information pertinent to the topic. Kevin Agen, from the Banyule City Council, outlined the role of the BCC Transport division, which is mostly involved in daily activities, but…

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About Friends of Banyule Inc

President & Public Officer of Friends of Banyule Inc, a community not- for-profit organisation to enhance and protect the environmental assets of Banyule City. Currently fighting the proposed NE Link freeway through one of inner Melbourne's most ecologically sensitive areas and historical areas.
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4 Responses to Banyule Council Community Transport Workshop

  1. Alex says:

    I love how ‘trucks’ get a little docile paragraph – have you people stepped outside to see Rosanna Road at any hour of the day? Jika Street? Absolutely log-jammed with trucks trying to get from the Ring Road to the Eastern Freeway.

    Some pointers which I hope can help you:
    1. Trains can’t handle freight (especially Melbourne’s trains).
    2. Nice little eco-bicycles can’t handle freight.
    3. Trams can’t handle freight.
    4. Therefore the only way to get freight moving is to use trucks, or, more specifically, the road network.

    It’s going to be like this for a long time yet. If the North-East link reduces truck traffic through Heidelberg by even a quarter then that would be a marked improvement.
    The entire anti-NE-link movement simply cannot front up to the fact that trucks are a big, if not the biggest, cause of congestion in the municipality; the best they can do is whimper about how we need to get more people ‘out of their cars’.

    The sad fact is that every nice little triumphant car-sized empty space of road which you have fought so hard to achieve will be taken up by a truck, unless you:

    1. Extend curfews (a weak move which fails to address the problem), or
    2. Divert the truck traffic through a more appealing route (i.e. a freeway / tollway).

  2. Dennis says:

    Alex, you’re not wrong in regard to public transport not being able to solve all the congestion problems including freight. But, it will help take cars off the road if its close to where people live and is efficient, instead of as currently, with major gaps in the radial network ie; Doncaster, the only suburban area in Melbourne with no surface rail of any kind. Commuters sitting in traffic along the Eastern Freeway (Eastern Car Park more like) would love to have train running down the middle of the freeway as is the case with the Mandura line in Perth (which our Freeway was designed to accommodate).

    As for freight, yes we certainly do need to spend some serious money on rail freight, to help reduce the impact of road freight which is growing rapidly. While it is claimed that building the North East Link will take traffic off Rosanna Rd, this project according to the government’s own documents, will not commence till 2017 and take thee to five years to build, with potential completion around 2020 or beyond. With all available funds going in to the $8b East West Link (or twice that if the western section goes ahead), N/e Link may not be built for a decade or more.

    In the meantime, congestion on Rosanna Rd and other arterial roads in Banyule continues to increase. Vic Roads can take traffic management measures to alleviate this including: Hours of day and night restrictions for heavy vehicles (eg, peak hour – midnight -10.00am or other), inside lane restrictions for similar vehicles, use of exhaust brake restrictions, speed restrictions, increased Police and Vic Roads enforcement etc. All of which, could be implemented straight away and are within the powers of Vic Roads,who continue to steadfastly refuse to take action despite overtures from residents and Council. This would help divert freight back to major freight routes on City Link and Monash Freeways instead of as presently, avoiding tolls on our arterial roads.

    The only long term way we’re going to solve the congestion issues we face, is to look at the whole picture, not just part of it and take an integrated approach, that takes account the transport network as a whole, including road, rail, freight, bus, cycling, pedestrian. In other words, all forms of transport, not just spending all available capital on one freeway. Major metropolises around the world do this, successfully, and without their metro rail systems as well as road, would not be able to move populations of 20 or so million in some cases, successfully around their cities.

    Dennis O’Connell

    Friends of Banyule

  3. Alex says:

    Dennis,

    Rail freight? You simply cannot be serious. Please don’t tell me that’s your solution to alleviate road freight. Rail freight will require either overloading the current rail network to the point of standstill, or expanding the current network by putting more money in than every road project currently on the table combined (and then some).

    Oh, and you want the reason for the NE link not starting until 2017? It’s because your group, and those like it, have been tirelessly lobbying AGAINST it! You simply cannot use that as a defence – if you genuinely wanted road traffic alleviated you would be putting all your effort into lobbying the government to start as soon as possible.

    Major metropolises around the world may indeed combine different modes of transport to their success, but few of them have major arterial freeways terminating at T-junctions like Melbourne. To ignore these major road design deficiencies and think that bike lanes and rail lines will make the problem go away is pure fantasy that ignores the elephant in the room.

    • Ian Hundley says:

      Dennis is right about the road congestion busting effects of a good public transport system.
      The best friend that freight carrying trucks can ever have is public transport. This is because effective public transport removes cars from roads in a very space efficient way. It makes things much better for road freight operations. Motor cars are monopolising the road network in this state. About three quarters of all vehicle kilometres travelled on Victorian roads are by passenger vehicles, typically carrying only one person, the driver. Articulated trucks account for less than 4% of all kilometres travelled on Victorian roads. Buses take up less than 1% of road space used.
      So, sad to say, we are much better at driving lumps of metal, glass and plastic around our road network than at carrying either people or freight. And this is anointed by government policy.
      That’s one reason why we urgently need to improve our public transport system – to improve its space efficiency in a fast growing city – including for freight.
      So you can see that trains, “nice little eco-bicycles,” trams (and buses too) really do help us cope with freight, and in a very big way.
      Tony Abbott and Denis Napthine don’t get it. That’s why Abbott is shovelling $3 billion of taxpayers’ money at the proposed east-west link. The fact that Napthine has so far not released any “business case” for the project shows that we are being sold a pup.
      If by some stroke of bad fortune the thing is ever built to the Western Ring Road we will be about $20 billion worse off and it will be full of cars in no time flat. What then? Another one?
      It would be the same with the proposed north-east link. It would be full in very quick order – and not with trucks, but with cars.
      The Coalition and the ALP need to get their skates on to develop a decent transport strategy for this part of Melbourne and not just limp into building another expensive freeway which would simply induce more passenger vehicle traffic and cost all of us a bomb.
      The former Infrastructure Australia warned against the funding of big roads projects which are camouflaged as freight routes, but are predominately used by cars.
      Tony Abbott didn’t like the sound of that, so he got rid of Infrastructure Australia. Instead we have him spending our money like a drunken sailor on conduits for passenger cars and nothing of consequence for public transport – or for freight for that matter.
      Oh, and according to tonight’s TV news the RACV is now pushing for weekend clearways on major arterial routes across Melbourne. Must be all those trucks again.

      Ian Hundley

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