City bids $5M to ease congestion

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by EuanB, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. EuanB

    EuanB New Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Likes Received:

    City bids $5m to ease congestion

    By Liz Minchin
    February 3, 2006

    MELBOURNE City Council is preparing to spend $5 million on new ways to cut congestion, despite being months away from finalising its transport strategy.

    On Tuesday the council will vote on a host of proposals largely aimed at pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, including widening footpaths, creating new bus and bicycle-only lanes, and installing 40 km/h road signs.

    The planned capital works would cost $3.75 million, with designs for some projects to begin immediately and construction to start as early as June, when the council is due to sign off on its transport strategy.

    A further $500,000 would be spent on promotion and research, while $750,000 has been set aside for a controversial free tourist shuttle bus between Southbank and Carlton, due to start on March 1.

    The new transport proposals include:

    ■Spending $1 million on new bicycle routes along major roads including St Kilda and Flemington roads and Rathdowne and Albert streets.

    ■$800,000 widening footpaths in Little Collins Street between Spring and Exhibition streets.

    ■$725,000 for electronic 40 km/h speed limit signs for the CBD.

    ■$500,000 for a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Manningham Street, connecting Royal Park to the Moonee Ponds Creek trail.

    ■$142,000 to entice businesses, residents and schools to ditch cars for "sustainable transport".

    ■$120,000 to probe building bicycle and bus "superstations" with storage, showers and toilets.

    ■$100,000 to investigate a north-south City Circle tram.

    The proposals come only days after The Age revealed details of the council's draft transport strategy, which explicitly favours environmentally sustainable forms of transport over cars, and was released only yesterday.

    The $5 million for the projects is the council's share of a contentious State Government long-stay levy on inner-city car parks, introduced this year.

    But the rising cost of city parking has become a drain on council coffers, with papers released yesterday showing a sudden $1.8 million plunge in expected parking meter revenue from July to December last year.

    Greens councillor Fraser Brindley defended the parking levy and the decision to start work on new transport infrastructure before the transport strategy was approved, saying "things like footpath widening are as much about good urban spaces as they are about transport solutions".

    Meanwhile, a city tourist bus operator has sought legal advice after losing a bid to operate the new council-funded shuttle bus.

    Melbourne on the Move owner Finlay Davis said yesterday he was shocked to lose the bid to run the shuttle bus, which will stop at popular tourist attractions along a similar route to a service he has been running for four years.

    "It's extraordinary. This is a government authority working to break a business," Mr Finlay said. " … if you were offered a choice between one bus service for nothing, and our one costing you $32, which would you choose?"

  2. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    Likes Received:
    From City of Melbourne: Draft transport strategy to give priority to public transport, cycling and walking

    Public Transport, cycling and walking will be given priority over cars according to the City of Melbourne’s new draft Transport Strategy released today.

    The draft strategy to be voted on at the February 7 Planning and Environment Committee presents a radical change from Council’s previous policies by calling for priority to be given to the most environmentally and economically efficient modes of transport such as trams, trains, buses, bikes and walking. Once approved, the Draft strategy will be put out for public comment until early April 2006.

    The Lord Mayor John So said Melbourne could not continue to grow without meeting the challenges of growing traffic congestion.

    “In less than a decade more than a million people will visit the CBD everyday. For this growth to happen we must look to mass transit solutions and the development of more efficient ways to get into and around the city,” the Lord Mayor said.

    The Lord Mayor said that more investment in transport infrastructure and services is necessary to meet Melbourne’s current and future needs for access.

    “The Council does not want more cars in the city but we recognise that people need better transport choices before they will give up the convenience of a car, he said.

    “We can’t cope with traffic congestion unless there is a viable, convenient alternative for people to use. The Council will continue to work closely with the State Government and service operators to improve the system,” he said.

    The strategy also calls for the upgrading of Melbourne’s freight system from the Port of Melbourne.

    “We need to look at Melbourne’s road and rail freight interchanges to ensure the continuing viability of Australia’s busiest port,” he said.

    The draft Strategy outlines a number of opportunities which include:

    * containing the provision of new long term commuter parking spaces in the CBD;
    * calling for reduced off-peak charge on toll roads such as City link to spread peak hour demand;
    * calling for bus only lanes on Queen and Lonsdale Streets;
    * continued promotion of the successful TravelSmart and Green Travel Plans program;
    * offering city residents discounted public transport fares in return for relinquishing parking permits;
    * discounted public transport fares for city shoppers;
    * calling for infrastructure improvements to the City Loop rail tunnel such as signaling upgrades to improve capacity;
    * calling for a new Doncaster railway line;
    * protecting the municipality’s northern suburbs from the impact of increased traffic caused by the opening of Eastlink;
    * working with neighboring councils to ensure integrated transport routes and traffic management measures;
    * continue to work with transport operators to ensure that major events are well served with public transport services;
    * creating a city pedestrian network plan and opening up more laneways to pedestrian traffic;
    * allocating more road space to pedestrians and cyclists by installing wide pavements and bicycle lanes;
    * more end-of-trip bicycle facilities around the city;
    * giving trams priority at city intersections and creating tram only road lanes to improve the speed of service;
    * lowering city speed limits to 40kmh to improve pedestrian safety;
    * calling on Victoria Police and the State Government for better enforcement of road rules to target the behaviour of both cyclists and drivers;
    * further improvements to the connectivity of Melbourne’s cycling network;
    * reducing parking congestion in residential areas;
    * changes to the planning scheme to promote sustainable travel in new buildings and developments;
    * dedicated freight only rail lines for The of Port Melbourne;
    * buffer zones around freight handling areas to protect residential amenity; and
    * changes to building regulations to improve noise control.

    Planning committee chair Cr Catherine Ng said the strategy has gone through a first round of consultation with the community and transport experts.

    “The draft strategy includes the feedback we have received so far. It comprehensively outlines the transport issues facing Melbourne and suggests policies that will deal with the challenges we face,” Cr Ng said.

    “The rationale behind the strategy is simple, our transport system is the key to Melbourne’s continuing growth, prosperity and quality of life.

    “We need to recognize that for all its convenience, the private car will hold our city back in the future. Like it or not, the car can no longer be king in Melbourne,” she said.

    Cr Ng said that, if the Strategy was accepted by Council at the Tuesday, 7 February meeting, work would begin immediately on developing projects to be funded in the 2006 -07 financial year.

    The City of Melbourne’s draft Transport Strategy is available for further public comment until early April, copies can be obtained by visiting - Agenda Item 5.7 in the Council/Committee meetings section of the website.
  3. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I didn't think city conjestion in Melbourne was that bad, well comparitively anyway.
    Sure peak hour is a drag, but that's because it's peak hour. All other times it's OK. I'm able to drive to any point in the city without getting fed up with it all.

    Making walking & cycling as a viable transport option is a definate benefit though, any way you look at it.
  4. In aus.bicycle on Fri, 3 Feb 2006 11:34:53 +1100
    EuanB <[email protected]> wrote:

    Hmm.. I wonder if there would be a business opportunity... outer
    suburbs along main commuter routes, rent out comfortable hybrid
    commuter bikes and helmets at parking stations. You drive your car to
    within a couple of km of the city, park, get your hire bike, ride in,
    leave it at the hire bike terminal...

  5. EuanB

    EuanB New Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Likes Received:
    The kicker is that cycling is a more than viable option in the city now, it's just people's addiction to cars which makes them blind to that.

    Secure bicycle parking is an issue for most though.
  6. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    Likes Received:

    In retrospect, that April Fools Day joke I did actually be a real moneyspinner.... :p

    Thwaites announces bicycle funding bonanza
  7. Zebee Johnstone wrote:

    > Hmm.. I wonder if there would be a business opportunity... outer
    > suburbs along main commuter routes, rent out comfortable hybrid
    > commuter bikes and helmets at parking stations.

    Con: Where are you going to source these with a 3 speed hub?
  8. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Gee. REALLY hard! :rolleyes:

    I'll pack an extra case of 'em (Batavus, Gazelle, Stevens, MBK, Bakfiets, take your pic. approx 3-500euro complete with guards, racks, lights, lock and 3-8spd hubs)
  9. flyingdutch wrote:

    > I'll pack an extra case of 'em (Batavus, Gazelle, Stevens, MBK,
    > Bakfiets, take your pic. approx 3-500euro complete with guards, racks,
    > lights, lock and 3-8spd hubs)

    I think you've just blown your financial stability.
    That is ~$AUS800 on each bicycle.