Saturday, 10 August 2013

Maximum number of vehicles removed from Anzac Parade by trams.

The maximum number of vehicles that would be removed from the vehicle flow per hour figures by the tramway are clearly the number of buses that pass the proposed Kingsford tram stop, and would presumably be forcibly terminated, and the number of vehicles that currently travel from Maroubra, Malabar and Little Bay during the morning peak, and park in car-parks adjacent to George Street in the northern CBD. These would be few and far between as it costs more than $19,000 a year to park all day in these car-parks.

However the maximum number of buses that could be terminated is easy to calculate from the timetables. These numbers are:
  • 37 buses per hour from 7 - 8 am
  • 50 buses per hour from 8 - 9 am
  • 22 buses per hour from 9 - 10 am
  • 16 buses per hour from 10am - 4pm
  • 24 buses per hour from 4 - 5 pm
  • 19 buses per hour from 5 - 6 pm
  • 16 buses per hour from 6 - 7 pm
Bear in mind that few of these buses would be packed when passing the Kingsford dot. Subtracting these figures from the vehicle per hour data referenced in the previous post has a negligible impact, and these buses have their own tidal flow lanes.

Vehicles headed for parking adjacent to George Street during the morning peak would be few and far between, but counting the maximum number that could possibly switch to a bus/tram combo presents problems. Not technical problems, political problems.

In the early 1970s students had been employed to record vehicle types turning and passing through complex important intersections, and this data had proven invaluable in debunking Brereton's Eastern Distributor plans. Now there are video cameras to do this job. Skyhigh traffic monitors, a UK company founded in 1989, has operations in Sydney and other Australian capital cities, and does work for the Road and Traffic Authority. I came across one of their monitors in Bourke Street but did not have my iPhone. However there is a picture in a flier on their webpage This is a quote from the website: Using our methods, even the most complex junction can be surveyed accurately, and with a two camera system, simultaneous viewing of two sites allows for detailed origin/destination matrices without the need for registration plate surveys.

The picture on the right is a fixed camera system such as is used in the RTA SCATS system. The RTA collects vast amounts of data from video cameras and magnetic loops at traffic lights for the SCATS traffic management and can change traffic-lights remotely to relieve traffic congestion in real time. The RTA has the expertise and the personal to accurately assess the impacts on traffic movements of the tram lines, so there are no technical problems. The problems are political.

When O'Farrell became Premier one of his first priorities was to cut the education budget, and stand down teachers. He is not going to allow Public Servants, with education, to debunk his decisions, made on a personal whim.

However we are not completely stymied. Western Australia eliminated registration stickers a few years ago and NSW has belatedly caught up. Patrol cars and toll booths have cameras that constantly scan for number plates. If we can find two rogue patrol officers, who are secretly admired by their fellow officers and by Hollywood scriptwriters, and get them to station patrol cars in Anzac Parade and George Street we could count the few vehicles in Anzac Parade who turn up in northern George Street. This is the maximum number of commuters from Maroubra and Malabar that could conceivably decide to give up their $19,000 plus parking space, leave their Maybach convertible in the garage and catch a bus then change to a tram.

The historic and current vehicle per hour data is reliable only if Moore Park and Centennial Park remain the green lung and fields for participation activities for the people of Sydney, as was envisaged by Lord Mayor Charles Moore. If O'Farrell does to Moore Park what Reagan wanted to do to South Vietnam and Sartor wanted to do to Prince Albert Park then a couple of thousand vehicles will be added to the morning peak vehicle flows in Anzac Parade.

O'Farrell is reducing Anzac Parade to one lane each way and simultaneously adding thousands of vehicles to the vehicle count. He will need to sack a lot more teachers for the general electorate to not see the absurdity of what he is doing.

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