The Sydney Morning Herald has published an article by an investigative journalist in this weekend's (October 5-6 2013, Page 9) News Review, about the use of consultants who were former Liberal Party aides and are employed at $4400 a day. Despite the Minister's denial, their initial engagement had come from her office, and their role is reported to be to act as conduits to her office and report on which public servants would follow the Party line. The article is required reading for anyone who wants to understand how staff at Transport for NSW are promoted far beyond their level of competence. But back to the subject of this post.
Unfortunately for Clover Moore, the Council closes down George Street every year for a Chinese New Year Parade. Chalmers Street is not reduced to one lane so the effects are much less severe, but we can make assessments of the impact on traffic. The Parade does not take place on the Chinese New Years Day but on the Sunday evening afterwards. This is presumably when the impact on traffic will be the least.
I was returning from a bike run on one of these Sundays after 5PM and traffic had slowed to a crawl in Parramatta Road from beyond Sydney University. It took hours to reach Surry Hills. When Broadway is gridlocked the bus services from Parramatta Road and City Road are effectively shut down.
The RTA stopped publishing vehicle flow per hour (vph) data after 2005 but traffic in Broadway would not have gotten any less. The vph data for east-bound traffic in Broadway are on page 17 of the file k5sy3a.doc downloaded from the Transport for NSW website.
|Gridlocking Broadway is quite a feat|
The metering station in Broadway is to the east of Harris Street. On the Sunday of the sample week the vph traffic flows were 1178 vph between 5-6 PM and 1169 vph from 6-7 PM, so a 1170 vph traffic flow will gridlock Broadway and Parramatta Road back to to grey cliffs of Parramatta Road.
|Parramatta Road gridlocked too|
Needless to say, the vehicle per hour flows during the AM peak from 8 to 9 AM on weekdays are twice the levels that produce gridlock in Broadway and Parramatta Road, but the gridlock extends far beyond this peak. In fact, traffic flows are above 1170 vehicles per hour on week days from 6AM to 7PM or 8PM from Monday to Thursday, from 6AM to Midnight on Fridays, from 8AM to Midnight on Saturdays and from 10AM to 7PM on Sundays.
The data that is available to us dates from 2005 and cannot be used as a smoking gun. The RTA has all the data it needs to assess the consequences of O'Farrell's decision, on a personal whim, to run trams down George Street. They are not being allowed to run these programs. What can one do?