Saturday, 23 November 2013

A Place to terminate

Chalmers Street is the sine qua non distributor for the people of southern Sydney. The Eastern Distributor and the Western Distributor distribute traffic to and from the north, but there is no alternative route for the functions of Chalmers Street. Chalmers Street distributes traffic via Wentworth Avenue to Oxford Street, Liverpool Street, William Street, Macquarie Street and the Cahill Expressway, with minimal impact on public bus entry to the CBD, and it also distributes traffic to Darling Harbour and to Barangaroo via Rawson Place and Hay Street.
Rawson Place stop
Traffic from the single lane in Chalmers Street will be permitted to only turn left into Eddy Avenue but it can not reach Hay Street as Rawson Place is blocked and there are no right-hand turns from Pitt Street into George Street. Traffic must turn right into Pitt Street across very heavy traffic turning into Eddy Avenue - there is a right-turn lane poking out from the overpass. Traffic must proceed north to Liverpool Street, the only other access route to Darling Harbour and Barangaroo, negotiating the constriction of Pitt Street into two lanes at World Square. This is the point it would have reached travelling along Elizabeth Street and making an uncomplicated left turn into Liverpool Street.

Traffic turning left into Pitt Street must inexorably proceed along Broadway to the intersection with Wattle Street, which it would have reached simply by travelling along Wattle Street.

O'Farrell will be turning the most important, sine qua non distributor for the people of southern Sydney into a rat-run for astonishingly stupid rats. This is more than preposterous, this is ludicrous. If O'Farrell thinks he can get a second term in Office with a Project as patently ludicrous as this he is even sillier than he looks.
The tortuous route of Pitt Street
Liverpool Street is gridlocked five days a week now. It is not only an access route to Darling Harbour and the CBD west of York Street it is the only route back, via the Cross City Tunnel. It is not gridlocked by naughty motorists trying to avoid the Cross City Tunnel toll but by motorists trying desperately to reach the Tunnel.

Liverpool Street will be a preferred route for traffic displaced by the "pedestrianization" of George Street returning to George Street with a vengeance. It just gets worse and worse forever.

Buses turning into Rawson Place have no place to go but back to Broadway immediately. It will be impossible for Parramatta Road and City Road bus services to maintain scheduled services. The only commuters who can transfer "across the platform" will be students from the west and south-west suburbs who did not have good-enough grades to go to a real university and had to settle for a roundhouse/squarehouse (RS) university. Bus passengers forced to travel north on cattle cars will be discharged so far south in Pitt Street the stop has been, you guessed it, cropped.

When Sydney was a working harbour, Hay Street was the outlet for containers from the wharves at the hungry mile to the south of NSW, and the width of the roads between Hay Street and Elizabeth Street reflect this. Hay Street was closed between Pitt and George Street and made one-way to the west when the current tramway was built. Closing Rawson Place is a far greater blow to the people of southern Sydney, and for what?

Before the Harbour Bridge was built people had to travel to Circular Quay to get a ferry to Milsons Point. To travel by private car you would have to be rich enough to have garages and vehicles at Circular Quay and Milsons Point, so everyone used public transport. When the Harbour Bridge was built Park Street and Oxford Street and other roads were widened - by knocking down all the buildings on one side - but George Street north of Market Street and Phillip Street remained the width of the cart tracks laid down at the time of the First Fleet. The factors leading to the dominance of public transport to Circular Quay have remained the same.

Buses travelling to Circular Quay are not carrying hordes of passengers - the trains could do that. Circular Quay is a dead end and one of the few places in the CBD where buses can turn around and maintain schedules. The attempt to turn buses around in Rawson Place is misconceived and fatuous. It doesn't work.

Congestion in bus routes in George Street for a couple of hours a day is a scheduling problem and is ridiculously easy to resolve with the advent of the Oyster (aka Opal) Card, as we shall see, and it costs next to nothing, not $1.6 billion.

This is not to say that tram services in Sydney can not be extended. The Minister has the information on how to extend them without destroying civilization as we know it for the people of southern Sydney.

So how on earth did this come about? There were two Sydney City councillors at the Community Meeting on Thursday night. One said it was the Council that did the traffic modelling for the tramway along George Street and presented this to the politicians who had been festering in the North Shore rump of the Liberal Party for 30 years. The Council must have been using traffic flow data from 2005.

The Minister told the community forum at Sydney High in April that this was her project and the Liberal Party would accept responsibility. Clover Moore's eyes widened - she could not believe her luck. She had a microphone but said nothing. The Councillors at the meeting said Council would not become more involved as they did not want to be held responsible.

So now we face this train wreck in slow motion.


  1. It appears that there is an always unnamed agenda by SoC council and the state govt that they don't want any cars or buses at all going through the city, down Chalmers St, up Elizabeth St, etc. They are quietly planning to make it impossible for cars to enter the city, therefore there is no need for a 'distributor'. Anyone planning to go to Central or to travel anywhere in the CBD will have to arrive by public transport from their departure point, no exceptions. There will not even be a car interchange at Central for instance -- it is already impossible to 'kiss n drop' anyone at Central because no such lanes have ever been set up, and it is very difficult to access the CountryLink carpark except for one route all the way round Central.

    So your desire to preserve traffic flows anywhere near the city is moot, from the CoS and state govt perspective.

  2. I sat in the front row at SBHS meeting and it was interesting to hear and see Gladys assume 'full responsibility'. The 'Clover Legacy' will be achieved at the expense of gullible and ill-informed Liberals.