Tuesday, 3 December 2013

By hook or by crook

There were three representatives from TfNSW at the Community Meeting organised by PUSH on Thursday 21 November. The Deputy Director General, Chris Lock, remains the total recluse he has been since the Randwick breakfast, but the American Jeff Gooding, appointed as project manager to "deliver the project" (his words) was there with deputies to explain the EIS process.
Jeff Goodling at Northcott centre
One of the deputies explained at great length that respondents should not comment on the Parramatta Light Rail but might want to comment on the right turn into Crown Street, raising the scorn of the audience.

The difficulty with making comments about this turn or any other turn at any other intersection in the system is that there is utterly no information in the EIS about these intersections. The Indicative plans of the stops have been cropped and there are no arrows on the lanes at intersections to give any indications of hook turns.

Corner of Devonshire and Crown Streets

The text in EIS Technical Paper 1 confirms that the left turn from Marlborough Street will be the only exit to the east and to the north from the ghetto. Every other street will be blocked off, including High Holborn Street in the picture left.

There is no information in the EIS on whether the right-turn lane will be a hook turn but why on earth would any one comment on it. The problems arise in Crown Street where there is no space for a right-turn lane into the ghetto. EIS works on the premise that if the tram lines do not pass though or past your property you have no right to complain.
Crown Street south from Devonshire Street
The Wentworth Courier in an article " Light rail to cause major disruptions" reported that the EIS reveals that access to St Peter's Catholic Church (next to High Holborn Street), the Langton Centre drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, as well as the Twinkle Twinkle childcare centre would be "majorly limited". These properties and the Bourke Street Public School are directly adjacent to the rails.

The effects of the ghettoization of Surry Hills south of Devonshire Street will be far more wide spread. The section of Crown Street between Devonshire and Cleveland Streets is the retail hub of south Surry Hills and east Redfern, together with the shopping centre on the corner of Baptist and Cleveland Streets. There are two bus stops northbound and one southbound and there is short-term curbside parking. Crown Street is the only southbound road that accesses the same destinations as Chalmers Street, the sine qua non arterial for traffic from the south. If Chalmers Street becomes nothing more than a rat-run for really dumb rats, as TfNSW intends, Redfern Road, Baptist Street and Crown Street will have to deal with most of the displaced traffic. An enforced right-turn into Lansdowne Street will be the cause "major disruptions" to the businesses along these roads. Without a right-turn it will be the death nell for the Belvoir Street theatre.

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