Friday, 6 December 2013

The final solution - total annihilation

The 13 December 2012 brochure gave figures of the number of buses that would be removed from the CBD by the light rail. The most disturbing figure was the complete removal of buses from Foveaux Street and Albion Street.

It is easy to see why the private operators of a tramway through Surry Hills would demand this. Buses using the exclusive bus road through Moore Park and turning into Fitzroy Street avoid the traffic using South Dowling Street and entering the Eastern Distributor. They also avoid the southbound traffic from the Distributor without the need for a multimillion dollar tunnel. They can reach Central Station and Railway Square in less time than a tram even if it has priority at traffic lights.

There used to be a stop in Albion Street near Elizabeth Street but this has been removed leaving the new billboard-free stop at the old Children's Court and the stop between Riley and Crown Streets, and there is a stop in Flinders Street. The photos above were taken between 5PM and 5:30PM last Thursday. As you can see the services are well frequented and the bus lanes are not in the least congested. These services can be readily expanded.
 

There are three bus stops on the inbound services in Foveaux Street. The photos were taken round the same time and the lanes were similarly unobstructed and the stops well frequented.

In fact this route is not used by services to Central Station and Railway Square for reasons that defy rational analysis. These services travel along Cleveland Street and Chalmers Street. The services using this route head for Circular Quay along Elizabeth Street.

The good news for residents of South Eastern Sydney, and bad news for PPPs, is that this route for accessing Central and Railway Square can be reintroduced by a State Government that does not share O'Farrell's obsession with destroying the efficacy of public transport, at a moments notice, no matter how much irreparable damage O'Farrell does to George Street and Elizabeth Street.

We had to wait for the EIS to find out what terrible fate O'Farrell had devised for these services and it turns out to be almost beyond belief.
21 CSELR ESI Technical Paper 1 4.2.2.
Booz & Company proclaims the fate of bus services using the exclusive bus roadway in the usual brusque manner with an entry copied twice into the table shown previously:
"Operates existing route to Anzac Parade, then travels to Edgeclif via Darlinghurst Road and William Street (subject to detailed implementation planning on routing)"

Presumably, buses will turn into Fitzroy Street from the bus road at Drivers Triangle as at present but will be slingshotted into the congested two lanes each way section of South Dowling Street through Paddington. They will be dog-legged along Oxford Street to Darlinghurst Road which takes them to a stop at Kings Cross Station where passengers can transfer to trains with their Oyster (aka Opal) Card. The buses, running on empty, then travel to Edgecliff Station along Kings Cross Road and New South Head Road, never going near William Street despite what the highly paid consultants may say. At Edgecliff Station the buses must make a right-hand turn across the traffic in New South Head Road to reach the bus-rail transfer station on the roof.

The return journey is even more horrendous. The buses must travel along Victoria Road passing though the section in front of St Vincents Hospital that has been reduced to one lane for all traffic in order to provide parking for the BMWs of the plastic surgeons at St Vincents Private.

Of course anyone actually wanting to go to Edgecliff Station would take an Avoca Road bus service to the Bondi Junction exchange and use the Oyster (aka Opal) Card to transfer to the Eastern Suburbs Railway. It is the Bream Street and Bunnerong Road services that do not go past the tram terminals that are singled out for this treatment. The Avoca Road bus route is not congested and can readily be extended to La Perouse.

I said presumably because the map above shows a different route. The rectangular thought bubbles over the map describe the route shown on the map:
"Route 374 would provide access to Edgecliff via Taylor Square/Oxford Street"
"Route L94 now operates to/from Edgecliff via Taylor Square/Oxford Street"
Mitchell Library from Christopher Keating's book
There has been no right-hand turn from Flinders Street into Oxford Street in 46,000 years of human habitation of the continent as far as I can gather. The earliest maps showing the tram lines in Sydney like the one left and the 2003 map of Sydney digitized in the City of Sydney archives show no connection to the east at the Flinders Street intersection. Lanes in the street were not shown on early maps - hardly anyone had a private vehicle.

So will O'Farrell be introducing a right-hand turn into Oxford Street at Taylor Square? Will buses on the return journey dog-leg from Victoria Street to Darlinghurst Road and make a hairpin turn into Flinders Street? Will the pedestrian areas at Taylor Square be obliterated to allow a less acute turn? Is there anything O'Farrell will not do to inflict co-lateral damage on the public bus services to the Eastern Suburbs?

Edgecliff bus/rail exchange from previous post


Will the buses stop at the stop in Bayswater Road on their way through Kings Cross?

The Edgecliff bus/rail transfer station was designed by competent traffic engineers for transfers to buses from the east. It was not designed as a terminus for bus services initially from east of Edgecliff but forced into tortuous routes that make them approach from the west. It was not designed to be a terminus for bus services from the Anzac Bridge.

Edgecliff is being targeted by TfNSW simply because it is one of the few places in or adjacent to the CBD, apart from Circular Quay, where it is physically possible for buses to turn around, and most of the "real estate" for bus terminals at Circular Quay is being obliterated by a tram terminal that does not need space to turn around.

William Street never extended east of Darlinghurst Road, before or after the Kings Cross tunnel. How could Booz & Company and TfNSW be unaware of this and the historic proscription of right-hand turns from Flinders Street? It should be pointed out that the Table and the map containing the wildly conflicting proclamations about the route occur on consecutive pages in the same segment 4.2.2. of Technical Paper 1 Part B, and neither of them give any reliable details.

This can hardly be described as deliberate deception. This is deliberately contradictory gibberish designed to prevent any rational discussion of TfNSW's Project.

I am sounding shrill again. The human brain cannot really deal with professional incompetence on the level exhibited by TfNSW and its consultants.

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