|Chalmers Street alignment diagram|
The City of Sydney submission to the EIS makes the stipulation (recommendation 47) that the work site shall be defined as per the attached plans (appendix B) produced by TfNSW.
These plans were never disclosed until now, after the close of submissions, and they explain things that TfNSW officers refused to discuss.
The text of the report by consultants Parsons Brinkerhoff (Chapter 5 -Part B page 34) states: "At the corner of Chalmers and Randle Street, the existing footpath would also be extended, as Randle Street would change to two-way traffic movements and the turn from Randle Street into Chalmers Street would be removed." This does not make sense and it was not possible to work out what was meant, as the figure 5.22 in the report was cropped so as to not show the intersection. The figure was displaced to show two platforms of Central Station but only a glimpse of Elizabeth Street, but enough to confirm only one north-bound lane in Elizabeth Street. The "single general traffic lane provide on Chalmers Street" is just a rat-run for very stupid rats, as pointed out in a previous post.
Now City of Sydney has inadvertently released documents that show what the consultants were describing. There is indeed one lane of traffic turning into Randle Street from Chalmers Street, across the tram lines with priority signalling, where trams are slowing to come to the stop.
During construction it will be impossible for pedestrians from the Eddy Avenue station entrance to access the eastern side of Chalmers Street as the pavement comes to a point at the crossing. What happens after construction cannot be determined as the crossing has been cropped.
Not that the nutters at City Hall are capable of making constructive criticisms. They seem to be oblivious to the discrepancies in the designs of the different consultants. Perhaps their officers were intimidated by the word technical and failed to read the documents prepared by Booz & Company. The City of Sydney has been working all along with the assumption that the vehicle flows in Chalmers Street would be forced into one lane.
More disturbingly, despite having access to detailed alignment diagrams, the officers and politicians at City of Sydney have failed to pick up the obvious flaws in the plans of both the consultants for the Central (nee Chalmers Street) tram stop. Passengers from the Surry Hills side of Elizabeth Street have to cross to the western side of Chalmers Street then walk south, in order cross the tram lies again to catch an outward bound tram. Extra crossings are provided - like anyone is going to use them. The TfNSW tech guy kept asking how is the situation with this system different from Melbourne. The island tram stop in Flinders Street and the outside tram stops in St Kilda Road at Flinders Street Station are indeed accessed from the pedestrian crossings.
|Flinders Street Station, Melbourne|
Fortunately, if O'Farrell does not return for a second term, the trams will actually have to compete with bus services. Passengers will be able to choose whether standing on a tram with priority signalling and walking long distances to stops, is an advantage over the convenience of the bus services. Voters will be voting for their feet.