Friday, 11 April 2014

The co-authored conspiracy theory

Post-PM peak

The O'Farrell government has employed three companies to sign off on the concoctions of Transport for NSW. Between the three they were able to produce wildly contradictory descriptions of the design and impacts of the system. Parsons Brinckerhoff produced the cropped indicative plans of the tram stops; Booz & Company was always careful to attribute to TfNSW any figures and tables it published in the Technical Papers that it signed off on, in conjunction with Aecom, the third consultancy firm.

Aecom actually engaged in work for TfNSW. The others appear to have done less work for their money than Arthur Sinodinos. Aecom had the thankless task of counting parked vehicles in surrounding roads at various times of the day. The figures 6.11 and 6.13 above for the "pre AM and post PM peaks" are from Section 6, Project Parking Strategy, in the Technical Papers. The orange strips designate "bus zones/lanes" and the red strips are "no stopping zones". The section of Avoca Street between Belmore Road and Alison Road is swathed in these zones.

The remarkable thing about the figures is that they are total fabrications and every resident in Randwick would be aware of this. The only buses that ply this section of Avoca Street are school buses setting down then in the afternoon picking up students from the small schools along this section of road. So what is Aecom trying to infer?

Their co-authors, Booz & Company, would have people believe that bus services that transfer their passengers to cattle cars would continue the length of Belmore Road and beyond until it was physically possible to do a U-turn, god knows where, then return south back through the retail and civic heart of Randwick and make a right-hand turn to pass around High Cross Park.

Revised EIS
Currently the only vehicles making a right-hand turn here would be traffic from kerbside parking in Belmore Road - other drivers would make the turn from Alison Road or roads further north. With the revised EIS all buses forced to transfer passengers to cattle cars at High Cross Park and proceed along Belmore Road would, we are told, be making a right turn at this intersecton regardless of whether they physically turned around at Phillip Street or god knows where.

Needless to say, TfNSW refuses to say where it intends these buses to physically turn around and is demanding that the Assessors approve Project without them being required to make any disclosure.

So, is Aecom trying to dissociate itself from its co-author and from TfNSW and to intimate that bus services terminated at the Randwick terminus will loop around Avoca Street, Alison Road and Belmore Road, the triangle of roads that TfNSW regards as a bus terminus? Or is Aecom just terminally confused?

My money was on the bus services being terminated in the clockwise direction so they would avoid the entry and exit points to the massive underground car park under Royal Randwick Shopping Centre. But anything is possible with TfNSW. They are incapable of thinking things through.

No U-turn at entrance to Royal Randwick car park

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