Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Under Constance attack

The infamous Parsons Brinckerhoff was commissioned by the Ministry of Transport, Sydney City Council and Landcom to prepare a Transport Management and Accessibility Plan (TMAP) for the Green Square development area. The report was published in November 2008. The illustration above is typical of the crude scrawlings on UBD road maps that abound in the report.

The situation degenerated into farce when the City of Sydney commissioned a report for the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors. The report from the Allen Consulting Group, dated 2 July 2013, calculated the enormous benefits to the national economy that would accrue from Clover Moore's pet projects: light rail from the CBD to Mascot airport, pedestrianisation of George Street and bicycle paths along CBD roads. The light rail was described only as passing along Crown Street and Baptist Street, then parallel to South Dowling Street, somehow.

The nutters at CoS appear to have assumed the tram rails would have passed down Foveaux Street, the green and dotted-red line on the PB map, but it is far too steep. Clover Moore takes down reports when they are shown to be ridiculous but this report was for CCCLM.

The route along Crown Street has been rendered impossible by the Devonshire Street tram rails - the only entry to the Surry Hills ghetto from the east is from Crown Street.
An alternative route along Riley Street, Malborough then Young Street is blocked by the Surry Hills tram stop. Marlborough Street is also the only exit from the ghetto to the east.

Artists impression of tram rail crossing South Dowling Street

The drawings of the tram rails crossing South Dowling Street released by the State Government would rule out tram rails along South Dowling Street - a driver would have no chance of seeing a tram emerging from the tunnel portal. This leaves only one possible route for trams to branch south towards Green Square and the rest of south Sydney: Bourke Street is doomed.

Devonshire Street at Bourke
The State Government has vehemently opposed a tram service to the south but now Constance is asking the demented Clover Moore for her support for an undisclosed route.

The reasons why the state government opposed a branch to the south are understandable. A branch in the critical section in Surry Hills would mean that only one in three, or less, trams would reach the terminuses at Randwick and Kingsford. The extra wait for trams at the terminuses would make interchanges to and from buses even more unpopular.
Shuttle services between Moore Park and Central Station, if these were ever viable, would be fraught with even more peril by the need to maintain head ways with trams from the south entering the rail section at random intervals. Patrons at events in Moore Park and Royal Randwick would have an even longer wait to clear the grounds.

The other problem is the short radius of the curve needed for trams to branch south from the Devonshire Street rails. This can be seen in the alignment diagrams inadvertently released by CoS. The EIS contained spurious calculations purporting to show that trams could be given priority signalling when crossing South Dowling Street and by inference Bourke and Crown Streets. The trams are expected to be travelling at top speed here. A tight curve would throw these expectations into disarray.

The question remains

If tram rails cannot branch south from the Devonshire rails the old question remains: How do tram rails in Bourke Street connect with the CBD?

  • Foveaux and Albion Streets are too steep for tram rails.
  • Campbell Street is blocked from connecting to the George Street rails by the Chinatown stop. Campbell Street is to be used to turn round buses forcibly terminated in Pitt Street. There would be no connection to Central Station and Railway Square.
  • Bourke Street is too steep for trams north of Oxford Street.
  • The unlamented Chris Lock insisted that trams in Oxford Street would have to double back along Wentworth and Elizabeth Street to reach a sine qua non tram stop in Chalmers Street. Liverpool Street is the only connection for vehicular traffic from the Eastern and South-Eastern Suburbs with Darling Harbour and Barangaroo.

What is Constance on about?

Constance has been placed in a hole by his leadership-rival Gladys. It is a real cat fight. His response is to try to dig himself out by digging the hole deeper. The only possible outcome is for Public Transport south of the Harbour to cave in on him. Gladys eventually produced a vague map of the route and shrieked at  a public forum: "No change is possible". Constance has not given any information about his planned route and is treating it as just a matter between him and Clover Moore.

Constance craving

The dilemma he faces was obvious from the beginning and was the reason for me becoming involved in the quest to save Sydney from this catastrophy. Chalmers Street is not only the main arterial road for traffic between and South Sydney and Botany and the Eastern Suburbs, it is the only route for buses to enter the CBD from these areas. As pointed out in previous posts, it performs these functions with minimal distruption. The earliest artist's impressions were unclear as to how many lanes would be available for these functions and Berejiklian refused to answer Questions on Notice.

The EIS was deliberately fraudulent: descriptions by the consultants were contradictory, leading me to confront Pizza Boy Jeff Goodling, to no effect. The government went on to produce a modified EIS that was never exhibited. Buses from South Sydney and Botany would be trapped in a bus bay by vehicles turning into the one lane into Eddy Avenue or proceeding along Elizabeth Street. It was never revealed how the buses would physically turn around when they eventually made it through the intersection that was predicted to have the worst possible Level of Service. Bus services from Botany, South Sydney and Cloveley will be stuffed by the trams, unequivocally. This is the dilemma that the citizens of Sydney have to face.

Constance is thrashing about in the hope that the nutters at City of Sydney can provide him with an answer to the problems created by Ms Berejiklian. There is however no feasible solution to the problems - nothing will come of it. Constance's political career is in its death throws.

No comments:

Post a comment