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I'm personally barracking for a footbridge from Collingwood to St Kilda (it would have inspiring views!), but failing that, getting rid of the Commission Flats wouldn't be a bad idea. Truly Soviet in conception, those. I remember walking past the ones in Carlton, and the empty, barbed-wire fenced lot besides them, and marvelling at the sign upon the fence saying


Brilliant! I'm gonna find that sign and get a photo. I might even put it at the top of this blog.

Funny you don't seem to want to talk about the cricket, old cock.

What cricket?

Number 7 should be number 1.

Not just paths either, but bike 'superhighways', like those planned for London.
(via one plus one)

Bike Superhighways: I like it.

Given the salient anatomical characteristics of most cyclists, we could call them Bike Superthighways.

PS: That Guardian journalist has a fine name.

Er, well, I saw it on Rathdowne Street, but come to think of it, I'm not sure if what I was quoting from memory is entirely accurate. It might have just been PROPERTY OF STATE GOVERNMENT OF VICTORIA: KEEP OUT or something.

Well, pshaww!

In my short time in this fair city, I have dubbed it Cvnt Road. No.3 is a beauty.

On another note, how many trains can you buy for $200 million a year of workplace health screening?

They are banking on that $200 mil finding out you were so healthy that you have to run to work. Money well spent.

We were wondering at work this morning how much it would cost for workplaces to supply compulsory vegetables.

I can't believe that it's 2 Thousand and Eight already and yet STILL no one has invented a teleporter! Willy Wonker had one, Star Trek had one, Dr Who had one, H G Wells had one (a time machine is a type of teleporter), in fact just about every Sci Fi novel and Analog magazine I ever read had one. I'm sure Isaac Asimov had one.

Forget underpasses. We need teleporters. Come on people, THINK!!!

Oh yeah, and sex robots like out of Westworld. That'd be just grand. Or at least a Holo-deck. I can't wait for Holo-decks.

I came here looking for After Grog Blog. Y'know the one that had the odd grumpy rightish of centre rant and lots of incomprehensable dribble about sport and the very rare funny bit.

Seems like the domain has been hijacked by a inner city bleeding heart lefty whining on about bike paths, increased public transport, putting cable underground and ... livable city type stuff. Critical mass anyone?

All valid points...I have wondered more recently about the Eastern F'way carpark upon reaching the Punting Hoddle exit & the impact of the new East Connect bitumen. Point 3 is an issue that the Roads Minister(s) have ignored for hmmmm, 20 years. Was not the 'House' of OM's on Punt one of many listed for buyback in the 80's as part of the Punting Hoddle upgrade....Here's an idea along the same theme. Blast a tunnel under the Bridge rd intersection & the same from the Yarra to sth of Toorak rd. North of Bridge, excavate & drop the through road 5 metres all the way to the Eastern, similar to the M5 in Sydney, South Dowling Rd near the SCG...

anyway. All this bolllocks about a congestion tax on Melbourne CBD. Melbourne CBD isn't congested - you could do bloody circle work down the middle of Collins or Burke on most days without any danger to yourself or others. No Melbourne is congested down Warrigal Road, along B'Rat Road at Sunshine, Sydney Road and don't mention Bell Street and little dirty white vans at 4pm. Melb is congested on Beach Road at Bonbeach, and going through Ringwood on Whitehorse in any direction at any time of day or night.

It's mad. These inner city teacher types (if the cap fits)haven't ever been out to where its really congested beyond the 10k Melways circle.

And then the stupid suburban councils go and paint their token "bike lanes" on the side of the busiest bloody roads where most of us won't even take a 4 wd unless we have a bull bar and wonder why, aside from a few macho fools, no one uses the bike lanes.

Hell - everyone know you take a suburban side street parallel and turn it into a bike, kid, local slow car friendly road with speed humps, narrow traffic calmers etc and let it wind its way to a destination; not paint a lane on the side of a major thoroughfare where bikes compete with white vans, semis, mad taxis, mums in 4wds doing school run, hoons in lowered jap cars and unroadworthy tip trucks.

And while we are at it - most people don't work in the CBD they are only trying to get around it or through it not in it.

Carry On.

Dear Richmond Resident

I think Cr Stephen Jolly is your man.


It's mad. These inner city teacher types (if the cap fits)haven't ever been out to where its really congested beyond the 10k Melways circle.

Ahem. I'm sitting here at my desk approx 100 metres from Bell Street. I'm, like, down with the suburbs, dude.

And while we are at it - most people don't work in the CBD they are only trying to get around it or through it not in it.

That's why I suggested a whole lot of roads that get traffic AROUND the CBD.

And the installation of speed bumps, cycle lanes, chicanes and round-a-bouts are standard ways for councils to meet their budgets.

Nice Tony. The vested interest shills need to be called on it more often.

I assume by the Outer Link you actually meant the Western Ring Rd rather than the West Gate which is kind-of covered by 2 and 4. All the road projects will be built over the next ~20 years, amidst the repetition of the same trope that "freeways cause congestion" and the "solution is rail" (to where, exactly? Francis is right, people don't go to the CBD from the outer burbs). The main reason the inner city roads haven't been built in the past was the expense of tunneling. That changed about two decades ago - new technology for all those European road/rail tunnels. It still costs a lot to make entry points (subway stations and road exits), but you can have too many of those anyway. The actual digging bit is pretty cheap.

The Middleborough Rd. level crossing was a surprising success. It was a test project for further crossings, which were believed to be ridiculously expensive by the DoI. Middleborough Rd. was predicted to take 6 weeks and cost $56m. It took 4 and cost $30. They are harder where the land is flat - hence the reason Sydney got rid of theirs - but expect a few more in the next decade or so.

Rail is the problem. The system just isn't designed for what we want to use it for. It is neither inner city metro nor country rail line, which makes it ridiculously slow (~30km/h when it should be ~60-70km/h), and the signaling is ancient. An outer rail line on this model would be a waste of time, too slow to compete with cars and unused. The only reason we get anything out of rail now is that, in the past, people built along them, so there are lots of destinations.

If I was suggesting something: create a fast new subway system stopping only at the major retail/business centres at roughly 5km intervals. Reroute all the buses and trams to centre around those local stations, and convert the existing rail lines into light-rail lines (as in the 96 and 105) which are just as fast, can be converted to similar carrying capacities and provide much more flexibility. And yes, stick some bike paths along the space saved.

I'm sitting here at my desk approx 100 metres from Bell Street. I'm, like, down with the suburbs, dude.

See. Sitting at a desk. Thats not work.

Anyway 100 yards what side of Bells? Burbs Street Cred is a finely tuned gradation bro.

I didn't disagree with you TonyT about CBD trips.

Russ is on the ball - why do we have this kneejerk reaction to any traffic problem and only two sides. It all plays out with as much nuance as a match between Stone Cold Steve and Jake the Snake but with less contribution to enlightenment than a decent tag match.

Any plan is met with a shock horror placards in the streets reaction from the inner suburban deep greens, steiner doctors wives and PTUsers at the mere suggestion of some road improvement or change and a 1950s soviet 5 year plan to have atrain aand tarm at every doorstep, free bikes and the gulag for all those with a waistline over 90cms.

In the other corner we have the RACV fat to obese off flat battery money wanting to put a 5 lane flyover across the top of anything resembling a park or residential area.

Why cant we have regular trains double decked and more express and more car parking at suburban stations for the peak hour commute inwards. All the station car parks are single story flat land parks. Why not like NYC with express trains stopping every second or fourth station and locals running alingside for every station. You get off express and take a local either back one or up one.

Or go light rail like Russ said and push higher speed underneath. Hell those backward chinese have just built at least 3 new underground lines in Beijing and the Taiwanese have plonked a few in to. I'll be testing them both out next month.

And while we are at it - its about time we de-regualted taxi licences. The high price (and low wages for drivers) is a direct result of the restriction of licences. We have a situatiion where licences are so artificially restricted that there is a veritable Amway sized upstream getting $ above the driver. Most licences are leased from sub-leasers who sub-lease them from owners and someone else owns and leases out the car. Everyone takes their cut. Cheaper taxis would ease congestion and especially parking problems.

North of Bell Street, West of Heidelberg.

You don't get more creddy than that.

"And the installation of speed bumps, cycle lanes, chicanes and round-a-bouts are standard ways for councils to meet their budgets."

Thought of you last night tones as I cycled peacefully home, avoiding the speed-bumps, with speed-bumps set atop them (&%&!!) in Nth Fitzroy. Further joy in that neck of the woods has been the installation of extra cycle paths in the Edinburgh Gardens complex a coupla weeks back.

Within days of opening, three separate sections of the path were, and remain, under repair

"And just by the by, people like driving cars."

Could I take a liberty with that statement?

"And just by the by, people like driving cars in good driving conditions."

The people I pass in bumper to bumper traffic don't look like they're enjoying much.

Fitzroy must be like Richmond.

I agree with that last bit, too, VeeCee. Plenty of drivers sitting in traffic look grumpy. That's why better roads mean happy citizens.

Why not a concrete wall 3m high at a radius of 10km from the old GPO? That'd solve my traffic concerns.

Food for thought. I've just pulled out a street directory to see if that means there's a wall between me and work.

PS: I just responded to a comment of yours at El Pee.

I hope you didn't agree with me, Tony. My stocks over there are low enuff, thanks, at the moment.

Sorry, but I did. You want me to take it back?

Would really appreciate it. Yep.

No offence!

East-west tunnel proposed: Without exit ramps b/w Hoddle and Citylink. That's a curve ball that nobody was expecting. Gonna take the wind out of Yarra/Moreland councils' anti campaign somewhat.

I thought the tunnel was impossible politically - but this might sneak it over the line.

Just read the paper and thought exactly the same thing. Although, I'm pretty confident Brumby's "year of negotiations" was really a "year of waiting for the project to start". Give or take a year.

If the Eastern is going to feed the same amount of traffic onto Hoddle and the tunnel is going to remove all the Alex Parade traffic (see the big photo on pages 4 & 5 of the Hun), then the tunnel must, by extension, reduce the amount of traffic in Yarra.

Shut up, Carlo Carli!

Alex Pde will still be chockers. Eastlink opens soon bringing extra shitload of traffic up thru that way. The tunnel is designed to just give a quicker way thru for east-west freight. City and etc traffic will still be more than enough to keep Alex Pde on the go full-time.

However the no off ramps will negate the argument that the tunnel is designed to funnel even more traffic thru Yarra into the city.

The argument agin the tunnel will have to full back to the traditional line that funding shld be on public transport rather than roads. Which is a valid point given the purse is finite and the reqd infrastructure imaginable is huge.

Personally I'd love the tunnel as it'd take the trucks off my back fence - but am sympathetic to the view that we do need more trains etc first.

Correct wbb, Alex Pde will still be chockers, which is why I'd have preferred an exit at Nicholson St. The optimum solution being a congestion tax at the exit, adjusted to ensure there is no queuing in the tunnel. Hopefully the government will still take advantage of the tunnel to set aside some of the road for pedestrians, bikes and a bus lane.

The argument agin the tunnel will have to full back to the traditional line that funding shld be on public transport rather than roads.

This is only true if you think the only possible source of transport funding is the government. If the tunnel is built on toll money the state budget has no new entries on it, so other expenditure is still possible.

Or, to put it another way, Victorian households spend between $60 and $240 a week on private transport (those are averages by income quintile). It is also fairly well established that households near decent public transport own fewer cars (perhaps one per household), so there is plenty of scope, if you want decent public transport, to scoop up some of that private transport expenditure into expanding tram and rail infrastructure. It is really just a matter of designing the payment system so it benefits the people paying for it, and is somewhat equitable.

As far as the tunnel is concerned, I say "Just build it". As far as the cross-town train link is concerned I say "I don't get it". What's the urge to get a tunnel from Caulfield to The 'Scray? What I, FX and Russ alluded to earlier makes more sense. We need more trainage (that's probably not a word) in the unconnected areas of the eastern and northern suburbs, and wherever in the west there are big gaps: Rowville, South Morang, Snore-bans, etc.

Tony, both train links make sense for operational and planning reasons. The otherwise pointless Tarneit link because it pulls country rail off the suburban network so you don't have to try and timetable fast running express trains in between suburban lines. The Caulfield-Footscray tunnel because the increasing population (and therefore trains) on the western and south-eastern lines is making it harder to schedule trains through the loop. In the short term they won't timetable all trains to circle the loop, but in a decade or so the report thinks they'll also need extra lines in the city direction, and further, that not having them converge on each other in a big mess should be the long-term goal. The reasoning is sound, particularly if some government eventually does expand the number of branch lines (Rowville, Doncaster etc.). It is probably too much to ask government to actually commit to a long term plan for rail (or road) improvement - they seem to much prefer expensive consultants reports every few years that tell them more or less the same thing.

Also, St. Kilda Road (Domain) and Carlton (Melbourne University) are two of the four biggest employment areas in the city, and neither have particularly good rail connections in the immediate vicinity (which puts pressure on the tram network to/from the CBD). Footscray and Caulfield are important in that sense as well, so it makes sense to link the five up to the CBD with some rapid rail. It is much, much, better value for money than a few kilometres of extension for residents who only travel to the CBD for the footy.

"If the tunnel is built on toll money"

Russ, toll money comes out of the pocket of Victorian taxpayers. Our money is a finite supply and stays equal to the same amount, no matter which way it is funneled from the end-user to the infrastructure builders.

So whether rail/road is paid for now or later by tolls the cost is the same. The cost for tunnels and trains is more than we can afford - so I say build the trains first.

wbb, you could say that about all money and all economic activity. But by doing so you ignore the all manner of differences in geography, efficiency and constituencies that really do matter - and not just over at Treasury. They particularly matter when you consider that every transport (be it rail, road or your legs) has different needs, and substantially different costs and beneficiaries. Ignoring that for the past 70 odd years has been extremely costly.

More to the point, doing both is only "more than we can afford" if the beneficiaries are not willing to take on the costs of building them. There are any number of alternative projects that cold be considered than just these two, and in all of them, there is a group of people who stand to gain or lose from the political process. What makes you so sure we can only afford the rail option - or that we can even afford that? Victorian economic activity is a pretty big pool. It is really just a question of how deep you can convince the public to dive in it, and that (eventually) comes down to the opportunity costs, no more, no less.

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