Westgate bridge: induced traffic coming soon
There you go; the RACV said again yesterday (as they have done in the past) that the $1.4 billion M1/Westgate Bridge upgrade (including the new lanes opened yesterday) will be swamped within a decade.
Brian Negus, of the RACV, welcomed the opening of the fifth lane. It was the final link in the freeway corridor so it would relieve the frustrating congestion, he said.
Within eight to 10 years, the West Gate would once again be struggling to handle the number of cars using it daily, Mr Negus said.
So, it’s another example of induced traffic: when you expand a road, traffic grows to fill it.
(And ironically this 25% expansion in bridge capacity came a couple of months after Williamstown and Altona Loop trains reduced peak hour frequencies from every 20 minutes to every 22 minutes, in an attempt to boost punctuality. Meanwhile buses in the fast-growing Werribee area remain at mostly every 40 minutes, with station car parks packed, so accessing public transport is difficult for many residents.)
Transport Minister Terry Mulder recently said “we can’t build our way out of congestion”. Department of Transport Secretary Jim Betts said the same thing yesterday.
Apparently RACV still believes you can… even though it’s never actually worked.
The RACV continues to argue for the north-east freeway (through Banyule Flats, or further east) and the east-west tunnel (under Carlton). If you are an RACV member and you disagree with more motorway expansion, you should let them know. And if you’re only a member for the roadside assistance, you should know there are other organisations offering that service which don’t lobby (at least overtly) for more motorways. (And it’s often cheaper than RACV.)
(Pic: from the ABC’s Ryan Sheales on Twitter)