In a plan that takes the popular level crossing removal program but flips it on its head, the State Coalition have announced they will grade-separate 55 road intersections around Melbourne if elected in 2018. (Reports: ABC / Age / Herald Sun)
Here’s an animation created by the Coalition:
And here’s the list of intersections announced so far:
- 1 Torquay Road and Settlement Road, Belmont
- 2 Barwon Heads Road and Settlement Road, Belmont
- 3 Point Cook Road and Princes Hwy, Point Cook
- 4 Geelong Road and Somerville Road, West Footscray
- 5 Ballarat Road and McIntyre Road, Sunshine
- 6 Ballarat Road and Geelong Road, Footscray
- 7 Gap Road and Horne Street, Sunbury
- 8 Mickleham Road and Broadmeadows Road, Gladstone Park
- 9 Sydney Road and Cooper Street, Somerton
- 10 Sydney Road and Mahoneys Road, Campbellfield
- 11 Plenty Road and McDonalds Road, South Morang
- 12 St Georges Road and Bell Street, Preston
- 13 Albert Street and Bell St, Preston
- 14 Banksia Street and Lower Heidelberg Road, Heidelberg
- 15 Fitzsimons Lane and Main Road, Eltham
- 16 Fitzsimons Lane and Porter Street, Templestowe
- 17 Williamsons Road and Foote Street, Templestowe
- 18 Whitehorse Road and Springvale Road, Nunawading
- 19 Springvale Road and Burwood Hwy, Vermont South
- 20 Springvale Road and Ferntree Gully Road, Glen Waverley
- 21 Princes Hwy, Springvale Road and Police Road, Mulgrave
- 22 Stud Road and Wellington Road, Rowville
- 23 Princes Hwy and North Road, Clayton
- 24 Dandenong Road and Warrigal Road, Oakleigh
- 25 Nepean Hwy and Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick
- 26 Nepean Hwy and North Road, Brighton East
- 27 Nepean Hwy and South Road, Bentleigh
- 28 Warrigal Road and South Road, Moorabbin
- 29 Nepean Hwy, Warrigal Road, Lower Dandenong Road, Mentone
- 30 Boundary Road and Governor Road, Mordialloc
- 31 Heatherton Road and Hallam Road, Endeavour Hills
- 32 Racecourse Road and Bald Hill Road, Pakenham
- 33 Thompsons Road and Western Port Hwy, Lyndhurst
- 34 Hall Road and Western Port Hwy, Cranbourne West
- 35 Moorooduc Hwy and Cranbourne Road, Frankston
My initial thinking: grade separating suburban intersections is a terrible idea.
It has the potential to be extremely hostile to pedestrians and cyclists, as well as businesses and other properties immediately adjacent the roads affected.
Melbourne has rightly moved away from grade-separated intersections, eg King St/Flinders St, where the City of Melbourne noted:
One of the principal benefits of the redevelopment of the former Fishmarket site and removal of the Flinders Overpass is that it reconnects the city to the river. The Flinders Street Overpass has provided a physical and symbolic further barrier ensuring that the city ends at Flinders Street. The provision of a variety of activity on the former Fishmarket Site will activate that corner of the city significantly compared to its current role as a public carpark and impound facility.
The Coalition’s new proposal goes backwards. And it includes signalised right hand turns, as well as signalised pedestrian movements across the road above, negating much of the traffic moving benefit.
It’s unclear how many of the projects would require land acquisition to provide space for the ramps. That’s the problem with grade-separated road intersections – unlike rail/road grade separations (which benefit everybody, not just motorists), they are very space-inefficient.
And all this to achieve continuously flowing traffic that would ultimately have no long-lasting effects thanks to induced traffic.
There might be a short term benefit to people driving through your neighbourhood. But given there are no proposals to remove all the traffic lights along any one particular road, motorists might miss one set of lights, only to get stuck at the next.
For everybody else — those who walk, cycle, or even drive locally — a spaghetti junction in your suburb would be an overwhelming negative.
A blog post on this. And here's a pic of the Junction Hotel, demolished to grade-separate St Kilda Junction – which still has traffic lights and traffic snarls, horrible to walk/bike around. https://t.co/ochlTOGHVZ pic.twitter.com/gAZDtrHfrL
— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) November 20, 2017
If you want a taste of grade-separated intersections, check St Kilda Junction. It’s huge, it’s horrible to ride a bike or walk, traffic movements are restricted/convoluted (eg Queensway southbound onto St Kilda Road), and to achieve it they bulldozed numerous buildings including the Junction Hotel.
Designs may have improved, but they can’t solve the basic problems of geometry. Moving lots of cars requires lots and lots of space.
The State Coalition seems to have transport policies varying from the excellent (trains every ten minutes, every day — a policy that was announced in March but is still worryingly absent from their web site) to the dire (roads, roads and more roads, including building so many motorways at once that even the RACV said it was over-the-top).
It’ll be interesting to see if this particular proposal gains traction.
PS. With thanks to Arfman for the inspiration, though I’m sure someone else can do a better job:
In the spirit of the skyrail debate, and inspired by a blog comment, I have photoshopped some actual rail trench tags onto this artist's impression of a proposed road trench. (Note: I am terrible at photoshop.) 🚗🚗🚗🍝🚗🚗🚗 pic.twitter.com/Bt0smKvS2E
— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) November 20, 2017
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