UNDER THREAT - FROM - MELBOURNE METROPOLITAN RAIL AUTHORITY AND THE VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT

It is Quite clear MMRA has no idea how to solve the traffic problems that will occur during the 5 years of construct of the domain station.

Editors Note: The 2 explanations below re the traffic situation during construction need to be read to understand the upcoming disaster.

Two submissions below look at the Traffic situation from two different perspectives.

  1. from the perspective of those who are actually affected, by James Hayton (Extract from his alternate  submission).

  2. from the official perspective which shows just how rubbery the traffic information is.

    1. James Hayton

    The decision to construct the station in the middle of St Kilda Road directly under around 400 metres of the busiest tramway in Melbourne, and possibly the world, open cut at that, with the total destruction of around a Hectare of St Kilda Road, at one of its busiest stretches, is a fair place to start. The chaos that this will cause, beggars belief.

Let us examine a section of the disaster as a start. Reducing eight lanes of traffic (four lanes each way) to perhaps only one lane each way, can only be a disaster in the making. As stated it involves spending millions of dollars to destroy St Kilda Road and its some 250 mature trees, then many more millions making restorations. Making changes to surrounding roads to divert traffic, with parking restrictions just about everywhere.

Closing the entry to Bowen Crescent makes one believe that no competent Traffic Engineer could possibly, have been asked to look at it. If they have, then he she or they have failed to understand its implications, possibly due to lack of local knowledge. I don’t wish to be tedious, but I have to go into detail, to make sure that at least consequences of the proposed closures are on record and understood.

Let me explain. The Bowen Crescent is an enclave bounded by St Kilda Rd and Kingsway, which contains no less than eleven multi storied parking stations, six of which open directly into a narrow lane called Queens Lane. At present the main and only realistic exit for drivers heading for the city, or west from Bowen Crescent, is by Bowen Street, leading into the Saint Kilda Road service lane.

At present each working day there is a queue of cars attempting to join that already very busy road, many of these being from the multi-storied offices of St Kilda Road Towers, which has over 600 suites, and around 3000 visitors a day. This is the very exit to be closed. It is inevitable that many, or even most tenants currently operating from the enclave will seek new and friendlier offices to run their businesses. With the closing of that exit, two of the remaining three exits are accessible only to cars heading south on Kingsway.

The only exit available for drivers wishing to head to the city would now be Queens Lane itself. That involves turning across three lanes of traffic into Kingsway, a perilous move near a blind corner that few care to attempt even today. This will also be the only entrance available for drivers wishing to access Bowen Crescent from Kingsway when approaching from the east or south. Let us look at Queen’s lane as it stands. A two lane, lane, with at present one lane being continually occupied as a “loading zone” and will vitally need to remain so.

This even now results in traffic in both directions having to share the one remaining lane, involving generous giving way by drivers. Imagine if this one lane is the only access and exit available to the city fed by the eleven multi-storey car parks, it will and must be total deadlock. As it is at present, people with “local knowledge” approaching from the south and east do not attempt to turn into Queens Lane from the Kingsway, being a perilous manoeuvre dodging cars coming in the opposite direction racing round that almost blind corner.

Instead they elect to access Queens Lane by a circuitous route using the St Kilda Rd service lane then turning left at Bowen Street, this will no longer be an option. The only access to Queens Lane will be to make that right hand turn from Kingsway. As pointed out though, it is also the only one lane in the opposite direction for cars also wishing to access Kingsway to the city.

Add to this cars exiting from Queens Lane south also wishing to join the Kingsway in both directions, it will be impossible and chaotic. Over five years it will be inevitable that there will be accidents, with injuries, possibly fatal.

To prevent this absolute mayhem drastic changes would need to be made, both within Bowen Crescent itself, the Kingsway and surrounds. Add the closing of the adjacent Bowen Lane, also feeding into St Kilda Road. The mayhem at Albert Road probably including the destruction of the Boer War Memorial, the closing of the entries to both Park Street and Domain Road, the rerouting of the number 8 tram, involving the ripping up of a large section of Toorak Road to lay fresh tram tracks, and lastly but certainly not the least, the abolition of all parking in Saint Kilda Road.

That will most certainly mean around a dozen small businesses over such a prolonged period of time will go to the wall and may well include the famous Royce Hotel. The Melbourne Grammar School will also be very seriously compromised; one must presume that construction noise will severely affect study for several terms, whilst their underground car park at present entering and exiting into Saint Kilda Road, may well be neutered.

All of this without mention of the impact on thousands of human beings. Many of the people who will be seriously affected, are the elderly (I include myself amongst them) and will not live to see their lives returned to normalcy. With the total removal of parking, some may even suffer a premature end, due to the lack of emergency access close to where they live for ambulances and fire engines etc. I imagine, (certainly to my own knowledge) that the choice of this location may well badly affect more people, over a longer time, than any other project in Melbourne’s history.

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2.
MELBOURNE METRO RAIL PROJECT ENVIRONMENT EFFECTS STATEMENT

INQUIRY AND ADVISORY COMMITTEE
MMRA TECHNICAL NOTE

TECHNICAL NOTE NUMBER: 063
DATE: 27 September 2016
PRECINCT: Domain Station Precinct
EES/MAP BOOK REFERENCE: EES Technical Appendix D (Transport Impact
Assessment)
SUBJECT: Response to the ‘Matters for further
consideration and/or clarification’ request
dated 12 September 2016
(ii) Domain precinct traffic modelling
NOTE:
This Technical Note has been prepared to respond to issues raised by the Inquiry and Advisory Committee (“IAC”) in the ‘Matters for further
consideration and/or clarification’ request dated 12 September 2016.

2. For ease of reference, this Technical Note sets out each relevant request made by the IAC followed by a response from MMRA.
Request:

3. The IAC has requested:
TN020 provides an explanation for the reassignment of 1,000 vehicles away from St Kilda Road during the AM peak in the VITM model. The reporting of the Vissim modelling appears to lose a further 4,000 trips in the AM peak hour during construction. For example, Table 5-18 in Appendix D, completed trips in the AM peak drops from 18,190 to 13,090. The IAC seeks clarification on how the loss of 4000 vehicles is accounted.

Response:
4. The reduction of 1,000 vehicles referred to in Technical Note 020, and highlighted by the Peer Reviewer, is for traffic on St Kilda Road northbound.  during the AM peak over a one hour period from the VITM model. This traffic redistributes to other roads as described in the Technical Note.

5. Table 5-18 of EES Technical Appendix D refers to completed trips on all roads, not just St Kilda Road, in the AM peak over a two hour period from the Domain Precinct microsimulation model.

6. During this time period, in addition to the northbound reductions, there are also reductions in southbound volumes along St Kilda Road as well as eastwest movements using Park Street, Domain Road, Kings Way and Toorak Road. These reductions account for the differences in the volumes reported.

7. VITM is a strategic transport model whereas the Domain Precinct microsimulation is a more detailed Vissim microsimulation traffic model.
They model traffic movement through their networks to different levels of detail, and are used for different purposes. As such, outputs are not directly comparable and are calculated differently.

8. MMRA’s transport modelling approach applied the relative change between the 2021 base and construction cases forecast by VITM to the Domain Precinct microsimulation model matrices at the cordon level. The relative change was the percentage difference between each origin and destination of all trips through the Domain Precinct area. This was the starting poi for inputs and changes to the original/destination matrix within the microsimulation model.

9. As VITM is a strategic model and does not include local roads, the microsimulation model matrix (and hence flows) is different from the
Vissim microsimulation matrix. The modeler would apply detailed knowledge of the local network and, where required, would manually
redistribute trips to further refine the matrix and optimise trips to and from local roads within the Domain Precinct microsimulation model.
10. Also, during the initial Domain Precinct microsimulation model runs, the modeller observes traffic movements through the model. Where
imbalances are observed, the trip matrix is reviewed and if necessary augmented to provide a more balanced, and more realistic, travel pattern
through the modelled area.

11. The result of this process is that volumes through the Domain Precinct microsimulation model will be different, but more accurate, than from the VITM strategic model.

12. For the 2021 Construction case, VITM identified a total reduction of trips through the Domain Precinct microsimulation model area of 3,700 over the 2-hr AM peak period. This equates to 1,850 trips per hour. VITM essentially reassigns these trips to the road network outside the Domain Precinct microsimulation model area, such as Kings Way and Queens Road, for trips that travel North and South. Trips that travel east-west through this precinct would be reassigned to other roads.

13. In addition, as mentioned previously, a number of smaller local roads are not included in VITM, such as Albert Road, Bowen Lane and Bowen
Crescent. However, they are included in the Domain Precinct microsimulation model. As a result of the construction works, some
existing movements into these roads are not allowed, for example the right turn from St Kilda Road into Bowen Crescent. As a result, traffic currently undertaking these movements will have to change their travel routes. A proportion of these trips are also reassigned outside the Domain Precinct microsimulation model.

How can anyone believe what MMRA says when they leave out the effects of a lot of the traffic movement. Where are the construction vehicles?