Friday, November 11, 2011

Good mornin'

It's been some time since I've seen balloons launching from JJ Holland Park. Perhaps I just haven't been waking early enough. But, it was a very pleasant way to greet the day. Well, pleasant until I saw this.

INFRASTRUCTURE consultant Sir Rod Eddington yesterday urged the Baillieu Government to build an east-west toll road under the city.

Sir Rod said the tunnel, which he proposed in 2008, should be the priority for this state.

"It would be a project that the private sector would very definitely be interested in participating in," he said.

"That means, rather like the Domain and Burnley tunnels, it would be a tolled facility."

Sir Rod, chairman of federal government advisory group Infrastructure Australia, told the previous state government in a report that Melbourne needed a tunnel linking the Eastern Freeway with the Western Ring Road.

Speaking yesterday at a Committee for Melbourne event, the businessman said governments needed private sector support to deal with traffic congestion.

"We have demonstrated here that good toll roads work and we should build more of them," Sir Rod explained.

Number 1 priority? I think priorities numbered 1 through 26 inclusive should revolve around our rail system. Getting more cars off the roads is the single best thing you can do to aid with traffic flow. Also removing the level crossings and providing grade separation between rail and road. Fix up the existing network (switching, timetabling). Create new lines to service Melbourne's sprawl, instead of expecting the overloaded road system to be able to handle it.

None of that is easy. It would take a lot of time, and a lot of disruption. But in the end, it is an investment in our city, instead of another band-aid stop-gap measure of yet another freeway (sorry, tolled road link) which would become a car park and/or further choke any areas serviced by its off-ramps.

But now, I think I'm going to go and enjoy the sunshine.

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