September 25 2013

As The Economy Trends South: Victorian Government Proposes ‘East-West’

Though a city of less than five million people, Melbourne is a sprawling city that’s population and sprawl are growing at an exponential rate. The development of housing in outer Melbourne has choked existing infrastructure, due to the inability for Victoria to integrate public transportation within these newly developed areas.

Legend of East-West Link Project Melbourne, Australia.

The government’s latest decision to develop a ‘East-West link’ to ease congestion has infuriated Melburnians and exposed the unsustainable mindset of the State’s planners. The government has acknowledged that car usage levels in Melbourne provides the basis for the expenditure of this $6 billion development, though they fail to recognize that patronage levels are high because of the governments inability to provide sustainable public transport facilities.

Major issues that have irritated Melburnians about the proposal include the following:

  • Opportunity Cost of the Money

Government-paid paramedics and teachers are striking due to pay concerns, and economic forecasts have become gloomier with unemployment reaching its highest level in four years.

  • Development through Royal Park

Royal Park is one of the largest open space areas in inner Melbourne. The park includes the Melbourne Zoo, as well as a number of football and soccer ovals and one of the most highly used running tracks in Melbourne. The link plans to cut straight through the park which will hinder ten sporting clubs and other various park goers.

  • Public Transport Initiatives that have been Rejected

Rail links along the Eastern and Tullamarine freeways have been rejected in the past due to the expenses needed. These links would have eased airport traffic congestion, as well as serviced the hundreds of thousands of outer eastern suburb residents who are in dire need of contemporary public transport linkages to the city.

The development proposes to eradicate up to 5% of Public Open Space. Melbourne, Australia.

How can the public persuade the government to deter from multi-billion dollar road developments instead of public transport investment?

What methods have been employed in your city?

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.

Steven Petsinis

Steven Petsinis is an Urban Planning graduate from Melbourne, Australia. He has been involved in Urban Research and Development projects in Medellin, Colombia and Saigon, Vietnam and is currently pursuing his masters in Melbourne, Australia. His main interests lie in land use and social planning, sustainability, as well as studies involving globalization and it's effect on third world communities. He has recently spent one year travelling throughout North and South America, as well as Europe, where he has gathered material and inspiration for his upcoming blogs for The Grid.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 at 9:50 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environment, Government/Politics, Infrastructure, Land Use. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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