Thursday, February 10, 2005

Traffic snarls will boost tunnel profits

The RTA has a grand plan for traffic in our area. Local groups claim it's really about channelling traffic into the Cross-City Tunnel. The following research has been compiled by DRAG and 2011 residents' Association for your information. The plan looks pretty crook for locals, we think.


The following closures to local streets and regional roads (by City of Sydney) and to the arterial road network (by the RTA) are proposed or have been approved:

1.1. Sydney City Council proposes closing:

# Liverpool Street to all traffic at Whitlam Square (except emergency vehicles);
# Francis Street to all traffic at College Street;
# All traffic coming down Stanley from College can only turn left into Yurong and then proceed to William Street;
# Palmer Street exit to Oxford Street (as part of Oxford Street Upgrade).

1.2. The RTA has recently implemented or proposes closing:

# Bourke Street closed South of William Street or permanently half closed north of William Street;
# Prohibit right turns from William St into Bourke St northbound;
# Bourke St (north of William) is now one-way running south. Driving south from Bourke St you can only turn west to the CBD ;
# Cathedral St is now one-way between Palmer and Bourke Street eastbound. The rest of Cathedral remains 2-way.

1.3. The CCT/RTA has approval from Dept of Planning (now DIPNR) to implement these changes:

# Stop traffic from Sir John Young Crescent from entering the Harbour Tunnel. Instead, traffic will U-turn at a single lane roundabout constructed at the intersection of Crown and Sir John Young Cresc to Macquarie Street and over the Cahill Expressway or proceed via Cathedral Street/Bourke St to Cowper Wharf Road;
# Restrict access from Cowper Wharf Road to northeast CBD. Through traffic originating east of Kings Cross would be required to use either the CCT or William St;
# Access to the Harbour Tunnel only from Cowper Wharf Roadway westbound;
# Kings Cross traffic will now enter the CCT portal via a new ramp from Ward Ave (located 30 metres east of the existing Kings Cross Tunnel).


The effect of these changes would be to:

# Force locals to use a more circuitous route to the CBD or Harbour Tunnel;
# Force surface traffic trying to access the Harbour Tunnel into the CCT;
# Increase traffic into the CCT by ensuring increased “choice” of the CCT by locals.” The RTA aims to encourage car use as a Public-Private Investment (PPI) incentive;
# Cause delays for locals exiting Woolloomooloo east of Bourke St;
# Increase traffic on Ward Ave, Kings Cross Road and Victoria Sts as well as Neild Ave, McLachlan Av and Liverpool St (Darlo) and MacDonald St;
# Concentrate traffic onto New South Head Rd (already congested by 72,900 vpd beyond its capacity of 60,000 vpd);
# Create a bigger bottleneck on Macquarie Street (from 19,800 to 26,800 vpd) ;
# Increase traffic northbound on the Bridge (+7000 from Cahill Expressway and +7840 vpd from Bradfield Highway).


3.1. In East Sydney & Woolloomooloo

Traffic in East Sydney is now light, except for the four streets—Oxford, William, Crown, Stanley—all densely packed with residents, businesses and restaurants. These streets are heavily congested, with heavy noise and air pollution. The proposed closures are of streets with light traffic which will decrease further when the CCT opens.

Congestion on these heavily used four routes will be aggravated because:

# Traffic from the City will have to use Crown Street to access any streets between Hyde Park and Crown. There will be a single lane turn for east traffic into Crown from William;
# If Bourke Street is closed south of William, traffic cannot turn into William Street from Bourke Street. All Bourke Street traffic will travel along Crown Street or Stanley/Yurong to leave the area;
# Traffic currently using Liverpool Street to enter East Sydney will travel via Oxford Street and Crown Street;
# Traffic currently exiting from East Sydney to Oxford Street via Palmer will travel via Crown Street or Victoria Street Darlinghurst;
# Crown Street between Oxford and William Streets will be jammed during peak hours. Cars from side streets already have great difficulty turning into Crown Street;
# The only east-west streets open in East Sydney also carry the 389 bus route;
# The 311 and 312 bus routes would be re-directed in Woolloomooloo. The 311 will be gridlocked between Cathedral and William;
# Harbour Tunnel access is by weaving via Crown or Palmer to Cathedral, then via Bourke to Cowper Wharf Road;
# Harbour Bridge access is via Macquarie Street or through the City or via the CCT;
# The increased traffic threatens the success of the Oxford and William Street upgrades.

3.2. In Kings Cross, Potts Point and Darlinghurst

# Traffic on Victoria Street will increase;
# Ward Ave and Craigend St will be clogged with traffic accessing the CCT;
# Traffic will increase on Darlinghurst Road, Macleay Street and Wylde Street in Kings Cross, since this will be one of the major routes for Darlinghurst and Kings Cross residents to access the Harbour tunnel;
# East Sydney traffic will use Darlinghurst Rd/Victoria Street or Darlinghurst Rd/Macleay St as an alternative to Crown Street.

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