May 29, 2012

Where Does All This Local Traffic Come From?

Like many of our residents, I continue to feel the frustration that, of the volumes of traffic clogging many of our streets, most of it belongs to “rat runners” who are trying to find a way through our congested state road systems.

The failure of the state road systems to cope with the ever expanding traffic has been coming for many years and is something we have predicted for many years. Our concern about failure to provide proper transport plans has always fallen on deaf ears, not only by successive governments but also of our judicial system as well.

While there are many significant causes for the traffic congestion in our residential streets, the two major causes are Port Botany and Sydney Airport.

Proposals for expansion of both Sydney Airport and Port Botany were not only opposed by the Council but were also fought to the bitter end.

Sydney Airport was taken by this Council to the High Court of Australia where the Council lost. The expansion of Port Botany was taken to the Land Environment Court, where Council lost.

It was always our position that locating Australia’s major international airport and Australia’s major sea port in what is a geographically boxed in location, our area could not possibly cope with the expanded traffic generation that would eventuate. Not only were we ignored, no plan was put in place to cater, or cope with, the impending disaster that was going to occur on our roads.

Some may recall the Council was even criticised for fighting those proposals to the bitter end and spending residents’ money in so doing. It gives me no pleasure, and it gives the residents no comfort to say we were right, because we have to live every day with these failures of Government and the failures of the Courts to protect our people.

What point is the law if it does not protect our people in this democracy of ours? What point is the law when it allows the law makers and the executive government to preside over these types of disasters?

It is of little consolation when Paul Broad, now from Infrastructure Australia finally in 2012 points out that solving the Sydney Airport, Port Botany, M5, M4 chaos is the most important problem to be addressed. Where have you all been for the last twenty years asleep at the wheel?

Is there any wonder why the public has such a low opinion of politicians when those who have presided have left the legacy that we, in future generations, will have to try and remedy and, more importantly, have to life with.

What is happening as a result of the congested state roads system is that drivers of motor vehicles, to avoid the Eastern Distributer, the county link road, Botany Road, Mill Pond, Bunnerong Road and Foreshore Road are all worming their way through the residential streets of this City trying to find new ways to bypass congestion.

Even with speed humps and traffic management devices designed to deter through traffic, many motorists find it preferable to sitting on the Eastern Distributer for 40 minutes without moving.

Council has for many years embarked on strategic planning directions in replacing many of the industrial zone lands with residential lands.

Whilst I have heard, and continue to hear, some criticism on the basis that this strategy increases traffic generation, I should remind members of the community that many of the former industrial areas employed thousands of people and, as they came to and from work every day, traffic was generated. In addition, the industrial complexes were the destinations for thousands of trucks and semi trailers making deliveries.

One of the latest complaints I have heard from some residents who live in the Booralee Park area is that the increased residential development in that location will cause future potential traffic problems.

Clearly these residents did not live at the time of the old Half Case outlet or at the time when hundreds of trucks were lined up in William Street and Jasmine Street and Banksia Street and Bay Street to deliver goods. On top of that, as I’ve said, there were the thousands and thousands of workers who came to and from those locations every day.

The mess and failure of the road system, as members of this Council predicted, is inconveniencing us. However, though things within our authority and control, such as trying to make land available for living and residing for future generations, the current situation is a vast improvement to the container terminals, and stinking tanneries, and hazardous industries that so permeated and threatened our area for generations.

No comments:

Post a Comment