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EWL CIS MVCC Expert Reports

These extracts are provided as a glimpse of what the experts are saying about the impact of the EWL project, especially on the local area. Please refer to the full report as provided by the links for an understanding of the context of each statement.

A full list of all expert reports is provided here.

There is a common theme in all the expert reports – that the analysis should not “be limited to the Project Boundary defined by the LMA, as it is fails to consider the considerable impacts on the municipality of Moonee Valley.”

Acoustics

Robin Brown  – Associate Director at Renzo Tonin & Associates (VIC) Pty Ltd

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/220450/Brown-EWS.pdf

What we learn:

  • The current CityLink noise levels fail to meet required standards.
  • The LMA’s “expected project benefits” do not provide any acoustic benefits. In fact the predictions are that acoustic levels will further degrade. The proposed sound barriers are inadequate.
  • The responsibility for reducing acoustic impact is with the householder – such as using double glazing. In Debneys Park this is not possible.
  • The predicted increase in noise levels means ‘open areas’ will be “limited to noise-tolerant uses such as running or cycling”.

Transport & Traffic

Andrew Philip O’Brien – O’Brien Traffic

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/220478/OBrien-EWS-Body-Chapters-1-6.pdf

  • The LMA project has opposite objectives to that proposed by the Eddington report to the further detriment of Flemington and surrounds.
  • “The current proposal does nothing to provide additional capacity…” which “in turn would have a significant impact on local amenity within Moonee Valley. “
  • “The EWLNA does outline a staging for the full planning and construction of the full East West Link. However, this reflects the study’s concern about capacity across the West Gate Bridge. The proposed staging contained within the EWLNA (East West Link Needs Assessment) is the opposite of that proposed within the CIS, with the connection between the western ring road and City Link being constructed in advance of the link between City Link and the Eastern Freeway (currently proposed). Based on the analysis of the EWLNA, it is my understanding and opinion that the current proposal will result in a loss of amenity for Moonee Valley due to increased rat-running to access the East West Link. It is likely that there will be significant pressure on surface arterials at the terminus points, and on City Link (as shown in the CIS). “

Traffic

  • As also highlighted in the Flemington Associations CIS submission is that the “micro-simulation model of the Eastern Section was undertaken in parallel with the TIA. Therefore the results were not available prior to the TIA being written and thus it was only supplemented by this information at a late stage” and “the strategic modelling outputs, which were selectively incorporated into the TIA.”
  • “The local traffic impacts on the area of the funded project are underestimated in the analysis contained within the CIS.”
  • “So drivers will be travelling faster but further, and with no reduction in their travel time.”
  • The CIS  “does not include conditions on the key arterials of Racecourse Road and Mt Alexander Road, both of which experience significant congestion. In relation to Racecourse Road, this forms part of the existing east-west network in that it connects Elliot Avenue with Smithfield Road and Geelong Road (which form part of the Princes Highway), which is an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge for east-west road travel.”

The CIS predicts:

  •  “decrease daily traffic volumes on links north and south of the proposed tunnel, but at either end traffic volumes on the surrounding network would increase.”
  • “one third of vehicles in the evening peak hour exit the Link into Moonee Valley.”
  • “The traffic modelling “does not take into account intersection delay, which may result in the modelled scenario differing greatly that what would be anticipated to occur in reality at locations where intersections are operating near capacity. This is particularly relevant for the Moonee Valley City Council network which currently suffers considerable congestion and which would be severely congested in parts as a result of the East West Link.”

 Project Design & Assessment

  • “Analysing traffic flows for a reference design project only “introduces a significant challenge in assessing the traffic impacts of the project as the impacts of variations could alter traffic flows significantly.”
  • “the boundary is a misrepresentation as better alternative designs may not fit within this boundary”
  • “Even if the winning consortium intend to utilise the Reference Project as a basis of their design, it is likely that major changes would be needed to address non-transport impacts, which may thus have cumulative impact on the traffic impacts. Also, the Reference Project as designed may not be feasible. For example, the feasibility of converting existing emergency stopping lanes to traffic lanes on CityLink, potential issues regarding the safety of merges and exits, and vertical alignment are likely to be issues. The removal of emergency stopping shoulders on the M1 has been a disaster in operational-reliability and safety terms, and this will likely be an issue with Reference Project.”
  • The CIS objective to “Define acceptable performance requirements that achieve an acceptable outcome for the environment and the community yet do not restrict innovation in the final form of the project.” The CIS in “its final form differs from its stated objective.”

Public Transport

  • Also highlighted in the Flemington Associations submission was the capacity of PT to accommodate the enforced additional demand. The expert report “shows that the daily the number of public transport boardings increases by 89% and trips by 75%. Slightly higher percentages are reported for the AM peak period, which is considered a result of the capacity constraint in the road network for private vehicle trips in peak hours. Whilst the total number of public transport trips is significantly smaller than the number of vehicle trips, the growth rate in public transport trips and users is substantially higher. Given the existing peak period stress on the public transport system, it is unclear how this increased demand will be satisfied.
  • The Flemington Associations CIS submission also highlighted that currently 40% of peak hour train trips at Newmarket are currently defined as over-capacity. The EWL will therefore compound this problem.

Plan Melbourne

Plan Melbourne is reported to “enhance Victoria’s freight competitiveness, providing a more efficient road transport link for major industrial areas and intermodal terminals across the city. The implications are that if this project were to proceed, it may remove traffic from the East West Link”

Freight

The EWL proposes “an alternative to the M1 for cross-city capacity.” However Victoria’s Freight Strategy (2013) “emphasis is placed on the North East Link providing a fully functioning ring road. It states that this orbital route would be heavily utilised to transfer freight between ‘freight gateway’ locations such as Hastings, the Western Interstate Freight Terminal (located in the west of Melbourne), and other freight locations. It also states that the major freight and logistics precincts would be progressively migrated to the periphery of Melbourne, including the relocation of the rail freight hub from the East West Link (Eastern Section, Part A) Dynon Road Area, of which $5 million of Commonwealth and State funding has been allocated to commence business case work developing options for the future staged relocation of rail activity”

Land Use

John Henshall  – Senior Economist/Planner at Essential Economics Pty Ltd

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/220452/Henshall.pdf

  • “the CIS only addresses those impacts on properties to be acquired for the project. As a result, impacts (such as increased traffic volumes along Ormond Road and the implications for nearby activity centres) are not identified and therefore not addressed.”
  • “The CIS recognises that these sporting facilities “provide a valued recreation resource to both the local and wider population”, and are described as “significant assets or values”; however, the impacts on these facilities are neither identified nor assessed, …. The financial costs involved to existing users of these facilities are neither identified nor addressed in the CIS.”

Urban Design Impact

Professor Robert McGauran – McGauran Giannini Soon Pty Ltd

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/220463/McGauran-EWS-Body.pdf

  • “To the Moonee Ponds Creek corridor the assessments are confusing or non- existent. The CIS fails to recognise the loss of open space in this location and there is no quantitative measurement for the Moonee Ponds Creek corridor. The assessment considers changes to Travancore Park are of minor significance and that the impacts of minor significance relating to potential mitigation strategies will have moderate positive outcomes when measured against the status quo.”
  • “The presence of the elevated structure will juxtapose the unwelcome intervention of major road infrastructure permanently into the visual field of the adjoining historic suburb and its open space and impact its seamless interconnectivity with the creek and adjoining opens space. For these reasons the assessment is in my view misguided in its conclusions.”
  • “Similarly in the instance of Debneys Park the assessment tool suggests there is said to be a medium potential to accommodate change whilst acknowledging a large adverse urban impact. The proposal would result in approximately 1.3 Hectares of Debneys Park including areas occupied by children’s play and community facilities only recently developed being again taken away from the community and their available land further diminished. This is no small matter when distances and availability of programmed spaces and appropriately located alternative facilities are not deliverable and when these areas service some of our highest need community members. “
  • “In my view this is not a location that could be said to be an area with a medium potential to accommodate change servicing as it does a high needs incumbent public housing population as well as the needs of a broader community. The impacts also create greater physical barriers to surrounding areas and in an urban sense more further visually isolate the buildings from surrounding areas and diminish their perception of a tower campus into adjoining areas.”

 

Social Impact

Bonnie (Batya) Brenda Rosen – Symplan

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/220493/Rosen-EWS-Body.pdf

  • “the level of detail in the CIS is such that some of these disbenefits are inadequately assessed, and the proposed mitigation measures do not adequately describe the extent to which some of the residual impacts will be addressed. “
  • “The Project Boundary of the CIS excludes key features that are most likely to be significantly impacted by the Project, the most important one being the Flemington Community Centre. This may distort the findings presented in the CIS. “
  • “There are a number of omissions, inaccuracies and contradictions in the CIS which limit the extent to which the full impact of the Project can be assessed. This is particularly relevant in the case of the potential disproportionate impacts on the residents of the Flemington Housing Estate, and users of the range of social, recreational, leisure and community facilities in the Debneys Park Precinct.”
  • “The CIS has fulfilled the role of a risk assessment, rather than a social impact assessment”
  • The CIS places a “greater emphasis on the economic benefits than the potential social disbenefits.“
  • “It is considered that the social impact assessment presented in the CIS and the Summary Report has not adequately met the values and principles of equity and transparency. “
  • ”The identification and consideration of alternatives is a key component of rigorous and equitable social impact assessment. In assessing the alternatives (pp6 and 16 of the Summary Report), the CIS has not discussed the Flemington Housing Estate and Debneys Park precinct adequately. It has also not considered the disproportionate harm likely to be experienced by the community living in the Flemington Housing Estate and using the social, community and recreation facilities in the Debneys Park precinct. This is despite the fact that the LMA has acknowledged that “a surface or elevated road could have significant visual and amenity impacts, create a physical barrier between communities in Melbourne’s inner north and require the acquisition of a substantial number of properties”. The selected alternative involves the construction of a large part of the elevated road infrastructure which is likely to result in these exact impacts on a community that is particularly vulnerable.”
  •  The local “community may derive a smaller benefit from road infrastructure that caters for the private motor car than other communities across metropolitan Melbourne that will benefit from the enhanced connectivity associated with the Project and have a higher dependence on the private motor car. This is particularly the case for the community living in the suburbs most directly affected by the
  • Project, namely Flemington and Travancore, where there is a significantly higher proportion of households without a private car.” ” These communities are therefore likely to be disproportionately affected by the negative health, safety and amenity impacts affecting their open space, sports and recreation, and road network associated with the construction and operation of the Project. “
  • “The residential properties located on Delhi Court, Moolton Street and Myrnong Crescent, particularly those located on the east of these roads, will have views of the proposed infrastructure. This is likely to exacerbate the existing visual impact of CityLink. “
  • “CityLink currently presents as an imposing physical feature along the Creek, detracting from visual amenity and compromising the intrinsic and unique features of the open space network, including the Moonee Ponds Creek. This infrastructure is directly associated with a number of health and safety disbenefits including road accidents, noise, vibration, visual intrusion, overshadowing and air pollution. The Moonee Ponds Creek and linear open space network currently provide a visual, physical and psychological buffer between CityLink and the various residential, community, recreational and leisure facilities that form part of this regional park system. “
  • “The potential severance of the Moonee Ponds shared path from shared paths serving the broader  metropolitan region has the potential to negatively impact social connectivity. “
  • “The introduction of additional road infrastructure and the effect this will have on Moonee Ponds Creek linear park will therefore result in a cumulative impact on the community’s amenity, health and wellbeing as well as a sense of real and perceived safety.
  • “The cumulative impact of the permanent reduction in land available for sport and recreation facilities is significant given the fact that approximately 1.4ha of public open space within Moonee Valley was acquired for the construction of CityLink.
  • “there is conflict between pedestrians and cyclists using the shared pathway, with the result that any temporary and/or permanent reduction in space available to pedestrians and cyclists would result in increased conflict and reduced safety and amenity. “
  • “The removal of vegetation to make way for the new elevated viaduct will exacerbate the visual impact of the existing road infrastructure and noise attenuation measures such as the concrete sound barrier.”

Flemington Community Garden

The elevated viaducts would cause significant overshadowing of the plots, and traffic travelling along the road infrastructure has the potential to compromise the air and water quality in the vicinity of the garden. In addition, the noise and vibration impacts, both during construction and operation, would detract from the intrinsic quality and value of the community garden. This could lead to possible reductions in membership which may in turn affect the long term viability of the garden. This may also discourage participation amongst some gardeners with the result that they could lose the health and social benefits  directly associated with the garden.

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