Mayors seek endorsement from Councils to support AdeLINK study

Mayors of Councils affected by the State Government’s proposed AdeLINK project are supportive of the concept. They will all be seeking endorsement of a study proposed by the Minister for Transport & Infrastructure from their councils to test the feasibility of AdeLINK.

Last Thursday the Lord mayor hosted a summit on Light Rail.  At the summit Stephen Mulligan, the State Government Minister for Transport & Infrastructure, outlined his vision for light rail in Adelaide, known as AdeLINK. A series of presenters then provided examples of how light rail has positively impacted on Sydney and the Gold Coast.

Unley-Central-Concept-Image-for-YSU

I found the summit very informative and enlightening. A panel of experts presented to us and the media. They highlighted successful examples of light rail projects in Sydney and the Gold Coast.

There was a consensus amongst the presenters that Light Rail is much more than a transport project. It was more a City Building Project. Examples were provided where property development has been encouraged by the promise of light rail in the precinct. Examples were also provided to demonstrate that business profitability has improved where light rail precincts have occurred.

I must say I saw evidence of vibrancy around light rail in my recent trip to the Gold Coast, supporting these claims.

In the absence of our Mayor and at the invitation of the Lord Mayor I then attended a meeting after the Summit of the Mayors of the affected councils and the Minister.

At that meeting the mayors agreed on positive ways forward on light rail plans.

The meeting was supportive of AdeLINK and agreed to:

 Make light rail a key priority

 Provide in principle support for AdeLINK and to take this back to respective Councils for endorsement

 Participate in the development of the State Government’s business case for AdeLINK

 Consider all funding options (but are not in favour of new taxes on the community)

 Reconvene within 2-4 weeks

As an attendee at that meeting and after debriefing our Mayor I will be putting forward a motion at our upcoming council meeting, this Tuesday reflecting this.

Minister Mulligan threatens Unley over Paid Parking Trial

The paid parking trial I blogged on 3 weeks ago has been the subject of criticism and threats by the State Government Minister for transport, Stephen Mulligan.

 

Unbeknown to us we have erected three of the  machines in Railway Terrace South (East of Goodwood Road) on Government land. A bad mistake on our part, believing that the tram corridor fence correctly delineated the border between Government and Council land.

Railway Terrace South (East)The minister was quite blunt in threatening to remove the machines for us if we do not. His claims had the media claiming we were forced to remove them. Not so. They had been moved by us long before his time on TV.

 

Had he chosen to speak with us rather than go to the press he would have known that.

Listening to the interview you would believe his department found the error and we were being uncooperative. One again, not so.

Fact is we found the error yesterday, not the government. Fact is we contacted them to let them know of the error. And as noted above fact is we removed them first thing this morning.

Our mistake at the end of the day was trusting in the alignment of the fence along the tram corridor. A fence erected in the wrong location in error not by us but by the Government. Machines erected on land we have been maintaining in the belief that we owned it. So land we have been maintaining on their behalf.

Actually, maybe our mistake was alerting DPTI to our discovery and not simply removing them without paying them the courtesy of keeping them in the loop.

So while the Government through Minister Mulligan is asserting trespass on our part and with the press stinging us with claims we would have to repay thousands of dollars in illegal fines I ask these questions.

Firstly from where do they calculate the thousands in fines. My understanding is we have issued 6 fines in the three weeks of the trial. And the fee was a maximum $ 4.00 per day.

Next question is will the government pay us for the decades of maintaining their property for them and who will they expect to look after the land in the future. I doubt very much they will have an interest in maintaining the corridor as those who live adjacent the tram line and indeed the two rail corridors that also run through Unley can attest.

 

A Heads Up on Pay for Use Parking Trial

Many of you will have become aware from news reports recently and again this week that the City of Unley is commencing a Pay for Use Parking Trial along the Tram line in the Wayville area.

 

The News reports are correct. We are trialling charging for parking adjacent tram stations after previously struggling to help our property owners have parking near their homes for themselves, visitors (friends and family) or for tradies doing work on their properties.

This is a uniquely inner suburban council problem. It is particularly prevalent in our case along and adjacent to Greenhill Road and the Bay Tram. Commuters, to avoid paying parking fees in town opt for free parking in your street and catching the tram for free into town. This is no idle claim either on our part. A recent survey found that over 80% of vehicles parked in these regions are coming from outside the City of Unley.

The trial is aimed at ensuring that commuter parking occurs only in appropriate areas to better enable home owners access to their homes and employees or nearby businesses access to work. This is in other words about Council looking after the interests of their ratepayers without stopping commuters from parking.

With an investment on our part of some $ 70,000 Council was careful in its deliberations. We have determined we will reassess the benefits of the trial in 12 months and then determine if it is achieving our stated aim or not.

A small price to pay I would suggest for commuters at a maximum of $ 4.00 per day. This I trust commuters would prefer to the alternatives available to them paying for the tram or for in town parking.

Time will tell of course.

Forestville LATM sent back to consultant

The report on the Forestville LATM by GTA Consultants was presented to Council last night.

 

A thorough report I would suggest by GTA Consultants has identified all issues from recent traffic surveys conducted by Council and the public consultation last year.The report is a holistic report, identifying all issues in the Forestville, Everard Park zone.

The report is not just about Leah Street, or what the recent installation of speed cushions has meant to Everard Avenue and First and Second Avenues. It covers an area bounded by the tram corridor to the south, Anzac Highway in the west, Leader Street to the north and the train corridor to the east.

The report has suggested a series of possible solutions to the problems identified  by residents and the traffic survey. It (the Forestville LATM report) then summarizes what they believe to be the preferred suite of solutions.

The consultants have determined a program that realistically is a 10 year program to implement.

Of interest to this Councillor, being the representative of the ward to the south of this area, is the speed cushions and  the observations about public transport.

On the first of these observations we sent the report back last night to have 3 specific options recommended for further public consultation, rather than the suite that have been put in front of us thus far. 3 options which include a group of complimentary initiatives. 3 options that include on the one hand the removal of the cushions, and one leaving them in place.

As far reaching as the report goes the impetus behind this LATM was the installation of the speed cushions and the removal of similar in Everard Avenue. So we (your elected body) want to ensure they remain the focal point of future discussion.

The question of public transport I will address in a separate blog post.

The public engagement area, much to the chagrin of those living south of the tram line, will remain the same as it was for the first consultation. I understand the rationale for this because to widen the consultation area begs the question, where do we set the boundaries. Do we extend it all the way to say Cross Road to catch users of East Avenue. Why not further down Winston Avenue.

Having said that Jennie and I are keen that those outside (south) of the area get a say and invite you to make observations about the speed cushions which have aggravated most of you since they were installed.

A better Public Transport System

There has been much debate recently about the 30 year plan for Adelaide and high (sorry higher) rise development not being accompanied by a commensurate public transport plan.

How man of you out there can remember the trams. Well head off to the following web site.

http://www.trammuseumadelaide.com.au/01_history_06_decline.html

It even has a picture of a tram under the Goodwood Road underpass.

One of my colleagues has been championing trams back on Unley Road and even King William Road.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm!

Transport the Buring Question in the 30 Year Plan

Concerns expressed in the media in the last 12 months that not enough attention is being given to transport in the 30 year plan is being expressed in a different form right now courtesy of the RAA.

The RAA has published findings of  a traffic survey and surprise, surprise they have found that traffic has slowed significantly in Adelaide in the last 10 years. And surprise, surprise Belair/Unley Road has been found to be the worst, adding three days to the work year of the commuters using this road. Goodwood Road features in the top ten too, making commuters travelling through the City of Unley the biggest sufferers.

And don’t forget little suburban streets like East Avenue (Clarence Park, Millswood, Black Forest), off which I live which leads into Leah Street, Forestville (a street narrower than most outer suburban dead end streets).

Spare a thought though for those that live in the City of Unley. They have to try and get into that traffic flow in the morning and then as we saw on TV a few nights back accused of stalling the southern rat runners by wanting to turn right to get into the street where they live and holding up those who live further south.

The people have been telling the government that they should be putting more effort into solving growing transport problems before coming up with 30 year Development Plans, particularly for the Inner Rim Councils.

An interesting observation this considering the one real positive legacy this state government can pin their hats on is transport. Their focus has been on both public and private transport even though criticized endlessly on both including for buses etc running behind time.

The Government have been busy on both the Northern and Southern Expressways and (is it called) the Superway at the top end of South Road. Then there is the link from the Northern Expressway to Port Adelaide. Earlier they created the Gallipoli underpass at the Anzac Highway and South Road intersection (Remember “not happy Rann”) and created an overpass for the trams at South Road, Black Forest.

Opposition Leader Izzy has come out and flagged they will concentrate more on private transport than public at a time when the trains are down, the Noarlunga (now Seaford) line for 8 months as they (the government) electrify the line.

I heard in the RAA storey about a need to revisit the ring route around the City.

An absolute necessity and maybe the Liberals have an answer to that. Looking forward to what Izzy might come up with because Unley needs breathing space, particularly as the housing density grows.

In the meantime I say be thankful for what the Government is doing (notwithstanding the pain us locals are suffering right now as documented in many posts on this blog site) with the public transport system. If we can get more people on the trains this must help the roads.

If there is a ring route answer for Adelaide’s car drivers even better.

The next 15 months of electioneering by both Major Parties should be fascinating. Whichever party makes it in March 2014 I trust they will work closely with the likes of the City of Unley to find the best solutions. Solutions that work for those commuters who have lost 3 days of their year and those who once lived in quiet suburban streets but now find themsleves living on a thoroughfare.

This is the challenge.