Short-Sighted Plans Highlight Lack Of Vision In Melbourne

Plans to extend Melbourne, Australia's already-extensive freeway system are short-sighted and illustrate the lack of true planning vision in the city, according to this column from The Age.

"When Melburnians do stop and reflect on their city, they often express disappointment at rash decisions. Imagine if we'd kept more of our gold-rush legacy, notably the stupendous Victorian buildings. And if we had continued to add to our once great train network, which we stopped extending in 1930."

"Too often, ad hoc decisions were driven by short-term economics, developer profits, or political grandstanding. Missing almost invariably when the big decisions were made was a coherent, honest plan for the city."

"On behalf of the Government, Sir Rod Eddington is inquiring into extending the Eastern Freeway to the Tullamarine and, possibly, beyond. Such a link could cost billions and would inevitably involve a toll. Premier John Brumby seems keen; so is the Melbourne City Council. This is despite government findings that more than 90 per cent of traffic from the east is actually headed for the CBD, not the west. Road financier Macquarie Bank acknowledges this in its submission to Eddington. It notes that the only way such a link would work - i.e. make a profit - is with plenty of off-ramps to feed commuters into the CBD. Yet funnelling cars into the city is directly at odds with what the Government and the council claim they want for Melbourne."

Full Story: No vision means no future

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