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Subject: Sun.2.12.18 daily digest
Sun.2.12.18 Metro Twitter.
Sandringham line: Buses replace trains Parliament - Elsternwick until the last train.
- 7.25 Why not express buses Elsternwick to Caulfield, then train to city as during previous times? Buses don’t work well via Punt Rd as they get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic like yesterday afternoon. Was terrible. Or extra 67 trams Elsternwick to city and vv?
Buses replace trains Westall - Pakenham/Cranbourne 17.00, then Caulfield - Pakenham/Cranbourne until the last train.
- 5.48 So are trains running this morning?
4.33 Craigieburn line: Major delays (a lightning strike near Coolaroo).
- 5.32 Now minor and clearing.
5.34 Sandringham line: Minor Delays (a fallen tree branch near Elsternwick)..
- 5.45 Now minor and clearing.
8.49 Buses will replace trains Stony Point - Frankston (a person has been hit by train). Buses are being ordered but may take over an hour to arrive. Consider alternative transport options.
- 9.15 Extended journey times of ~30 minutes. Anticipate buses to be in operation until at least 9 pm.
- 10.10 Buses have been dispatched to Stony Point & Frankston but may take over 30 min to arrive. Consider bus route 782 Frankston - Crib Point
- 11.10 Buses are replacing trains.
- 14.34 Trains to resume.
12.29 Sunbury line: Minor delays (equipment faults near St Albans).
16.02 Frankston line: Major delays (police near Seaford).
17.05 Minor delays Sydenham Watergardens - Sunbury (police).
19.52 I would appreciate it if you didn't just chuck me on a stopping-all-stations bus from Caulfield because staff can't be bothered directing me to a limited express; this trip is already long enough as it is.
22.35 Pakenham/Cranbourne/Frankston lines: Minor delays Richmond - Caulfield (police attending to a trespasser).
How Sydneysiders in 1973 saw their city in the 21st century 2 December 2018..
A magazine article describes a Sydney preoccupied by the competing demands of development to serve a burgeoning population versus a desire to keep the city “human-sized”.
Circular Quay and the Sydney city skyline in 1973. Credit: George Lipman / Fairfax Media.
The concerns might sound familiar to a Sydneysider of 2018, but the article was published 45 years ago, in December 1973.
The magazine was Walkabout, a popular geographic magazine published from 1934 for 40 years. It has just been digitised and made freely available to the public by the National Library of Australia.
Anna Johnston, a literary historian at the University of Queensland, has done research work on Walkabout for the past eight years.
The cover of Walkabout magazine in December 1973. Credit: National Library.
“It was the kind of magazine people read in doctors' surgeries, train stations and when they went to the dentist,” Ms Johnston said. “It had fabulous photography – beautiful black and white photography by some of Australia’s leading photographers – and [words by] some of the mid-century’s most interesting writers.”
Most issues looked at Australia beyond the big cities and the wider South Pacific region – from cattle droving in central Queensland to the independence movement in Papua New Guinea.
But the December 1973 issue was dedicated to Sydney, including an article by Damien Broderick about what the city would be like in the year 2000. Many of the predictions have come true or are on track to do so.
The article forecast that Sydney would double its population to 5.5 million by 2000 but expressed hope it would become “a city redesigned for people, not machines”. Population figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in November show Sydney’s population was 5.1 million in 2017 and is expected to grow to between 6 million and 6.4 million by 2027.
The concerns of Sydneysiders about their city in 1973 were similar to now. Credit: Walkabout via National Library.
City planners in the early 1970s envisaged 300,000 to 400,000 workers in the city centre by 2000, but with “many amenities already strained” at 250,000, the lower end was considered most plausible. In 2018 there are nearly 500,000 workers in the City of Sydney, admittedly in enlarged boundaries that include neighbourhoods on the city fringe.
Urban planning expert George Clarke warned in 1973 that Sydney should not become a “playground” for real estate speculators, nor mere collections of unrelated sites on which to display the “virtuosity of architects, engineers and developers in producing elegant and astonishing monuments”.
The article was published two months after the opening of the Sydney Opera House. Other recent or upcoming constructions included Centrepoint Tower, the AMP Centre and St Martin’s Towers. "Cheery" Australia Square was described as an “outstanding example” of how developers could voluntarily provide civic use because of the plaza and shops at the base of the building.
Meanwhile there was speculation about what futuristic building projects might look like, including an artist's impression of a possible domed Olympic Sports Arena in Surry Hills. Sydney did host the Olympics in 2000 but the main Olympic site was further west at Homebush Bay.
Back then the eastern suburbs railway was under construction and planners thought “clean, brisk people movers” might replace the car and the bus in the city centre, with Martin Place, which they called Martin Plaza, a harbinger of the future pedestrian utopia. In 2018 the state government is constructing a light rail route down George Street to replace buses and cars in some sections.
Pictures of recent or imagined development in Sydney, including a possible Olympic dome in Surry Hills. Credit: Walkabout via National Library.
Telecommuting using a “TV telephone” or holography was regarded as a pipedream, because organisational psychologists believe that “people like to conduct their transactions in the flesh”. The technology has improved but the same debate is still ongoing.
A government strategic plan for Sydney from the 1970s specifically referred to a need to protect the “intensive activity” of Kings Cross, with “tourists and suburban visitors, residents, strolling people – watchers, ‘bikies’, prostitutes and strip-joint spruikers, the young and old” mingling most nights. In an echo of the Keep Sydney Open campaign and recent talk about the night time economy, the urban planners of the time considered a red-light district to be as much a part of a vital metropolis as the prestige high-rise and cathedrals.
The article quotes John Olsen, already a renowned artist at the time, describing his horror of the over-developed city he considered the Sydney of 1973 to be.
"I only know how I stiffen my sinews and gird the loins, and how my pulse-rate accelerates when I am forced to make one of my infrequent visits to the City,” Olsen said. “Tensions flash through my mind – "where shall I park?" – and when I arrive, through all the unspeakable traffic hassle, I know I am small and insignificant in the vast, sunless, glass valleys."
Olsen was invited to reflect on his comments 45 years later but did not respond by press time.
Related Article 'The city has lost its soul': criticism of 'dreary' Sydney hits home.
Balloon causes shut down on Queensland trains 2 December 2018.
A helium balloon spotted at Central station had caused all Brisbane CBD trains to come to a halt as Queensland Rail investigated.
Trains between Bowen Hills and Park Road and Bowen Hills to Milton were suspended due to reports of an object in the overhead powerlines at Central station at 1.15pm on Sunday.
"We were expecting delays of up to 60 minutes but crews were on site a lot faster than expected so delays could now be about 15 minutes," a Queensland Rail spokeswoman said.
"The trains had to be suspended because they couldn't get through without touching this object and they had to be de-energised."
She said the issue was resolved just after 2pm.
"Customers travelling in both directions through Central station may experience minor delays as we return our network to normal," she said.
The spokeswoman said the incident was quite bizarre.
"This is the first time I've heard of this happening," she said.
Sydney Road remains closed following Coburg North fire 2 December 2018.
Sydney Road at Coburg North remains closed in both directions following a large blaze in an abandoned warehouse on Saturday afternoon.
A VicRoads spokeswoman said it was uncertain when the road would reopen.
The cause of the fire is still unknown as investigators have been unable to enter the unoccupied building, which housed industrial food machinery and was being used by squatters.
Three trucks remain on the scene and firefighters are using thermal imaging to watch for hot spots within the building which was completely destroyed by the fire that started just after 5pm on Saturday. Building assessors are also on site and are currently assessing the safety of the building.
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade said there "has been some collapses" and investigators would not enter the building until it was deemed safe by the assessors.
More than 40 firefighters battled to bring the huge blaze under control by 8.30pm, which closed part of Sydney Road at Coburg North.
Strong winds fanned the flames with loud bangs heard from the gutted building.
About 30 guests at the adjoining Coburg Motor Inn were evacuated.
Sydney Road north of Gaffney Street remains closed to traffic and trams. Buses are replacing Route 19 trams between Moreland Road and North Coburg, diverting around road closures.
MFB assistant chief fire officer Barry Gray said squatters had been living in the abonded building but no one was injured in the blaze.
"We have spoken to some squatters that perhaps were residents in the building," Mr Gray said.
"They've got out unhurt. At this stage, they seem to have arrived with the fire already started," he said.
There will soon be thousands more seats available on Brisbane's trains 2 December 2018.
Thousands more seats for commuters will be available on trains from Monday when six-car units replace three-car trains on 193 Queensland Rail services..
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the new services would increase carrying capacity by more than 46,000 seats a week across the south-east Queensland network.
Thousands of more seats will be available for passengers from Monday due to the New Generation Rollingstock.
The change has been made possible by the roll-out of 35 of the state government's 75 six-carriage New Generation Rollingstock trains onto the network.
Mr Bailey said passengers would immediately notice the difference on the Beenleigh, Shorncliffe, Ferny Grove, Cleveland, Northgate and Doomben lines from Monday.
"Queensland Rail has focused on upgrading Monday-to-Friday services rather than at weekends, when fewer people travel," he said.
"Of the 193 services where capacity will be doubled, 40 are classified as high patronage, where average seated capacity occupancy rates are more than 80 per cent."
On the current timetable, about 6 per cent of the 6248 Monday-to-Friday services are provided by three-car units.
After these upgrades, just 3.21 per cent of services will be three-car trains.
Mr Bailey said the popular 6.54am Shorncliffe-to-Central, 6.55am Ferny Grove-to-Park Road and 4.18pm Bowen Hills-to-Cleveland services were among those to be upgraded, doubling the number of seats on those services.
"We know how important on-board comfort is for our customers, particularly after a long day, which is why we're pleased to be delivering more seats on services," he said.
"A small number of three-carriage trains will still be required to run during morning and afternoon peaks due to current operational restrictions; however, each of these will be preceded and followed by a six-carriage train to assist with customer loading."
Mr Bailey said that after the latest upgrade there would be just 171 three-car services remaining on the Monday-to-Friday timetable.
"One hundred of these are on the Rosewood shuttle and they will not be upgraded, due to infrastructure limitations on the Rosewood line and low demand," he said.
"Current patronage numbers also show the three-carriage trains meet demand on that line at weekends when patronage is lower.
"Queensland Rail will consider further upgades as more NGR units enter service."
The Beenleigh line will have 38 services per week upgraded from three- to six-car trains from Monday to Friday, Shorncliffe 24, Ferny Grove 38, Cleveland 36, Northgate 12, Doomben 44, and Ipswich/ Rosewood one.
Ordered under the previous LNP government, the first NGR trains were due to be operational in mid-2016, but after the discovery of significant issues, including problems with braking, airconditioning, sight lines for drivers and disability access, delivery was halted in March 2017.
Seventy-five NGR trains in total have been ordered as part of a $4.4 billion project over 32 years.
Queensland Rail rolled out the first of the trains in December 2017, despite the pending application for a temporary human rights exemption, which was rejected this year.
Related Article Retired judge to have access to cabinet documents in train probe.
Victoria Park train station shut down after man dies of head injuries 2 December 2018.
A man has died after he was found unconscious at the Victoria Park train station with serious head injuries on Sunday afternoon.
The man was found at the Victoria park train station with serious head injuries.Credit:File photo/Justin Rake
Paramedics and police were called to the station about 5.30pm, Nine News Perth reporter Jacquelin Robson said.
They found a man in his 50s unconscious on the platform and bleeding from his head.
He was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital under priority but died a short time after.
A police spokesman would only confirm that a man had died but did not reveal how the man sustained the injuries.
Nine News Perth understands there had been a fight in the car park of the station between two men and a woman.
Detectives were at the scene and the station has been declared a crime scene, Ms Robson said.
Transperth said trains on the Armadale and Thornlie lines were not stopping at the station "due to a police incident" but replacement buses had been organised.
Sun.2.12.18 New research shows Melbourne’s traffic flow ranks below New York and Rome.
Traffic in Melbourne is now worse than in New York and Rome, with a new report finding motorists on our network are delayed by more than half an hour for every 100km they travel.
New research from GPS company Here Technologies has revealed the Victorian capital has some of the worst congestion issues in the world, ranking 25th for traffic flow in a list compiled of 38 major cities.
The first annual Urban Mobility Index shows that nearly a fifth of our roads are clogged at 4pm on a Thursday and the weekend peak now stretches through four to five hours
Hoddle St stands out as Australia’s equivalent to the New Jersey Turnpike, with average weekday speeds slowing to 38km/h despite a posted speed limit of 70km/h.
Ross Caldow, Here Technologies’ industry specialist for the public sector, said the findings came from an unprecedented level of data collected about the way Melbourne moved.
“It was built monitoring a number of different traffic inputs and the existing public transport network to create a real time sense of what’s happening,” he said.
“What we can see from a Melbourne perspective is that the city performs quite poorly around traffic congestion.
“The rankings also come from a comparison of the posted speed to the congested speed … We can see there is a lot going on around the network.”
Soaring population growth is believed to be a main factor behind the strain on the network with short-term delays created by a swath of road upgrades and maintenance projects.
Hoddle St and the West Gate Freeway have become pressure points for thousands of daily car movements while suburban roads, targeted by billions in upcoming road upgrades, are slowing to a crawl around school pick up and drop off times.
RACV general manager of public policy Bryce Prosser said it was up to authorities to take a multifaceted approach to Melbourne’s traffic woes.
“Congestion is becoming a fact of life for many commuters as the transport system struggles to cope with Victoria’s population boom,” he said.
“There is not one single solution to this complex problem but it is vital that all forms of transport — both public and private — are more integrated.
“Building the major projects that relieve the congestion will cause more disruption, so it’s vital that the State Government rapidly implement its plans for a new control centre so that better information can be provided to commuters.
“Opportunities to get more out of existing roads should also be pursued, for example by removing carparking to create bicycle lanes, bus lanes and traffic lanes where needed.”
A spokesman said the Andrews Government was investing an unprecedented amount in road and rail upgrades.
“Whether it’s the massive, $4 billion Suburban Roads Upgrade, the West Gate Tunnel, North East Link or our upgrades to the Monash, the Ring Road and the Tulla — we’re doing the work that has to be done to get people home safer and sooner,” he said.
“But we know we can’t simply build our way out of congestion — that’s why we’re investing in the Metro Tunnel, the Suburban Rail Loop and removing 75 dangerous and congested level crossings.”
MANY SUBURBS THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORK FORGOT
Sprawling suburbs across Melbourne have been left behind by poor public transport coverage and infrequent services, new data reveals.
Analysis by Here Technologies shows the city’s public transport network is more efficient than many other systems around the world, but ranks poorly at getting trains, trams and buses to as many people as possible.
Figures show more than a quarter of the population does not live within 1km of a stop and that Melbourne ranks 29th in a list of 38 major cities for service frequency.
The Eastern Freeway exit to Hoddle Street and Alexandra Parade. Picture: Mark Stewart
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said the number of trips running every hour was a key source of frustration for passengers.
“Even if there is a stop nearby, few people will use it if it’s the typical Melbourne bus timetable of a service only every 30-60 minutes,” he said. “This study makes it clear that Melbourne is falling behind in this area.
“To get more people out of their cars and on to public transport, it is critical that the state government funds extra services: trams, buses and especially trains running frequently all day, every day, so people can get around easily without long waits and without studying timetables.”
Melbourne was ninth globally for public transport efficiency and 12th for journey times compared with cars, according to the first Urban Mobility Index.
But the study also found just 71 per cent of the city area was within walking distance of a stop, which was well behind many other developed cities.
Mr Bowen said many cities were pushing ahead with more frequent timetables.
“By comparison, Sydney is moving ahead — recent upgrades mean 71 per cent of stations now have a train every 15 minutes all day until at least 11pm every night,” he said.
“Travel demand is spreading across the day, and traffic jams are now a regular problem seven days a week — it’s time our public transport system caught up.”
When Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel is completed by 2025, commuters on the Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines will have a turn-up-and-go service, and new technology will allow trains to run every two to three minutes if needed.
IS THIS MELBOURNE’S MOST GLARING PROBLEM?
MELBOURNE DRIVERS STUCK IN TRAFFIC FOR LONGER.
RADICAL CBD CONGESTION TAX PLAN REJECTED.
No special bus, train transport services to stadium for Perth Test cricket
PerthNow December 2, 2018.
There will be no special suburban buses to take cricket fans to and from Optus Stadium.
With no parking available and reduced public transport services compared with AFL match days, supporters are being urged to plan their journey.
There will be no direct Joondalup or Fremantle Line special train services to Stadium Station on Friday, Monday or Tuesday, the Public Transport Authority said. Saturday and Sunday will have direct train specials before and after the match.
Fans not near a train line can catch regular timetabled buses into the city and transfer to either the bus shuttle to the East Perth side of Matagarup bridge, or train shuttle to Stadium Station.
PTA spokesman David Hynes said the level of services provided for stadium events depended on expected crowd numbers dictated by the organiser — in this case Cricket Australia.
“For the Optus Test, the event organiser has estimated a number that can be accommodated by trains, without the need for the special suburban bus network,” Mr Hynes said.
HOW TO GET TO THE CRICKET
Friday and Saturday (December 14 and 15)
•Route 661 to Matagarup Bridge Bus Stands will operate on a 3-10 minute frequency between 8am and 10am, before the days’ play. Buses will operate on a three-minute frequency for one hour after play.
•Trains stopping at Stadium Station depart Perth about every 15 minutes from 5.20am (Fri) and 5.30am (Sat). After the match, the last train to Perth departs Stadium Station at 8.34pm (Fri) and 2.19am (Sat).
Sunday (December 16)
•Reduced services given smaller crowd numbers.
•Route 661 to the bridge bus stands will operate on a 5-10 minute frequency between 8am and 10am, before the day’s play. Buses will operate on a 3-minute frequency for one hour after play.
•Trains stopping at Stadium Station depart Perth about every 15 minutes from 6.30am. After the match, the last train to Perth departs Stadium Station at 12.19am.
Monday and Tuesday (December 17 and 18)
•There will be no event buses operating for the event given the low attendance.
•Trains stopping at Stadium Station depart Perth about every 15 minutes from 6.32am. After the match, the last train to Perth departs Stadium Station at 8.34pm.
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A man has died after he was found unconscious at Victoria Park station.
PerthNow December 2, 2018.
video: Man dies after incident at Victoria Park station.
Injured man found in train station carpark.
A man has died after he was found with serious head injuries at a Perth station.
According to reports, the man was located unconscious and bleeding from his head on the footbridge at the Victoria Park station on Sunday afternoon.
The man was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital but sadly died a short time later.
Police remain at the Lathlain site which is now a crime scene as officers try to determine exactly how the man sustained the injuries.
It’s believed there was an altercation in the station carpark before the injured man was found.
A Transperth spokesperson has confirmed there was an “incident” at the Victoria Park station.
The station is now closed to the public with trains on the Armadale and Thornlie lines not stopping at the station.
Replacement buses are running instead.
The public is urged to avoid the area with road closures also in place.