----- Forwarded message -----
Sent: Saturday, 1 August 2020, 11:04:14 am AEST
Subject: Sat.16.5.20 daily digest
"171019Th-MetroTwitter-Broadmeadows-a.jpg" - [before electrification; with ATN & v-n]
Gallery of 43 photos: <www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-relaxes-coronavirus-restrictions--may-15-2020-20200515-h1o2j1.html>
Sat.16.5.20 Metro Twitter
Buses replace trains Greensborough - Hurstbridge until the last train of Sun 17 May (maintenance works).
Buses replace trains Dandenong - Pakenham until the last train of Sun 17 May (level-crossing works).
5.28 Pakenham/Cranbourne lines: Minor delays (an equipment fault near Hawksburn). Trains may depart from altered platforms between Richmond and Caulfield.
- 7.05 Clearing.
16.24 Stony Point line: Major delays (an ill passenger requiring an ambulance at Hastings).
- 16.42 clearing.
Buses replace trains Newport - Werribee from 20.30 until 6.10 Sun 17 May (works).
2.50 Minor delays (police request near Frankston). Trains may be held or altered.
- 3.10 clearing
COVID-19 12.11 on May 16, 2020
Australia 7037 cases; 98 deaths; vic1554 (18 deaths); nsw3074 (45); qld1055 (6); wa552 (9); act107 (3); sa439 (4); tas227 (13); nt29 (0)
16.5 Brisbane Times:NSW residents set for first weekend of relaxed restrictions as global COVID-19 deaths top 300,000, Australian death toll stands at 98
'Carmageddon': Thousands of Sydneysiders to be pushed off public transport May 16, 2020, 122 comments
Hundreds of thousands of Sydneysiders will have to change their commuting habits over the coming weeks as the state government looks to impose strict controls on the public transport network that may result in traffic havoc on the roads.
The number of Sydney commuters using public transport dropped from more than 2 million per day to about 400,000 during the two months of the coronavirus lockdown, the lowest in a century.
But as thousands of people begin trickling back onto trains, buses and ferries amid easing restrictions, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned that the system was nearing capacity for safe social distancing measures.
Traffic congestion has disappeared during the virus outbreak but could resume if travel restrictions are eased. Credit:Kate Geraghty
The government is considering imposing physical distancing measures on the network, with a cap as low as 12 people per bus being raised as an option during discussions, the Herald has been told by sources familiar with the debate.
They said the government was also considering how to maintain a 1.5-metre social distancing rule on buses, trains and ferries, with plans set to be announced by early next week.
"We’re pretty much at capacity at this stage, but, having said that, we do have some plans in place to support the community," Ms Berejiklian said on Friday.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has pleaded with Sydneysiders to avoid public transport if they can.Credit:AAP
"At this stage we are maintaining good social distancing but we’re going to be very strict on that moving forward."
Ms Berejiklian cited overseas public transport systems as "the main reason" COVID-19 had spread across some metropolitan areas, and pleaded with NSW to steer clear of buses and trains during peak hour.
It is understood the government is also considering increasing car parking in the city to encourage people away from trains and buses, as well as installing temporary bike lanes.
Transport experts have warned Sydney’s road network is unlikely to cope if everyone swaps their bus or train commute for a car.
"We are looking at basically 'carmageddon', where all the roads are full with the people that were on buses and trains [but are now] in cars," University of Technology transport expert Mathew Hounsell said.
"You’re going to have the underlying problem that the road system cannot support all of the people that will need to come off public transport."
video Coronavirus: NSW Premier preparing for rise in case NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed that she’s preparing for an inevitable rise in coronavirus cases.
He said as well as temporary bike lanes and a shake-up to some bus services, the best way the government could maintain some order on the roads would be to keep people working at home or commuting outside of peak hours.
"There will be roughly 800,000 people now needing to travel without using public transport; they can’t all go onto the roads," Mr Hounsell said.
"We need to make some choices between what people are used to versus what will keep people safe in the long term."
Analysis of the city’s train system by the opposition suggested Sydney Trains would need to add an extra 230 services per hour during the peak to maintain 40 per cent capacity under pre-coronavirus crowding levels.
Opposition transport spokesman Chris Minns said the government must increase peak services and make sure commuters had other options, such as temporary bike lanes, to get to work.
"Many of the tragedies we are seeing on overseas public transport systems can be avoided with the right plans in place. We can’t keep relying on luck rather than strategy," he said.
"We need to keep people off the system during peak times by encouraging businesses to stagger the start and finishing times of their employees."
Related Article MAY 15: People participate in an outdoor bootcamp session hosted by Manly Beach Health Club at Manly Beach on May 15, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Restrictions put in place in response to the COVID-19 outbreak have been eased in New South Wales as of today, with social distancing measures relaxed in response to Australia's declining number of confirmed coronavirus cases. From Friday 15 May cafes and restaurants along with pub and club dining areas are allowed to reopen for up to 10 patrons at a time. Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are now also permitted, while outdoor gyms, playgrounds, swimming pools can also open. Up to 10 guests can attend a wedding while 20 mourners are permitted for an indoor funeral, or 30 can attend if the service is outdoors. Religious gatherings and places of worship can have 10 worshipers at one time, while people are permitted to have up to five visitors in their homes at any one time. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images). As the day unfolded: NSW residents set for first weekend of relaxed restrictions as global COVID-19 deaths top 300,000, Australian death toll stands at 98.
Related Article Travel times on Sydney’s busiest roads have dropped by about a third during the coronavirus lockdown, though the city’s west has been the least affected. The impact of coronavirus lockdown on Sydney's busiest roads
May 16, 2020 How cycling and walking could change in Brisbane post-pandemic
With thousands of people turning to cycling and walking to get around Brisbane, how long will the change last - forever, or until "normal life" resumes?
A cyclist rides his bike on a bike lane in Brisbane.Credit:AAP/Dan Peled
Has Brisbane missed an opportunity to transform the way its residents get around?
When the coronavirus pandemic shut down cities across the world, flattening public transport patronage and keeping cars off the road, governments reacted.
The World Health Organisation in late April urged people to walk or cycle where possible and avoid public transport during peak hours.
The result was a massive spike in people riding and walking around their cities.
Cities such as Paris and New York set up "pop-up" bike lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, as did Denver and Boston. Closer to home, Sydney and Adelaide are considering a similar move.
Some cities have fast-tracked existing plans to reduce congestion and build permanent cycling lanes.
In Brisbane, patronage on the city's bikeways leapt as much as 80 per cent since February, both for cyclists and pedestrians.
But to date, there have been no plans put forward to create pop-up cycling lanes on Brisbane roads and streets.
At Tuesday's council meeting, opposition leader Jared Cassidy moved a motion calling on the LNP administration to urgently develop and implement a "mobility plan" to ensure residents had access to safe paths for cycling and walking.
A man out for a ride at Manly Boat Harbour in Brisbane in early May.Credit:AAP/Darren England
Cr Cassidy said during the pandemic Brisbane residents were "taking their own initiative as a community" and changing the way Brisbane moved to and from home, work and for recreation.
"What we need to do is open up council infrastructure to new uses, to encourage people to walk and cycle more," Cr Cassidy said.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reorganise our city and reorganise people into how they move around our city."
Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said the opposition's call was "pathetic", adding that the LNP had the "biggest investment in public and active transport that the city has ever seen".
Cr Schrinner cited long-term infrastructure projects such as Brisbane Metro and the Kangaroo Point pedestrian and cycling bridge as examples of the administration's commitment to active transport.
"We will continue to invest in reducing traffic congestion by investing in public and active transport infrastructure. It has been a part of our plan for a long time," Cr Schrinner said.
But University of Queensland lecturer in urban planning Dorina Pojani said there was still an opportunity for Brisbane to make the most of reduced congestion and set up temporary bike lanes.
Those temporary bike lanes could encourage people to maintain cycling and walking as the city slowly returned to a more normal level of business, she said.
"The problem here is that Brisbane is not really committed to a long-term vision to turn itself into a cycling city," Dr Pojani said.
"If they had a really good long-term plan and they were committed to it, they could whip that out now that traffic is light and the economy is still more or less shut and they could just do it, but that's lacking.
"So that's why they can't move quickly when the opportunity arises."
Dr Pojani said another option was to use an inner-city suburb that already had high cycling usage, such as West End, as a pilot for converting to an "Amsterdam-style" network of dedicated cycling and walking lanes.
Using such a suburban example, she said, could not only test the concept in a practical space, it could show other cities nationally how suburbs could switch from cars to bicycles.
Cyclists have made the most of quieter roads in Brisbane's coronavirus-induced shutdown.Credit:AAP/Darren England
One Brisbane resident who dusted off her bike when the coronavirus pandemic hit was Snezana Bajic, a Riverhills resident and public servant.
An avid cyclist when living in Europe, after having children Ms Bajic stopped riding for years.
But when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the city and working from home became the norm, she picked up her bicycle again and began riding with her son.
"This is when I realised, I'd really missed bikes," Dr Bajic said.
"As a teenager, I was on the bike all the time, and since I had kids, I really didn't have a chance to go on it. So this love returned."
She now rides almost every day, regaining lost confidence.
"It's really scary to go back on the bike, so once I passed that fear, and that worry, I feel nothing but pleasure," Dr Bajic said.
Dr Snezana Bajic gets back on the bike with her family during the coronavirus pandemic.
She now plans to ride to work twice a week, but the downside is navigating busy roads, such as Station Road at Wacol, with impatient drivers not allowing enough space and beeping at cyclists.
"They really need to invest in fixing some of the bike paths in the area. Some of them are really unsafe," she said.
Dr Bajic said the council should build more fully segregated bikeways along main roads in and out of the city, to support cyclists like herself.
"They really should, because that will get us on bikes. I would do it every day. If they had that bike path, I would [commute] every day," she said.
Brisbane isn't always an ideal cycling city - its heat, humidity and sprawling distance mean commuters often face little choice but to drive or catch a bus.
Griffith University senior lecturer in urban planning Tony Matthews said the percentage of Brisbane residents cycling was in reality very small, and with road space at a premium, council had little incentive to hand over so much bitumen.
"If that road space gets reduced because you want to create cycleways, that's going to have consequences for traffic volumes," he said.
"The traffic still has to go somewhere - it doesn't disappear. So you'll have to reorganise the road network in the medium to long term."
Electric scooters were booming in Brisbane before the coronavirus shutdown, while the council's CityCycle figues were declining.Credit:Albert Perez/AAP
Opening up 20 per cent of a main road to cyclists didn't necessarily mean 20 per cent of vehicle users would switch to cycling, Dr Matthews said.
European cities usually had segregated bikeways, with physical barriers keeping cars and bikes apart rather than painted lines on a road.
Both Dr Pojani and Dr Matthews noted that painted markings were rarely respected by drivers and to fully switch to cycle lanes, they had to be physically segregated.
"If you're physically separated from traffic, you're going to feel a lot more confident," Dr Matthews said.
"If you're in the thick of it, as you often are in the streets of Brisbane, mixing with heavy traffic and big cars ... that's pretty terrifying even for the most experienced cyclist."
Michaela Sargent, the former Greens candidate for the council ward of Walter-Taylor in Brisbane's west, agrees.
Having picked up the bike again to take her two children riding around their home at Indooroopilly, Ms Sargent said her family had discovered pockets of Brisbane they didn't even know about.
Anisha Digumarti, 10; Ishika Digumarti, 12; Michaela Sargent and Rama Digumarti, an Indooroopilly family who have been out cycling since the pandemic began.
"You see so many people out and about, and so many little kids, like really little kids riding their bikes and out on rollerblades," she said.
Her 12-year-old daughter is now confident enough, and safe enough on the quieter roads, to bike to a friend's place and back.
"It's a real sense of freedom for her, to be able to ride over to a friend's house," Ms Sargent said.
While more people had turned to cycling in the past few months, Dr Matthews said most of the patronage had been for recreation rather than direct commuting.
That might continue in the long term but commuters have fewer options for cycling to and from work.
For residents living outside the ring of more convenient inner-city suburbs, there are also fewer options to break up a commute with a bus, train or ferry.
Dr Pojani noted for people wary of riding in Brisbane's heat, electric bikes were another way to move around quickly and still enjoy the benefits of being outside.
As regular commuting traffic returned, Ms Sargent said she had borrowed a friend's electric bike to test out whether she could ride into work each day.
"I'm a little bit scared of Swan Road and Indooroopilly Road. I find the cars there can go fast and there's no dedicated bike lane," she said.
"So for me ... I would really like a segregated bike lane to feel more comfortable.
Segregated cycleways through Brisbane have been popular for recreation and commuting.Credit:Facebook/Space for Cycling Brisbane
"A gentleman across the road has been hit three times in the time that I've known him, and he's a really safe cyclist."
Some European cities allow bikes to be put on the front of a bus, but Brisbane buses do not always allow bikes on board.
Park 'n' ride stations, allowing commuters to leave a bike or car at a train station, are an option.
For people already in the city, the council's CityCycle program allows patrons to pick up a bike and ride around the CBD for a small cost.
"I think there'll be a lot more goodwill toward cycling and a lot more people cycling and walking for recreation," Dr Matthews said.
"So Brisbane might find there is more demand for infrastructure in the suburbs."
Victorians celebrate first weekend of freedom, domestic tourism providers hopeful
Herald Sun May 16, 2020
Victorians are lapping up their first weekend of freedom after coronavirus restrictions were eased on Monday. And with international travel banned, struggling traders are hoping locals will explore the wonders of their own state.
video: Much of Australia enjoys its first weekend of freedom Most states and territories are enjoying their first weekend of freedom as lockdown restrictions are eased. Queensland has joined New South Wales and the Top End, allowing res...
Many regional councils and tourism bodies stated that traders were nervous of reopening too early and risking the health of their staff and local communities.
They were also worried they wouldn’t be viable with many restrictions still in place and overnight stays banned.
ALL SUNNY IN THE MALL Victorians made the most of good weather and the first weekend of relaxed restrictions on Saturday, pouring into the CBD’s Bourke St Mall.
After weeks of near-empty streets, the city on Saturday looked more like it did in pre-COVID-19 times.
While not all shops have reopened, people were still happy to get out of their homes and into the sunshine.
The only signs of the coronavirus pandemic were face masks and some closed shop doors.
Police patrolled the street on foot.
Social distancing rules remain in place.
Restrictions now being enforced mean people can only leave their homes for five reasons: essential shopping, medical care and caregiving, exercise, work or education and visiting friends and family.
WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T DO IN VICTORIA THIS WEEKEND
‘Let’s not have a party’: Aussies warned of second virus wave as 100,000 jobs could be reinstated
News Corp Australia Network May 16, 2020
Australians headed out for the first time in months as COVID-19 restrictions are eased have been given a blunt warning, as more than a million Australians have been tested for the deadly virus.
video: New service delivers lifeline to struggling restaurants With empty plates and dwindling customers, restaurants are desperate to be thrown a lifeline to see them through to the other side of the coronavirus crisis. Now a new busines...
‘LET’S NOT HAVE A PARTY’ Australians headed out to eat for the first time in weeks Saturday, but the reopening of restaurants, pubs and cafes came with a warning: don’t overdo it...
As the day unfolded: NSW residents set for first weekend of relaxed restrictions as global COVID-19 deaths top 300,000, Australian death toll stands at 98. May 16, 2020
* 10.03 Restrictions ease in Victoria, but community should not be complacent
* 6.40 Sydney Morning Herald photographers have documented Sydney's easing of restrictions, with pubs, cafes and restaurants allowed to host up to 10 customers. Just some of the 43:
- People enjoy a ferry trip on Friday as Sydney relaxes lockdown measures. Credit:Dean Sewell
- Life-sized cardboard cut-outs make this Sydney restaurant feel a bit less sparsely populated while helping owners maintain social distancing. Credit:Dean Sewell
- Diners inside a restaurant in China Town on Friday. Credit:Edwina Pickles
- Glen Steele swims in Bronte Pool which has just been reopened for a maximum of ten people, in Sydney, NSW. 15th May 2020 Photo: Janie BarrettCredit:Janie Barrett
- People enjoy sitting down at cafes in Bronte after coronavirus restrictions were eased on Friday. Credit:Janie Barrett
* 3.27 'Carmageddon': Thousands of Sydneysiders to be pushed off public transport. Hundreds of thousands of Sydneysiders will have to change their commuting habits over the coming weeks as the state government looks to impose strict controls on the public transport network that may result in traffic havoc on the roads. The number of Sydney commuters using public transport dropped from more than 2 million per day to around 400,000 during the two months of the coronavirus lockdown, the lowest in a century. But as thousands of people begin trickling back onto trains, buses and ferries amid easing restrictions, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned that the system is nearing capacity for safe social distancing measures.
Traffic congestion has disappeared during the virus outbreak but could resume if travel restrictions are eased. Credit:Kate Geraghty
* 0.01 The global death toll from coronavirus has passed 302,000. There are roughly 4.45 million known cases of infection but close to 1.6 million people have recovered, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
In Australia, the death toll stands at 98 and there are 7019 confirmed cases.