VicRoads’ Secret Plan for North Fitzroy to join Hoddle Street
VicRoads map obtained by the Age shows Hoddle Street being extended as a major six-lane+ road through North Fitzroy to join St George’s Road.
The Age has published a copy of the map. from which the above diagram is drawn:
The route could either devastate Merri Creek, or turn Rushall Crescent into a 6 lane arterial road to join Brunswick Rd, Holden St, St George’s Rd and Hoddle St in spaghetti junctions.
The 3068 Group has grave concerns for the heritage buildings and landscapes in the path of the proposed arterial road, including The Terminus Hotel(1854) on Queens Parade, The Old Colonist’s Society, Thomas Kidney Reserve and the Inner Circle Linear park.
Richmond MP and Housing Minister Richard Wynne, denied any Labor plan for major roads in the seat. The Age 20th October 2010. However the VicRoads map obtained by The Age: ‘Plan for hundreds of kilometres of new freeways’ by Clay Lucas October 11, 2010 was enthusiastically endorsed by the RACV’s Brian Negus.
Plans for very real North East Link over Heidi in Banyule that is now “Part of the Plan” were famously denied by then Transport Minister Peter Batchelor who told parliament (October 9, 2001).
“a fear campaign, a smear campaign, that has been run by a number of people …
There is a very wrong suggestion that the government has a proposal to build a freeway through the Yarra Flats to link the Eastern Freeway with the northern metropolitan ring road. I put on the record that the government has no such proposal under consideration… It is not on our radar… There is no truth in the suggestion.”
But a secret ministerial briefing that occurred a week earlier (October 1 2001) was “discovered” by transport academic Paul Mees and the PTUA that showed the government had plans for a road to “be considered on a southern alignment, constructed partially in a tunnel, to link the eastern end of the Metropolitan Ring Road at Greensborough to Bulleen Road”.
– The Age November 7 2002 “Why the missing link couldn’t be kept from the public”
The latest denial merely give the proposed Hoddle Street Extension the same status as Sir Rod Eddington’s East-West Tunnel. Its not on the agenda for the current electoral cycle – but still part of the plan.
History of the F2 Freeway
The 2040 plan is disturbingly similar to the 1969 Freeway Plan for Melbourne, itself a derivative of the 1949 Freeway plan for Los Angeles.
The 1969 plan included the notorious F2 Freeway that would have turned Merri Creek into a road link between the Hume Freeway and St Kilda. That road was only stopped by vigorous community protest and a community blockade.
VicRoads has a history of planning in secret and then lobbing government alongside the RACV and other pressure groups like VECCI and the Committee for Melbourne. As funding becomes available, freeways are built at the points of highest congestion and least public resistance but in such a way as to build up an argument for “missing links”. Current road projects, such as the North East Link, fit this pattern of secrecy and denial.
It is to be hoped that community outrage would prevent VicRoads from pursuing this part of the plan.
Hoddle Street Study?
The VicRoads Hoddle Street Study does not consider extending Hoddle Street. The Hoddle Street Study scope does not permit it to consider Hoddle Street north of the Eastern Freeway. It is easy to deduce that an extension would increase traffic volumes in the area.
The extension could potentially be used to inflate traffic volumes to justify the cost of any grade separation (overpass) at Victoria Parade, Johnston Street, Bridge Road and Swan Street.
YCAT is a member of the the Hoddle Street Study Stakeholder Advisory Group for the Hoddle Street Study but has not been advised of this future proposal.
More details and links at www.ycat.org.au