Action needed to save roundabout

URGENT ACTION NEEDED

Works on Roundabout Removal to start from this month!!

Eltham Community Action Group (ECAG) is reaching out to you because 2900 people signed a petition to the State Government in 2019 horrified at the proposed removal of the Fitzsimons Lane Eltham roundabout and hundreds of trees yet their concerns do not appear to have been taken into account.

Its replacement with a massive, signalized intersection (the three roads having 10, 8 and 8 lanes at the lights) will form an area of bitumen and concrete roughly the size of the MCG oval and destroy forever our iconic entrance to the Green Wedge Shire.

In December 2019 ECAG presented the petition to Jacinta Allen, Minister for Transport Infrastructure, together with Vicki Ward, MP for Eltham.

In March 2020 Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) held an information session at Eltham library showing a slightly amended design. Since then we have seen no more changes and have asked MRPV many questions that remain unanswered.

So what are we getting – and why? The community still has no idea.

The latest information available can be seen at:

https://roadprojects.vic.gov.au/projects/fitzsimons-lane-upgrade

An alternative design, developed by highly regarded traffic engineers on behalf of ECAG, includes a slip lane from Eltham and keeps a roundabout. MRPV has seen this option and agreed that it would work as well as their design for at least the morning peak, but rejected it. As we have not been allowed access to traffic modelling and other statistics, we do not know why.

What is ECAG’s alternative design?

Click this link.

Just before Christmas 2020, the State Government announced that early works would begin from this January on the ‘major congestion-busting upgrade’ and that BMD Constructions would ‘deliver the project’.

Unanswered questions include:

What is the need for a project of this scale when:

– modelling shows that there will be a 20% reduction in traffic on Fitzsimons Lane when the NE Link is completed in 2028; and

– there are likely to be reduced peak hour traffic flows resulting from more working from home and less urban growth owing to lower immigration?

How much travel time will actually be saved in peak hours according to the modelling of MRPV’s design and how will this compare with ECAG’s alternative design?

How much travel time will be wasted in off-peak hours at the new intersection waiting for the traffic lights to change, instead of driving straight through the roundabout?

Which trees and how many are to be destroyed?

Has MRPV even considered whether doubling the current expanse of bitumen to the size of the MCG Oval will raise the summer temperature locally by several degrees and create an urban heat island?

Why haven’t we been told anything about the environmental impacts of this project on issues like water quality and wildlife in the Diamond Creek?

The whole project is an overkill, apparently made on the basis of flawed traffic forecasts & without adequate assessment of the environmental impacts, viable alternatives and full community consultation & information.

If you want a better alternative that retains the character of the Eltham Gateway…

…ACT NOW.

Write to Vicki Ward MP and relevant Ministers and organisations.

You can do this simply:

At the bottom of this page is an email proforma. While it is preferable to use your own words, the proforma contains the relevant addresses and suggested text that you can delete, edit or use.

Tell Vicki why you object to MRPV’s design and what you want instead. If your expectation that she would strongly and actively represent your concerns about MRPV’s design has not been met, convey that to her as well.

Thanks for taking action to save the treed gateway to Eltham. Please share this with all of your friends and family who live locally and ask them to email Vicki Ward too, as a matter of urgency.

 

Pro forma email
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

Subject: Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade at the Eltham Roundabout

Dear Ms Ward

I signed a petition asking the Minister for Transport Infrastructure to consider alternatives to the massive signalised traffic intersection that Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) has designed to replace the Eltham roundabout as part of its Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade.

I have lived in Eltham for many years and use the roundabout at the junction of Fitzsimons Lane, Main Road Eltham and Main Road Lower Plenty regularly. Although I can see that traffic flows could be improved during peak hours, I do not want this to happen at the cost of losing the treed entry to Eltham.

I am very disappointed that MRPV seems to have rejected out of hand an alternative roundabout design that would retain the roundabout and its trees.

MRPV’s refusal to provide computer modelling of the traffic flows for its roundabout design, compared with the alternative design provided by the Eltham Community Action Group (ECAG), makes me suspicious that MRPV’s design is no better than ECAG’s, so we will lose the beautiful, treed entry to Eltham for no good reason.

I am very disappointed that, despite the State Government saying that it is committed to combatting climate change, it is proposing to remove hundreds of trees and replace the Eltham roundabout with a huge area of bitumen that will increase temperatures in the locality and create an urban heat island. I expect the Government to properly consider environmental and climate impacts when designing traffic works.

I cannot understand why the State Government is insisting on constructing a very expensive intersection rather than the alternative that has been suggested by ECAG. I believe that money could be saved by reducing the size of the intersection and the savings would be better spent elsewhere. Surely the Government should welcome the local community supporting ECAG’s alternative design and the resultant cost savings.

I want you to put a stop to the works that are due to start shortly. MRPV should provide the local community with the computer modelling comparing its intersection with the alternative ECAG design. I want to be sure that the mega intersection is the only solution and that alternatives have been appropriately assessed. Roundabouts are highly regarded worldwide for their safety.

I am very disappointed with your lack of response to the community’s views as I believed that you agreed with Eltham’s environmental values and would listen to our concerns.

Yours sincerely
Name:
Address:

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