To the Precinct Committees of Randwick City Council concerning light rail, urban activation precincts (UAP), Westconnex congestion and demand management solutions to parking competition in Kensington and Kingsford.

light_rail_vehicleGreens Councillor Murray Matson recently made the following observations on urban planning issues in the Randwick City Council area to the Kensington Precinct Committee. They have some relevance to all the precinct committees of the Council area.

The Committee approached Councillor Matson following a media release he issued about the debate around a Councillor motion that might see the Council buying up land in Kensington for a public car park.

The debate quickly turned to related issues and a criticism of light rail.

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NSW GOVERNMENT’S URBAN ACTIVATION PRECINCT HEIGHT AND DENSITY INCREASES. My local Greens group, The Randwick-Botany Greens, do not support the as yet un-finalized density or height increases suggested under the Liberal State Government’s UAP proposal.

Our group’s adopted position on local urban density is still that which was expressed in our formal submission made during the Council’s recent redrafting of its Local Environmental Plan well before the UAP was floated. I believe that this present LEP, which went through an exhaustive community consultation process, should not be amended by the Government to allow further dramatic up zonings.

LIGHT RAIL AS NEEDED PUBLIC TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE EASTERN SUBURBS. Randwick Council’s pre-feasibility study on light rail assessed bringing in public transport infrastructure for a population size reflecting  the previous Labor State Governments targets for new dwellings of 8,400 for Randwick City Council. My recollection is that the state election promise made by the Liberals’ to return light rail to Randwick did not come with any announced string that it would be linked to the dramatic further density increases above 8,400 now being flagged under the UAP after the election. This was not transparent by the Liberals. I now urge the Government to disengage light rail from the UAP process which should itself be shelved until the Liberals can win a mandate for further density increases at the next state election.

CARRYING CAPACITY OF LIGHT RAIL VERSE BUSES ALONG ANZAC PARADE. The present passenger numbers along Anzac Parade are around 10,000 per hour at peak (source Randwick pre-feasibility Light Rail study 2011). As I presently understand it, the State Government is proposing a hybrid public transport system for Anzac Parade based on 9,000 being carried by Light Rail and 6,000 being carried by buses.

This net increase in capacity to 15,000 should work from what I have read in the Council’s pre-feasibility study that predated it. I think that it is a misunderstanding to focus on the published target figure of 9,000 for light rail and declare that this is somehow evidence that light rail can not match the present carrying capacity of buses.

My technical understanding of light rail is that it can be pushed above 9,000 relatively easily by the addition of multiple carriages if required. I think that it is a sensible idea to maintain flexibility by retaining the 6,000 capacity of the buses.

RECENT RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL CAR PARKING MOTION. For the further interest of the committee I attach a draft extract from the Council meeting of this week at which Ms Whitehead spoke from the public gallery to Councillor Starvrinos’s motion on public parking.

Please note that during the subsequent debate I offered an amendment to his original motion. Councillors Stavrinos and Andrews (the seconder of the motion) then both accepted my proposed amendment and it thus became their motion without being forced to a vote.

Labor Councillors Moore and Garcia then moved an amendment of their own to add points b, c and d to my original text (which is point a). They won this on a vote and the motion thus became theirs and, when voted on, the final resolution. I was aware that they were going to move this amendment and was intending to support it.

The gist of it all is that the Councillors will now workshop their position on this issue to arrive at an agreed on common understanding which may or may not become a formal Council policy.

INCREASED CAR CONGESTION – WESTCONNEX. Please note my real concerns about the traffic impacts that the WestConnex motorway may cause in Randwick via improvements to the M5 East. Improved freight movements in the Botany area should have been sought from improvements to freight rail and not the addition of another major motorway system.

DEMAND MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TO URBAN PLANNING PROBLEMS. You will note from my amendment to the Council motion that I favour a demand management approach to solving urban issues such as parking competition and road congestion. This is why I support rail improvements to reduce car congestion rather than simply seeking to add further supplies of car space on roads via new motor ways such as the WestConnex.

Likewise I favour reducing competition for car parking via strategies such as resident preferred parking schemes and phone apps rather than buying up valuable land to use for further supplies of car parks. I accept the “induced traffic” theory that improvements to motorways just encourages  a movement by commuters to cars.

Not-with-standing this, my specific view on parking in Kingsford and Kensington is that Council should investigate every available option other than new car parks to maintain parking levels currently available to local shops, businesses and residents. This should include the introduction of angle parking where possible.

Randwick City Greens Councillor Councillor Murray Matson

Light Rail and parking: Randwick Councillors need to adopt a demand management approach to parking, congestion and transport issues

At Randwick Council last night chamber of commerce identity Maria Alexandrou and precinct representative Marjorie Whitehead were both critical of light rail but from different motivations that have different chances of being satisfied by Councillors.

Ms Whitehead believes light rail is a casual factor for increased residential densities while Ms Alexandrou’s primary concern is that it could reduce parking outside shops and businesses.CBD and South East Light Rail extension route map

The problem for Ms Whitehead is that increased densities will occur regardless of whether or not the government delivers on its election promise to provide an improved transport system. There is not much Council can do to help her as it is also the Government that is driving the urban activation process.

Densities increases have been wired in by the 8,400 new dwelling targets set for Randwick by the previous state Labor Government. The present Liberal government is augmenting these targets via urban activation and by promotion of the Inglis rezoning proposal.

But some residents believe that the Government can still be thwarted by vigorously undermining confidence in the engineering reality that light rail can move more passengers than standard buses. But so far these residents have not put forward any actual evidence to justify this attack other than a misinterpretation of what the Government is proposing.

The Government’s plan to boost the carrying capacity of public transport along Anzac parade from 10,000 passengers per hour to 15,000 through a hybrid system of light rail and buses seems achievable. Indeed it reflects the Council’s own 2011 pre-feasibility study into light rail.

Things are brighter for Ms Alexandrou whose simpler objective of maintaining commercial parking around the new light rail line is much more deliverable by the Council.

This is because Council can actually implement solutions to satisfy local parking needs. But first the presently philosophically divided Councillors must decide between competing management approaches.

Should they adopt a “supply management” approach whereby they spend lots of rate payer money to buy up valuable land to dedicate to public parking until the competition over spaces is satisfied? Or should Council put its money behind “demand management” solutions in which the actual demand or competition for parking itself is reduced?

You want demand management examples? A direct demand approach reduces competition for parking through resident preferred parking schemes or by phone app strategies.  An indirect demand strategy is a better public transport system such as light rail which will reduce the need for car transport in and out of Kensington thus freeing up existing parking.

But what should Randwick Councillors do as a broader planning response?

Councillors need to face the uncomfortable reality that urban densities will continue to increase in the Council area and will do so until a State Government instructs them to down zone, which is unlikely to happen.

Furthermore they need to recognize that most likely the WestConnex motorway project will also induce more traffic into the Council area via improvements to the M5 East connection to the airport. Large motorway projects always induce more road traffic and are a bad choice for governments to follow.

Fundamentally, Councillors must accept the argument that light rail has the potential to move more passengers than buses or cars along Anzac Parade regardless of what some residents are claiming on very little evidence.

On the issue of light rail Council must strive to be the objective intermediary between the Government’s urban planning objectives and the amenity concerns of residents.

Councillors must thus seek to retain our parking space, passenger capacity and open space while still upholding the findings of Council’s own 2011 pre-feasibility study that light rail is the best solution to road congestion.

This is the key time in Randwick Council’s history for all its Councillors to become very savvy about urban planning.

Randwick City Greens Councillor Murray Matson.

BACKGROUND

Greens Senator Scott Ludlum has explored the integration of light rail with existing bus services in his report Light Rail for Perth

 

 

Federal Election 2013: Thank you from The Randwick-Botany Greens

The local Randwick-Botany Greens would like to thank all members and supporters in the seat of Kingsford Smith who have rallied behind our candidate over the last 33 days.

The results may be studied at the AEC site.

The task is now to tidy up any Greens election material. If you have booth kits and aframes that you retrieved after the close of polls yesterday, could you please email us.

We will be pulling down election posters over the next few days. If at the end of the week you still see some up could you again email us.

Also feel free to send through any scrutineer’s results you may have for a particular booth.

If you have observations that you wish to make or images that you wish to share about the Greens election campaign in Kingsford Smith please feel free to post a comment here or on our facebook page .

Sydney Morning Herald wrong on Green preferences to Bruce Notley-Smith in Coogee

Anna Patty
State Political Reporter
SMH

RE: “Labor battles swing to retain south Sydney heartland” SMH Sept 5th 2013

(Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/labor-battles-swing-to-retain-south-sydney-heartland-20130905-2t6x3.html#ixzz2e3PDOF6q)

Hi Anna

I read your article on the battle for Kingsford Smith.

You are wrong in an area of fact. Bruce Notley-Smith did not win the State seat of Coogee with preferences from the Greens.

Our preferences went to then sitting Labor MP Paul Pearce. Nor was it the 2007 election. It was 2011.

I know this because I am a member of the Randwick-Botany Greens who along with the Waverley Greens have the joint local authority to set the preferences for the seat of Coogee.

Randwick City Greens Councillor Murray Matson

State Government’s hybrid Light Rail and bus solution for Anzac Parade congestion should work based on Randwick Council’s 2011 Study says Greens Councillor Murray Matson

Less light rail cars (lets call them trams) are needed to move passengers along Anzac Parade than the current number of buses according to the Randwick Light Rail Pre-feasibility Study of light_rail_vehicle2011 (RLRPS).

There are 133 buses per hour moving past Moore Park at peak time making it the busiest point on Anzac Parade (source page 33 RLRPS).

The Study found that it would require just 45 trams per hour to move the same number of passengers through this point. That means one tram roughly equals three buses.

This is because a tram can carry more than a standard twenty four metre long bus.  The thirty metre long trams of Luas Ireland can 256 passengers each. Standard Sydney buses carry 72 and articulated buses 115.

OK, that is what Randwick Council, the racecourse and UNSW were proposing in 2011. What’s happening now?

Well, for a start the State Government’s CBD to Kingsford light rail line will use 45 metre long vehicles and not the 30 metre vehicles looked at in the Randwick study. This gives more capacity.

Furthermore it does not seem to be the Government’s intention to replace all of the current Anzac Parade buses with light rail. This would fit with the Government’s promise to maintain existing express buses from Randwick Council’s southern areas.

Last week the Government clarified its proposal by releasing the following figures. The existing bus capacity is given as 10,000 passengers per hour, which is roughly what the Randwick Study suggested in 2011.

The Government is proposing to keep enough buses operating for 6,000 passengers and then to add to that enough light rail to provide another 9,000 per hour. This way the existing public transport carrying capacity along Anzac Parade will be boosted to a total of 15,000 per hour.

The Government is claiming that there will be “light rail services every 4-5 minutes from Randwick and Kingsford; every 2-3 minutes after merging on Anzac Parade”. Is this achievable? A 45 metre tram car should carry 300 passengers. That means that it would indeed have to run every 2 minutes along the Moore Park bit of Anzac Parade to provide the Government’s target of 9,000 passengers per hour. This seems to be achievable to me.

So unless some sort of technical problem emerges, on face value it seems that the addition of light rail plus a reduced number of bus services is the solution to congestion in both Randwick and the CBD.

Randwick City Greens Councillor Murray Matson

Greens candidate for Kingsford Smith James Macdonald interviewed on 2SER

James was interviewed as part of 2SER’s  “engaging the youth vote” seriesEngaging the Youth Vote: Greens' James Macdonald in the run-up to the September 7th federal election.

The interview from this morning has been put up on 2SER’s website.

James Macdonald youtube video on what it is about being the Greens candidate for Kingsford Smith

James Macdonald youtube

James Macdonald – Greens candidate for Kingsford Smith

A inspiring youtube video about the Kingsford Smith candidate has just been posted.

 

 

Kingsford Smith: Greens release how to vote card

kingsford-smith-how-to-vote-2013-thumbnailThe Greens have released the how-to-vote card to be used in the seat of Kingsford Smith for the federal election on the 7th September 2013.

Viewers are welcome to download it.

NSW Liqour Act review: Coles and Woolworths push for greater promotional discounting of alcohol

Coles and Woolies are under fire from Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson.

The retailers are pushing the State Government to wind back proposed promotional restrictions on alcohol discounting.

Cr Matson is putting forward a motion calling for a Randwick City Council submission to the Government’s review of the Alcohol Act.

He represents East Ward on the Council, which includes Coogee Beach were residents are wary of greater alcohol promotion initiatives.

For background see:

http://johnkaye.org.au/bottle-shop-lobby-allowed-to-rewrite-liquor-promotion-rules/

‘Government bows to liquor industry on discounts’, Sun Herald, 14 July, pages 1 and 4

Kingsford Smith election news – Greens to Promote New Bike Path and Light Rail Projects

Cate Faehrmann James Macdonald Alison Road Bike path 17-8-2013The site of the upgraded Alison road bike path was visited by Greens Senate candidate Cate Faehrmann at 1pm this Saturday.

She used this Greens supported initiative to highlight the positive public transport initiatives of the Greens and their candidate James Macdonald in Kingsford Smith

Ms Faehrmann outlined The Australian Greens transport policy “Sustainable Planning and Transport” to eastern suburbs bike riders at the recently upgraded Alison Road bike path.

With her was James Macdonald, Randwick Greens Councillor Murray Matson and local bike riding activist Mora Main.

It was Ms Main who had invited the senate candidate to Randwick in order to show how public transport enthusiasts could work with Green politicians for productive outcomes.

She gave the example of how she herself had lobbied Councillor Matson urging him to ensure that the Alison bike path upgrade was actually made wide enough to safely accommodate riders. Councillor Matson had responded by bringing her submissions to the attention of his Council to ensure that the path’s planned upgrade maximized its bike riding capacity.

The successful outcome has fired up the two Green election candidates to bring their party’s transport solutions to the attention of Kingsford Smith voters.

Kingsford Smith candidate James Macdonald wants to build on light rail and bike initiatives promoted by the Greens on Randwick City Council. He said,

“Randwick’s Green Councillors have over the years pushed for both the return of light rail to Randwick and an expansion of bike infrastructure, such as the widened bike path we stand near today. This year for example has seen Councillors Matson and Shurey putting up a motion seeking to mesh bike infrastructure into the CBD to Kingsford light rail when it is built to achieve an integrated alternative transport system.  If elected I will be seeking Federal funding for a further light rail extension from Kingsford to Marourba Junction. Along with this I will also be pushing for a feasibility study into a possible line to Green Square, either off the Randwick line or directly from the CBD.”

Ms Faehrmann quoted the Australian Greens Policy which wants “more high quality footpaths, bike paths and lanes to encourage walking, cycling and public transport use.”

“Greens in the Senate have runs on the board having secured funding for cycling infrastructure in NSW as part of the stimulus package,” she said.

“But more investment is needed if we are to provide a strong incentive for people to choose cycling over other forms of travel,” she concluded.