The M5 East EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) has been released. Comments on the EIS are being accepted until 29 January.
The impact on Alexandria is every bit as bad as we had feared. If anything, it’s worse than expected.
From about 2019, the M5 will terminate at Sydney Park. When complete, it will dump over 100,000 cars into our suburbs, much of which will end up on local streets. This is not by accident – it is intentional.
60,000 vehicles are expected to use Euston Road. This is more traffic than uses Victoria Road. It is almost ten times the traffic that Euston Road currently handles.
An extra lane in each direction will be added to Euston Road. The north-bound lane will go as far as Maddox Street, where it becomes a new left-hand turn lane, channelling traffic off Euston Road and into Maddox Street. [Update: see below]
will no longer may or may not be possible to turn right onto Sydney Park Road from either Euston or Mitchell Roads. There will be a right-hand turn into Huntley Street from Euston Rd, and it may be possible to reach the Princess Highway by driving all the way around Sydney Park. It seems likely that the intent is to ‘encourage’ drivers to use WestConnex instead of the free alternatives. [Update: see below]
136 parking spaces will be lost on Euston Road, mostly west of Sydney Park Road. 32 parking spaces will be lost on Huntley Street. During construction, workers at the St Peters interchange are predicted to need up to 320 parking spaces. Workers will be ‘encouraged’ to park on-site, to take public transport, or to car-pool.
As well as losing parking on Euston Road, 12 meters is being taken off the south edge of Sydney Park. This will wipe out the large gums on the south side of the park and bring significant volumes of traffic 15 meters closer to the Alan Davidson Oval – a popular venue for children’s sport.
We know that Green Square is already generating significant traffic, and that this will increase, and that Ashmore Estate will also generate significant traffic. The EIS does not consider the traffic that will be generated by Ashmore Estate and Green Square will be a problem, because they expect they will finish construction before Ashmore Estate and Green Square reach full capacity. They are not concerned with the effects on the local road system that will result from the construction of WestConnex.
Update: Contradicting the Traffic and Transport Appendix, Page 152 of Urban Design does not include the extra left turn lane at Maddox St, show that right hand turns into Sydney Park Road will continue to be possible, and shows that Maddox St will continue to be blocked off.
We have been told that the text is basically correct – there will one right hand turn lane but it will be for buses only.