You are here

What's going on at Seaford Rd intersection? Letter to Ministers and Councillors

"Until a few days ago, traffic travelling towards the beach on Seaford Rd in Seaford and turning right down railway parade would only back up in the worst of peak times. But several days ago the light sequence was changed, now it is almost permanently backed-up for several hundred metres, up on to the bridge over the freeway. [...] People in the local community are suggesting that the light sequences are deliberately being changed to cause jams so as to justify level crossing works. Certainly there is something suspicious about an intersection which rarely backed up several days ago and now is almost unusable."


26 Feb 2018

Dear Ministers,

Until a few days ago, traffic travelling towards the beach on Seaford Rd in Seaford and turning right down railway parade would only back up in the worst of peak times. But several days ago the light sequence was changed, now it is almost permanently backed-up for several hundred metres, up on to the bridge over the freeway.

Last Sunday I sat, in little traffic, through three sets of light sequence changes, each one letting maybe two cars through, before I gave up on turning and went straight ahead. This has never happened before in my almost 20 years of living in Seaford and travelling down this road.

People in the local community are suggesting that the light sequences are deliberately being changed to cause jams so as to justify level crossing works. Certainly there is something suspicious about an intersection which rarely backed up several days ago and now is almost unusable. The last several times I have used this intersection in a beach-ward direction (I use the intersection nearly every day, sometimes several times a day) I have either given up on turning and gone straight ahead, or completely turned around and driven into Frankston and over the bridge on Wells Rd, before driving back to Seaford through back streets on the other side of the railway line.

Whilst this change is deliberate for some unexplained reason and with consultation that I am aware of - I must also note that in general the levels of traffic through Seaford have dramatically increased over the past 10 years or so - over the same period that people have been selling backyards of family homes which are then developed so as to gradually double the suburb's population - a phenomenon I attribute to

1) the ridiculously high mortgages people face putting them under pressure to sell their backyards; and
2) Uncontrolled population growth.

About the two problems above it is clear that governments cannot, or do not want to, address these. But at least the light sequence is something that should be able to be fixed, and will soon start effecting traffic flows throughout Seaford and Frankston, it certainly is changing my driving behaviour.

Regards,

Matthew Mitchell
Hallifax St
Seaford, 3198

Comments

Sonya kindly replied to my email about this - for which I am very grateful here is her reply:

Hi Matt

Apologies, I thought I had already responded to your email about this.

Yes, VicRoads had adjusted the traffic light sequencing at Seaford Road while the LXRA was conducting works which required land closures on Seaford Road.

These have been re-adjusted so hopefully you’ve noticed that.

There are so many more cars using this intersection at Seaford Road and Railway Parade and that’s one of the really important reasons why we are getting rid of the level crossing. As more trains start to run on the line, people will be stuck longer and longer at remaining boom gates.

As for housing affordability, I have long advocated for changes that will assist people with housing costs – in particular, removing negative gearing. So many people are leveraged so highly with mortgage costs that a change in interest rate could have a really significant impact.

Thanks again for reaching out.

Warmest regards

Sonya Kilkenny MP
State Member for Carrum

Ok, thanks Sonya. I really appreciate your reply.

Yes, it is good to help people by removing negative gearing for non-genuine investments, but this problem is already out of hand. So many young people are going to be extraordinarily stressed by their high mortgages, and when they have children, even more stressed - and I worry for the raising of these children - with absent (due to work) and stressed parents. If interest rates rise these people will lose their houses, probably never get another one, and yet will still be paying of the banks for the rest of their lives.

But perhaps a bigger problem is that the growth of housing, and ever more and wider roads is moving over prime farmland, land that not only Australians' depend on for food, but also much of the rest of world to whom we export to. Europe has not been able to feed its population for decades now and relies on food coming from former colonies to survive. The production methods used in these plantations and in the USA and Australia, are not sustainable. It is not helping us, or anyone globally, to be permanently destroying our own land. If the houses were on stumps, they could at least be removed in an emergency, but they are on concrete slabs - and production of concrete is also a major contributor to global warming. In fact, all our activities of road building, high density houses (which usually require air-conditioning as there is no tree cover) are contributing to global warming, not to mention the production of plastics which are now choking our oceans, and whose mass will soon exceed that of the fish in the oceans, as I am sure you are aware.

Look, really what our government should be doing is moving onto an emergency footing - equivalent to the efforts put into the two world wars - to restructure our society away from failing industrialism and global fossil-fuel economies as quickly as possible - much as Cuba did during its crisis at the end of USSR. We need to move to localised systems with much smaller land holdings for food production. Research by the UN shows such farms are more productive per-acre than large ones (but large ones require less man-power to run when you use fossil fuels, thus their predominance).
(see Small is Bountiful by George Monbiot)
I am sure you will find plenty of people young and old who are up to the challenge, if they are given opportunities, including access to resources.

It is clear that time is running out to address this fundamental fact: the system has already failed, both environmentally and financially - governments are just living in denial.

Best Wishes,

Matt

(PS: for readers who are interested in what happening in Cuba, and how they responded with a market system based around democratised ownership of land please see: The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.. The interesting thing about this was that communist Cuba had a mass of small privately run farms and local markets whilst 'Capitalist' America has 6 companies which - for example - control all its meat production. Cuba also had free health care and education, and people during this period were healthier than Americans.

"Unsustainability is an existential threat" - see livingthechange - the movie, produced by the Australian Simplicity Institute:

https://livingthechangefilm.com/

Hi Matthew,
Your point about paving over agricultural land is, of course, crucial. To wit, I am currently working on an article about how Lisa Neville, the Minister for Water, plans to sell off, rezoned for housing, the Mornington Peninsula's South Eastern Outfall, PUBLIC LAND (Melbourne Water) which runs from Baxter to Gunnamatta and provides an agricultural and wildlife corridor. I have just completed a long submission on the preservation of the Mornington Peninsula's Green Wedges where I argue that this comparatively huge strip of land be preserved for wildlife.

The information that came with the Mornington Peninsula Shire's request for submissions, included the idea of the Mornington Peninsula providing a food-bowl for Melbourne. This is presumably in light of the fact that successive Victorian governments, including this one, have almost covered with roads and suburbs over Victoria's best and most well-watered agricultural land in the Cardinia Shire. This shire came about through Kennett's council amalgamations and was formed by merging the Shire of Pakenham with rural sections of the Shire of Sherbrooke and City of Cranbourne. With fools and knaves like Liza Neville planning to sell this PUBLIC LAND off for more housing, we are indeed in great peril.

Received April 30, 2018:

Dear Mr Mitchell

Thank you for your email of 26 February 2018 regarding traffic light sequencing at the Intersection of Seaford Road and Railway Parade, Seaford. I apologise for the delay in responding.

As you may be aware, the Andrews Labor Government has embarked on the largest rail infrastructure project in the state's history to remove 50 dangerous and congested level crossings across metropolitan Melbourne.
With_ large construction projects like these, VicRoads and the Level Crossing Removal Authority project team work closely together to minimise disruptions of any works on the road network.
In this instance, on 20 February 2018, the project team were working to identify the location of underground pipes and cables associated with various utilities. A traffic management plan was Implemented that changed the sequence and timing of the traffic lights at the Seaford Road level crossing. Unfortunately, when the works were completed, the change that had been implemented wasn't removed and this resulted in the delays you experienced. The sequence to the lights was changed back to normal on 27 February 2018.

To ensure this does not happen again, the project team and VicRoads have discussed the issue at regular coordination meetings, undertaken training with all workers and will ensure communication of any future disruptions will be provided to the local community.

Over the course of the Level Crossing Removal Project, there will be traffic changes from time to time. To keep up to date with these changes and the project In general, I encourage you to register for regular email updates at .

Thank you for raising this matter with me. I trust that this information has assisted In answering your concerns and I appreciate your patience while we undertake this vital infrastructure project In Seaford.