The Origin of the Eastern Freeway Bottleneck

Myth: a continuous freeway network will eliminate bottlenecks

“Most freeway proposals for Melbourne date back
to the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan, which proposed a Los Angeles-style
grid of freeways criss-crossing the entire city. The present Eastern Freeway
appears in this plan as the F19, originally intended to continue through the
centre of Fitzroy and Carlton and join another inner-city freeway in North

These inner-city links in the 1969 plan were cancelled by Premier Hamer in
1973 because they would have destroyed thousands of homes, historic buildings
and parks. This decision was reaffirmed by the Federal Government in 1974.
The Eastern Freeway was not opened until December 1977, so the ‘dead-end’
was created by road planners with full knowledge of the problems it would

“[The transport industry] is pushing for [the Eastern-Tullamarine link] to avoid a nightmare gridlock scenario once the Mitcham-Frankston Freeway opens in 2008….The government official in charge of the Mitcham-Frankston Freeway, Ken Mathers, has urged road users to lobby for a solution to the notorious snarl….He said road users should be telling politicians that something needs to be done to the city end of the Eastern Freeway.
Herald Sun, 23 August 2004

The daily queues on the Eastern Freeway are a constant reminder that this is the last of the major freeways terminating on the fringe of the inner city, with the freeway coming to an abrupt halt at Hoddle Street…. Substantial new investment in the city’s road network is needed to meet the growth in cross-city travel demand.
—East West Link Needs Assessment (2008), Chapter 5″



About Sten Nigol

Aspiring industrial designer, archer, hobbyist musician and car enthusiast.
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