East West Link casts shadow over community

(Apologies to Jim who is named as Treasurer in the video.  He is the President.)

Any school child knows that plants need sunlight to grow.

When the Ormond Road off-ramp is built in Ascot Vale as part of the East West Link, the plants growing beneath it will die.

Sadly, many of the plants are carrots, silver-beet, cauliflower and other vegetables grown in the lush Essendon Community Gardens.

The president of the garden’s committee, Jim, estimates between 12-25 plots of vegetables will be rendered barren as a result of lost sunlight and heat – up to one third of the 75 plots at the gardens.

Members of the gardens voted unanimously against the East West Link at their recent annual general meeting.

“We don’t know how realistic it is to think we can stop [the Ormond Road off-ramp], but I don’t think Ormond Road can cope with the traffic,” said Jim.

Jim believes the off-ramp will run nine metres above the gardens.  3D images provided by Linking Melbourne Authority show a noise wall stretching above the off-ramp.  The complete impact on the gardens is unknown.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 12.03.17 PM

Linking Melbourne Authority said Ormond Road off-ramp is a “design enhancement” and will be a “faster and more direct connection from the East West Link to the north-west suburbs including Ascot Vale and Moonee Ponds”.

“The Ormond Road off-ramp would reduce demand for right-turns at Elliott Avenue by up to 50 per cent, spreading the demand for travel to the north-west across two exits after the opening of East West Link.”

The ramp runs close to the gardens, rather than adjacent to the tollroad, in order to align with the existing ramp from Ormond Road onto north-bound CityLink.

The Essendon Community Gardens were started in 1978 – well before CityLink – and cater for a community living in small homes without gardens in the inner city zones of Flemington, Travancore and Ascot Vale.

Submissions on the East West Link can be made before 12 December.

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