Articles on traffic congestion

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An artist’s impression of the new river crossing to be built as part of the West Gate Tunnel project. Western Distributor Authority

Impending traffic chaos? Beware the problematic West Gate Tunnel forecasts

Melbourne's proposed road project relies on assumptions that inflate estimates of the traffic the new link will carry – but other choices about the future of transport are open to us.
This transit-oriented development in Oakland, California, combines residential housing with easy access to local transport options and amenities. Eric Fredericks/flickr

Make housing affordable and cut road congestion all at once? Here’s a way

A combination of transit-oriented centres, inclusionary zoning and a special rate on land instead of stamp duty could make housing more affordable by cutting congestion, development and travel costs.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian needs to shed the Treasury view of housing construction as a silver bullet and back former premier Mike Baird’s social and affordable housing program. Nikki Short/AAP

If you’re serious about affordable Sydney housing, Premier, here’s a must-do list

The new NSW premier is right to identify housing affordability as a priority for the people and economy of Sydney. It's not just housing supply that's the problem – action is needed on many fronts.
Will the reality match the hype that’s promised from a future with driverless cars? Shutterstock/Karsten Neglia

A future world full of driverless cars… seriously?!

Driverless cars are the future, right? Wait. While things would be simple if our roads were 100% driverless, getting there is anything but. And planning for roads shared by robots and humans is hard.
Road user pricing would encourage people to take non-essential trips at a different time, or not at all. thomasthethinkengine.com

Road user charging belongs on the political agenda as the best answer for congestion management

Charging people to drive has been the dream of policy wonks – serving politicians tend to see it as political poison. So when federal minister Paul Fletcher raises it, that's a step forward.
By persuading some drivers to travel a different route or at a different time, congestion charges can dramatically improve the flow of traffic. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

How to make cities work better – here’s what the government needs to do

Bigger cities increase wages, output and innovation, but also problems of congestion and pollution. Congestion charges can minimise these problems by dramatically improving traffic flows.
Central to Sydney’s congestion problem is the journey-to-work rat race in the city’s western suburbs like Blacktown. AAP/Dean Lewins

If the people can’t get to their jobs, bring the jobs to the people

Sydney, as a whole, is lurching toward an urban structure where its transportation problems are impossible to solve. The only alternative is to create new centres of employment.
Malcolm Turnbull is known to favour public transport, but he also sees the need to twin the development of higher-density activity centres with rail infrastructure. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

‘The 30-minute city’: how do we put the political rhetoric into practice?

The '30-minute city' goal is about more than urban rail and other transit projects. It means transforming our cities into centres of activity where work, study and services are all close by.
Drivers make some suboptimal routing decisions when they’re traveling around town. A. Lima et al. J. R. Soc. Int. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2016.0021

Recalculating! By not driving the optimal route, you’re causing traffic jams

No wonder you're always late. Drivers use a route that minimizes travel time on only a third of their trips. Here's how real-world data can help planners fight traffic congestion.
If the choice is between waiting in their cars and long waits on inefficient public transport, many people prefer to drive. AAP/Julian Smith

Traffic congestion: is there a miracle cure? (Hint: it’s not roads)

Once a new road opens, people switch back to cars and congestion increases back to a steady-state point of gridlock. For lasting effectiveness, policy needs to include congestion charges and better rail services.
The mathematical modelling of traffic networks can throw up conflicting results. Flickr/Wendell

The maths of congestion: springs, strings and traffic jams

The planning for any new road should include plenty of mathematical modelling. But getting the right numbers can be a challenge and there's the odd paradox to deal with as well.
Tunnel vision: the claim that more roads equals less congestion fails to see the wider picture. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Do more roads really mean less congestion for commuters?

A new road may provide motorists with some level of respite from congestion in the short term. But almost all of the benefit from the road will be lost in the longer term.
The slow pre-dawn commute on the M5 from western Sydney is more than a pain for these drivers: it comes at a high social and economic cost. Dean Lewins/AAP

Sydney’s stuck in traffic, putting the brakes on women and the west

Our new analysis reveals nearly a third of full-time workers in Sydney commutes for more than 10 hours a week. Those workers are spending almost three full weeks a year just to get to and from work.
This wouldn’t have happened in standstill traffic. EPA

London’s congestion charge increases speed and saves lives

London has long been one of the world’s most congested cities. Before a £5 “congestion charge” was introduced for vehicles entering the city centre, cars would spend a third of their time in peak hours…

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