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When politicians use selected modelling results to justify their decisions on contentious projects like Melbourne’s North East Link, the credibility of transport models suffers by association. Vic Govt/AAP

The problem with transport models is political abuse, not their use in planning

Transport modelling has been tarnished by its use to justify the predetermined projects politicians favour. But, if used more transparently, it's a valuable tool for planning our future cities.
The Melbourne Transportation Plan included every freeway and major arterial road built in the city since 1969. Shuang Li/Shutterstock

50 years on from the Melbourne Transportation Plan, what can we learn from its legacy?

While called a transportation plan, it was heavily skewed towards roads. We need the type of city-shaping thinking that underpinned the plan, but today's plans must match 21st-century priorities.
Victorians who opposed the East West Link before the November 2014 election would have felt not much had changed when the new government announced the West Gate Tunnel in March 2015. Courtney Biggs/AAP

Sidelining citizens when deciding on transport projects is asking for trouble

Transport infrastructure has such an impact on what kind of city we become that more democratic planning is long overdue. But public consultation is typically limited and focused on design issues.
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.

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