Articles on Road transport

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Widespread use of autonomous vehicles could increase or cut greenhouse gas emissions. It all depends on public policy. (Shutterstock)

Self-driving cars will not fix our transportation woes

The sweeping introduction of driverless cars could see more vehicles on the road, driving longer distances. But smart planning could solve some of transit-associated environmental and social problems.
Demonstrations against freeway construction in Melbourne included a street barricade erected in protest at the F19 extension of the Eastern Freeway. Barricade! – the resident fight against the F19

We’re still fighting city freeways after half a century

Public protests eventually forced the scrapping of some proposed freeways in 1973. Today, we have another round of projects and people are protesting again, with good reason. Government should listen.
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.
The Australian and Victorian governments have both promised funding for a Melbourne Airport rail link, but a private consortium’s unsolicited proposal is also on the table. Stefan Postles/AAP

Market-led infrastructure may sound good but not if it short-changes the public

Unsolicited market proposals are not transparently assessed. Infrastructure should be built to serve the public interest, not shaped by its private backers, but the checks to ensure this are broken.
Car owners’ attachment to driving and the willingness of others to switch from public transport could confound rosy predictions for autonomous vehicles. Steven Giles/Shutterstock

How we feel about our cars means the road to a driverless future may not be smooth

Scenarios based on a survey of Adelaide commuters and analyses of traffic flows show it's possible the congestion could get worse in the transition to driverless vehicles.
If more of us were free to work from home, fewer of us would be stuck in traffic. Daria Chichkareva, fkigali/Shutterstock

Flexible working, the neglected congestion-busting solution for our cities

Two-thirds of surveyed workers work from home one day a week on average, but could do at least half their work out of the workplace. If they commuted less often, congestion could be greatly reduced.
Analysing big data can tell us how a big city ticks, including where suitable housing and jobs are, and how best to get to them. LIPING/Shutterstock

How big data can help residents find transport, jobs and homes that work for them

We have learnt to be wary of big data, but it can also be your friend: one platform combines and analyses data about housing, jobs and transport to reveal very useful information about living in Perth.
Vancouver used traffic congestion as a ‘stick’ and the SkyTrain as a ‘carrot’ in a strategy to discourage car use and make the city a better place to live. Oleg Mayorov/Shutterstock

Rethinking traffic congestion to make our cities more like the places we want them to be

Instead of spending ever more on roads, we can learn from Vancouver's use of congestion as a 'friend' in managing the development of transport networks and of the city itself.
Transport promises stretching as far as the eye can see: Victorian Labor’s big one is a $A50 billion suburban rail loop. Penny Stephens/AAP

How much will voters pay for an early Christmas? Eight charts that explain Victoria’s transport election

Whichever party wins, Victoria's new government will have promised the biggest transport infrastructure project in Australian history. So what are the promises and are they backed by proper assessment?
Another election, another infrastructure promise – in the Andrews government’s case, a $50 billion suburban rail loop. Penny Stephens/AAP

Infrastructure splurge ignores smarter ways to keep growing cities moving

In the election bidding wars, parties commit billions to transport projects, often before all the work needed to justify these has been done. More cost-effective alternatives hardly get a look-in.

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