Reforming how drivers pay for the costs of their road use can help keep traffic flowing, which is just one of the potential benefits.
Traffic congestion is the main cost that cars create when they use existing roads. Road use charges are a more efficient and fairer way to cover the cost and help ensure traffic flows.
A trial of 1,400 drivers across Melbourne suggests time-of-use charges can be effective in easing traffic congestion.
A city-wide experiment suggests well-designed road use charges could ease congestion by encouraging people to drive at different times, take other routes or use other transport.
Traffic congestion is concentrated along particular routes, such as the Eastern Freeway/Hoddle Street corridor in Melbourne.
Instead of focusing on freeways, governments should change the way we pay for urban roads and public transport.
The Netherlands’ cycleways are popular for commuting, because the infrastructure is safe, accessible and convenient.
The Alternative Department for Transport
The evidence suggests a small investment in cycling infrastructure, combined with less punitive policing, would enable more Australians to escape daily traffic congestion.
The majority of working Australians drive to and from work.
Australians are crying out for political leadership. One way our leaders can redeem themselves is by getting to work on a complete shake-up of how we pay for and use transport infrastructure.
An artist’s impression of the new river crossing to be built as part of the West Gate Tunnel project.
Western Distributor Authority
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.
It won’t surprise Eastern Freeway users that the commute from the northeast of Melbourne to the CBD is the worst.
For Melbourne drivers who comfort themselves with the thought that traffic congestion is worse in Sydney, sorry but new analysis shows overall delays are similar, but some commutes are especially bad.
Cycle lanes work in Florence, Italy. That doesn’t mean they’ll work everywhere.
Successful policy interventions, especially those in the social realm influenced by the vagaries of human behaviour, don’t seem to travel well.
This transit-oriented development in Oakland, California, combines residential housing with easy access to local transport options and amenities.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Using incentives drawn from game play, the peak-hour crush can be reduced, or avoided altogether.
Using elements of game play, we can create incentives for people to change how and when they make various transport choices in ways that enable the whole system to work better.
Central to Sydney’s congestion problem is the journey-to-work rat race in the city’s western suburbs like Blacktown.
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.
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
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.
According to all the data, urban car use has peaked, but official traffic modelling forecasts a remarkable reversal.
On average, people won't accept a commuting time of more than an hour. As cities grow ever bigger, new road projects can't achieve this, yet policymakers still rely on modelling that defies evidence.
If the choice is between waiting in their cars and long waits on inefficient public transport, many people prefer to drive.
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.
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.