Articles on Transport policy

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NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance announces a move to the next stage of planning for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link project in November 2019. Dean Lewins/AAP

Is another huge and costly road project really Sydney’s best option right now?

Once again, the state looks intent on pressing ahead with a huge road project without releasing a business case. Among the many concerns is the failure to look at lower-emission alternatives.
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.
Many rarely used bikes end up languishing in the shed. peace baby/Shutterstock

Own a bike you never ride? We need to learn how to fail better at active transport

Where bikes are kept is a strong pointer to the place of cycling in the owner's life. Effective active transport policy starts with understanding what stops people using their bikes instead of cars.
Smart transport solutions make better use of existing infrastructure and reduce the need to build expensive new roads. AdobeStock

Smart tech systems cut congestion for a fraction of what new roads cost

Faced with the eye-watering costs of building infrastructure, it makes sense to turn to much more cost-effective smart technology to get traffic flowing.
In Victoria, the Andrews government’s level crossing removal project has lifted property prices by up to 28% around sites where work has been completed. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Rail works lift property prices, pointing to value capture’s potential to fund city infrastructure

Value capture depends on infrastructure increasing the value of affected areas in the first place. Victoria's level crossing removal project shows the impact on property values can be significant.
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.
Car parking occupies a large proportion of urban areas, and cities cannot keep sacrificing so much space to meet demand. Neil Sipe

What can our cities do about sprawl, congestion and pollution? Tip: scrap car parking

The global trend is to free up valuable city space by reducing parking and promoting other forms of transport that don't clog roads and pollute the air. Australian cities are still putting cars first.
Car parking is such a pervasive feature of our cities that we have become blind to how much space it takes up. Shuang Li/Shutterstock

Of all the problems our cities need to fix, lack of car parking isn’t one of them

Australian cities have a glut of parking, even as politicians move to protect parking spaces or promise even more. There are better ways to keep congestion manageable and our cities liveable.
When political leaders swap suits for hi-viz vests the costs of the promises they make are high, and often not well justified. Lukas Coch/AAP

Transport promises for election 2019: the good, the bad and the downright ugly

The major parties are promising tens of billions of dollars in transport spending, but only a handful of projects are on Infrastructure Australia's national priority list with approved business cases.

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