Transport infrastructure projects are conceived, planned and assessed in a way that makes it difficult to properly consider their major public health impacts.
Most enlightened governments have realised the focus on private cars at the expense of active and public transport is not viable.
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.
The Australian Automobile Association said that a new report showed that "the average Australian family is spending up to $22,000 every year to get around." Is that accurate?
New technologies do not exist in a vacuum. To succeed, new transport technology needs to match the ways we want to move around cities and be accommodated by laws and regulations.
It's a project that creates benefits for Melbourne's western suburbs and the state as a whole. But the inner-city elite don't like it and recent experience suggests their opinion holds sway.
The government knows the system is a shambles – but refuses to admit that rail privatisation has failed.
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.
The budget paints a picture of higher debt, little relief for growing cities crying out for infrastructure investment, and no detail of how City Deals might work to fix this.
If the system was fixed project funding would be more likely to be based on merit.
Infrastructure Australia's latest report is substantial but, critically, it fails to incorporate the transport thinking needed to develop more compact cities that work better for everyone.
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.
Allowing infrastructure to take over the job of keeping our vehicles running sends us further down a troublesome road.