Articles on Traffic congestion

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Traffic congestion reconsidered

Despite efforts to encourage a shift to sustainable transportation, traffic congestion is often the focus of debates over mobility. Motorists endlessly demand more roads, but is this really a solution?
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.
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.
Residents of the outer suburbs like the green spaces and sense of community, but lament the lack of access to transport and other services. theskaman306/Shutterstock

Living ‘liveable’: this is what residents have to say about life on the urban fringe

Much of the growth in our cities is in the outer suburbs, now home to around 5 million people. And that creates problems like traffic that detract from the advantages residents see in living there.
The Whim app seamlessly connects users to multiple transport modes in Helsinki – public transport, taxis, car rental and car/bicycle sharing. Aleksandra Suzi/Shutterstock

For Mobility as a Service (MaaS) to solve our transport woes, some things need to change

Apps that seamlessly combine all our travel options could be the most significant transport innovation since the automobile, but early trials show government policy support is vital to make MaaS work.
Most transport resources are being used inefficiently. The Canberra Transport Photo shows the road space required to move 69 people using public transport, bicycles and private motor vehicles. Cycling Promotion Fund

Smart mobility alone is no substitute for strong policy leadership

Blind belief that new technology and disruptive innovation will fix congestion in our cities overlooks the need for strong leadership that supports progressive policy innovation.
Brisbane has half the population of Sydney and Melbourne, but all three cities have very similar commute distances and times. superjoseph/Shutterstock

Our fast-growing cities and their people are proving to be remarkably adaptable

Urban growth has had much less impact on commuting distances and times than media reports would suggest. The explanations include jobs being widely dispersed and residents' adaptable decision-making.
Federal and state governments have put their hands up to fund airport rail links before we have even seen business cases. David Crosling/AAP

Missing evidence base for big calls on infrastructure costs us all

Billions of taxpayer dollars are committed before all the evidence for, and against, infrastructure projects is in. As well as missing business cases, basic rules of economic modelling are broken.
Whether it’s birds in a flock or drivers in traffic, agent-based modelling can describe complex phenomena by applying a simple set of rules to each individual’s behaviour. Barry Sweet/EPA

Traffic is complex, but modelling using deceptively simple rules can help unravel what’s going on

By identifying and applying the key rules governing the behaviour of each individual, agent-based modelling offers insights into complex phenomena like traffic jams and flocking.
The morning traffic builds up on the Tasman Highway at Montagu Bay. Congestion has become a hot issue for Hobart residents. Wiki ian/Wikipedia

Growth pains and gridlock come to Hobart, and building more roads is not the best way out

Hobart is a smaller city with big city problems that have become an election issue. Recent growth is creating traffic congestion that affects productivity, residents' health and liveability.
Much of the traffic using Sydney’s Anzac Bridge and, in the distance, Harbour Bridge is travelling through the city centre, not to it or from it. Rob Roggema

This is how WestConnex can deliver Sydney a better city centre

One potential benefit of WestConnex, which remains untouched, is that it could relieve Sydney's city centre from cars and make it more pedestrian-friendly.
Reforming how drivers pay for the costs of their road use can help keep traffic flowing, which is just one of the potential benefits. Holli/Shutterstock

Delay in changing direction on how we tax drivers will cost us all

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. AMPG/Shutterstock

City-wide trial shows how road use charges can reduce traffic jams

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.
The Netherlands’ cycleways are popular for commuting, because the infrastructure is safe, accessible and convenient. The Alternative Department for Transport

People take to their bikes when we make it safer and easier for them

The evidence suggests a small investment in cycling infrastructure, combined with less punitive policing, would enable more Australians to escape daily traffic congestion.
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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