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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.
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.
The science of getting quickly and safely to the bottom.
In many cities, convention holds that there's a lane for walking and a lane for standing on the escalator. But human systems engineers suggest this isn't the most efficient option for the system.
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.
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.
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.
It’s easy to blame congestion on immigrants. But it’s really jobs that do it. People flock to where the jobs are, whether they are immigrants or not.
Cutting migration to Australia's biggest cities would do nothing to ease congestion in those cities and could make it worse.
The Whim app seamlessly connects users to multiple transport modes in Helsinki – public transport, taxis, car rental and car/bicycle sharing.
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
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.
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.
As traffic slows down, research is gathering momentum.
Federal and state governments have put their hands up to fund airport rail links before we have even seen business cases.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.