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.
When political leaders swap suits for hi-viz vests the costs of the promises they make are high, and often not well justified.
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.
When most inner-city apartment residents don’t use cars to get around, you can expect public transport to feel the impacts of new developments.
Traffic impact assessments required of major building developments mainly focus on the movement of cars, but these account for only 30-40% of trips by inner-city apartment dwellers.
Walking accounts for about 90% of all travel in Melbourne city centre, yet pedestrians are allocated only 24% of street space.
A newly released ten-year plan for Melbourne aims for fewer cars, safer streets and more shared spaces. A significant amount of parking and road space would be reallocated to walking and cycling.
Pedestrians walking along Bridge Street to Erskineville station in Sydney could take advantage of an extra southern entrance, as could many people now choosing not to catch the train.
Chris Standen, used with permission
In Sydney, 44 of 178 train stations have a single side entrance. It adds up to 12 minutes of daily travel time for people walking the long way to their platform. It's enough to make some drive instead.
Multiple forms of electric aircraft are being developed rapidly.
Some countries have already committed to using electric aircraft on domestic routes. These aircraft could slash costs and emissions on some of Australia's busiest flight routes.
With more than a million Australians using public transport to get to work each day, demand for car parking at the station is virtually insatiable.
The Commuter Car Park Fund announced in the budget sounds big, but is likely to create only around 30,000 extra spaces – a marginal benefit for Australia's 1.2 million daily public transport users.
Commuters at Epping train station board replacement buses during work on the line for the Sydney Metro, the biggest of all the promised projects.
The major parties are promising projects costing tens of billions of dollars, with a surprisingly large overlap between them. Yet only two have been endorsed by infrastructure authorities.
In rankings of Sydney railway stations with the most passengers and fastest growth, Bankstown line stations are way down the list.
Every major transport study since the 1970s has identified Sydney's western rail corridor as the priority for an upgrade. The latest patronage figures confirm that's where the need is greatest.
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.
CRRC’s version of the optically guided bus, now operating in Zhuzhou, is more like light rail than its predecessors.
The autonomous rail rapid transit (ART) system developed in China might make buses sexy, but the technology alone won't resolve the issues of road space and right of way in Australia.
Much of the public opposition to the WestConnex project is related to concerns about the impacts on health.
The health concerns that dominate public submissions to the parliamentary inquiry into WestConnex are a reminder that papering over such issues comes back to haunt governments.
Transport promises stretching as far as the eye can see: Victorian Labor’s big one is a $A50 billion suburban rail loop.
Whichever party wins, Victoria's new government will have promised the biggest transport infrastructure project in Australian history. So what are the promises and are they backed by proper assessment?
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.
Children’s travel needs are a big factor in private car use.
The private car is the default transport option for many families. This reduces physical activity and increases greenhouse gas emissions, with unhealthy results for their children and the environment.
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.
Another election, another infrastructure promise – in the Andrews government’s case, a $50 billion suburban rail loop.
In the election bidding wars, parties commit billions to transport projects, often before all the work needed to justify these has been done. More cost-effective alternatives hardly get a look-in.
CRRC Zhuzhou Institute developed the rubber-tyred autonomous rail transit (ART) system, or trackless tram, which has already been trialled in Zhuzhou, China.
For 40 years the author has argued that trains and trams are better than buses. New 'trackless trams', which take innovations from high speed rail and put them in a bus, have changed his mind.
Staying at home puts women at greater risk of health problems – cities need to change to encourage them to go outside.
Victoria has led the way in upgrading intercity rail services with medium-speed VLocity trains that have a cruising speed of 160km/h.
High-speed rail for Australia has been on the drawing boards since the mid-1980s but has come to nothing. Three states are developing medium-speed rail with federal funding, but NSW is missing out.