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What can we do about traffic congestion?

A new report shows governments aren’t doing enough to tackle traffic congestion. Cities can’t build their way out of congestion – they need to address the demand for driving by charging for use of roads

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Would road pricing lead to more driving?

Putting a price on road space seems like a good idea but some analysts argue it could actually increase the amount of driving. In fact there’s a point of view that says it would be better to promote traffic congestion.

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Shouldn’t we talk about road pricing?

The Chair of Infrastructure Australia, Sir Rod Eddington, called for a “mature and dispassionate” discussion about road pricing on Friday. Good, I wholeheartedly agree. This should be the number one issue for discussion nationally in planning the future of our cities.

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Do new freeways signify progress?

According to Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, “almost nothing signifies progress more than new roads.” That line is from the speech he gave to the Federal Council of the Liberal Party on Saturday when he announced the Coalition’s Plan to Reduce Traffic Congestion. The Coalition’s Plan comprises a $4 billion commitment to accelerate construction of [...]

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Should new freeways be tolled?

The CEO of South Australia’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Mr Rod Hook, is reported to have said the only way the state will get any money from the Federal Government for new freeways is if it imposes a toll on users. Unlike Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Adelaide doesn’t have any tolled roads (neither [...]

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Is congestion charging a good idea?

Every time Governments contemplate massive investments in urban road infrastructure, it’s instructive to bear in mind there’s a much better alternative. Instead of building something gargantuan like a road tunnel, they could instead elect to implement congestion charging across the metropolitan area. This involves charging motorists for the use of road space. Ideally, the charge [...]

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Does business oppose congestion charging?

I’m very disappointed with the line one of the State’s largest employer associations, VECCI, is taking on road congestion charging. This issue was raised in a report prepared by consultants Acil Tasman for the Competition Commission’s (VCEC) inquiry into a State-based reform agenda. Congestion imposes such a high cost on business – whether freight or personal [...]

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Do we want cars in the city centre?

I’ve noted before that only 30% of commuters who work within the Hoddle Grid – i.e. the area bounded by Spring, Flinders, Spencer and La Trobe streets – drive to work. However only a block or two beyond the city rail loop, the share of work trips taken by car increases steeply to 50-60%, and [...]

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Will networking make public transport the mode of choice?

According to a report in The Age last month, new research published in the latest issue of Australian Planner shows that higher suburban densities are not a precondition for vastly better public transport. Reporter Andrew West says: City dwellers have been presented with a false choice – live in apartments and enjoy good public transport or [...]

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What's wrong with cars?

One of the key themes of The Melbourne Urbanist is the need to price road space. Cars will be with us in one form or another for a long time yet, whether we like it or not. Autonomous travel provides enormous benefits but cars also have a dark side, so they can’t just be ignored. [...]

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