Thursday, November 24, 2005

Inquiry into Managing Transport Congestion

The Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission is conducting an enquiry into managing transport congestion.

Suggested ways to manage congestion are many and varied. The road lobby wants more roads, while opponents say that this is like curing obesity by loosening one's belt. Another, promoted in Melbourne 2030 (though not backed by substantive projects) is to shift more car trips to walking, cycling and public transport. We can also design our towns and cities better to reduce the need for long trips, encourage more to work from home and consider congestion levies, tolling roads or paying more for parking.

Then there is debate over whether congestion is as big a cost as claimed; or maybe it's cited as a reason to fund the pet projects of vested interests. Contrary to a vew of there being a 'car culture', I believe people are fairly pragmatic and will use whatever transport mode that works best for them. If we think the modal split is too lopsided, then making the forms of transport we want to encourage more attractive might be a solution.

More information is here, including an issues paper and submissions already received.

The closing date for submissions is December 2.

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