Melbourne CBD Congestion

I was reading this interesting article in The Age on Melbourne’s CBD congestion, and the merits of cycling and public transport vs cars…

Melbourne Needs A Congestion Tax

And i was thinking, Ride to Work Day and Critical Mass both have their (debatable) value in promoting bike awareness. But, surely a ‘Drive to Work Day’ where all cyclists and public transport users drove a car to work one day per year would far better illustrate the value of investing public funds into cycling and public transport facilities.

Surely all of this talk about registration for bicycles, the value of bike paths, congestion tax for cars etc would be put to bed when road users realise how much congestion we prevent every day by making the extra effort to cycle or take trains?

This idea has been discussed before i think, though possibly not on this forum. It might be good, but i don’t have a car!

I’m not going to sit in traffic with rising stress levels just to prove a point.

I don’t see the big problem with using motor vehicles as transport. The issue isn’t the actual vehicle, it is that our governments have not improved roads at the rate that cars on the roads have increased. It has taken them 230000 years to ‘improve’ the Monash, but its still a carpark and has road works section. The same argument can be used for the rate at which bicycle lanes are laid out.
You are never going to be able to travel across the cbd fast in a car, anyone who believes they can is an idiot. The issues that need to be focused on are getting the cars away from the city fast by improving access to freeways, increasing speed limits on these freeways so you don’t have to crawl along when there is every opportunity to go faster except you don’t want to risk a speeding ticket and also sorting out how cars merge on and off the freeways.

They need to teach people how to drive, not how to get a license! Freeway merging is a prime example of this.

the wiki entry on congestion pricing is a good read.

Congestion pricing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

it’s not as clear cut as it seems, although improving public transport (which wouldn’t be that hard considering how bad it is right now) regardless of congestion pricing could help this problem almost immediately.

Improve public transport and get people onto it. Prioritise trams on main roads. Improve bike lanes and laws protecting cyclists and provide better bike facilities in the CBD.

Yep, there is very little incentive for most people to ride or take public transport here. Our bus service is unreliable, and our trams and trains don’t go anywhere, and most of our roads aren’t cyclist friendly. it’s still a lot quicker for me to get stuck in traffic in my car than it is to catch the bus (and even my rotary is more reliable than the bus service), although riding my bike isn’t much slower than my car.

In the big scheme of things vehicle trips into the City/CBD are relatively insignificant. Its the cross city traffic, ie. People who live in the suburbs and work in the suburbs.

I’m all for encouraging cycling and public transport, I don’t own a car and live in North Melbourne and work in the City so its easy for me. It’s probably heresy to say this but in a city of 3.5 million with the urban sprawl the size of a small European Country public transport and especially cycling initiatives will do jack all. I think the key is to encourage more efficient use of automotive transport to existing infrastructure for example.

I disagree. The key is to get less cars on the road and more efficient use of the public transport system. Cycling initiatives will do a lot, particularly in the inner city. As it says in the article, cycling makes up 10% of the trips into the city and they are aiming for 30%.

Failing that… a few snipers on rooftops could clear some of those 4wd’s off the road.

First day of school yesterday for the year, first 4wd that pulled left right in front of me.

Sadly I was expecting it, and it no longer upsets me. (until it all adds up and I SNAP! and do something very bad)

We moved into a new suburb start of December… didn’t realise how bad school traffic was until this week.

Study after study after study has shown that if you build more lanes/roads it just creates more traffic. You could build 12 lane highways and all it would do is eventually bottle up as more people will use the roads.

De-centralizing cities, improving public transport and offering alternatives for short trips (cycle ways) is the only way. Actively working out ways to stop cars being used improves cities and reduces congestion. I agree with cities heavily taxing cars like they do in London.

I don’t wanna get taxed to drive to work.
I don’t wanna ride 40km at 5am either.
I don’t wanna catch that dirty train with all the oppressed villagers.

I don’t want to breathe your exhaust fumes and fund the road you drive on with my taxes. Live closer to work or pay for it heavily. It’s simple.

Shit sucks to be an apprentice living in the outer suburbs eh?
I Should’ve done a less specialized trade, like plumbing or motor mechanics.

The tax thing probably wouldn’t effect me yet anyway, cos I am in a fairly low tax bracket, do I’ll stop complaining.

School traffic is horrible. It’s the most dangerous re: people not looking or giving a shit about anyone except where to drop their kids off.
Today felt like I was the only motorbike in the Dakar ralley and everyone was out to push me off into the sand.

It’s this piece of information that planners and everyone else overlooks. Developers and PPP’s bloody love it cos people keep calling for more roads and this just increase the number of drivers and then they call for more roads which the developers are happy to build with funding guarantees from government. It’s proven again and again in Sydney and the general public just refuses to understand because they’re addicted to the convenience of using the car to do everything. Until they start to REALLY hurt in the hip pocket, nothing will change the behaviour of drivers.

when are they going to invent hover cars like in the jetsons so we don’t need roads? :wink:

mind you look at the congestion in the pic…


Coming back to what cyclists can do about all this…

The problem I see with critical mass etc as a form of raising awareness is that it draws negative attention to cycling. It makes us look like the bad guy in this debate.

The beauty of drive to work day is it draws attention to cars, not bikes. Drivers may love their cars, but in congested traffic they hate each other more than they hate us. Drivers would realise they NEED us to cycle (and use trains) to save them from each other - it makes the car the bad guy, not the bike. In this culture of “car worship” this is the only way to bring about change imo