Better roads fails all transport system objectives, is quite expensive and has a fatal flaw

Submitted by john on Tue, 17/12/2019 - 15:38

Melbourne has a history of land development as described in The Land Boomers, and Power Without Glory, where developers have priority over planning. Road reservations have either not been made before development, or have been surrendered to development. Wider roads must now be made using property acquisition and that has insurmountable political negatives. Building additional roads in the developed city is quite expensive, often requiring tunnels. New roads would be few in number and would provide a limited improvement to trips. Tunnels, combined with upgrading arterial roads within their existing footprint to 2-phase intersections, and metering, for both freeways and arterial roads, would increase capacity, and reduce congestion and trip time, but increase the number of trips by car.
As a result, Better Roads will:
*  increase crashes, due to increased but safer trips by car;
* have more trips by car, no monitoring, retain exposure during travel, at vehicle change on PT, and when waiting, so will slightly reduce assaults;
* not improve amenity, but will increase car traffic, so increasing pollution and degradation;
* not remove congestion, but will only reduce it;
* not make most trip times much faster, but will make only a slight improvement to congested trips;
* not generate extra revenue, but will require major expenditure;
* not create more jobs, but the massive expenditure required and congestion retained will forego and waste many more jobs, far in excess of the jobs created by construction;
* slightly improve trip time reliability, and will reduce the number of traffic incidents and assist managed traffic;
* not reduce CO2, but the increased traffic will reduce the benefits accruing from reduced emissions by cars;
* and it diverts revenue to improve rural service.
In short, it fails all objectives, does something for travel speed and reliability, but at huge cost, and has a fatal flaw of not enough mode change. It delivers worse service.