Call for transit-oriented developments to address congestion

By: Graham Gardiner


Traffic jams across the nation’s capital cities with school back and parents returning to work reinforce the need for transit-oriented

Traffic jams across the nation’s capital cities with school back and parents returning to work reinforce the need for transit-oriented development and investment in public transport infrastructure, according to peak industry group, Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).

A new report released today by TTF on the benefits of transit-oriented development argues the time has come for Australian cities to break the cycle of urban sprawl.

TTF Executive Director Brett Gale says capital cities needs more focus on higher-density living around transport hubs.

"Anyone travelling to work this week will be experiencing the return to frustrating stop start traffic," he says, "which not only chews up hours each week that could be better spent with families, it also costs money - $12.9 billion this year alone.

"Traffic speeds on major arterial roads during the morning peak are as low as 21 kilometres an hour, with an average of just 31 kilometres an hour, and travel times will continue to rise as the city continues to grow.

"With 60 percent of Australia’s population living in our five biggest cities, and our population set to reach 35 million in 2049, low-density development on urban fringes is no longer sustainable.

"Transit-oriented development is one of the keys to managing projected population growth – we need to concentrate mixed-use development around public transport hubs.

"Australia is one of the most urbanised countries on Earth, meaning the case for transit-oriented development is strong.

"Putting residential, employment and commercial activity around transport hubs means people are far more likely to use public transport.

"This has environmental, economic and social benefits, taking cars off the roads and encouraging more sustainable living.

Gale says transit-oriented development also helps to maximise the use of existing transport capacity.

"Transport hubs are natural focal points for activity and it makes good sense to capitalise on their inherent amenity, while a Curtin University study found almost two-thirds of Australian households would consider living in a transit-oriented development," he says.

"Transit-oriented development can also provide new revenue streams for government and help defray the cost of new infrastructure.

"The days of sprawl are over, and we’re calling on state and city planners to commit to embracing transit-oriented development as the way of the future."

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