October 28, 2015

Policy Priorities

The great rail infrastructure rip-off: EcoTransit Sydney’s Gavin Gatenby shows that new rail infrastructure costs in New South Wales have spiralled out of control over the last decade … to the point where prices are several times greater in NSW than they are elsewhere in Australia and internationally.

Operations and Improvements

Australia used to lead the world with best practices in rail operations, on some of the world’s largest rail networks. However a institutional bias has allowed a destructive culture of short-term cost cutting combine with construction gold platting to devastate the operational ability and culture in our transport agencies.

NSW needs to move to adopt world’s best practice to maximise the capacity of our existing networks; and adopt a policy of incremental improvement to build capacity in modest low-cost stages.

Safe, Complete, Liveable Streets

Safe, Complete, Liveable Streets

Safe, Complete, Liveable Streets

Ecotransit supports the implementation of Complete Streets policies by Commonwealth Departments, especially by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport and for all Commonwealth Grants.

“The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams.”

“Instituting a Complete Streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.” Complete Streets Coalition

This initiative was started in United States of America by the Complete Streets Coalition and has spread around the world.

Safe Routes to Schools

Children should be able to walk, ride, and catch the bus to school through safe streets, and with especially safe streets around schools. Children are the most vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists. COAG recognised this and funded the TravelSmart program. This program has since been discontinued. Ecotransit supports the permanent reinstatement of this program to make getting to school a safe and healthy exercise.

“Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a road safety program that focuses on travel to and from school. The targeting of school travel is an initiative designed to reduce children’s involvement in road accidents. In Australia, the SRTS programs tend to be delivered by a state road authority in conjunction with local government, the school community and the police. The key objectives of SRTS are:

  • To improve the level of safety for children travelling to school
  • To encourage active travel to school using identified safe routes

“Achieving these objectives requires investigation into road safety issues that exist around each individual school. A combination of engineering treatments, education, enforcement and encouragement strategies may then be developed, implemented, monitored and evaluated for that school. According to individual state objectives, the balance of these strategies will vary.”

TravelSmart Australia was a joint initiative of Australian, State and Territory Governments

Safe Routes to Schools is still going strong and being implemented across the world. Such as in America by the National Center for Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes for Seniors

Exercise is good for you, especially as you age. But as you age, you slow down, need the occasional rest, shade and far fewer obstacles on Sydney’s streets. Similar to other Safe Route programs the Safe Routes for Seniors initiatives are looking at designing the streets for people not vehicles.

New York City Department of Transport “is evaluating pedestrian conditions in these neighborhoods from a senior’s perspective and plans to make changes, such as extending pedestrian crossing times at crosswalks to accommodate slower walking speeds, constructing pedestrian safety islands, widening curbs and medians, narrowing roadways, and installing new stop controls and signals.” New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT)

 Safe Streets for Cyclists

EcoTransit Sydney supports community organisations advocating for improved on-road conditions and bicycle infrastructure. Under the law a cyclist is entitled to one full road lane, and yet they are often treated with contempt and endangered by motorists disobeying the law.

Read more about cycling initiatives and advocacy:

  • Sydney Cycleways: Download Sydney cycling maps, see the latest cycleways updates and upcoming cycling events in Sydney.
  • Sydney Cyclist: Sydney cycling people, blogs, forums, pictures, routes and videos
  • Bicycle NSW: Bicycle NSW is a member-based association with a substantial history of representing bicycle users in New South Wales
  • Australian Bicycle Council: Australian National Cycling Strategy & maintains a repository of information and resources to promote increased cycling in Australia.
  • Cycling Promotion Fund: Committed to promoting and encouraging cycling and advocating for policies and investments to make cycling accessible, safe and convenient.
  • Cycle Safe Communities: Cycle Safe Communities has been designed to provide the community, councils and organisations access to bicycle rider safety campaign resources.