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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am well aware that there is a dedicated transport thread but I think that it will be a great idea to include one here at the VIC Forum where we can post news articles that won't get lost amongst endless amounts of banter. Most times transport projects also influence developments in an area, therefore applicable to this forum. It will also be nice to stay in one Forum instead of jumping between forums for quick updates.

Fines proposal over buffer for cyclists could have motorists in a spin​

Motorists who fail to leave a minimum gap of one metre when overtaking cyclists on Victoria's roads would be slapped with huge fines under a proposed new law. Any motorist caught riding within one metre of a cyclist, or 1.5 metres on a road with a speed limit above 60 km/h, would face a $1476 fine under the proposed law, which will be tabled before Parliament by Greens leader Greg Barber on Wednesday. Similar laws are already being trialled in Queensland, where motorists face $330 fines and the loss of three demerit points for passing within a metre of a bike rider. The two-year trial began in January.

Mr Barber said the most common type of collision between on-road commuter cyclists and motor vehicles was side-swiping, with disastrous consequences for riders. "This bill will help drivers and bicycle riders share the road more safely," he said. "Cycling is one of the best and fastest ways to get around the city and tour regional areas, but lazy government is holding us back. Minimum overtaking distances will protect cyclists from the catastrophic consequences of collisions, while holding drivers to account." Victoria's road rules currently recommend that a driver leave a "sufficient" distance when overtaking.

The push to enforce a minimum one-metre buffer is being driven by cycling safety group the Amy Gillett Foundation, which says most states' existing road rules do not protect bike riders when being overtaken by motorists. A one-metre passing distance "provides drivers with a clear, easily recognised measure when overtaking bicycle riders – otherwise they must slow down and wait", the foundation says. But cycling group Bicycle Network said the one-metre law was bound to fail and introducing it would be a waste of time. "It's been tried in many jurisdictions around the world and in none has it made the slightest difference to driver behaviour or cyclist trauma rates," spokesman Garry Brennan said. "It doesn't work and there is no value in pursuing it further." The best form of protection for cyclists was infrastructure such as bike lanes, Mr Brennan said.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/f...s-in-a-spin-20140611-39w6t.html#ixzz34HcJuy3z
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Driverless trains, free wi-fi mooted to shake up Melbourne’s rail network


Engineering firm Siemens said the State Government should consider the hi-tech options for the proposed airport rail link and other improvements to the rail network. Driverless trains operate on metro systems in Paris, Singapore and Nuremberg, and will be used in Sydney’s planned northwest rail link. Siemens CEO (infrastructure and cities) Dr Roland Busch said the technology was safe, and in the case of Paris increased capacity by 20 per cent on Metro Line 1. “You can reduce the lead time between two trains. You can also save energy costs because the automated system starts in the most efficient way,” he said at the World Cities Summit in Singapore. “It’s much more of a benefit than just taking a driver out of the car. We also believe it increases the safety of the system, because they are fail-safe systems.”

But Rail, Tram and Bus Union state secretary Luba Grigorovitch said she would be highly concerned if driverless trains were introduced. “Our network is geographically large … and there are many dangers that can only be monitored by a real person,” she said. Siemens chief executive Dr Rolan Busch says driverless technology is safe and increases capacity. Ms Grigorovitch said drivers played a major role in the safe operation of the system, which had not been designed for automated services. Dr Busch said train passengers also deserved an aircraft-style infotainment system to make trips more interesting and reliable.

“You could have a wireless system on trains so you can send emails, but also get the right information for your next connection,” he said. “It’s all about using your waiting time, which is usually a waste of time.” Siemens, which provides transport and urban products, launched a global study of cities’ transport needs. Piers Barclay, from consulting firm Credo, which did the study, said Melbourne had very low public transport patronage. Options such as a congestion charge on drivers should be considered in order to change behaviour, he said. “Such ideas don’t tend to be popular, but they tend to free up capacity within a city’s transport network, which can unlock economic benefits,” Mr Barclay said. Mr Barclay said Melbourne’s transport network would benefit from much better cross-town bus services to encourage more people to leave cars at home, or at least drive for only part of their trip.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting article ..

The Economic Benefits of Transit Service and Densification

How do we determine why and under what conditions investments in transit contribute to the economic growth of cities? Many planners and theorists argue that better public transit solutions have a clear correlation to improved urban economies and better opportunities for people living and working in these regions. And indeed, some evidence suggests that transport improvements do enable the growth and densification of cities, downtowns, or industrial clusters, providing better accessibility to ideas and labor and thereby returning a net benefit.

But, the relationship is not simple. There is also evidence to the contrary—that transit may just redistribute benefits. By reducing transport costs, public transit improvements could even lead to cheaper land, sprawl and de-densification, and reduced proximity of firms, workers, and consumers to each other. So how do cities make the right decisions about funding public transportation improvements that are intended to bolster the local economy? To get to the answer, several fundamental questions need to be addressed. What effect does public transit have on physical agglomeration measures like employment density? What effect do any such changes have on economic productivity? Are local development changes near transit stops just a shifting-around of residents and workers, or do they signal genuinely new economic activity?

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Not sure I see driverless trains for some time to come in Melb. Lots of other priorities likely required at this point in time for PT other than that.
 

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Sorry SYDNEY, I'm going to have to lock this thread - it's going to create too much fragmentation between here and the Transport forum and we'll end up with duplicated discussions. As it stands, the bulk of the existing discussion is already there, but if you think a post might get too lost in the discussion we can always start a new topic.

The posts you linked are relevant so I encourage you to kick off the discussion there... just don't mind the trolls too much.
 
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