Transport commentator, John Legge, recently explained (The Age, 10 December 2010) one of the most adverse but least understood aspects of car dependency for the Melbourne Central Business District. This is the increasing monopolisation of available space in the city by motor cars because of the lack of a high capacity public transport system.
As Legge explains, a four metre transport reservation can carry over 20,000 people an hour by train but only about 1,800 by car. And in a car-dependent city all those cars have to be parked for the day which significantly reduces available commercial and residential space in the CBD itself. As a consequence the use value and commercial worth of the property in the whole CBD declines markedly.
These same principles also most assuredly apply in Melbourne’s major activity centres, such as Heidelberg. Even though Heidelberg has the bones of a good public transport system it generates substantial motor vehicle traffic, and these traffic levels are growing. If current trends are allowed to continue Heidelberg will also choke on increasing volumes of motor car traffic.
Read John Legge’s article: Car Culture has reached its limits in Melbourne, The Age 10 December 2010