The uneconomic use of space and the limit of car culture in Melbourne

Image Copyright Andy Singer

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

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About Friends of Banyule Inc

President & Public Officer of Friends of Banyule Inc, a community not- for-profit organisation to enhance and protect the environmental assets of Banyule City. Currently fighting the proposed NE Link freeway through one of inner Melbourne's most ecologically sensitive areas and historical areas.
This entry was posted in Car Dependency, Public Transport, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The uneconomic use of space and the limit of car culture in Melbourne

  1. VivKay says:

    Peak oil will ensure that our traffic doesn’t become over-whelming. Prices can only keep increasing now. In fact, an oil crunch that could send the global economy spiralling back toward recession. Some local councils which have drawn up peak oil contingencies. No one can say with certainty how much oil is left in the ground nor how much it will cost to take it out. However, State and Federal government are still in denial, a “business as usual” approach to infrastructure and growth. Our transport system will rely on technological solutions being found fast enough. If demand continues to rise and supply starts to fall the days of the average Australian driving their 4 wheel drive to work will be over.

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