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5. Smart city driving
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Ive redrafted this goal wholesale.

Copy of previous version below.

-- DavidMayes - 12 Jul 2008 21:15

5. Innovative road management

A responsive inner city road use management system delivers optimum movement at optimum speeds for all users. A Connected city manages road space to give priority to environmentally and space efficient modes of transport.

The main attraction of cities for business, knowledge and cultural workers and residents is the opportunity to be close to the action. This density of activity is what makes cities work economically, culturally and socially. In Melbourne this density increases in the inner areas and is greatest in the municipality of Melbourne. As the activity density increases so does the logistical task of enabling all of those people to move about to enjoy and contribute to the benefits of a dense city.

Private forms of mobility such as walking and cycling provide the greatest freedom for people to move when and where they want. They are space efficient, safe, healthy and largely self-managed and are ideal for moving around in central Melbourne.

Cars are the other major form of private mobility. Typical Australian cars however have been designed for low density suburban settings , long distance high speed commutes and intercity touring. They are usually large, powerful , high speed vehicles and the larger and the faster the vehicle, the more space it consumes (see table below).

Typical per person road space consumption for different modes and speeds.

Modes speed (kmh) standing/parked (m2) travelling (m2)
pedestrian 5 0.5 1.8
bicycle 15 1.8 4.6
bus passenger 50 1.8 7
car driver (slow) 50 37 140
car driver (quick) 100 37 460

In the inner city car drivers experience congestion for two main reasons. Firstly as commuting car traffic converges from the outer suburbs from all directions on the inner city congestion occurs because of the funneling effect of the converging road network. Traffic has to slow down just to become more space efficient.

Secondly In the inner city the density of activity increases so the network of movements (and streets) necessarily becomes more complex as individuals go about their business. Inner city streets are places of activity not just corridors for through traffic. In this setting cars need to share the road with local public transport and people who are walking and cycling.

Attempts to resolve this conflict by making inner city roads bigger end up generating more congestion and end up destroying the fabric of activity that was the reason for traveling to the city center in the first place. Solutions are need to make private motorized transport work better in the city.
Reduce speeds

The threat to pedestrians (and cyclists) of death and injury from automobiles must be significantly reduced by reducing vehicle speeds. Recent research by Monash University Accident Center1 shows that on inner urban streets where will be pedestrians and cyclists mixing with automobiles the maximum vehicle speed needs be 30 km/h.

Vehicles design for purpose - small and slow

Small low-speed motorised vehicles are ideal private transport modes for inner-city streets. In contrast cars require lots of road space and in the inner city cause congestion, hinder on-road public transport and intimidate cyclists, motor scooter riders and drivers of very small and micro cars.

Motorcycles, motorscooters and bicycles reduce traffic congestion in the inner city. These vehicles are usually parked on the footpaths and when they are parked in conformity with the VicRoads? Guidelines, pedestrian movements are not blocked. Motorcycle parking is also provided on the roads in the CBD, with increasing numbers of concrete paved state of the art 'herringbone' centre of road modules providing safe, secure and stable parking facilities. City of Melbourne surveys indicate that the use of motorcycles as a means of travelling to the city centre has increased from 1.5% of total vehicle numbers in the morning peak period in 2006 to 2.23% of total vehicles in 2008. This increase will continue to grow with more commuters buying motor scooters as petrol prices increase. To satisfy the increasing demand for motorcycle parking spaces, the City of Melbourne is currently increasing the supply of on-road parking spaces in areas where footpaths are heavily trafficked by pedestrians and motorcycle parking is in high demand. This will reduce the impact of motorcycles eating into pedestrian space. Additional on road motorcycle parking can be provided at or near some intersections or pedestrian crossings where cars and trucks are banned from parking due to their negative impact on sightlines.

Council's Draft CBD Parking Plan is also recommending that the provision of off street motorcycle parking spaces should be increased by either increasing the current planning scheme requirement to provide 1 motorcycle space for every 100 car spaces, which results in the planning scheme only accommodating 10% of the current motorcycle demand, or by being linked to the floor area of the development, independent of the car parking spaces. This would bring the supply of off street motorcycle parking into line with the provision of off street bicycle parking.

The City of Melbourne will also need to ensure that its new public space designs improve road safety outcomes for the city's most vulnerable road users who are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Car Sharing

Another mode of private transport which is sustainable in the inner city and more affordable is car sharing. Car sharing has grown rapidly over the last few years. It is more affordable than owning a car, reduces car usage and therefore congestion and also supports the use of smaller and more fuel efficient cars.

Car and Van Pooling

A flexible car / vanpooling system, (see http://www.flexiblecarpooling.org/), integrated with the other parts of the public transport system such that the network of interchanges can be used to maximise both systems for effectiveness and efficiency can maximise the number of people per vehicle and reduce traffic volumes. Utilising the unused seating capacity in private vehicles, through flexible carpooling/vanpooling, will also effectively increase the capacity of the public transport system at minimal cost, especially at peak travel times.

Flexible carpooling facilities in residential areas and priority measures for high occupant vehicles, together with a GPS based congestion charging system that enforces maximum vehicle count limits on all roads in the network, will deliver a superior experience for all commuters, as well as reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions per capita.

Active real time road management

The Business-as-usual growth of people travelling by car in inner Melbourne will reduce mobility and amenity for all city users, increase congestion and pollution and hinder inner city freight and commercial vehicles such as deliveries. Strategic management of private vehicle access, parking is needed to shift usage to the more effective and sustainable private transport options.

The goal of the congestion charging system is not to tax commuters, but to ensure that the traffic operates at optimum speeds. The intention is not to charge all users, but rather to discourage use. Hence the charges only kick in when a segment is almost full, and charge additional users based on the cost impact they have on the rest of the system by tipping it into a congested state. In London, traffic entering the congestion charge area was reduced by approximately 21% since the scheme's introduction in 2003.

A Ceongestion Charge could be levied on all private, non-essential vehicles entering the designated area as a means of reducing the traffic in the area and thus improving the effeciency of public transport in the area.

Actively manage road space pricing and allocation to optimise motor vehicle use Advanced Traffic Management and Information Systems (ATMIS). Advanced Traffic Management Systems aim to maximise the efficiency of existing infrastructure, and include examples such as Adaptive Traffic Control Systems, electronic road pricing and dynamic speed control. Advanced Traveller Information Systems, aim to influence driver behaviour on departure time, route and mode choice decisions by providing up-to-date real-time travel information such as traffic conditions; location of incidents; estimated travel times to destinations; and weather conditions.

parking management

Redesign the road environment

Redesign the road environment to suit the new road use culture that is envisaged in this goal.

Goal Indicator Outcome

Smaller and lower speed vehicles are encouraged

Encourage the use of smaller and lower speed vehicles as they are more compatible with pedestrians and cycling activity and are more space and fuel efficient

City of Melbourne residents rates of small car, bike and scooter ownership. Current: To be assessed 2

Percentage of people who travel to work by small cars, bikes and scooters. Current: 42% 3

The proportion of small, space and fuel efficient vehicles has increased particularly in corporate and government fleets.

Road space

Road space is designated democratically and sustainably, giving greater space to the more efficient modes in terms of numbers carried and environmental impacts.

On-street cycle parking spaces (hoops). Current: 1,330 4

Motorcycle, motorscooter, bicycle parking and footpath widths are increased. This parking can be provided around street intersections where car/truck parking is prohibited.

Increase parking and on-road space for energy and space-efficient private vehicles such as motor bikes/scooters, bicycles and micro cars

All City of Melbourne residents and businesses have easy walking access to Carshare services.

variable time management of road space

Vehicle speeds

vehicle speeds in the municipality are reduced to be optimal, safe and consistent for all road users.

Kilometres of road in the muncipality with 30kph speed limits The majority of road network in the municipality has a 30kph speed limit and is safe for cars, motor bikes, pedestrians and cyclists and delivers optimal trip times for all modes with zero fatalities.

Parking and traffic

manage traffic and parking in the city based on real time per vehicle data.

Parking turnover.

Traffic and parking in the city is managed in a way that optimises the use of road space and the cost and provision of the road space.

A congestion charge to manage demand for private vehicle access to the inner city is in full operation.

Consistent road conditions for all

Minimise the use of signage, traffic devices and separation to manage different transport forms.


A cleaner, less cluttered urban landscape. An equitable use of public space and reduced conflict between users. All traffic moves at the same speed (30kph) lessening the need for separate signage, differentiation of space or installation of traffic management devices.

Related Goals

  • Increase the supply of on-street motorcycle parking spaces.
  • Reduce footpath congestion casued by motorcycle parking in areas of high pedestrian demand.
  • Increase the provision of off-street motorcycle parking spaces in new city developments.

Related Pathways

Global city ranking

  • Copenhagen, Barcelona, Paris,
  • Bicycle Account (pending expansion of this reporting model).

See also


1 : The impact of lowered speed limits in urban and metropolitan areas Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #276 2008 Authors: J. Archer, N. Fotheringham, M. Symmons & B. Corben

2 , 3 : ABS: Journey to Work

4 : City of Melbourne and Bicycle Victoria Bikescope Survey, available every year, reported in Melbourne Bicycle Account

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Topic revision: r3 - 14 Jul 2008 - 14:22:41 - DaleBowerman