Bikes omitted from congestion study – again!

Bike lanes lane filtering ride to work tax congestion

Motorcycles, scooters and lane filtering hardly rate a mention in the latest Austroads publication that investigates causes and remedies of traffic congestion.

When will the authorities ever learn?

Motorcycles and scooters are one of the solutions to traffic congestion and should be included in any study of causes and remedies.

In the past two years, lane filtering has been introduced in the three eastern states and is being trialled in the ACT and considered in other states.

How will authorities ever be able to gauge its efficacy unless it is is studied? Austroads congestion study traffic lane filtering

The Austroads study, Congestion and Reliability Review, found that that major city road users need to allow an average of 50% more time to complete their journeys during peak hours.

It would be interesting to know how much quicker riders are now that lane filtering has been introduced.

Commuter traffic speeds are now down to as low as an average of 29km/h in Sydney and 34km/h in Melbourne. That means riders can frequently and legally travel at 30km/h through commuter traffic.

lane filtering congestion
Brisbane traffic

Congestion study

The study found Brisbane (52km/h) and Perth (58km/h) have better performance, while Auckland congestion performance is similar to Melbourne, despite having a lower population.

Adelaide has the slowest average travel speed, but higher reliability, reflecting a road network with fewer motorways. Darwin, Hobart and Wellington have low levels of congestion, with Canberra the best performing city overall, achieving average speeds over 60km/h.

While weekday morning and afternoon peaks exhibit time delays up to 40%, weekend travel also faces congestion with delays up to 30% at the midday peak in Sydney.

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The findings are based on an analysis of Google Maps data for 600km of roads for each major Australian city, enabling analysis of travel time along different road segments.

The analysis was based on two months of data, comprising of 1km-long road segments, with data points taken every 15 minutes.

Motorcycles are mentioned three times in the 256-page report, but not under any circumstances of congestion solutions. There is no mention of lane filtering.

Causes of congestion were – surprise, surprise – “a routine imbalance of the number of road users and road capacity”.

Up to 12% of congestion is due to non-recurrent causes including crashes, planned events parades, concerts, sports events) and weather.Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines congestion

“Effective action on road congestion is needed to avoid it becoming a drag on the economy, living standards and quality of life,” the Austroads paper says.

“The study recommends that road and transport agencies invest in a portfolio of interventions including integrated land and transport planning, as well as relatively low-cost, high-benefit cost-ratio interventions such as smart ramp metering and optimising traffic signals.”

Not a word about encouraging more motorcyclists and scooterists with free tolls, lane filtering or cheaper registration.

The paper talks about “multi-billion dollar investments” in congestion measures, yet encouraging motorcycles and scooters would be much cheaper.

8 Comments

  1. I’ve just come back from Vietnam where there are literally millions of motor scooters. The major cities such as Ho Chi Minh would be stuffed without them as daily transport. They even have there own designated lane on the main roads. Its all about the mentality of the decision makers in government sponsored vehicles. Getting people out of cars and onto scooters or bikes and then providing free or subsidized parking would help tremendously.

  2. Sydney is becoming unliveable. It calls itself a world city, but has no metro. Sure, the inhabitants of the inner city get their subsidised light rail and subsidised buses, but as far as the rest of Sydney goes the attitude from Macquarie Street seems to be one of “who cares!” The rail system is badly run: from here in SW Sydney it takes an hour to get to the CBD. The motorways are little better than goat tracks, the roads are totally gridlocked, the traffic light phasing and speed limits are pathetically organised by the useless RMS, and one minor accident somewhere brings the whole system to a halt. The problem could be somewhat alleviated if the authorities introduced express trains from the outer suburbs, enforced the keep left rule on motorways and major roads, and kept trucks out of the metro area between 5am and 9am. But I don’t care about any of this because I own a Triumph Street Triple, and if Macquarie Street had any sense at all they’d encourage others to do likewise. But that is expecting way too much from the second-rate amateurs that pass themselves off as a proper government and opposition.

  3. The one bright idea they seem to have had is traffic light optimisation.
    There are places where there are four or more sets of lights in close succession yet they are not linked so you can be sitting at a red light while all the others are green to allow non existent cross traffic to pass from a minor side street then get stuck at the next intersection because it is now red and still no cross traffic.
    Or the lights will have a peak hour bias set only twelve hours out so non rush hour traffic gets the most green time it took three years for this to be corrected at one intersection.

    On a side note how do you report bad lights?
    At one major intersection the lights were cycling so fast I thought it was a disco! When I call 000 and reported it the response I got was laughable.

  4. It takes me much less time to get to work from Caboolture to Bracken Ridge than my workmates that live nearby but drive. It was even better before the digital signs went up. They have slowed me down a little as I have to lane split, rather then use the breakdown lane. Also it takes far longer periods before you reach the congestion and can start to lane split.

  5. Government and insurance companys are more than willing to take our dollars through higher registration, CTP and Comprehensive policy costs as well as targeting us disproportionately in traffic enforcement but if we ask for any concessions it is all too hard.

  6. Unfortunately IMHO, motorcycle lobby groups have become soft, as protesting is now a thing of the past, cause it’s to confrontational. What a load of touchy feely crap.
    Again IMHO, as motorcyclists we need to be organised, turn up at the offices of these clowns, and show that we do exist, we do want a fair go, and tell them we are sick of be overlooked.

    It’s how we did it in the 70’s and 80’s, sure we rubbed a few backs the wrong way, but at the end of the day we got results. Good positive results.

  7. The question is why is Austroads ignoring motorcycles?
    “Motorcycles are mentioned three times in the 256-page report, but not under any circumstances of congestion solutions. There is no mention of lane filtering” < Why?
    All the relevant information on motorcycles regarding lane filtering, are motorcyclist helping with or contributing to traffic congestion, are accidents accruing while motorcyclist are lane filtering etc.. All the data has to be on one of Austroads servers or the full report is sitting on someone's desk just waiting to see the light of day. Personally I would love to trawl through the server data..

  8. “Effective action on road congestion is needed to avoid it becoming a drag on the economy, living standards and quality of life,” the Austroads paper says.”

    Too late. It already has.

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