24 May, 2009

Challenge Number One - understanding the problem: car use vs traffic congestion

Barry Broe,
Divisional Manager,
Brisbane Infrastructure,
Brisbane City Council.

Dear Mr Broe,

I recently attended a forum organised by the Society of Sustainability & Environmental Engineering called: “South East Queensland’s Transport System in the Peak Oil and Climate Change Era”. I particularly enjoyed your opening remarks about understanding the problem of “car use” vs the problem of “traffic congestion”.

The remainder of your speech was contrary to your opening remarks, with a focus on so-called “congestion busting” by duplication and augmentation of roads for private motor vehicles. I took exception to your comment “when the Northern Link goes in & it will go in”. I shall be working very hard to lobby my political representatives (cc:d) to make sure the Northern Link does not “go in” if it is going to be a four lane motor way for motor vehicles. I am celebrating the fact that the Northern Link has not attracted any federal funding.

My expertise is in water & sanitation. I see a lot of parallels in the mistakes we make with sewage and the way we deal with traffic. I am convinced we need to separate our Number ones from our Number twos at source rather than mix them, pump them vast distances and then try to separate them out again. The same applies to Public Transport and private motor vehicles. Until we separate the streams, we cannot efficiently treat the associated issues appropriately.

The distinction between sewers and roads is when one duplicates a sewer main, it does not encourage more people to poo.


Rowan Barber
Climate Campaigner

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