For a Better Brisbane

Events: Derailing traffic chaos

Brisbane from the air. Image credit: CC Drewbooks, flickr user, click for linking URL

The Brisbane Institute tonight hosted a panel discussion titled “Derailing traffic chaos“. Present at the discussion were key public transport and community group persons such as

  • The Hon. Rachel Nolan MP, Minister for Transport/Member for Ipswich
  • Luke Franzmann, Cross River Rail Director and former head of TransLink
  • James Coutts, Infrastructure and Planning Assistant Coordinator General
  • Sigrid Sanderson, Engineering firm AECOM
  • Cr Margaret de Wit, Brisbane City Council Public and active transport chairwoman
  • Robert Dow, Administrator, Public Transport Advocacy Group Rail Back On Track

Each panelist gave a few words or a presentation. The first began with The Hon. Rachel Nolan MP about how Cross River Rail would free up the core of the train network to run more trains to areas all over South East Queensland and also how this could transform the region. Luke Franzmann continued next, talking about Cross River Rail and how that could carry up to 30 000 people/hour/track. A slide was dedicated to explaining that rail had an advantage over bus, in that huge numbers of buses would swamp the CBD requiring many King George Square-like stations if the people were served by buses.

A Transit Oriented Development (TOD) presentation by James Coutts followed, discussing how TODs were springing up at Bowen Hills and the enormous task of meeting projections for accommodating projected dwellings in Brisbane, even with higher density, the difficulties with the private sector facing the Global financial Crisis and now new financial woes in Europe, and the role of Government in co-ordinating land use.

Sigrid Sanderson said a few words about transport planning, highlighting the four C’s: cost, convenience, competitiveness with alternatives¬† and comfort. And also a discussion about non-work public transport trips such as trips generated by shopping, education and recreation.

Cr Margaret De Wit highlighted the Newman Administration’s new Citycat on the Brisbane river, the 500 buses under construction, the Go-Between bridge’s uptake with cyclists and the Clem7 tunnel. Robert Dow explained that new trains and stations were nice, but frequency was the “bottom line” when it came to what commuters want. Scrapping Brisbane’s trams in 1969 was mentioned as a bad decision, as Melbourne gave a good example of what the system might have looked like if it were still around today. Light rail was also possible, even in Brisbane’s narrow streets, he continued, you just had to get the cars out of the way to make space for it.

All in all, a full house on a pay-to-enter panel discussion, showed that there was significant community interests in the projects mentioned above.


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August 2, 2010 at 9:57 pm

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