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President's Message
Editor's Reflections
National Conference News
State Branch Events
Hyperloop Transport
AITPM Excellence Awards Open
Ted Huxtable Research Grant
Clearer Picture for Sign Design
Graeme and Alan's Discussions
Worth a Read
New Members
Quirky News
Sponsors & Advertising
I recently attended an all-day working session in Melbourne with members of AITPM’s newly formed finance committee. The committee met to streamline the processes for payments and receipts and to review delegations of authority.

That is itself was important but as I reflected on the day on the way home on the plane, I was reminded again of the strong desire to improve the professionalism of the Institute with our limited volunteer and contracted resources. This strong culture underpins the success of the Institute and regardless of how the Institute may be structured as a legal entity, it will continue to underpin the success of the organisation.
The journey of transitioning from an incorporated body to a company limited by guarantee (now imminent) has certainly been challenging for some of our members and as National President I have taken their views on board. But there is no doubt that the efforts and achievements of those actively involved in establishing the strong culture of AITPM in the formative years are responsible for the Institute providing leadership in traffic and transport.

There seems to be no bounds to what we can achieve as an organisation and this is evidenced by the organisation for the forthcoming conference in Perth. The status of the keynote speakers, the quality of the technical papers and the variety of social events all combine to suggest this will be another successful conference. The countdown is underway and I look forward to meeting as many members as is possible during the conference week. The Annual General Meeting will be held at the end of the first full day of conference proceedings and this will provide a good opportunity for us to reflect on what we have achieved over the last 12 months. Hope to see you there!!

Andrew Leedham
AITPM President
National Conference Papers

A few of us have been looking at the program for the 2018 AITPM National Conference.  A couple of papers caught our eye.

Build it and they might not come

At our National Conference in Adelaide in 2014, in the final session, urbanist Jonathon Daly said how much he hated the expression “Build it and they will come”. It is an indication of the approach that we know what is good for people or we know how to build capacity that people will end up using. Using capacity is not the point. 
Fostering a travel environment that is beneficial to the user and the community is the broader objective.

Smith, Buckenara & Suan from the Department of Transport WA have a paper titled “Build it and they might not come: A paper on travel behaviour change interventions in Western Australia”. It gives a history of Travel Demand Management programs in WA plus some details on The Psychology of Behaviour Change. 

Liz Ampt is referred to in a number of references in the paper. Liz is co-authoring a paper at the 2018 National Conference titled “A different approach to road safety behaviour change”.

Designing 30km/h Neighbourhood Streets for WA

Tim Judd from GTA has a paper on designing 30km/h streets. The sub-title is “Can we do it in WA?”

The paper revisits the data on the impact of speeding and discusses how the WA Department of Transport over the last year or so has started to develop the Safe Active Street (SAS) program which, has as one of its core objectives the requirement to ensure slow speeds with an aim to achieve 30km/h – the program has a focus for cycling.

He then goes on to talk about the Self-Explaining Roads Trial in the City of Stirling. “Self-Explaining Roads” - I love that expression.

His paper then lists some of the devices that can be used and finally talks about not just the occasional street but more complete “Safe Street Neighbourhoods”.  

There is a section in Tim’s paper that talks about the psychology behind the designs. Without becoming pretentious about the concepts of psychology, Tim’s paper picks up on this point which is also made in Smith, Buckenara & Suan’s paper discussed above. Psychology has been part of our profession in areas such as signposting; it's just now we are taking it even further.

The MaaS value proposition: evidence from North America

The paper by Falconer, Felder and Zhou on the value proposition of Mobility-as- a-Service (MaaS) is an important step in discussion this issue. MaaS is often seen as smart start-up companies creating new forms of transport that will prove to be good because it is profitable. This could be an example from the paper mentioned above that “Build it and they will come doesn’t mean that it is a service that achieves broader community benefits”. In this paper they say that “We are concerned that the evolution of MaaS has thus far been motivated almost exclusively by the digital and information technology sectors, and private sector mobility innovators. For various reasons, governments (especially city governments) and public transport agencies have been reactive, resulting in a MaaS ecosystem that does not necessarily satisfy a broad agenda for our urban environments (Polis 2017). 

Targeting cycling infrastructure at train stations: a dockless bike share propensity index

In many ways transport solutions are expressed in one-dimensional terms. The paper by Walsh and Aston on cycling infrastructure at train stations, takes up the point about the first and last stages of some trips, namely getting to and from the train station. In part they say “As park’n’ride access to railway stations becomes increasingly constrained, cycling to stations, or bike’n’ride, represents an increasingly attractive and convenient alternative. While much research explores the determinants of cycling as an access and egress mode for rail, understanding of the determinants share bikes as a feeder mode is limited”.

In a similar vein, the paper at the conference titled "Autonomous vehicles – devil in details” also highlights the detailed management that we need to give to developing technologies and systems. 

Melbourne goes for P-Turns

We all know Melbourne’s quirky hook-turns, but now they are implementing P-Turns on a critical intersection on Hoddle Street.

Right turning vehicles at an intersection block a lane while waiting for a chance to make their turn. So the plan is that they will go straight through the intersection and then do a U-Turn further up the road, then come back to make an easier, less congesting movement at the critical intersection.

Vic Roads will establish one of two ways to do this depending on which approach you are on.  On one approach you will go straight through the intersection, make a U-Turn and then come back and make a left turn.  On another approach they have established the system where you make a left turn, then a U-turn and then a straight through movement.
Signposting this is quite a challenge.  Victoria have gone for descriptive signs. 

I discussed the issues with Alan Finlay and he suggests, among other things, that more diagrammatic signs would be more helpful.

The full interview can be heard here:

More data so it must be a good idea - right?

Integrated Roadways, a technology start-up from Kansas City, Missouri, is trialling a Smart Pavement system in Colorado, which promises real-time traffic data collection, automated accident alerts, and high-speed connectivity.

The system uses precast concrete sections embedded with digital technology and fiber-optic connectivity, which makes roadways touch-sensitive to vehicle positions.

While the information is good, the approach seems to be moving in the opposite direction to other applications.  In this case you are implementing what appears to be expensive data collection at many points along a motor way.  Other applications are focusing on broader detection systems such as video with cleaver software to identify issues.
I asked John Reid from National Platinum Sponsor Austraffic what he thought and he said “Very short sighted in terms of technology and evolutions. Highway owners seek less pavement intrusion not more.”

Sign Posts can do so much more

At the Transportation Group conference in NZ in March, 3M gave a presentation that, in part, covered smart signposting, Signposting has always been about what the driver, rider or pedestrian can “see”.  Now it is moving into the area of what the vehicle can “see”. Signposting will be able to embed technology that can communicate varying messages to the vehicle which in turn can react to the information and/or pass it onto the driver.

How it passes it on to the driver is a whole new question which I am looking at in more detail in a different project.

Another possible benefit is that if the signpost is accurately placed and calibrated, it can become a reference point for vehicles to check the accuracy of the settings of their location systems. 

Signpost inventory

Keeping track of signposting is also becoming more automated.

The Route Fifty newsletter reports the following:

The Colorado Department of Transportation wanted a way to ascertain the dimensions of signs and other physical assets it manages along state roadways, without its employees risking life or limb working in traffic, so the agency turned to a laser measurement solution.

Esri recently made its Survey 123 for ArcGIS mobile app compatible with ikeGPS’s Spike tool, which measures the areas, elevations, distances and GPS locations of objects in photos taken with a smartphone or tablet. The laser itself attaches to mobile devices and communicates with applications.


White roads to beat the heat 

Black roads absorb heat. Ambient heat then radiates into surrounding environment making for stifling neighbourhood conditions.  To combat this we turn on our air-conditioners.
The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services, started a project last year of painting the streets white. Using an off-white CoolSeal, a water-based asphalt emulsion that reflects the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them they have shown an average of 10 to 15 degrees cooler than roads with traditional, untreated blacktop. CoolSeal, is typically applied in two coats.  It is reported that is has also passed crucial durability and wet skid testing. Alan Finlay asks the very relevant question “What colour road markings are used?”.

Karl Marx Pedestrian Crossings

The home town of Karl Marx is celebrating the 200th anniversary of his birth with new pedestrian lights.
The Karl Marx symbol looks a bit like Santa Claus and Marx is often stereotyped and dismissed as being a “communist” which is one word that can mean many things to many different people. He actually wrote with a passion and consideration that saw some benefits in capitalism but it is much easier just to think of him in one-dimensional pigeonholes.
The Overdrive radio program has pondered what other figures in history might also be placed on our traffic lights such as Newton and Darwin, but the dreaded myths of what they did might overpower the representations.

Experiencing the other point of view

A number of AITPM conference and meetings have highlighted the need for cycling in our cities but have also gone beyond the theory and given attendees the opportunity to experience the practical needs of cyclists. On one occasion in Melbourne we travelled to Williamstown and everyone had a bike to ride around and experience the difficulties of rough roads, narrow lanes and the potential dangers of people opening their car doors.

I had the opportunity recently to experience the conditions of another group of road users; heavy vehicle drivers.

I drove a series of new Scania trucks including a semi-trailer, a B-double and a B-Triple. The three trailer B-Triple had an all up weight of 82 tonnes. I even did a hill start in this huge vehicle and while it is obviously not quick off the mark, the new technology made it relatively easy and smooth.

We reported on our conversations with Scania executives in the last newsletter but this was now the chance to experience the real thing.

The amount of technology that is going into new trucks is very impressive. From a road safety and public acceptance point of view I particularly like the adaptive cruise control. It not only means that the truck will stay a safe distance behind another vehicle, it can help reduce tailgating which gives the heavy vehicle industry such a negative image in the public’s mind.

Director of Sales for Scania in Australia, Martin Toomey, who has a passion for better road safety and less pollution, will be joining us at the AITPM Victoria branch lunch meeting ‘Minister’s Budget Luncheon’ as a guest of Austraffic and on the 8th May he will be chairing and presenting at the opening session of the Global Heavy Vehicle Leaders’ Summit in Melbourne which will include a prestation from Australia’s Chief Scientist D Alan Finkel. We will report on this event in a future newsletter.


I spent ANZAC Day in the Gawler Ranges National Park (approx. 400 km NW of Adelaide). Nice touch from Mazda on their car launch. They brought and erected a flag pole with an Australian flag so we had a dawn remembrance gathering. Majestic scenery, calm and a peacefulness that we reflected on the sacrifice of others.

I am not sure what it means

I drove along the M6 motorway between Wollongong and Sydney and there is a series of dynamic overhead signs that light up with a message depending on your speed. They’re not new, but it had been a while since I have used this road and I had to think about what the signs meant.
This is what I saw.

What does this mean?  Am I over the limit or am I doing the legal speed limit? I tried it when I was 10km/h under the limit and it still came up with the same message but there was a car near to me.  I tried it when I was on my own and it stayed blank.

It wasn’t obvious to me and I think I spent too much concertation trying to work it out.

There is some research that showed the value of telling motorists the positive rather than the negative and there is a danger in listing the speed I was traveling at for fear it becomes a challenge to get the highest reading.

I just wonder however what might be a positive message? Perhaps “Well done you are not over the limit” and a negative message “We have detected you speeding” or something similar? It’s not just me, Alan Finlay thinks the wording is basically useless.
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The 2018 National Conference, to be held in Perth, is shaping up to be the BIGGEST we have ever had with more keynote speakers than ever, a new Freight, Ports and Aviation Stream and a fourth day of events added to the program.
  • Tuesday 24th July: Two informative city tours to choose from (Perth City highlights bike tour/ RAC Autonomous Intellibus tour)
  • Wednesday 25th July: Concurrent and plenary sessions across four streams
  • Thursday 26th July: Concurrent and plenary sessions across four streams
  • Friday 27th July: Four forums and workshops to choose from.
In 2018 the National Conference will feature:
  1. International Speakers: From London, NYC, Singapore and Albuquerque
  2. Leading Case Studies such as:
  • UK Autodrive: Hear from the Project Director Tim Armitage on how the private/ public partnership is working and the lessons learnt across the host cities
  • National Freight and Supply Chain Inquiry and Westport Taskforce: Nicole Lockwood will take us through the National Inquiry and the strategy of Westport in WA
  • NYC Vision Zero : Hear directly from Paul Steely-White a leading advocate for bicycling, walking and public transportation in NYC on how the Vision Zero Action Plan is helping to help end traffic deaths and injuries on New York City streets.
  • Safeguarding Sydney: working with the Terrorism Protection Unit, A/ Professor Douglas Tomkin will highlight recent work including safeguarding the Sydney Opera House, protection of Sydney transport hubs and other places of mass gathering.
As well as an exemplary technical program during the days, we have put together a diverse range of networking events that take place at a range of unique venues across the Perth CBD. Please have a look through the 2018 CONFERENCE PROGRAM  then head over to our Travel page when you are ready to book to take advantage of the exclusive packages and rates we have secured for our delegates.

Early bird specials are available until 25th May with savings of up to $110 per registration.

We look forward to welcoming you to the West Coast!

Zoe Wilks
AITPM National Conference Convenor
Explore conference website
Companies to look out for at National Conference

(click images for enlarged versions)
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> Queensland Branch

2 May 
QLD Bike Week Event

> South Australian Branch

16 May
Technical Forum on Safe Intersection Design
> Victorian Branch

3 May
Minister's Budget Luncheon

> West Australian Branch

1 May
Regional Event at Bunbury

By Graeme Pattison

Hyperloop is a proposed and exciting new form of transport that often garners media attention. It basically consists of passenger or cargo vehicles moving at very high  speeds in sealed tubes. Most "vactrain" concepts have a partial vacuum in the tube to massively reduce air friction while avoiding the very high engineering costs of total vacuums. Various propulsion and suspension systems are being investigated. There are so far no operating systems but a number of limited length developmental ones are being tested.

The advantages would be very high speeds, low operating costs due to low energy usage, frequent departures using small vehicles for turn-up-and-go service, minimal land space requirements and high safety levels due to being fully controlled systems. There is debate on the level of passenger discomfort from high G forces.
It is very difficult to introduce a totally new type of transport system that requires extensive technical development, massive dedicated infrastructure and land-space, groundbreaking governmental approvals and public acceptance. Yet several companies are now spending huge sums to turn their hyperloop technologies into practical transport systems. Of course this means those companies, their management and investors are convinced that hyperloop is viable and not too far in the future.

Elon Musk gave the infant vactrain industry a great boost in 2013 when he released a white paper detailing the economic and engineering factors for his proposed hyperloop between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

This proposal was offered as an alternative to the intended heavy rail link and so allowed a technical and cost comparison between the options of road, rail, hyperloop and air transport. His engineering proposal had a technical innovation to overcome a serious hurdle that constrained earlier hyperloop designs. This was to place an air compressor in the vehicle to suck the air from the front and expel it from the back thereby overcoming the progressive build up of pressurised air within the tube caused by the vehicle having a piston effect on the low but not negligible air density in the tube. The air density would be equivalent to the atmosphere at 45km high. The laws of physics hamper the speed of vehicles (or pods) in tubes as air friction and energy consumed go up exponentially as the vehicle approaches the speed of sound. A factor known as the Kantrowitz Limit constrains upper speeds to be dependent on the ratio of the vehicle cross sectional area to the tube cross sectional area. Using much larger tubes to reduce this ratio is not viable because of tube infrastructure costs. 

The proposed Los Angeles to San Francisco transport link estimated figures were:
  1. High speed rail link build cost $US68 billion, average speed 264kph, $US210 return trip cost and 2 hours 38 minutes travel time each way.
  2. Air travel was 1 hour 15 minutes each way and $US158 return 
  3. Road (car) travel was 5 hours 30 minutes each way and $US115 return.
  4. In contrast Musk's team estimated a hyperloop system would reach a speed of 1,220kph, take 35 minutes each way and cost $US40 return with a build cost of $US6 billion.  The capacity would be 840 passengers per hour each way.
While Elon Musk has a reputation for optimistic figures there appears to be good scope for the hyperloop to be a better and cheaper alternative than high speed rail. As his system would be supported 6m above ground level on pylons with 30m spacings, the land take would be minimal and the space underneath could continue to be used for roads, industry and farming. A significant further benefit is the resultant easier land acquisition and costs, particularly along vertically shared highway corridors. In comparison the high speed rail footprint would be a 30m wide fully dedicated area with expensive and limited crossing points. The tube on pylons method also allows a high degree of off-site prefabrication and reduced on-site construction time. 

The white paper gives insight into details such as extreme speed vehicle suspension systems, linear motors, vehicle propulsion both external and by internal batteries, G forces and track curvature, earthquake resistance and more for those who are interested. Importantly it was placed in the public domain and the IP can now be used freely by other system developers.

Hyperloop appears to have a niche advantage where the travel distance is medium length, perhaps less than 1500km, and where traffic volumes are high. For very long distances air travel wins economically as infrastructure is only needed at the airports and for the actual planes, but not along the route itself. For short distances car, light and heavy rail are generally optimal, depending on transport loads and urban development etc. Musk gives the cost of hyperloop stations as $US125M each and $US3.8B for the twin (two way) tubes, pylons and vacuum pumps covering a length of 570km between LA and San Francisco. This equates to $US6.7M per kilometre and although likely to be a serious under estimate, it is far below high speed rail infrastructure costs. Virgin Hyperloop One company puts the twin tube figure at $US10M per mile.

To build up commitment and funding support for hyperlink systems several companies have been pitching proposals to particular cities and even staging a competitive city registration process. Systems have been proposed in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, India and Indonesia. But the risk level are high as a fully working actual hyperloop system is yet to be seen. There is speculation that Abu Dhabi (which can afford risk) may proceed with hyperloop as a statement of looking to the future and using leading technologies.

Despite feasibility being questioned and other criticisms, things are actually happening. Virgin Hyperloop One company has more than 300 employees, $US295M capital funding and a 3.5m diameter test track in Nevada. SpaceX has built a test track about 1.6km long in California. Hyperloop Transport Technologies also in California recently had 30 paid employees plus 800 collaborators and is using a partial crowdsourcing approach. It has just taken delivery of 4m diameter tubes for a 320m test track in Toulouse, France and a full scale passenger capsule is nearing completion in Spain. The tube size is optimised for shipping containers.
Numerous universities also have hyperloop development projects and component testing underway. The Technical University of Munich won a hyperloop model vehicle speed competition in 2017 with 324kph ( 

So what are the prospects for an actual hyperloop transport system deployment? That's too hard for me to predict despite the engineering factors seeming to be quite positive. The risks, the expensive development yet to be carried out and the institutional issues are still the main concerns.

WSP is looking to appoint a Senior Traffic & Development Engineer to play a lead role within our Melbourne Integrated Transport planning team.

At WSP we make extraordinary efforts to attract, develop, engage and retain the best professionals in our fields of expertise because this is what makes us great. 

Due to the continuous success of our Australian operations, we currently have an opportunity for a Senior Traffic & Development Engineer to play a lead role within our Victorian Integrated Transport planning team.  This is a unique position which will give the successful candidate exposure to both the infrastructure and buildings sector. 

You will be responsible for:
  • Leadership in the Development Planning market sector
  • Monitoring and managing the scope of multiple projects of varying complexity and size
  • Producing high level technical reports, including traffic impact assessments of varying sizes and levels of complexity
  • Contributing to proposals and pursuits
  • Contributing to building the technical capability of others and transferring technical expertise within the organisation
  • Assisting in the design of development layouts
  • Coordinating and undertaking traffic engineering and modelling tasks
The successful person will have:

Consulting experience in the local Victorian market (highly desirable)
  • Relevant tertiary qualifications such as a Bachelor’s Degree (Engineering) or equivalent
  • CPEng accreditation / working towards (highly desirable)
  • Local experience / knowledge of planning legislation is a preference
  • Existing client relationships with private developers and/or Local Councils is desirable
  • Experience in working on development planning projects is essential
  • 8-15 years’ post-graduate experience
  • Experience leading technical project teams in a fast paced environment 
  • Competence in providing key technical expertise across a broad range of projects
  • Experience in managing risk on substantial projects
  • Delivering best client outcomes/options which have saved the client costs/time
Express your interest by emailing Mark Gilbert – Your application will be treated in strict confidence.

WSP supports a diverse and inclusive work environment as well as equal employment opportunities. We encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people of culturally diverse backgrounds to apply.

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AITPM is pleased to advise that applications for the AITPM Excellence Awards 2018 are now open.  
The AITPM Excellence Awards are the peak industry accolade in the Traffic and Transport industry. These awards recognise professional excellence and encourage innovation and practices that challenge the standard way that industry approaches their services. Winners of the award will have demonstrated practices which will drive improvements in the industry that ultimately benefit the wider community.

These awards are a great opportunity for AITPM members to gain reward and recognition for innovations in Traffic Engineering/Management, Transport Planning, Transport and Land Use Modelling, Road Safety and Traffic Data.  

The Excellence Awards recognise excellence across all of the related fields of Traffic and Transportation. Submissions are invited from members (including corporate member organisations) in any field covered by the AITPM membership. This includes:
  • Traffic Engineering/Management
  • Transport Planning
  • Transport and Land Use Modelling
  • Road Safety
  • Traffic Data
More information is available on our website ( ) or you can download a brochure via the button below.
Download Awards Brochure
AITPM is proud to announce this inaugural research grant in the name of Ted Huxtable.

Ted Huxtable was AITPM’s first life member who passed away in 2014 at the age of 88. Ted was also NRMA’s first traffic engineer who was pivotal in guiding the organisation’s policies in traffic engineering, transport planning and road safety. Ted was a devoted AITPM member and he bequeathed $10,000 to the Institute on his passing.

The Grant
The purpose of the Ted Huxtable Research Grant is to foster research or investigations into emerging areas of interest to the traffic and transport industry. The desired outcome of these investigations will represent leading edge efficiency, safety and/or sustainability and have clear and direct benefits to the Australian transport system and its users. The research may be conducted in Australia or overseas.

The research work will be presented by the successful applicant(s) at the AITPM national conference in Adelaide in 2019.

AITPM will make available a total of up $10,000 in grants to be awarded to one or more successful applicants.

An application may be received from an individual AITPM member or a team of members. Applicants may collaborate with employers and/or industry partners and seek additional financial or in-kind sponsorship or support to leverage the grant. Applicants shall have at least one year of relevant practical experience in the transport industry, shall have at least 2 years’ membership with AITPM and commit to remain a member for 1 year following the completion of the assignment.

Applications must state the aim of the research investigations and clearly state the desired/expected outcome and be delivered to the National Administration Officer ( by 31 May 2018.

Members considering applying should advise the National Administration Officer as soon as practical so that appropriate guidance can be provided in preparing the formal application.

The applications should state:
  • Name, address and contact details of the applicant(s)
  • Current state of employment and employer
  • Names of associated partners
  • Statement of research objectives and expected outcomes
  • Location(s) where research will be undertaken
  • Why this work is important and how it can benefit Australia
  • A detailed methodology and work plan
  • How it is proposed to collaborate with employers and partners
  • A schedule showing key milestones and completion date
  • Estimate of costs and expenses and level of financial support provided by the applicant/partners together with an indicative cash flow
  • Contact details if working overseas.
  • Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals with AITPM prior to preparing a submission.
Assessment of applications
Applications will be assessed by a sub-committee nominated by AIPTM national council. Applicants may be required to provide additional information if requested or attend an interview. The decision of national council will be final.
Administration of the grant
The proposed research should be completed within 6 months of award unless a longer period is negotiated with AITPM at the outset. Progress reports shall be submitted on a fortnightly basis together with any relevant documents. The grant will be made available in increments commensurate with the cash flow forecasts provided with the application.  Evidence of expenses incurred shall be provided in support of claims.

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The design of around 600 road signs used right across Australia have been updated, and some redesigned, to improve safety on Australian roads.
The Australian Standard, AS 1743:2018, Road signs – specifications, has been published by Standards Australia to help guide manufacturers and enhance the safety of road users.

The standard guides the design and dimensions of approximately 600 road signs used across Australia. Information from AS 2342, Development, testing and implementation of information and safety symbols and symbolic signs, has been incorporated into this new standard.
“The difference is not obvious but motorists right across Australia will notice the signs easier to read from a distance,” said Mr Thuan Nguyen, Chair of Standards Australia’s technical committee for road signs and traffic signals.

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AITPM Fellow Members Graeme Pattison and Alan Finlay often swap emails about some traffic engineering issues. Here are a few that are worth reflecting on.

White light or yellow light

The Issue
The city of Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand, is exploring the possibility of installing amber LED lighting. The decision comes at a time of heightened concern about the possible deleterious effects of white LED street lights on wellbeing.

If Dunedin does adopt amber LED street lights it will be following in the footsteps of Flagstaff in the American state of Arizona.

The Safer Cities conference (London 13 and 14 November 2018) will focus on lighting as a tool to improve security and wellbeing in urban communities. 

Alan Commented
OK, but what about the possible confusion with amber (yellow) traffic signals?  I remember Frank Huslcher (former traffic and design engineer with the NSW Road Authority - RIP) doing research on the safety implications when western Sydney roads used a lot of low pressure sodium vapour street lighting. I can’t recall the detailed results of that research but I do think that there was a move away from low pressure sodium to high pressure sodium (a more pinkish, whitish yellow) or mercury vapour (traditional white) street lighting.

Graeme Replied 
I remember a trial involving sodium vapour street lamps (SOX) along Woodville Road in western Sydney in the early 1980's. The study was to look at safety impacts and the question of yellow traffic signals becoming part of the background because of the yellowish sodium lighting.  The NSW Traffic Accident Research Unit accident studies at the time had shown that the accident risk at signal sites with SOX lighting was increased by 18% over signal sites with other types of street lighting.

LED lighting now has a range of available colour hues and hence street  lighting can have a selected spectrum whereas the old sodium lamps were fixed wavelength. Hopefully authorities will in future choose colours that don't contribute to road safety problems.

There was another related problem early on with VMS when it was found that various brands of sunglasses in the USA filtered out the parts of the red/amber spectrum of LED VMS - the signs appeared totally black.

Graeme’s follow up email

Here is a section from Frank Hulscher's book "A Signal Career":

The first report was submitted to the Traffic Authority of NSW in 1980.  The second report was submitted in August 1984.  The members of the Working Group were F. R. Hulscher (Convenor), Chief Inspector N.J. Walden, P.G. Croft, D.G. Saffron and C.E. Hallam.  A summary of the material covered in these reports and subsequent findings are contained in the paper THE PROBLEM OF STOPPING DRIVERS AFTER THE TERMINATION OF THE GREEN SIGNAL AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS, published in Traffic Engineering + Control  Vol. 25 No. 3 (March 1984).

The problem was that the chromaticity of the SOX lighting is very close to that of yellow signals, which seemed to ‘disappear’ in the transition from green to red.  Many MOPs asserted that they had suddenly and unexpectedly seen a red signal come up in front of them.  In most cases the evidence pointed to excessive speed and perhaps inattention, but as it was a persistent problem, we decided to look into it.

Some MOPs (members of the public) had suggested flashing the yellow; others the green.  I had got Dave Davis to arrange for some target boards along Woodville Road (where most of the MOPs’ frustrations originated) to be provided with 3M high-intensity reflective border tape, but this proved not to be effective, as the car headlights were aimed too low.  I tried to get the Prospect County Council to fit cut-off baffles in front of those SOX fittings which were in line of sight with yellow signal aspects, but they dismissed this as an impractical idea.  TARU accident studies had shown that the accident risk at signal sites with SOX lighting is increased by 18% over signal sites with other types of street lighting.  I rang Jack Whittemore of the Electricity Authority of NSW to acquaint him with the problem.  Although Jack asked for full details of the TARU study, and appeared to be concerned about the findings, the Councils strongly opposed any restrictions on use of SOX lighting because of its cheapness”.

Here is another reference:  DRIVER OBSERVANCE OF TRAFFIC LIGHT SIGNALS: SECOND REPORT Hulscher, Croft Saffron et al

Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures

The Issue
Automated traffic signal performance measures (ATSPMs), enables transportation agencies to incorporate performance-based approaches in traffic signal operations, maintenance, design, and management.

They claim that ATSPMs provide high-resolution data to actively manage performance and improve safety and customer service while cutting congestion and costs.

See video on ATSPMs.

David’s hope this will lead to better operation

If we can detect exactly where vehicles are could we do away with yellow and all red items in some circumstances?  Last car goes through so change immediately to green in the other direction 

With pedestrian crossings will we be able to have the phase for only as long as it is needed depending on how long the pedestrian has taken to cross.

Alan’s Response 
I understand and share your frustration at traffic signals that appear to be unresponsive.  There are many potential reasons for this, but a fundamental principle is that ‘main road’ traffic requires to be coordinated, and so side street or turning traffic generally suffers greater delays (compared to true isolated, vehicle-actuated operation).  In order to provide main road coordination, all intersections in the ‘sub-system’ MUST operate at a common cycle length (CL). That CL will be determined by the busiest intersection and may be more than what is required at the minor intersections. So if you are sitting in a side street at a minor intersection, you may perceive an unreasonable delay but your delay (and that of other ‘minor’ users) is the trade-off for good coordination of main road traffic, which probably includes ‘high value’ vehicles like buses and B-double trucks. Having said all that, sometimes SCATS is not set up optimally and this can lead to the CL in off peak periods being higher than necessary.

Pedestrian signal timing is based on how fast a typical pedestrian walks, typically 1.2m/s.  So if the crossing length is 24m, it is necessary to allow 20s for the flashing red man period, after the green man period (typically 6s minimum). This is why we insist on push buttons for all pedestrian features in NSW.  We do not want to introduce pedestrian features unless they are really needed, because they require much more time than one or two vehicles.

New detector technology, including vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, MIGHT be able to change the way signals operate in the future but we need to be mindful of the mix of vehicles and road users in the overall system.  It will be many years before we have a homogeneous high technology vehicle fleet, and we also need to design for unpredictable human behaviour as well as disabled and less mobile road users.

Byton opens Los Angeles lab to work on user experience and future concepts

The Issue
“Revolutionising the user experience in the car is at the core of Byton,” said Dr Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and co-founder, Byton. “We’re working very hard to make sure your Byton vehicle is a next-generation smart device – a smartphone on wheels. Our LA Future Lab will push that idea to the bleeding edge of what’s possible, and we’re already excited for what we will be able to share in the future.”

Graeme’s response
Sometimes I wonder if the AV / EV start-ups are just day dreams but when I read articles like this and find they are employing top notch experienced people, they must be doing something right ......

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Safer road signs designed to reduce risk of signs 'spearing' into windscreens in car crashes
Engineer John Spathonis knew he had to act when he saw a photo of a fatal car crash in which a road sign had pierced the vehicle's windscreen.

After more than two years of research, Mr Spathonis said engineers came up with a simple solution involving strengthened brackets and fasteners to prevent signs from sliding along poles.

Read more

Lower M1 speed limits to be reviewed after fewer crashes during Games
Almost 1000 warnings were dished out to motorists illegally using special Commonwealth Games lanes on the Gold Coast this month, but only a handful were fined.

The state government is also set to review speeds on the M1, which were reduced by 10km/h for the duration of the Games, following early indications they reduced the number of crashes on Queensland's busiest road.

Read more

News - Better roads essential for safer cycling
A QUT-led study of Queensland motorists and cyclists recommends that efforts to improve cyclist safety during overtaking events should focus on improving roadway infrastructure.

Read more
New 40km/h rule to protect our emergency service workers and volunteers
The NSW Government said it will introduce a new road rule requiring motorists to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency service workers and volunteers on the roadside.

Read more

Dramatic shifts in transport trends of UK cities, revealed in new report
Ageing urban populations, rapid bus passenger decline and huge growth in private hire vehicles are just some of the dramatic shifts taking place in UK cities, a new report from the Urban Transport Group reveals.

Read more

Birmingham launches mobility subscription
Public transport users in the West Midlands will from tomorrow be able to manage a monthly subscription for their mobility through a smartphone app known as Whim.

For £349 a month users can access unlimited public transport across the region including travel on buses, trams, trains and hire bicycles as well as taxis, coaches and car hire through participating companies.

Read more

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SA Branch meeting - Aberfoyle Park Precinct Study

An almost full house attended the South Australian Branch - April Technical Forum to hear AITPM stalwart Bill Cirocco deliver a presentation outlining the Aberfoyle Park Precinct Study. Bill tells us that he is a traffic engineer of note now working at the City of Onkaparinga having previously worked at DPTI.
Bill was his entertaining self and outlined the study process of:
  • Precinct Identification
  • Precinct Prioritisation and selection of Aberfoyle Park
  • The Community engagement and outcomes, and
  • The Precinct Traffic Plans and Recommendations
The process was guided by a ‘new’ approach developed for the City of Onkaparinga. Several precincts have been identified within the city and these are bordered by natural features or arterial roads, similar characteristics such as their Land Use, their Topography, their Communities, Traffic Levels and Speed environment.
The Historical significance of the precinct was also taken into account.
Then a Criteria Weighting was applied to the following categories:
  • Crash statistics
  • Traffic speeds
  • Through traffic
  • Commercial vehicles, and
  • Activity generators
Bill drew particular attention to the Community Engagement process and outcomes. And whilst 300 responses to the online survey were received. Council officers outnumbered attendees at the three information sessions held.
Thanks to AECOM for the use of their office on King William Street in central Adelaide. Before the event a superb sunset was witnessed from the AECOM offices.

SA Branch meeting - O-Bahm tech forum

17 members and guests from AITPM SA enjoyed a presentation from Dariusz Fanok, Senior Project Manager with the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure on the design, construction and operation of the O-Bahn tunnel and city access project. 

The O-Bahn operates from Adelaide’s north eastern suburbs but services often suffered significant delays and journey time unreliability at two congested major signalised intersections on the approach to the CBD. The O-Bahn city access project provided a tunnel under these intersections and sections of the Adelaide Parklands emerging adjacent to the main bus corridor through the CBD. The project supports target: 63 of the South Australia Strategic Plan to increase the use of public transport to 10% of metropolitan weekday passenger vehicle kilometres travelled by 2018 and also links to the Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan and 30 year Plan for Greater Adelaide.

The first passenger services ran on 11 December 2017 and full operation of all services started from 17 December 2017

Buses approaching the CBD on Hackney Road before the Tunnel
The primary project objective was to improve travel times and reliability, and reduce on-road delays for users of the O-Bahnservice between the end of the busway at Gilberton and Grenfell Street over the next 30 years, whilst other objectives included improve safety and travel time, and reduce congestion for traffic on the Inner Ring Route, minimise impacts to the travelling public, business operations and the wider community during construction, minimise impacts upon the environment and heritage, including the Park Lands and complete the project within the $160 million allocated budget by December 2017.

The tunnel design and construction included two separate construction techniques. The tunnel beneath the Parklands used cut and cover construction based on open excavation and use of in-situ concrete base slab and concrete walls and a precast concrete roof. The tunnel sections within and under the roadways used top down construction, with sheet piling to create the tunnel walls and provide load bearing structures for the retained road overhead whilst the tunnel was dug out from underneath. 

As the project crossed sections of the Parklands, a number of trees had to be removed. Fauna handlers were engaged to inspect trees prior to their removal and vegetation removal in Rundle and Rymill Parks saw the capture and relocation of 3 Ringtail Possums and 18 Brush Tail Possums. Fauna boxes have been installed in Rundle and Rymill Parks to assist with minimising the impact of the project on the wildlife.

Key challenges for the project included significant statutory approvals, with a number of heritage and environmentally sensitive locations, including a heritage listed creek culvert about the tunnel roof, the wettest winter in 80 years (2016) and 3rd wettest summer in 50 years and maintaining supply through the protection of a 66kV electrical cable that also had to be diverted as part of the works. The majority of the tunnel invert is also below the groundwater level and as a result the contractors had to manage significant inflow rates.

The traffic management for the construction also had to ensure safe and sufficient capacity for access to Adelaide Fringe Events, Adelaide International 3 Day Equestrian Event, Clipsal 500, Tour Down Under and WOMAD and Moonlight Cinema. Many of these events are concurrent in February and March, creating significant traffic volume increases. 
The finished tunnel provides a whole raft of innovative ITS solutions, including:
  • Full coverage of the tunnel by Video Incident Detection System and PTZ Cameras,
  • Linear heat detection, air quality and wind speed monitoring
  • Emergency and Guide Way LED Lighting for length of the tunnel
  • Public Address Speakers inside the tunnel and Emergency Egress Corridor
  • Unauthorised Vehicle Detection and Overheight Vehicle Detection
  • Queue Detection option on the Grenfell Street approach
  • Dimmable LED Tunnel Lighting (First in Australia)
  • Intelligent luminaires and centralised management providing a reduction in operational costs
  • Tunnel ventilation through 6 Jet Fans which are 15% more energy efficient with monitoring and variable speed
  • Comprehensive electrical & vibration monitoring providing predictive maintenance and lower operational costs
  • Fire System providing the first road tunnel deluge system in SA, which is fully integrated into the Traffic Management Centre at Norwood to provide safety and reliability in operation
Prior to the tunnel opening there was 9 months of testing and commissioning both on and off site including Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT), Site Acceptance Tests (SAT), System Integration Acceptance Tests (SIAT), drive tests with the Bus Emergency Recovery Vehicle (Dumbo) and three models of buses, hot smoke tests, deluge Tests, triggered remotely from the Traffic Management Centre, Tunnel emergency exercise, (with over 100 volunteers evacuated from three buses stuck inside the tunnel), operational scenario testing and bus driver familiarisation, theory, practical training and Traffic Management Centre operator training.
Dariusz was thanked in the customary way for his informative and entertaining presentation.

Queensland YPG meeting

The AITPM QLD YPN recently held a networking event at the Newstead Brewery Company in Milton which was attended by around 35 people. Attendees heard from Jason Brook, Senior Transport Planner at Point8, who presented a discussion on the potential futures of parking in South-Queensland and how the Australian parking industry may respond to Autonomous Vehicles, Mobility as a Service and the sharing economy. To complete the night, a short round of transport trivia proved to be a popular inclusion.
Queensland meeting – Movie night

AITPM QLD recently held a movie event, sponsored by Austraffic, at Elizabeth Picture Theatre featuring the movie “Citizen Jane – Battle for the City”. The movie told the story of Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and author of "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects, led by urban planner Robert Moses. Following the screening, Matt Burke, Associate Professor at Griffith University, helped with a short but insightful Q&A session.”

AITPM Member Profile - Sharvari Bhuskute
My name is Sharvari Bhuskute. I graduated with Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Structural) from University of Adelaide in 2014. I have been working at Mott MacDonald Adelaide for two and half years as a Graduate Engineer in the transport team.

What is your current role?
I am a Graduate Engineer (Transport) at Mott MacDonald.
I am also the AITPM SA branch secretary.

What first attracted you to get involved in the transport industry?
I am structural engineer by degree, a traffic engineer by trade. In my final year, one of my electives was traffic engineering. 
This sparked my interest in the transport sector. During my first year at Mott MacDonald I attended one of AITPM’s tech forums. The people I met at the AITPM tech forum encouraged me to widen my transport network and get involved in the industry.

Could you explain some key opportunities in your career and how they contributed to your development?
Mott MacDonald has provided wonderful opportunities as part of the Early Professionals Program with technical mentors and support as I progressed through my transition from structural engineering to traffic engineering. Being exposed to projects across various disciplines and continuous support from my colleagues has contributed towards my development.

What has been/will be your involvement with AITPM?
I had applied for the 2016 AITPM Young Professionals Award and was the winner for SA Branch. The award opened doors to the National conference in Sydney. As part of the award, I became a committee member on the SA Branch committee. The award also opened doors to networking opportunities within my State and nationally. At present, I am the SA Branch Secretary, assisting the committee organise SA Branch activities and tech forums. Soon, I will be part of the conference committee to organise the national conference to be held in Adelaide in 2019. It has been a positive experience being part of AITPM.

What has been a memorable moment in your career?
When I completed my first Traffic Impact Assessment independently. One of the basic components of the role as a traffic engineer are traffic impact assessments. After learning the ropes on preparing TIAs it was a memorable moment to finish one independently with support from my colleagues.

What are your personal and/or professional career plans for the future?
Professionally, I would like to continue to grow as a traffic engineer and work on completing my CPEng as a next milestone.  

Do you have any advice you would like to share to professionals in the transport/traffic industry?
It is important to master a specific skill in your disciple but be cautious to not compartmentalise yourself. 
Be open to working within other disciplines and accepting new opportunities.
Gateshead Council has been forced to hit back at a conspiracy theory which claims it is carrying out secret Government trials using its street lights.

The rumours - which are ‘entirely false’ - say the council is testing 5G technology with its street lights causing cancer, miscarriages and insomnia.

The council has stressed they do not use 5G technology ‘in any of its street lights, or in any other capacity. It has never done so'.

In a post on its Facebook page, the council also emphasised their street lights would not cause any medical problems.

It also denied carrying out ‘secret government trials’.

‘We don’t know how these conspiracy stories start, but we are happy to report that this is exactly what these are. These tales are completely untrue and you should ignore them,’ the post said.

‘Please be assured that there is no scientific basis or credible evidence for any of these scare stories about street lights causing cancer and other illnesses.

‘We’ve taken advice from Public Health England who reviewed guidance issued by the World Health Organisation, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation and others, and they have confirmed that there is no risk.

‘We ask you to share this information with your friends and neighbours as we understand that some residents have been badly frightened by these tales, and the more people who understand that they are completely false, the better.’

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National Platinum Sponsors
National Sponsors
Major Branch Sponsors
  • Main Roads Western Australia - WA
  • RAC of WA - WA
  • Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure - SA
  • RAA - SA
  • The Department of Transport and Main Roads - QLD
  • PSA Consulting - QLD/NSW 
  • Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) - NSW
  • Traffic Engineering Centre - NSW
  • VicRoads - VIC 
Branch Sponsors
  • Arup - NSW
  • Bitzios - QLD
  • Point8 - QLD
  • PTT - QLD
  • Donald Veal Consultants - WA
  • GTA - WA
  • GHD – SA
  • GTA - SA
  • Tonkin Consulting - SA
  • O’Brien Traffic - VIC
  • Trafficworks – VIC
  • TraffixGroup – VIC
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