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President's Message
Andrew Leedham


I always find this time of the year interesting – it represents a time of changeover and the “run home”. Winter is officially well and truly over and most of Australia have turned their clocks forward to summer time, school holidays are underway or over leading into the final term for the year, the AFL and NRL (and other winter sport) seasons are over (making way for that most wonderful round ball game and the A League) and many start to look forward to the Christmas-New Year period (although maybe not the cost of it).
For AITPM, the memories of the Melbourne conference start to fade (although the conference committee may still be recovering), the WA conference committee is now running with the conference baton (and I witnessed the other week how well organised they are) and the state branches are planning their end of year events whilst still delivering the last of the years’ technical forums and seminars.

For National Council there is still some serious work to be done over the next two months to ensure we maintain progress towards achieving the targets we have set ourselves (refer my Presidents Report tabled at the AGM). We will be holding a teleconference in mid-October to formalise the charter and composition of the various committees that will eventually report to the new board of directors before holding a full national council meeting in November in Brisbane. Later this month Paul Smith (National Vice-President) and I will be catching up in Melbourne to prepare the draft Strategic Plan which we plan to release for comment in December.

In this edition of the newsletter we re-visit two papers from the National Conference, David Brown our editor provides his thoughtful comments on a number of topical issues, AITPM member Graeme Pattison comments on submissions to the NSW parliamentary inquiry on commuter parking and we recap on a number of recent events held by the Queensland branch.  
Andrew Leedham 
President 

2017 National Conference


The Melbourne conference is still fresh in our minds but already plans are underway for the national conference in Perth next year.

The 2018 AITPM Conference will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.  The conference will open with a Welcome Reception on the evening of Tuesday 24 July; the main conference will take place on Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 July, followed by workshops/forums held on Friday 27 July.

The latest information including a promotional video can be found on our National Conference section of our web site which is updated regularly.  Tell your friends and colleagues.

Call for abstracts

The ‘Call for Abstracts’ for the conference has begun. Abstracts must be submitted as a written submission and/or video using the online form (including headshot) by Thursday 16 November 2017.

Papers should be submitted to one of the three conference streams: Traffic Engineering and Road Safety, Transport Planning, and Transport and Land Use Modelling. Within these streams, papers should identify their key areas of interest, for example:
As a new initiative, you may choose to submit your abstract in the form of a short video. Creativity is encouraged!

You might choose to introduce yourself and provide some background to your topic or you might choose to submit a past video of you presenting with passion, to accompany a written description of your topic. It’s up to you.

Video quality will not impact your submission, so feel free to use your phone or other recording device.
Abstracts must be submitted as a written submission and/or video using the online form (including headshot) by Thursday 16 November 2017.

Conference Sponsors 

The call for 2018 Conference Sponsors is also now open.

Conference sponsorship gives you the opportunity to promote your products and services, while also demonstrating your company’s interest in and commitment to professional development in the traffic management, transport planning and transport modelling industry.

View sponsorship prospectus

Two significant papers from the 2017 National Conference


Safe and active routes to school tool kit

At the AITPM National Conference in 2017, Paul Froggatt from GTA presented an excellent paper on the preparation of a safe and active routes to school kit in Darwin.

It presented the project of developing a tool kit to provide a resource that made it easy for schools to build on some existing initiatives that they developed and then test as a pilot school for the toolkit.  They specifically worked to make it accessible and practical no matter what size or situation a school was in. In his presentation Paul said:

We wanted to make it web based so it was very easily accessible with flexibility of adoption. So reflecting that smaller schools may want to do a couple of things whereas larger schools may want to, need, or be able to do more. The language used was very much clearer and more simple because it's aimed largely at nontechnical transport users. But we still needed to reflect all the relevant standards and guidelines.

It is usually stated that in a project like this the proponents will “consult extensively”.  Paul’s paper showed just how beneficial this can be by embracing a whole quality of life approach with an extensive list of stakeholders including the Heart Foundation, Family and Children’s Services and Community & Cultural management.

For all the work we might do on the positive reasons we wish to implement a series of improvements, it is the negative ideas in people’s minds that often obstruct the progress.  Paul’s work looked as much at identifying the barriers as it did at promoting the benefits.

Catchment tool kit basically making sure you know where your students live, what your existing opportunities are, how your school entrances work, where your parking is -  good or bad in relation to your pedestrian moves, and then identifying your local barriers that may be some physical barriers. It may also be identifying the perceived barriers within your school. Maybe social, maybe cultural. There's all sorts of reasons of barriers that can come out that you don't know until you start asking the questions.

The tool kit addresses some of the other risk factors as well.  Stranger danger is inevitably the one that comes up. And first of all it's ….. no bigger problem today than it was 30 or 40 years ago. And secondly, it's not your strangers that are actually the problem.  It's people that the students already know.  That data is a little bit old but it basically shows that if something's going to happen to a student it's likely to be by a parent or somebody else that they know.

But compared to the risk of that sort of incident, the one-in-three risk of having some sort of illness or disease that's related to lack of physical activity during their life.

Paul’s presentation was especially impressive when you looked at how they interacted with the parents and especially the children about what they were currently doing and what might be helpful.

Not surprisingly parents thought it was probably about year four or even year five when students could travel independently. Needless to say that [children at the age of ] eight or nine w[were much more confident]. "Yeah. And why just school. I can walk to school I don't need mum and dad". Even at that age we did have to turn a blind eye or deaf ear to some of the activities that they reportedly got up to cycling on the way to school.

We had great fun with the student workshops and if you’re ever doing anything with schools you've got to do something with the students. You get really good views of what we're doing that helps them to travel to school. One really good thing they knew where all the safe houses were. Which was a really positive thing so if anything did happen they knew exactly where the safe houses were and their parents knew that they knew.

They also knew where all the street treat shops were so sweet shops or cake shops and things like that. They were the good things on the way to school and their biggest no-no was barking dogs. Pet dogs didn't really bother parents so that's why it's good to get the different views. 

AITPM Members and Conference delegates can get a copy of Paul’s papers from our web site.  An extract of his presentation was also covered in AITPM video news.

 

Whole of Journey - not just compliance in your own area of responsibility

The 2012 review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) highlighted that the Transport Standards have been effective in reducing disability discrimination and progress was continuing towards compliance with the standards, yet further areas of improvement were possible. One of these areas called for a Whole of Journey approach to public transport planning, to further meet the travel needs of people with disability.

“A train door maybe wide enough but if a person cannot access the timetable information they cannot use the train. Real success is only achieved when people are able to make the whole journey”.

This is a quote from Submission 48 - National disability services that was part of a paper at the AITPM 2017 National Conference written by Kylie Nixon, Marissa Powell, and Brian Smith, all from ARUP.

The Paper was titled “The whole journey - A guide for thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys”.

ARUP was commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to produce a Whole Journey Guide.

In her part of the presentation Kylie Nixon said:

It's important for us all understand what is "whole of journey" planning. So if you think about how you actually arrived to this conference today and how you will be coming here every day this week, I guarantee that your journey would have started from home.  And how you would have planned your journey, you would have either based on previous experience, what available information there is out there for you, which may have influenced your choice of mode and then eventually how you actually got here. And obviously your journey didn't start at the stop or the train station or a ferry wharf.  And it isn't going to end at a stop a station or ferry wharf.

And so how we've actually delivered that journey has involved quite a lot of people, including yourselves, urban planners, engineers, operators and different levels of government all coming together, who all need to think about  that whole journey, to have that dialogue about the whole journey. So hence this guide helps to try and unpack what that journey is all about to help promote the understanding of the experiences of the users. One of the most important things that we did was that we listened and we undertook four stakeholder workshops across the country in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne.

So a key part of these workshops is that we actually asked users to actually talk about their experiences and the difficulties they might actually have with accessing public transport. And this is quite empowering actually for all of us to hear firsthand from a user.

So sharing at that workshop also highlighted that whole journey planning isn't just a transport task and also really important part of us when we're helping deliver that whole journey is the human part that human contact.

AITPM Members and Conference delegates can get a copy of Kylie, Marissa and Brian’s paper and slide presentation from our web site.

The guide is available from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
 

Shaking the foundations of modelling: Luis "Pilo" Willumsen

Pilo Willumsen was one of the international speakers at the 2017 Conference and then at workshops at a number of locations around Australia.  A good paper that covers his thoughts about modelling (with his experience with major infrastructure projects) was written in TransportXtra.  The opening paragraph gives a flavour of the article.
The 2007/2008 banking crises was very significant and influenced my view of modelling. I was working with some of the best banks in the world on a toll scheme and requested economic forecasts for the country, which after some reluctance they provided.

These were optimistic: the world was going to continue its high-speed growth; however, a few months later Lehman Bros collapsed. The banks were blind to the looming crisis, and that was a big shock to me.

We know that our forecasts as modellers are not always accurate, but the fact that the best banks in the world could not foresee an imminent crisis, mostly of their own making, was very significant. It shook my assumptions about forecasting.
Reflections from the Editor 
David Brown
  • Open Data 
  • Traffic solutions:  The right time and place.
  • Consumers Fear Technology Failures with Autonomous Vehicles
  • Looking for safer bikes through better braking systems
  • Less seats, more standing on the train
  • App of the week: Freeways
  • Sydney’s Planning Inquiries starting in 1909
Open Data

To make the most use of data we need to know about it, know where to get it and know how to use and present it in the most effective way.

Transport for NSW once again threw their support behind GovHack 2017, giving researchers and developers the opportunity to dig deep into Opal and traffic data to find ways to ease congestion on our roads and transport networks.

GovHack is an annual ‘hackathon’ competition that brings together technology creatives and innovators from the private, public and government sectors, where government data is opened up as a way to explore and discover new ways to help create a better society.

Having access to information is great.  We are also working on programs and other methods on how you present information.  It is not just about pretty images but ones that really convey the true message.
 

Traffic solutions:  The right time and place

Most people know the expression: “A time to be born and a time to die” as used in the protest song “Turn, Turn, Turn” by Pete Seeger.  Its antecedents are from Ecclesiastes in the Bible which include words like:

A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to search and a time to give up,

While I am not trying to contrive a reference to an ancient text, it did come to mind when I read an article about Jakarta which has some of the worse traffic congestion in the world.

In 2003 they launched a the “three-in-one” high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane rule on the main roads in Jakarta’s central business district, from 7-10am and 4.30-7pm.  They have since removed the scheme.

One report said “Many believed the policy was ineffective and felt that opening the restricted road to all would help traffic flow better, but a new study published in the journal Science found the opposite to be true.  Average delays – including on non-restricted roads – rose from 2.1 to 3.1 min/km in the morning peak and from 2.8 to 5.3 min/km in the evening peak”.

The thing I find interesting with this is the comment that “many believed the policy was ineffective”.  I wonder what that means? Is this the type of comment that appears regularly in the media?  If so there is no guarantee of the accuracy of the assessment or whether this represented the opinion of many people.

Does this study prove “car-pooling works?” is also misleading.  Carpooling may work in this situation or it may work at a particular time in this situation.  If the trial failed from 2003 to now, there is no guarantee that it would fail in the future with improved technology that makes matching trips much easier.

In this case the study appeared to show that it worked but I would also challenge any assessment soon after a change.  We have to assess success in the long term.

More words from the original text:

A time to keep and a time to throw away
A time to tear and a time to mend
A time to be silent and a time to speak
 

Consumers Fear Technology Failures with Autonomous Vehicles

Many people are predicting the benefits that will arise from autonomous vehicles.  But the key issue will be the market acceptance which will have to survive specific failures. AITPM member Graeme Pattison sent in this reference:

With the exception of Gen Y1, all other generational groups are becoming more skeptical of self-driving technology, which poses a new challenge to car manufacturers and technology developers, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Tech Choice Study.

The sub heading of the media release said “But Drivers of All Ages Embrace Driving Assistance Features, J.D. Power Finds”.  Perhaps this gives us some direction on how we should manage the changeover which could be spread over many years.
 

Looking for safer bikes through better braking systems

It has been said that if motor bikes had been invented today they would never get approved for use on our roads because of their inherent danger.  But we have them now and they will never get banned.

But if they are dangerous should we not mandate for special attention with safety equipment.

The Australian Government has today begun consulting on options to improve the safety of motorcycle riders through the greater use of advanced braking systems.

The Advanced Motorcycle Braking Systems for Safer Riding early assessment Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) analyses options to improve safety for motorcycle riders by increasing the use of advanced braking systems.

There has been a range of suggestions for improved motorcycle safety, including airbags. 

Commercial vehicles, including large trucks, have not been at the forefront of implementing technologies to improve safety.  We reported recently driving the first four tonne truck with standard electronic stability control.

Maybe we need to push harder in areas where we know the risk is higher.
 
 
Less seats, more standing on the train

Sydney is introducing a new “Metro” train line with carriages that have fewer seats and more standing room, even though the line is not a short loop around the city but rather a major, longer commuter trip service.  Melbourne is now following suit.

Designs for a planned fleet in Melbourne of 65 new high-capacity trains that will enter service from mid-2019 show that they will carry between 1200 and 2000 passengers each, depending on their configuration, and they will be designed to maximise standing room, with seats provided for just 30 to 40 per cent of passengers in a fully loaded train.

As a traveller who mainly uses trains in the off-peak period when there can still be a reasonable number of passengers but not packed to capacity, I would like to think that there were as many seats as possible.  This reminded me of a project that Monash University is doing where they are looking at new designs for the inside of the bus, including seats that can fold away in the peak period but be available in the off-peak. 

I also remember doing a story where it was suggested that inflatable seats be made like a bouncy castle that can be inflated in the off-peak and deflated in the peak.  I don’t think it was a serious suggestion.
 

App of the week: Freeways

The publicity says “Tired of getting stuck in traffic? Unleash your revenge on endless streams of virtual cars in this oddball road design game”.

Freeways is available for Android and iPad. A version is also available for Windows.

Is anyone keen to road test this and give us a report?
 

Sydney’s Planning Inquiries starting in 1909

This week I am recording an interview on video with an elder statesman of the planning profession Bob Meyer, from Cox Architects who has done a review of the major planning inquiries in Sydney starting with one in 1909.

We are not looking at this just from a professional planning perspective. Equally some of the comments he has found in these inquiries are unusual to say the least but we are not just nit-picking on what we thought were good or bad ideas.

One of the intentions is that while we might highlight where we think they were misdirected or perhaps a little naive, we should not assume that we have all the right answers now.

David Brown
@db_drivenmedia
www.drivenmedia.com.au 

Traffic Engineering - Expert Panel Issues

 
How Do You Design an Effective Bike-Lane Barrier?

A rather passionate article in CityLab calls for more work on Bike-Lane barriers 
Oakland redesigned its Telegraph traffic flow last year, adding bike lanes along the curb protected by rows of parked cars and sometimes marked with green paint. It also added these posts to wall off various things from drivers—they appear around crosswalks, grayish-tan no-parking zones, a bike rack, and corners where drivers making tight turns could smack into cyclists and pedestrians. As a local rider, I can report that there was chaos when the new design debuted, with cars parking in bike paths as if they were valet lanes. Since then, most people seem to have gotten used to the reworked system (save for weekend nights, when anything goes).
To Oakland’s credit, soft-hit posts are something safe-street advocates often cry out for. San Francisco has anonymous activists installing them in areas they deem dangerous, to both corral cars and shame the city into erecting barriers. In WichitaOmaha, and Providence, people have made their own post-protected lanes using toilet plungers.
Alan Finlay makes a few points:
  • Americans tend to drive larger vehicles that are unlikely to be even scratched by running over such barriers
  • Americans are obsessed about convenient parking and will apparently do anything to get to their preferred spot.
Is this an issue in Australia?

Commuter Parking


The NSW parliament is holding an inquiry into commuter parking.  They have now received submissions and will start hearings on 16th October.

AITPM member Graeme Pattison has looked at some of the submissions. He highlighted the report by Parking Australia, which spoke in general terms about the significant of commuter parking and said in part “Wrapping commuter parking in retail, shops, eateries, fitness centres, integrates it into the community and this mixed-use approach makes the parking structure more attractive as an urban not just commuting place”.
As professional traffic engineers and transport planners, we have to determine the specific infrastructure we need to build AND the mechanisms we must use to encourage the most effective (and proper) use of the facilities.  Graeme also highlighted a report submitted by Terry Lee-Williams, a professional planner.  His points about parking are an excellent list of the nature of measures we might consider, or might have to consider!

I believe the Committee should consider, with respect to restricting access:
  • Gated access to all park and ride facilities
  • Access to be granted with same card (Opal or Credit Card) that is used to purchase fare
  • $2 to be charged for the cost of parking (otherwise non-parkers are subsidising commuter parking for those with that choice)
  • If the card is not used to purchase a return fare prior to the car leaving the car park, $25 charge for parking (this is critical, as commuter car parks are often proximate to local shopping strips and businesses that use the parking freely to the detriment of commuters, something many commuters witness to their frustration daily)
  • If space permits, a section of guaranteed bay or area parking should be provided, with online booking and a premium equivalent to early-bird parking in the CBD (about $20 per day).  This component should be large enough to generate sufficient income to subsidise the cost of parking management with the aim of all commuter parking being net-zero cost to Government.
  • If booked spaces are provided, they should be subject to the Parking Space Levy, so that the income is hypothecated back to the provision of station facilities and not lost in Consolidated Revenue.
  • All parking design should be done in close conjunction with the local authority, to ensure that there is an area wide parking scheme in place that encourages appropriate use of the paid facilities and does not displace commuters into local streets.  This is common practice, but should be a requirement.  An example is where parking is limited to 30 minutes until after 10am unless a resident permit is displayed.
  • All rail stations should have a clearly marked kiss and ride drop-off in the morning as proximate as possible to the station entrance(s); and a multi-bay 5 minute pick up zone in the PM peak.  The location of these must be determined in consultation with the local traffic committee to ensure pedestrian and traffic safety. 
News Items

ACRS Conference

The Australian College of Road Safety Conference is going ahead at full pace.  Information on the program key note speakers is now available.
 

All stations in Great Britain 

Geoff & Vicki are travelling to all 2,563 railway stations in Great Britain

All The Stations is a project to travel to ALL the national railway stations in Britain over the spring and summer of 2017, and to create an online documentary film about the journey.

Watch on YouTube

Video News


Each week day we will put a new news story up on the home page of our web site (aitpm.com.au).  There will be no email notification of each story.  But at the end of the week we will put up all the five stories in one video.  So now you can start your day with a quick news flash.

We continue to get positive comments from listeners including “Thank you for the videos. It is a great way to get transport/traffic planning industry news”.  But not as many people are making use of the service as we would like.  So don’t be afraid to spread the word.

Feedback on high density

Recently we did a video news item “Density is our destiny – if done thoughtfully”.  The point was not just density for its own sake but a careful adoption of a variety of housing options.
AITPM member Milly Hawley sent in these reflections.  
We did not do any news items in the few weeks after the Conference but we have now put up some more reflections from the conference.

The compilation for the week ending 27th September 2017.

Individual stories included

Audio interviews


We regularly conduct extended interviews with stakeholders and research professionals in a wide are of traffic and transport activities.  I have also been interviewed on radio on some transport issues.  Here are some of the interviews
Interview on ABC drive program with Richard Glover on 29th September on Electric vehicles and electric planes.  Didn’t talk too much about the technology but rather about how it might change our travel patterns and our attitude to vehicle and plane transport.
Interview on ABC afternoon program with Emma Crowe on unusual road rules.  e.g. If you blow your horn and wave out the window as you leave a friend’s place you have broken two road rules.
See who has joined AITPM members each month
as well as other AITPM news 
here.
AITPM news
A busy time for Queensland Branch

Queensland had four recent events:

A half-day seminar focused on exploring issues of infrastructure planning, parking, road safety and how best to seamlessly integrate transport networks on the Sunshine Coast.

Presenters were:
  • George Pegoraro (SC Council) presenting on “Sunshine Coast Council Draft Parking Management Plan
  • Cameron Sharp (TMR), Mark Ullman and Steve Jones (Arup Jacobs Design Joint Venture) presenting on the Design of the Diverging Diamond Interchange for the Caloundra Road interchange as a part of the Bruce Highway Upgrade.
  • Hannah Richardson (PSA Consulting) on “Smart Bollards and the use of smart infrastructure
  • Chris Dowding (TOD Consulting) presenting on "Bridges - the effect on societies when vital connections are damaged or broken"
  • Dr Gemma Read from University of the Sunshine Coast on “Changing the road system: New types of interventions for the fatal five.'
Transport Forecasting with Autonomous Vehicles and Dealing with Uncertainty in Transport Forecasting

There is little doubt that the prospect of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV or simply AVs) on our roads is one of the most challenging, and also attractive, disruptions to our existing transport systems.
This new technology will have a transformative effect on most aspects of our mobility. This poses an important problem to our efforts to model and forecast travel demand in a future context where CAVs will be present, probably 2025 onwards.

To explore the impact of this new technology, AITPM had internationally renowned transport modelling expert Pilo Willumsen visiting Brisbane on 22nd of August. 
AITPM National Conference Remix

The Four Presentations were:
  • Matt Ryan & Amy Magnani (Jacobs), Nicholas Brook (TMR) – Planning for Operations, Ipswich Case Study
  • Ben Vardon (Aurecon) / Robyn Davies (TMR) – Economic Benefits of Cycling Infrastructure
  • Kylie Nixon (Arup) and Jerryn Zwart - iGO Active Transport Strategy
  • Hannah Richardson (PSA Consulting) – Smart Bollards
Give Your Career the Green Light

The QLD Young Professionals' Network presented an evening all about your transport story. Speakers with topics ranging from their journey in the transport profession to how to get ahead and further your own career.
Speakers included:

Charlie Wayment - Transport Planner with DTMR. In his role, Charlie undertakes strategic transport planning, public transport infrastructure planning and transport demand management. During his studies he was awarded Planning Institute of Australia (PIA QLD) Best Graduating Prize (2016), Award for Planning Excellence - Outstanding Student Project (Commendation, 2014), Griffith University Awards for Academic Excellence (2014 & 2015) and the 2016 SSSI (QLD) GIS Prize). Additionally, Charlie is a Project Officer with the International Association of Public Transport Australia and New Zealand.

David Balfe - Senior Transport Planner & Data Analyst with Veitch Lister Consulting. David has six years' experience in transport planning, primarily in the public service. He has experience in public transit service design and policy, transport policy and planning, transport modelling and data analysis. His experience in public transport makes him a valuable member of project teams working on public transport infrastructure projects and network strategies.
 
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
  • Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) - NSW
  • Matrix Traffic and Transport Data  - NSW
  • Traffic Engineering Centre - NSW
  • VicRoads - VIC 
Branch Sponsors
  • Bitzios- QLD
  • Point8 - QLD
  • PTT - QLD
  • Donald Veal Consultants - WA
  • GTA - WA 
  • GHD - SA
  • Tonkin Consulting - SA
  • O’BrienTraffic - VIC
  • Matrix Traffic and Transport Data - VIC
  • Trafficworks Pty Ltd – VIC
  • TraffixGroup – VIC

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