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President's Message
Andrew Leedham


A few months ago in my President’s address, I made comment on the spate of crashes involving single vehicles leaving the road and colliding with houses in suburban streets. Fortunately, as best I recall, no one was seriously injured in these crashes, albeit there were many near misses. The phenomenon occurred over a number of weeks and came to my attention as I was preparing the kids’ school lunches over breakfast. 
So I have been somewhat surprised while going through that same daily routine in the last few weeks to frequently hear about crashes involving motorcycles. Unlike the crashes into houses though, there is no room for error and many of these motorcycle crashes have resulted in fatalities or serious injuries.

I note in this newsletter in the Peronal Profile of David Hayes from South Australia that he experienced a motorcycle crash in his younger years which fortunately he survived and was maybe the catalyst for his eventual foray into traffic engineering. Addressing the motorcyle crash problem is not easy and I am no expert but I am beginning to think that perhaps I can play my part by stop watching the breakfast news while making the school lunches.

We all know the importance of good communication and David Brown in his Reflections from the Editor discusses the various ways we communicate ideas and articles of interest within the AITPM community. Interestingly he discusses this in the context of the Institute’s professional image. Professionalism has been high on the national council agenda over the last few months – in the way we act, how we are perceived and how and what we communicate.  We haven’t got to where we want to be yet but we are continuing to work on it. David is seeking comments from members on how we might improve the ways we communicate and accordingly our professionalism, so please read David’s article and provide him with feedback.

In mid-November, national council will meet in Brisbane for the last meeting in the year. In the few weeks since the national council meeting in Melbourne, national council has been progressing the transition from our incorporated body status to a company structure. This will take some time but in the meantime we are reorganising the way we conduct the affairs of the Institute that will be consistent with the eventual governance structure comprising a board of directors. We have established six committees, each having their own charter, and which will report to the board (national council). The committees are finance, professional development, risk, information systems and reporting, roles and functions and awards and procedures. I am convinced that these committees will give greater focus to the matter of most importance to the Institute. We are also on track to present to members the 2018-2022 draft strategic plan by December this year.   

Finally, I would like to congratulate the Victorian Branch committee on conducting its first live webcast of a seminar which enabled members in Tasmania to join in. You can read more about this later in the newsletter. 
 
Andrew Leedham 
President 

2018 National Conference


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
Reflections from the Editor 
David Brown
  • Communication - a continuing search for improvement
  • Helping communications at branch meetings
  • Newsletter contributions
  • Cooperation

Communication - a continuing search for improvement

We are always looking at the way we communicate and trying some new things.

The Young Professional Group has some ideas that they are currently looking at, for example, and we should hear more of that soon.

The latest significant project has been the video news each week.  This has produced passionate support from some members but there are those who say they would like to read the material rather than just watch and listen to it.  We are trying to cover the material in different ways and so a full transcript of the video news is available for each story on the website.

We have tried different approaches on the style and frequency of video news stories.  One key factor has been to reduce the time taken to produce them.  Currently it takes at least several days each week.

The latest approach is to produce all the stories in one video at the end of the week but also provide them individually for those who want to look at a specific subject.  In order to keep each story short, we are trying to avoid doing a mini documentary and rather just make a short sharp statement of what has been reported with perhaps one or two reflections.

One of the greatest benefits that the video news stories have provided is being able to show people outside the AITPM some of the issues we deal with and the way in which we cover them.  They have proved to be very helpful in demonstrating that we are covering important subjects, in a short, sharp way and in a way that is more than just the usual approach.

But we also want to make the most of our research efforts.  We are covering the one topic in many different ways such as video news, putting the full interview on the internet and writing an article for the newsletter.  One of the best way to give an issue “legs” is to get some comments back from members.

Video news is also proving to be a very helpful in promoting upcoming events.  We first tried this with the 2017 National Conference on a number of presentations that were being made. We then presented a few sound grabs from Alan Finlay on his presentation that was coming up at a New South Wales Back-to-Basics forum.  We then sent the item to a number of people and this has produced some very constructive dialogue which we cover elsewhere in this newsletter and had an input into Alan’s paper.
 

Helping communications at branch meetings


There has been much discussion about how the AITPM can improve its communication and look more professional.  Looking professional does not mean that we have to spend a lot of time making the presentation full of marketing hype or over glossy.  A clever comment and a relevant picture often says a lot.
Without in any way trying to micromanage what branches do at their meetings (or “manage” in any way), we could provide some material that helps show the range of activities that are currently going on at through the AITPM in the following ways:
  • A PowerPoint presentation of a few pictures that cover some of the items from the National Committee, some of the things that are happening with the Institute and some of stories that we have covered in the newsletter and in video news.
  • The slides could be accompanied by a sentence or two on what each picture represents. It is by no means a way of covering the detail of the issue, but merely pointing people to where we have discussed an issue and where they might get some more information.
  • We could make a video of the slide presentation that runs on its own which we could put on the web site for people who could not make the event.
  • There are some better ways to show support for Sponsors.  For the platinum sponsors we could mention a recent project they have done.
  • Giving “teasers” on what is coming up at branch meetings. Branch meetings cover a wonderful range of interesting subjects. We have found that an additional way to encourage people to come is not just a list and the subject matter, but to touch on one or two interesting points that they intend to talk about. All the better if this then leads to some discussion beforehand about the sorts of issues that should be covered and the sort of information and the sort of additional information that might be helpful (see above).
There is nothing in what we are considering that wishes to take control of branch activities but rather facilitate and simply make available short, sharp pieces of information and emphases that bring attention to the valuable aspects of being a member of the institute.

We will not pursue this until we get some feedback from the branches.
 

 

Newsletter Contributions


In the newsletter we are very keen to ensure that the correct technical details are succinctly represented and quite often we will express the key points in a bullet point form.

Alan Finlay has clearly shown the way in this regard. The best written pieces in the newsletter avoid generalisations and extensive details of organising an event. 

Alan and I are more than happy to discuss any issues how we could help spread the excellent information that becomes available through many AITPM channels.
 

 

Cooperation


I heard a positive comment the other day about the 2017 National Conference and how they embraced the input from a wide range of areas. There were many positive comments and seeking and using import from a wide variety of sources in no way diminishes the huge effort and the great amount of praise that should flow to the organising committee. 
 

David Brown
@db_drivenmedia
www.drivenmedia.com.au 

Green Infrastructure makes good financials


An AITPM video news item of 27 October 2017 covered a report by consulting firm AECOM titled “Green Infrastructure: A vital step to brilliant Australian Cities”.

AITPM Life Member Richard Hanslip has reviewed the document.  Here are some more detailed comments that he made.

The depth of the report was impressive?

I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the report. I was aware that there's work being done in this but not that it had gone to such a detailed extent. And the fact that there are now models which are available which allow this assessment to be done in the planning part of project evaluation so early on. So you can actually put these into the wide economic benefits of the general cost/benefit analysis which are done for projects. So I think the process and the fact it seems to be something which has only recently been picked up and taken up by the authorities is I think an innovation and was a surprise for me.

Aren’t trees a danger when they are beside a road?

The report discusses that trees, in the past have been considered a potential hazard similar to power poles. But with careful planning you can reduce the risks of trees being obstacles and certainly by, for instance, increasing green canopies you get a real economic value returns. Increasing the canopy of trees in cities, particularly in residential streets and parks, and even along arterial roads provides those benefits.
Trees are nice but can we justify them from an economic point of view?

It’s not just that it would encourage a better climate where it's hot to walk, it is also good for your health but it actually does have other benefits which include: improved health through cardio metabolic and mental wellbeing; lower temperatures; lower carbon emissions into the air; decreased stormwater runoff; higher property prices although that's not necessarily desirable in the current climate.

It is a quality of life matter. But I suppose to try and get developers and road authorities and councils to increase trees the report has been aimed at what are the economic benefits and costs of increasing green infrastructure through trees, and they have produced models based on their own research and also work done by others which shows quite clearly that the benefits outweigh the costs.

If there is a positive cost/benefit, why aren’t we doing more?

It's just a matter then who pays.  But that is not dissimilar, for instance, to the way transport projects are assessed.  The major benefit tends to be from time savings and also road crash reductions which do not generally go into the coffers of governments or authorities but go into the general community.
 

Full interview with Alan Finlay


In a recent video news, Alan Finlay commented on his upcoming presentation at an AITPM branch meeting on basic signal design.  Here is the full interview with newsletter editor David Brown.

DB: And then you'll be presenting a paper at an AITPM branch workshop  - what's the title of that?
AF: It's entitled Insight to Basic Traffic Signal Design. And it's going to be presented at the AITPM  ‘back to basics’ technical forum.

DB: Do we need to be looking at that still? We know it is still a critical part of our traffic management process, isn't it?
AF: It is, because if the basic design is not right then it makes the operation of the signals less than optimum. Despite all the sophistication in SCATS and other traffic control systems, and the sophistication in traffic models, it's really important that people have an understanding of the basic principles involved in in traffic signal operation and their design.

DB: If we put in signals it helps to understand the technology of traffic signals even as far as then the layout of the street system and what you might provide.
AF: Yes that's right. Well it's fundamental to the capacity of the network. Any surface road network basically comes down to the capacity of the intersections through which the traffic has to pass. And so it's really important that people understand that the intersections, and usually the most complicated intersections become signalised, they are the ones that will ultimately control the capacity of that road corridor.

DB: There have been calls in various areas to remove traffic lights. There may be a situation for that but that's not a universal desire is it?
AF: No, in lots of situations until the traffic becomes really heavy, a roundabout is probably a better traffic control solution but roundabouts are not terribly pedestrian or cyclist friendly. And once the traffic exceeds a certain level, and particularly if one traffic movement at the roundabout is predominant, the roundabout's capacity will not be sufficient generally to cater with the amount of traffic that would be wanting to use it.

DB: Roundabouts also don't work if one flow of traffic dominates?
AF: Yes that's right -  if one movement dominates and takes takes over the roundabout other drivers on other approaches have a lot of trouble finding sufficient gaps and being able to basically get their turn.

DB: We led the way in traffic signal coordination. It's important that we keep that momentum going.
AF: Yes, that's right and Sydney has a very proud history of developing a very sophisticated traffic signal management system – SCATS - and it continues to be developed and enhanced. But it's important that people understand the basic principles that underlie the operation of traffic signals generally and that's the sort of thing that I'll be trying to cover in my presentation.

DB: It is important that even if I don't design traffic signals if I'm part of the process I have some elementary or fundamental understanding.
AF: Yes, it's particularly important for people who might be modelling the operation of traffic signals. So obviously a lot of consultants are involved in developing models and assessing the efficiency of networks, and increasingly Council traffic engineers need to be across the results of those sorts of models because they'll be assessing the results and making recommendations for things like development applications and other things that are going to have an impact on traffic flows. My experience, both in the public sector and more recently in consulting, suggests that there are a lot of people using, for example, the program SIDRA to assess intersection operation but not all of those people perhaps understand the basic traffic signal operation as well as they might, and that sometimes leads to unexpected results from the models.

DB: I think that's the point isn't it, that we're saying if you're going to run a model you've got to have some understanding of the components that are within that model?
AF: Yeah that's right. It's just a very simple thing and one of the most common errors I see in SIDRA is that SIDRA  defaults to what we would call ‘long’ walks.  So if you don't actively take steps to turn off a particular function SIDRA will assume that every pedestrian feature has the walk go almost for the length of the phase. And so the flashing red man will operate for the last however long it needs to be for the length of the crossing. But in NSW practice certainly it's more typical for the walk signal to be only displayed for about six or eight seconds at the start of the phase and then it straight away goes into flashing red man. So if it's left to its own devices, SIDRA will make every pedestrian crossing a long walk. Whereas in practice most pedestrian crossings have short walks.

DB: Will it always call up the walk because I find that when the walk is called up on a wide intersection it holds the traffic in that direction for a long time. Is it always good to call up - how does it cope with that?
AF: Well there's a couple of ways of doing it - you're quite right. The longer the crossing, the longer the flashing red man time (or the clearance period) and that can lead to very long phase times, sometimes with not much traffic using the associated vehicle signals. That's why the NSW practice, apart from very busy central business districts, is to have pedestrian features only demanded by someone pushing the push button. We don't want the walk signal to come up if it's not actually required for a pedestrian. Now in Sydney there are a couple of ways of doing this. If you know that the pedestrian feature is not going to be called very often at all then you can actually exclude it from the analysis on the basis that it's not going to have a material effect on the overall intersection operation. But generally speaking SIDRA will assume that the pedestrian feature will come up on every cycle but there is an option these days to specify a percentage of cycles when it's likely to be operating.

DB: Actually that's a very interesting thing to measure  - not just the number of people who cross but whether it is almost platooned I suppose. Well whether there's groups of people it might correspond with a school shutting or whatever. Which over the hour period is not being used all the time even though the pedestrian count for that hour might appear to be significant.
AF: That's why it's important to look at (if you have the data) 15 minute volumes because that will give you a better idea about whether there are any sort of peaks and troughs in pedestrian and vehicle activity.

DB: Thanks Alan I Appreciate your time.
AF: Thanks David.
 

Removing Traffic Signals at a busy intersection - would it work in Australia?


A recent article in The Guardian newspaper described a very significant change to a major intersection in Amsterdam, in The Netherlands.  To quote from the article:

On a foggy Monday morning in May 2016, 14 Amsterdam officials, engineers and civil servants gathered nervously at Alexanderplein – a busy intersection near the city centre with three tramlines – where many people were walking, driving, and, as in any Dutch city, riding bicycles. With a flip of a switch, the traffic controls were shut off for all transport modes, in all directions.

The complete article can be found here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2017/sep/22/what-happens-if-you-turn-off-the-traffic-lights.

We asked our Experts Panel to comment.  In summary, our experts doubted the same measure could work in a major Australian city, largely due to the very different mode shares, and the resulting motor vehicle driver attitudes.

Wes Coller pointed out that almost 70% of all city centre trips in Amsterdam are by bicycle, whereas in Australian cities it is much lower.  We struggle to achieve targets of around 20%, added Brett McClurg, and he also suggested that the Amsterdam change was “designing for the majority”.  In our Australian situations, Wes also suggested “there is no love lost between cyclists and other road users, even with the 1m and 1.5m separation road rules”.

Peter Greenland questioned Australian drivers’ attitudes to safety – “they believe they have a right to drive a motor vehicle and do not have to consider other road users”, instead tending to go into ‘auto pilot’ mode, in which traffic signals do the thinking (for drivers) at intersections. Peter and Wes also contrasted the flat terrain in Amsterdam with our generally hillier cities.

Louise Round agreed with the earlier comments by the other experts, and added “it is just this sort of ‘negotiation in motion’ that Autonomous Vehicles find difficult to assess, so it will be interesting to see if this has an influence in the future”.
 
Alan Finlay
8 October 2017

Seminar – “Exciting Future of Customer Experience Innovation”


On Thursday 12 October 2017, about 200 people attended an evening seminar at the Teachers Federation Conference Centre in Surry Hills, Sydney.  The seminar was organised by a partnership of Sydney Trains, the Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The presentations took the form of a panel show, hosted by Dr Michelle Zeibots, Research Director at UTS Transport Research Centre. Michelle was the ‘anchor person’ and asked the subject matter experts a series of questions that elicited detailed information about their respective areas of work. Key speakers included (but were not limited to):
  • The Hon. Andrew Constance, NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure
  • Susannah Le Bron, Executive Director – Customer Service, Sydney Trains
  • Tony Eid, Executive Director – Future Network Delivery, Sydney Trains
The cooperative project uses latest robotic technology to provide enhanced passenger information, based on ‘human-centred’ design principles.  It has been driven by rapid growth in demand on the Sydney rail network.  For example, by 2021, it is expected there will be 21% increase in weekday trips, and 120% increase on weekend trips.

Tony Eid
The project focused on two key stations: Town Hall in Sydney’s CBD, and Parramatta in Sydney’s west. Town Hall station handles 20 trains per hour per line and around 250,000 people per day, while Parramatta station is approaching around 20 trains per hour.

In order to provide extra overall capacity, in November 2017 Sydney Trains will introduce a new timetable that will provide more than 1500 extra weekly services, more than 750 weekend services, and more than 250 inter-peak services. However, the key issue remains capacity at key stations like Town Hall, and in particular the number of train paths per hour. Economic analysis suggests that each train path is worth around $50 million due to the high worth jobs in the CBD.

Susannah Le Bron
Sydney Trains customer satisfaction is now 90%, up from 78%.  Key factors include:
  • Opal Card (about 50% of all use is on rail)
  • Timeliness (93.4% on time running)
  • Cleanliness (related to Safety/Security)
  • Better customer <-> staff interaction
 
Andrew Constance
He expressed enthusiasm for new technology, and was pleased to see more people interchanging transport modes, as evidenced by Opal Card data.  He was excited to sponsor the project.

Michelle Zeibots and other UTS and industry experts then took us through a series of demonstrations.  These were based on the principles of Perception -> Cognition -> Actuation, and categorised into Microsystems (the rail platform, concourse, etc) and Macrosystems (outside the rail network).  The technologies included:

3D sensors looking at train doors – these produce white images of passengers mounted on coloured bases or ‘trucks’ that are individually numbered.  Crowding on both platforms and trains can be detected, and station staff can be advised, as can passengers (via an app).

Simple Variable Message Signs (VMS) on train doors – advising passengers to either wait or board, combined with other VMS to influence passengers approaching the station to use alternative stairs – to balance out train loading. Devices can be ‘meshed’ together to better match supply with demand.

Smart analysis of existing technologies – producing heat maps based on CCTV images; using WiFi detectors to assess passenger density; using Opal Card data to produce spatial maps of passenger density over the whole network.
 
Alan Finlay
17 October 2017

Noise barriers


In our video news of 13 October 2017, we gave a few comments from a conversation we had with two acoustic consultants: Alex Campbell, Infrastructure sector leader technical director SLR Consulting;  and Mark Russell, Lead engineering on the West Connex project and also from SLR Consulting.

Here are some more of their comments

Where does most of the noise come from?
Most of the noise comes from the tyres. Unless we're talking trucks and then the trucks have three sources of noise:  engine noise; exhaust noise; and tyre noise as well. But for most of all the light vehicles on the road the noise is dominated by the tyres.

If engine braking is a big issue with trucks, will electric trucks make a difference?
It will make a huge difference if a high percentage of heavy vehicles went electric. Basically, that noise source all that eliminates from the engine. And we have just the tyre noise source left.

Low noise pavement – is there a compromise in using this?
There is a compromise and it's not a noise compromise. There is a wear now which does result in lower noise performance over a period of use. They do degrade. There is also issues with the low noise payment in high turning areas I believe which is which is I guess an engineering issue with how it how it rips up sometimes or how it stays on the ground.

Currently in NSW there is quite a bit of investigating with our address RMS into applying low noise pavement at lower speeds. Previously we would exclude low noise pavement where we had low speeds, turning movements and stopping and starting traffic.  Although there is now a bit of a push to actually look at those low noise pavements and this came from actually Europe. Europe's done a lot of testing to see the performance of low noise pavements in the slower speeds and as a result of that we've actually started using it or at least recommending it on projects in New South Wales at lower speeds than we would normally would. [37.8]
 
Different legislation in each state
So every state has their own different legislation regarding road noise and what's acceptable and what you have to do to assess it. New South Wales has a road noise policy that was introduced in 2000. And more recently, two years ago, a guideline that sits above the policy. RMS has written a guideline as to how you apply that policy and as a result of that policy introduced in 2000 that will be when you see a lot of the barriers springing up.

There are some significant differences in criteria. For example, in NSW criteria used as a different descriptor to what's Victoria and some parts of Queensland users.  They also have different methods of optimising barriers and optimising heights of barriers. New South Wales has a very robust and technical approach to the assessment of road noise. Is a little bit simpler in other states.

Acoustic modelling
We take volumes, speed, percentage SUVs all that kind of information from the traffic data and we feed it into our acoustic computer model to predict noise emissions to the environment and we validate a model with real world measurements to existing flow data and then we use any lift in volume or changes in the road alignment whatever it is to predict future noise emissions and that's how we can get you to consider our mitigation such as low noise pavements, barriers and the like.

Transparent Barriers
The downside with transparent barriers they that generally are a Perspex material, is the graffiti and actual maintenance of the barrier. So they tend to get scratched or the transparency reduces over time and that doesn't appear as nice as other barriers do. So sometimes in some projects they use in combination with a solid barrier below and the Perspex on top to reduce any overshadowing issues.
 

Letters to the Editor


Does this study prove car-pooling works?

We recently reported on a study of Jakarta traffic after they removed their ‘three-in-one’ car-sharing rule.  The study suggested that the controversial HOV policy actually helped reduce traffic congestion.

AITPM Fellow John Carlisle, who has had extensive experience in Jakarta, sent in this letter.

Hi David

The three-in-one policy in Jakarta was originally implemented in 1992 when I was living in Jakarta.  For me this meant that my wife would join me with our driver when I went to work and our driver would then drive Heather home and, usually, remain with her for the day until it was time to pick me up.  The main social impact was the introduction of “riders” – children who could be picked up for the journey to work who would then jump on a bus to return to their starting point.  There was no restriction on which lanes could be used – the rule was for everyone.  Clearly, they changed the rule in 2003 to use high-occupancy lanes and this would have had an impact on the income of “three-in-one” kids.  I do not think that very much can be drawn from the Jakarta trials because it was not car-pooling that worked but the availability of willing extra riders who earned an income.  These same children also appeared magically with umbrellas in rain-storms and helped manage traffic at congested intersections, all for a fee.
 
Best Regards
 
John Carlisle

 
See who has joined AITPM members each month
as well as other AITPM news 
here.
AITPM news
Victorian Branch meeting - Myth Placed Traffic Engineering

Surely Stop signs are safer than Give Way signs?  What about left turn slip lanes vs. no slip lane? Or school speed zones?  What makes a roundabout design safe?  Much of what is done in the name of good traffic engineering or improved road safety could best be described as ‘Articles of Mis-placed Faith’: methods we’ve always used without question; myths that have little factual basis; or currently fashionable ideas. So why are many previous lessons forgotten and facts lost?

The three speakers that presented at the Victoria Branch September Seminar event were Rob Morgan (Traffic Engineering and Road Safety Engineering Consultant), Mark O’Brien (Senior Associate at O’Brien Traffic) and Deborah Donald (Managing Director of O’Brien Traffic).  The three speakers discussed dozens of routine elements of road design and traffic management where current practices act against better safety and good management or simply have little point. 

Each speaker used examples to further explain their points of where current practice has not followed researched assessment as well as highlighting the research that has been undertaken in the past to support these issues.  The common theme amongst the three speakers were that these elements get repeated because ‘that’s what we do’ yet in all cases the analytical assessment has been done and the lessons have been learnt.  Sometimes the answers are counter-intuitive but they should not be ignored.

This seminar was the first for the Victorian Branch where a live webcast was conducted to provide the seminar to 10 people in Tasmania.  When possible, this will continue for future seminars conducted in Victoria to provide an opportunity for our Tasmanian members to participate more regularly in AITPM events.

A copy of the presentations made by each of the three speakers is available on the AITPM website.

There were approximately 40 attendees at the event.
 
Emmanuel Natalizio
Victorian Branch President
 

 
Understanding Community Consultation for Transport Projects– 25 October 2017

Community consultation is a vital part of any transport project but how well do we understand the community when it comes to their daily travel needs and how they use the various types of transport infrastructure for their journey?  Transport models and numbers can present broad pictures of trends but individual choices are not always that homogeneous.  It is incumbent on traffic and transport professionals to understand more about the users of the systems than just the numbers and how this will impact on their project.

The aim of the seminar was to highlight the challenges in understanding and interpreting community input into transport projects, from understanding the psychology of users to engaging with the community in projects that have both city wide and local implications.

The three speakers who presented at the Victoria Branch October Seminar event were Alexa Delbosc (Senior Lecturer at the Monash Institute of Transport Studies in the Department of Civil Engineering), Kate Eskdale (Senior Executive Communications at RPS Australia Asia Pacific) and Griff Davis (Manager City Transport at the City of Wyndham). 

Alexa presented her research that suggests transport professionals travel differently to the general public, which in turn colours their judgements about societal travel patterns.  Psychology research shows that people draw on personal experience when they try to understand others and the world around them.  Transport professionals are people too and their personal experiences do have an influence on their professional judgements.

Kate spoke about her experience on numerous large transport projects and on why engaging with the community is important.  However, she highlighted some common mistakes such as not being clear about what is negotiable, and tokenism with engagement.  Recent examples of transport projects where decisions have been predetermined are difficult to run with community consultation.

The third speaker, Griff Davis, drew on his extensive experience of over 40 years dealing with local communities as a local government traffic engineer.  Empathy and understanding are key ingredients for productive consultation.  Most often you are put outside your comfort zone and generally engineers struggle to effectively and clearly communicate ideas and concepts.  He suggests that “keeping it simple” and managing consultation in appropriate portions allows the community to better digest information and provides for better outcomes.

A copy of the presentations made by each of the three speakers is available on the AITPM website.

The seminar was attended by 35 people.

Emmanuel Natalizio
Victorian Branch President
 

AITPM Member Personal Profile

David Hayes


Advanced Diploma in Spatial Management Systems

Numerous other minor qualifications

Over 27 years in local government of which over half has been in a dedicated traffic and transport role. I’m currently employed at the City of Burnside and have been for over eight years.
 
What is your current role?

Principal Traffic Engineer
What first attracted you to get involved in the transport industry?

My start into traffic and transport industry was somewhat organic.  I actually started off my working life as an apprentice Toolmaker however following a motorcycle crash at the age of 19 I changed tack and studied surveying with a goal to get into the mining industry (which never happened). That led to my employment in Local Government with duties including surveying, design and project management. This further evolved into a dedicated traffic and transport role.

Could you explain some key opportunities in your career and how they contributed to your development?

I started my LG career in Whyalla which was a great ‘apprenticeship’ as is was a small enough Council that you needed to be a jack of all trades yet big enough to get into some serious projects i.e. everything from wetlands, traffic control devices, drainage, road design, bike paths, marina’s and airport projects. 

After about eight years I moved to the City of Marion as the Bike Plan Coordinator and traffic control device designer. This led into the Traffic Engineer position following the resignation of the then incumbent. 
After about 5 years I commenced with the Adelaide Hills Council where I live although this was in a more general municipal civil engineering role. For the last eight and half years I’ve been back in a dedicated traffic and transport role at the City of Burnside. 

What has been/will be your involvement with AITPM?

Although I have been involved as a member in the AITPM for a significant number of years, this is the first time I’ve been on the SA Committee. 

What has been a memorable moment in your career?

Mmmm, that’s a difficult one, probably seeing the fruition of the River Sturt Liner Park and the Coast to Vines Rail Trail in the Marion Council area. It is also interesting to follow the Darlington upgrade project as I can still remember meetings with DPTI about 15 years ago regarding the proposal although the scope has grown since then.

What are your personal and/or professional career plans for the future?

I don’t have any specific career plans although I’m always open to opportunities as they present. On a personal level my goal is to retire at the earliest opportunity I can afford as work gets in the way of my extracurricular activities (hobbies/interests) and travels!

Do you have any advice you would like to share to professionals in the transport/traffic industry?

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and be innovative. Remember traffic engineering and transport is not an exact science!
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
  • Arup - NSW
  • Bitzios- QLD
  • Point8 - QLD
  • PTT - QLD
  • Donald Veal Consultants - WA
  • GTA - SA
  • 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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Editorial Team
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Assistant Editor: Alan Finlay
National Administrator: Karen Hooper, on behalf of AITPM, Inc

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