Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

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mikesbytes
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Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby mikesbytes » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:01 pm

The motor industry is huge, there's Billions spent on it every year. Current projects in Sydney and Melbourne are in the 10's of Billions, no doubt there are similar stories in the other cities. Then there's motor vehicle sales, fuel, service, insurance.

A much smaller investment in cycling infrastructure would render much of these projects unnecessary. Is this why there has been so much bad press over say the last 10 years and in Sydney there was been cycling project after cycling project cancelled as cycling is a threat to huge profits that come with these projects and subsequent support

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby Scott_C » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:15 pm

To be short, infrastructure spending is pretty liquid, if the government wasn't spending billions on roads they'd spend the same billions on rail, hospitals, police stations, prisons etc.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby fat and old » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:49 pm

One large project in Melbourne around the 10 Billion Mark is the North East link connecting the Ring Road and Eastern Fwy.

Let’s allocate the 10 billion to cycling infra. How will that make this project redundant (that’s the gist of your assertion yeah?)?

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby human909 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:02 pm

fat and old wrote:One large project in Melbourne around the 10 Billion Mark is the North East link connecting the Ring Road and Eastern Fwy.

Let’s allocate the 10 billion to cycling infra. How will that make this project redundant (that’s the gist of your assertion yeah?)?

I'm not sure redundant is the right word in the context of this discussion... But I get what you are trying to say.

The North East link's primary role is cannot really be substituted by more cycling and better cycling infrastructure. Though I'd be guessing that mikesbytes comments are signficantly influenced by the context of Sydney's WestConnex. While it might be a bit simplistic North East link is about keeping vehicles out of the city centre whereas WestConnex is about funneling them in.

All that said more money spent on roads just perpetuates the dominance of the motor vehicle on Australian roads. And that occurs at the expense of all other alternatives including bicycles.


Personally, I support the North East link. This is a road that has been in the planning for at least 45 years. In the ?1973? Melways this road was included in the map as a proposed road! There was land reserved for this construction. But politicians sold it off for short term gain. Now significant tunnelling is required.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby piledhigher » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:07 pm

human909 wrote:Personally, I support the North East link. This is a road that has been in the planning for at least 45 years. In the ?1973? Melways this road was included in the map as a proposed road! There was land reserved for this construction. But politicians sold it off for short term gain. Now significant tunnelling is required.


45 years is quick by melbourne standards, doncaster rail was proposed around 1890. City loop in 1929 I believe.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby MichaelB » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:46 am

mikesbytes wrote: ....A much smaller investment in cycling infrastructure would render much of these projects unnecessary. ..


I think that is stretching the band a bit there.

But at the same time, a small % investment in accompanying infrastructure for cycling along those routes would be great

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby fat and old » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:53 am

human909 wrote: There was land reserved for this construction. But politicians sold it off for short term gain. Now significant tunnelling is required.


I have a Melways #3, it was in that :)

Given the route, there was no way that fwy was going above ground after the late 70’s. We’re lucky the Watsonia Barracks still exist.

I understand MB’s point, but there are simply some roads that are essential atm. Maybe when we have hover trucks or trans warp transporters we can do away with them. Until then, we stuck with them.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby human909 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:21 pm

fat and old wrote:I have a Melways #3, it was in that :)

Yep. :D I think I had the same one. I was going to say #3 but I couldn't remember if it was #2 or #3.

fat and old wrote:Given the route, there was no way that fwy was going above ground after the late 70’s. We’re lucky the Watsonia Barracks still exist.

Not to mention the environmental destruction of the Yarra Flats. Which is an important from an environmental conservation viewpoint, health and recreation view and as a very important flood protection of Melbourne CBD.

Speaking of which they need to keep the Bulleen tunnel entrance high or the tunnel will become a nice water pipe! :shock: :mrgreen:
(Bulleen Road seems to flood about once every 10 years.)

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby Thoglette » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:04 pm

MichaelB wrote:
mikesbytes wrote: ....A much smaller investment in urban planning would render much of these projects unnecessary. ..

I think that is stretching the band a bit there.

Fixed it for you.

These projects, particularly roads, arise primarily from a lack of urban planning (a.k.a. foresight or common sense, post facto) and secondly from a failure to properly price road access (freight companies used to pay large taxes for road use)

There is this myth that we'd have cheap housing "if only land was re-zoned" to "free it up" for housing.

Of course, those pushing this line don't want to pay for the infrastructure to support said housing (hospitals, schools, transport, libraries, civic buildings, arts venues nor police stations) nor do their collaborators (the big retail franchisers and shopping centre owners) want them to provide walkable suburbs.

So we get lifeless dormitory suburbs punctuated by suburb-sized shopping malls, petrol stations and fast-food chains.
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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby human909 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:48 pm

Hear, hear!

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby fat and old » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:27 am

human909 wrote: Though I'd be guessing that mikesbytes comments are signficantly influenced by the context of Sydney's WestConnex. While it might be a bit simplistic North East link is about keeping vehicles out of the city centre whereas WestConnex is about funneling them in.



You know, I just realised that MB's post picture is actually of the proposed Doncaster Rd interchange, on North East Link :lol:

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby mikesbytes » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:46 pm

History shows us that the justification for building motorways is to remove traffic off the streets and the end result is more traffic because you add more cars to the equation.

Which product provides the seller greater profits a car or a bicycle?
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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby human909 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:34 pm

mikesbytes wrote:History shows us that the justification for building motorways is to remove traffic off the streets and the end result is more traffic because you add more cars to the equation.

I can't argue with the general jist of this. In fact I wholeheartedly agree with it. However even The Netherlands has motorways/freeways.

If we can agree that some road motorways/freeways are needed then the question becomes which ones and how to prioritise them and other transport. You won't find me object to spending more on cycling.

As far as the North-East link in Melbourne goes I tacitly support it because:
-It is a missing link in Melbourne's freeway network. This isn't about increasing capacity of existing freeways.
-As far as I'm aware it has economic modelling supporting a good ROI (unlike some other road projects)
-A significant user will be industry and freight that has ZERO realistic alternatives.

Ask me about building more freeways funnelling into the CBD and my response will be completely different.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:43 pm

I put a lot of this down to the short political terms where a premier or minister works to win favour with the public and with business.

The business have too much political influence... a problem when business interest significantly outweigh the interest of the residents or broader population.

Cycling is just not important enough and motor vehicle transportation is perceived as being far more crucial (also because of the idea of convenience and independence) than other transport formats. Essentially they let the ball drop on public transport so this is not as viable and convenient and useful as it should be.... so the car is again favoured.

The actions of the ministers are fairly selfish - it is hard to get information and full disclosures, the wheeling and dealing behind closed doors on public money is a disgrace and they there are the 'throw-away' political stunts like the habour bridge cycle crossing - re-announced by Duncan Gay which then swiftly went into limbo again. The current transport ministers may chose to bring this out shortly before finishing their term to 'win points' but let it fall flat.

I think some big road projects are important but if they are short-sighted and begin by building two lanes instead of four, then it is a fail. If they fail to consider public transport and provide convenient and reliable corridors to help people be mobile, then it is a fail. If the fail to integrate wide shoulder and on all new projects, fail to connect it well with the communities - including providing pedestrian and bike options (crossing over / under or riding alongside) then it is a fail.


Cycling is not a threat, but just doesn't rate and with the short-sighted thinking, is unfortunately seen as a burden.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby human909 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:53 pm

A reasonable description of the politics of transport and roads....

AUbicycles wrote:I think some big road projects are important but if they are short-sighted and begin by building two lanes instead of four, then it is a fail. If they fail to consider public transport and provide convenient and reliable corridors to help people be mobile, then it is a fail. If the fail to integrate wide shoulder and on all new projects, fail to connect it well with the communities - including providing pedestrian and bike options (crossing over / under or riding alongside) then it is a fail.


Funny you mention that. The Eastern Freeway to which this link connects to has reasonably good provision for cyclists alongside and had/has provision for a train line down the middle.

It was originally built with a longterm view. But the train has never come and likely never will, that ship probably sailed decades ago but the north-East link will probably drive the nail further into the coffin.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby fat and old » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:10 pm

All new (and substantially enlarged/duplicated etc) Vic major roads have Cycling facilities included either on road (in high density areas) or off. All of them. Mostly full length and interconnecting.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby fat and old » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:13 pm

mikesbytes wrote:
Which product provides the seller greater profits a car or a bicycle?


That’s a good question. Qualify it. Per unit or across the business? As a percentage or simple dollar figures?

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby mikesbytes » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:14 pm

human909 wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:History shows us that the justification for building motorways is to remove traffic off the streets and the end result is more traffic because you add more cars to the equation.

I can't argue with the general jist of this. In fact I wholeheartedly agree with it. However even The Netherlands has motorways/freeways.

If we can agree that some road motorways/freeways are needed then the question becomes which ones and how to prioritise them and other transport. You won't find me object to spending more on cycling.

As far as the North-East link in Melbourne goes I tacitly support it because:
-It is a missing link in Melbourne's freeway network. This isn't about increasing capacity of existing freeways.
-As far as I'm aware it has economic modelling supporting a good ROI (unlike some other road projects)
-A significant user will be industry and freight that has ZERO realistic alternatives.

Ask me about building more freeways funnelling into the CBD and my response will be completely different.

There's a example in Sydney where the local streets actually benefited from a motorway, that been the eastern distributer tunnel [have I got the correct name?]. Prior there were 2 streets in Surry Hills that were motorcar smoke stacks. With the tunnel came changes to those streets, prior both were one way streets with clearways, after Burke street became a single lane each way with parking on both sides and a separated cycleway. The residents of the street got their lives back and their parking. Crown street was similar but included some local business's such as a gym and coffee shops that all started to boom with the new two way street and parking.

The point being is that if the Motorway doesn't come with a plan to change the streets that the traffic is being diverted from, then its BS that the motorway is going to fix anything. In regards to the changes in Melbourne, is there any plans to change the roads that the traffic is currently using? if not then it should sound alarm bells. Note this is different from the plan to run a bike path along the side of the new motorway
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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby mikesbytes » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:53 pm

fat and old wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:
Which product provides the seller greater profits a car or a bicycle?


That’s a good question. Qualify it. Per unit or across the business? As a percentage or simple dollar figures?

Good point. Perhaps the question should be which industry can the greatest profit be made?
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby fat and old » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:17 am

mikesbytes wrote:
fat and old wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:
Which product provides the seller greater profits a car or a bicycle?


That’s a good question. Qualify it. Per unit or across the business? As a percentage or simple dollar figures?

Good point. Perhaps the question should be which industry can the greatest profit be made?


I don't know how to phrase the question, it's yours. My understanding is you believe that the motor vehicle industry sees cycling as a threat to their profit and reacts by trying to remove all funding to it as far as roads/paths etc are concerned?

Maybe it's a question for the economists. They should be able to work out the savings/loss made through cycling and the savings/loss made through banning motor vehices. It's beyond me.


But in relation to what I believe your assertion is......no, I don't believe there is a conspiracy. If that's what you're getting at.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby human909 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:36 am

The primary cause has nothing to do with profits or conspiracies.... (Though some projects might be influenced by $$$, or politics.)

Road use in cities are a classic case of the 'tragedy of the commons'. Motor vehicles rise to the top without active policy pushing in another direction. Once one class is at the top the change is even harder because catering for the majority is the politically easy choice.

Public transport and active transport are far more beneficial to cities. But for these to be effective you need leadership from the master of the commons. AKA the government.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:55 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Which product provides the seller greater profits a car or a bicycle?


A potentially unpopular comment in a cycling discussion forum is that the cost (expenses) may be more important. A car is far more expensive so generates more tax revenue, but then the increased costs of roads requires a higher expense which creates jobs and keeps the economy ticking.

This is a vast simplification though and doesn't necessarily mean it is better - but creating more costs would be viewed as a positive for the Government... because they continue to get the taxes, are comfortable shifting money and creating debt.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby human909 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:08 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
mikesbytes wrote:Which product provides the seller greater profits a car or a bicycle?

A potentially unpopular comment in a cycling discussion forum is that the cost (expenses) may be more important. A car is far more expensive so generates more tax revenue, but then the increased costs of roads requires a higher expense which creates jobs and keeps the economy ticking.


The economy doesn't really work like that. Though you do hear similar arguments from politicians, lobbyists and any vested interest in a particular sector.

Not quite the same by similarly perverse economic arguments I could go around breaking windows around the city to "improve the economy".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_o ... ken_window

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:06 pm

human909 wrote:The economy doesn't really work like that.


Oh, yes it does... but you are essentially wholeheartedly agreeing with me because it is a matter of perspective.

As bike riders we argue that there are lower costs of infrastructure and reduced environmental and health impact benefit the society and economy. Spending shifts. For politicians car travel and infrastructure is attractive because it wins votes, wins business support and is a reliable political formula.

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Re: Is this why there is so much negativity and cancelled infrastructure

Postby human909 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:28 pm

I disagree about the economics bit and I'll go back to the original comment.

AUbicycles wrote:A potentially unpopular comment in a cycling discussion forum is that the cost (expenses) may be more important. A car is far more expensive so generates more tax revenue, but then the increased costs of roads requires a higher expense which creates jobs and keeps the economy ticking.


A more expensive way of doing things does not generate more tax revenue in the long run for the economy as a whole. Quite the opposite in fact.

Higher expenses does not create jobs and does not "keep the economy ticking". These are gross but common economic fallacies.

But like I said, I'm not meaning it as an attack on your knowledge or economic understanding. These are common arguments made by plenty of people looking after their vested interested. They are not really arguments made by legitimate economists though.

AUbicycles wrote:Spending shifts.

Completely accurate which is why I objected to the other underlined comments.

AUbicycles wrote:For politicians car travel and infrastructure is attractive because it wins votes, wins business support and is a reliable political formula.

That politics and the status quo. And we are in agreement there. :D

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