What can we do about traffic congestion?

The Federal Government’s State of Australian Cities 2010 Report was released yesterday.  It says the avoidable cost of traffic congestion in Australia’s capital cities was $9.4 billion in 2005 and is expected to rise to $20 billion by 2020.

What can we do in a city like Melbourne about congestion? There are four basic ways to address the issue:

  • Increase road space
  • Shift travellers to a less-congested mode
  • Suppress demand for road space
  • Manage the level of demand

The first approach involves building more road capacity e.g. new or widened freeways.  However people seem to have an almost inexhaustible demand for travel, so as soon as a route gets faster due to added capacity, it pretty quickly fills up again until once more it becomes congested. Read the rest of this entry »

What the bookies are saying about the Federal election

If you’re pondering who will win the next Federal election, you might want to take note of what the bookies think.  According to Pollytics yesterday, the current implied probability of the outcome (derived from the odds offered by the five main betting houses) is 74.4% ALP and 25.6% Coalition.  The ALP was 77.9% a month ago.  The trend is down for the ALP but they’re still looking damn good.  BetFair has the ALP at $1.30 and the Coalition at $4.00.