|Weekend West Australian, 17th January 2015|
Of course, some of the land consumption for parking can be reduced by using decked or multi-storey parking structures - but this actually increases the financial cost, as such structures cost twice as much per bay.
But parking is only one aspect of the land and development effects of high levels of car use. Unless we change the ways in which we use cars, there will be pressure for more road capacity and increasing congestion on existing roads. Congestion has severe adverse effects on business and commerce, not just on people travelling around Perth.
To avoid this scenario, we need to provide effective alternatives to the private car and to assist and encourage people to use them. Inevitably this requires investment, but investment that has been shown time and time again to be well-justified by the benefits to individuals and the community.
In this context, the STC asks:
- Why does the WA Government not commit to funding the MAX light rail and prefers, instead, in defiance of its own Public Transport Plan, to build an expensive underground Airport Rail Link that will carry many fewer passengers and serve a much more limited area (http://sustainabletransportcoalitionofwa.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/lack-of-transparency-in-transport.html)?
- Why is the funding for the Government's own WA Bicycle Network Plan only one-fifth of the amount required to provide a complete and coherent network within 10 years (http://sustainabletransportcoalitionofwa.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/wa-bicycle-network-plan-needs-more-oomph.html)?
- Why does TravelSmart struggle to get more than token funding for a program that is a WA-developed world leader with benefits demonstrated to be many times the costs?
- Why does the WA Government keep producing transport plans that it either ignores or has no intention of funding (http://sustainabletransportcoalitionofwa.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/planning-as-substitute-for-action.html)?
Overall, we continue to question the basis on which transport decisions are made in Perth (http://sustainabletransportcoalitionofwa.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/lack-of-transparency-in-transport.html and http://sustainabletransportcoalitionofwa.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/transparency-and-objectivity-needed-in.html). A parliamentary inquiry into the the planning, prioritisation and implementation of transport infrastructure and services would be a good way of airing these issues outside the closed-shop of bureaucrats and Ministers.
Written and Posted by Ian Ker, Convenor, STCWA.