The ever-increasing reliance on motor vehicles for personal transport is a challenge for most council areas. Extra traffic creates higher road wear, and congestion leads to increased potential for accidents and longer commute times. Then there are the environmental issues such as the use of of larger amounts of fossil fuel, carbon emissions and more. And then of course there is parking…
Most .id profiles for local government areas show that there is a very high percentage of workers travelling to work by car. And most travel on their own – very few travel as a passenger. The example below is pretty typical, with over 60% of workers travelling to work by car, as a driver, and just about 5% as a passenger:
And the problem is, for most local government areas around Australia, as time goes on, the trend is simply for more car drivers. Again, the following change over time chart shows a trend that is pretty common around Australia. Note the very small increase in workers travelling as a passenger compared to the growth in car drivers.
So – what’s the answer?
Certainly, some councils are finding this information highlighted in profile.id very useful in developing car-pooling programs. In Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, some roads now incorporate transit lanes in an effort to maximise use of vehicles and minimise congestion.
But there are other creative ideas coming to the fore, as we, as a society, look to maximise our investment in urban development.
An initiative called “parkatmyhouse.com” provides alternatives, and allows homeowners to get some revenue from their driveways (and even garages) when they are away at work.
This idea has taken off like wild fire and is already being used in over a dozen countries, having been launched back in late 2006.
And the numbers stack up nicely. With the costs of parking in a high-rise car park in Australian cities often more than $20 per day, there is plenty of scope to save money and also handsomely reward a homeowner who happens to live where you want to park…
For example, a private driveway in Bondi, Sydney is currently available for $400 per month – daytime use only!
BMW have seen the potential of this and have recently become a significant investor. The website suggests that the program will continue to expand worldwide, so you can check it out here for more information.
It may be something to consider for your council, especially if you need to relieve parking issues in employment zones….
But even better if you can get people out of their cars and walking, biking or taking public transport – like they do in Wellington, New Zealand (see our earlier blog about this here) …
Tell us about car pooling and parking initiatives in your neighbourhood so we can share them with our local government readers.
You can find out more about car use in your local government area by visiting the community profiles in .id’s demographic resource centre here.