Key Note Speaker Doug Hunt has visited a number of states. Here is a summary by John Richardson of his presentation in Melbourne.
“Do Projects Like the Suburban Rail Loop Impact Land Use? It Depends”
The Victorian Branch of the Transport Modellers Network (TMN) hosted Doug Hunt as part of his post AITPM National Conference road show. The evening was themed around Suburban Rail Loop, the biggest proposed rail project in Melbourne’s history (well the most expensive at the very least). A packed house of close to 100 people were hosted in the Jacobs Melbourne office where they first heard from Professor Doug Hunt on his well-developed PECAS model that traces, in great detail, the impacts on land development – transport being just one aspect as shown in the following diagram:
Doug went on to talk about the impacts that his modelling has revealed about major transport projects in North America. The key findings were that the people that benefit most from public transport projects are those that own the land along the corridor. He suggested that PT projects benefiting those with lower socio-economic standings was a fallacy, and that over the time rents will increase and they will be pushed out to cheaper areas.
Following Doug’s dynamic presentation, he joined a panel full of diverse backgrounds including:
Adele McCarthy, Executive Director Suburban Rail Loop, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. Adele currently leads the precincts work stream of the Suburban Rail Loop Project.
Lars Rognlien, Senior Transport and Urban Economist, Ernst and Young. Lars has written guidelines for assessing the economic benefits of urban renewal and land use impacts of transport projects.
Sarah Alexander, Senior Consultant – Social Impact Investment & Innovation, Jacobs: Sarah has unique experiences working with young people to respond to Australia’s emerging needs and challenges
The panel was challenged on the merits of SRL, alternative options, the real benefits it could deliver and the challenges it will face. It was a strong, robust discussion and we thank the panel for sharing their thoughts through the AITPM forum.
Keynote speaker Phil Jones presents in Melbourne
On Wednesday 7th August GTA Consultants hosted one of the National Conference international speakers, Phil Jones, in conjunction with Christian Bode and Matthew Raisbeck to discuss Placemaking within transport planning. Phil had never been to Melbourne but was suitably impressed with the city, in particular how our city was incorporating some of the themes that he has developed in his work for the Manual for Streets, which he produced. It was a great opportunity for AITPM members who did not attend the National Conference to experience the wonderful presentation skills of Phil and some of the work that he has been involved in over the years.
Christian and Matthew presented on the work they completed for the Department of Transport in Victoria in developing and applying the Movement and Place approach to the management of their transport network. The work outlined the “Interchange and Place” classification approach for rail stations and provided some strong discussion around how it could be placed within the network.
The presentation was accompanied by a light lunch which was a great opportunity for the attendees to network prior to and after the speaking engagement.
Let’s not forget the workshops
On the Friday of each National Conference, we have a series of workshops.
At our 2019 Conference we had three workshops:
1. New Lessons for Active Transport Planning
2. Innovations for Moving People
3. Transport and Land Use Modelling
I met up with Frank Milthorpe from Roads and Maritime Services in NSW (although his presentation contained his own views) who spoke at the Transport and Land Use Modelling Forum. The title of his presentation (which was co-authored by Mandy Liu) was “Variability in Traffic Counts and Implications for Traffic Modelling”.
There can be a temptation at modelling workshops, to dig down into the detailed nuances of modelling, but I was very much engaged with Frank’s topic.
His point was that we have to make sure that we do not go to considerable lengths to make a model fit the data if that data is not representative let alone if it has errors.
Frank accepts that the accuracy of data is a critical issue but for the sake of his presentation he focused on how representative are the data that are being used.
If we have some traffic data, the first question should be “where did it come from?”. Frank noted a number of typical sources that all have idiosyncrasies as to the representative nature, for example:
• Toll gantries
• Weigh in Motion Detectors
• Permanent Counters
• Pneumatic tube counters
• Traffic signal detectors (eg SCATS)
• Video observation
• Manual counting
To back up his point he showed a graph of the precision of 5-day counts.
Should we expect or accept the same level of fit for data that has significantly different standard deviations.
Should Level of Service calculations take into account variability in demand?
• 50% 1 day in 2
• 80% 1 day in 5
• 90 % 1 day in 10
Frank’s points for discussion might surely be the questions we should ask whenever we consider data for input to the models:
• Our guidance doesn’t address variability in counts
• How many days should we collect data for?
• How should we summarise the data (mean, median)?
• Should validation criteria take into consideration variability of counts?
• Can/should we have more flexibility in the application of validation criteria?
• What are the impacts on modelling practices?