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Byron Shire
November 29, 2021

Doubling lanes into Byron will add to congestion

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Byron Shire Council’s Transport Advisory Committee ‘learnt’ on 12 March that bus operations on the trunk roads into Byron Bay are extremely hampered by congestion on those roads.

The public transport system is failing. Car drivers are also sorely aware of the congestion. Proposals to double the car lanes into Byron may appear to help but experience with all road expansion programs shows that, once the new capacity is ‘discovered’, it moves the congestion to where the upgrade finishes and compounds it as well.

Or are we going to double the width of every road in the shire? The state government’s upgrade of the Pacific Highway is a classic illustration, we’re all aware of the influx of maroon number plates to Byron on a sunny weekend.

There are two real answers to traffic congestion. The first is to decrease the need/desire to drive cars to the destination at the end of the congested roadway. The second is to increase capacity to get there, but not by car!

Turning over the rail corridor to private transport is clearly wrong. Setting up public transport within the corridor would be smart, along with a place to park cars (probably at a location where the road became too skinny).

Stops along the route make sense, where there are population densities – they wouldn’t have to park before they ride. Sharing the public transport corridor with bikes and pedestrians would also be fine, where it’s safe.

If you were a state government who imposed extra population in a ‘growth’ area and who invited visitors by car with a spanking new freeway, surely you would make the rail corridor the prime public transport carrier.

Neither of the old-party governments have any ‘track’ record of doing that.

Duncan Dey, Byron shire councillor


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7 COMMENTS

  1. Great letter Duncan! This is very true.

    Byron is in desperate need of better public transport i.e. Trains!!! You would have to be a fool not to notice!

    The rail trail is of no help too, it will just make matters worse as it destroys all adequate infrastructure essential for fixing the town and region.

    Lets put politics aside and get some stuff done for goodness sakes! Click the link to make a difference and show the Liberal/National party how its done! https://www.echo.net.au/2015/03/doubling-lanes-into-byron-will-add-to-congestion/

  2. Great letter Duncan! This is very true.

    Byron is in desperate need of better public transport i.e. Trains!!! You would have to be a fool not to notice!

    The rail trail is of no help too, it will just make matters worse as it destroys all adequate infrastructure essential for fixing the town and region.

    Lets put politics aside and get some stuff done for goodness sakes! Click the link to make a difference and show the Liberal/National party how its done!

    https://www.chuffed.org/project/byrontrafficfix

  3. Think Italian hill towns. Visitors park outside and walk in. Only residents park within the walls of the old towns. We need to improve public transport and access but lessen the flow of cars. Otherwise the town will grind to a halt. Almost there!!!

  4. Hi Duncan

    There is an answer to traffic congestion

    I work in an engineering consulting and I cut traffic congestion on our roads

    I make sure that our Mayors and other City Leaders have all the information they need to cut traffic congestion, without the expense of new roads or annoyed residents

    I’ve spent the last 15 years working in transport planning in the private and public sectors in the UK and Australia. I increased walking to school from 38% of all trips to 92% at two schools in the UK – What this really means is that we removed more than 200 cars from the streets around each of those primary schools. I was retained by the UK Government for 6 years as a specialist advisor. I’ve spoken at more than 200 conferences around the world, including 2 TED talks, I was hand-picked to be part of the BMW Guggenheim Lab and won the BP International Road Safety Award

    I have written and self-published a book “Decongestion – 7 steps for Mayors and other City Leaders to cut traffic congestion, without the expense of new roads or annoyed residents”. The difference between me and my book, and everything that has been done before, is that I interviewed hundreds of people around the world; leading academics, mayors, industry leaders, public servants and technologists, about the challenges, problems and issues with congestion. I now fully understand the mistakes that have been made in the past.

    I have created a remarkable re-election platform. The ultimate result of a Mayor and other City Leader reading and implementing my book is:
    • They’ll get re-elected
    • Their constituents will admire them
    • They’ll leave a lasting legacy in their town or city that everyone remembers
    • They’ll have an incredible career achievement and a personal success story

    Please email me and I will send you a free copy of my e-book Jam Packed: The 7 most common mistakes and challenges we face when trying to cut traffic congestion

    http://www.cyclingrachelsmith.com/book-decongestion/

    http://www.amazon.com/Decongestion-Mayors-Leaders-Traffic-Congestion-ebook/dp/B00U6OPE42/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1425442695&sr=1-1&keywords=decongestion

    Happy to chat and to help

    Rachel

  5. Converting the rail corridor to a walking/cycling track will help to ease congestion on the roads. Attempting to convert a 19th century track to a 21st century public transport corridor carrying trains or theme-park style imitations is ludicrous and won’t work.

    Park n rides for tourists won’t work either as visitors carry lots of gear with them when the come to the beach for the day and will want to park as close as possible, not a few kilometres away. They work in medieval walled cities where tourists carry a shoulder bag and camera and the distances are small.

    How about this idea. The main roads into Byron eg Ewingsdale Road be widened to four lanes with the outside lanes designated as bus/taxi etc lanes only and that this be adequately policed so its not ignored. A bypass to be built around the CBD similar to that already proposed. This in addition to a cycle/walk trail along the old rail corridor will help traffic flow in and out of Byron.

  6. Anyone who thinks that Byron Bay’s traffic congestion will in any way be relieved by foregoing the opportunity for light rail on our rail corridor in favour of a bike path is living in cloud cuckoo land.

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