Our obsession with roads puts us behind the rest of the world on railway infrastructure. It’s time to invest in rail — and help save the planet.
The problem with building and widening roads is that it’s only a temporary fix. In the short term we can commute more quickly, but better roads encourage more people to live further from work and use cars rather than buses or trains.
So in the medium and long term the congestion becomes worse than before the infrastructure spend. This appears counterintuitive: how on earth can better roads slow traffic? But numerous studies show that in growing cities, it is futile to try to speed up traffic by road-building.
In Australia’s major cities, the car’s colonisation of the surface area shows no sign of abating. People remain committed to the dream of rapid automobility from crowded downtown to tranquil suburb, and this in large part explains our failure to meet global emission targets.
Read more about the risks of our obsession with roads…
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