5 June, 2022

Transport planning vital to future of Moreton Bay

A LEADING transport planner says future transport planning in the Moreton Bay region as being vital to the growth of the district.

Transport planning is vital to the future of Moreton Bay
Transport planning is vital to the future of Moreton Bay

Mary Haverland, a transport planner with Arcadis, was asked to provide a keynote speech that identified future transport needs for the district, and helped shape transport strategies at the recent “Our Moreton” summit for Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Ms Haverland said she met with council staff ahead of the March ‘Our Moreton’ summit, to develop questions in line with the council’s plan.

“The council is being ‘future thinking’ in terms of its transport strategies, it seeks to develop a clear transport vision for Moreton Bay, which is a step forward from the old methods of 'predict and provide' transport planning,” she said.

“There are big challenges ahead, it is about getting the design objectives defined at the start of the process, to identify transport uses and needs.”

Ms Haverland said the last 100 years of design was purely about designing transport networks for peak hour capacity, and had been oriented towards cars.

“You can’t knock the infrastructure down, but you can recreate it, if you look at the changes in the last 20 years, in the ‘pre internet’ era, many daily tasks needed us to travel, but now travel and demands are changing, it may be that we need less trips in the future.”

Instead, Ms Haverland said future planning was an opportunity to retrofit infrastructure to meet new needs.

“It is about the right mode, for the right load on the right road, and that means there are times when the right mode is going to be the family car.

“Planning professionals need to take a broader view, not just the short term, but we also have to make sure it is sustainable.

“We need to make a list of outcomes, rather than projects.”

Ms Haverland said this is where the MBRC approach differed from in previous years, by taking a longer term view of transport issues.

“I think Moreton Bay Regional Council is doing a wonderful job.”

After working in the United Kingdom on the London Bus Priority Program, Ms Haverland said it showed the value of using different approaches to community concerns.

“Bus use was falling, so we engaged in community conversations from the outset, developed the goals, but also the issues and outcomes.

“We explained there would be losses, but people were more accepting of them, because they could see the overall program goals first.

“So here in Moreton Bay, let’s hear what is important to people, now, and in the future, we need to recognise changing needs, we must have process transparency.”

Ms Haverland said this project was ‘definitely an exciting time’, as it was bringing the community into the planning conversation.

“We are having the conversation about what ‘could/would/should’ the transport network look like, it is important we get the timing and the usage right.

“For example, we are seeing more ‘on demand’ travel, ride sharing, ‘bus on demand’ services, we need to make the transport network flexible and human centric, we need to recognise the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ changes.

Future development projects needed to be ‘strategic’, Ms Haverland said, to allow for transport options to be considered.

“It is not just about Option A or Option B, when you deal in objectives, people can be more flexible."


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