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A soft traffic management approach for achieving environmentally sustainable and economically viable outcomes: An Australian case study

Kuang, Yan, Yen, Barbara T.H., Suprun, Emiliya, Sahin, Oz
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.237 pp. 379-386
air pollution, case studies, economic sustainability, energy use and consumption, environmental impact, infrastructure, models, planning, pollution control, research projects, traffic, urbanization, Australia
Transport infrastructural strain is a pressuring issue for the urbanised world due to the increasing demand for public transport. Transport operators, planners and policymakers are constantly searching for low-cost solutions to such transport issues. Therefore, it is critical to developing an environmentally sustainable and economically viable efficient traffic network to relieve traffic pressure (i.e., traffic congestion, transport infrastructure investment needs). The objective of this research is to propose a “Soft Traffic Management (STM)” concept to proactively analyse the traffic impact of transport planning strategy before implementation. This study investigates the effectiveness of a STM for easing the traffic pressure by carrying out a pilot research project on the proposed South East Busway extension in Logan City, Australia, by employing a stepwise process consisting of a multi-stage analysis and stakeholder-based modelling approach. The results indicate that the extended busway can significantly relieve traffic congestion. In addition, the proposed strategy has significantly positive impacts on the environment since it aims to reduce air pollution and fuel consumption as well as to improve the safety and efficiency of the whole transport system. This study confirms the effects of STM on improving the use of existing infrastructure more efficiently and deferring future transport infrastructure investments.