A ‘new’ plan for Adelaide’s transport future?

Yesterday the South Australian Government released a new transport master plan they said last year was not required…however this is an important initiative, and deserves our attention.

Master plans are great tools – and the very good ones are strategic, allow flexibility and are not overly prescriptive. A comprehensive transport master plan is an essential part of a city’s collateral as part of shaping great cities.

Adelaide has arguably a good precedent: the MATS plan of the 1960’s.  The MATS plan was comprehensive, and proposed an Adelaide city rail underground metro as well….so some thing don’t change!

These plans are important for many reasons: forward city planning, funding and forward estimates, developing feasible projects, allowing for corridor reservation (and acquisition if required), integrating land use planning, developing and fostering good city design principles, and allowing debate on the city’s general future direction.

So, a big tick for the Government for releasing a comprehensive transport plan. This is supported.

However, a couple of fundamental questions on the new transport master plan:

  • is the transport plan closely aligned and informed by Adelaide’s much valued and vaunted 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide?  has this informed the transport blueprints in the new master plan?
  • has there been any feasibility on the proposed public transport initiatives? for example, what is the viability of a tram service to Outer Harbour?  Is this a wise use of the mode vs heavy rail?
  • who was consulted on the plan to inform it? were economists, constructors, planners, urban designers, etc asked to provide ‘testing’ of the initiatives?
  • has the plan been focused on people – i.e. where they are, where they work, where they play, and where they want to go?
  • is there a quantifiable patronage model that all initiatives can be measured against?
  • have measurable objectives been considered for each initiative (i.e., to ensure they are not only viable, but worthwhile??)

Only 12 months ago we were told an integrated plan was not required.  I am scratching my head a little – as basic integrated thinking would ask for exactly such a thing for the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide, informing where intensity needs to occur, and where modes of travel and transport need to be focused.

The full PDF of the plan can be found here: http://www.premier.sa.gov.au/strongersa/pdf/building_a_stronger_sa–transport.pdf

I commend the South Australian Government on the overall approach to creating a strategy, now the devil is in the detail, and well done for such a comprehensive set of initiatives.  There are more questions to answer, however it is firmly a step in the right direction.

So, over to testing them…..

Bordeaux's integrated light rail system is customer and place focused. A good model for Adelaide.

Bordeaux’s integrated light rail system is customer and place focused. A good model for Adelaide.

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