Time for Australia to consider Asian lessons on city infrastructure

 
  wxtre Chief Train Controller

I found this article online. It states Australia should learn lessons from Asian cities when planning transport infrastructure. Should Australia be looking towards Asia as a transport model or not?


http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/forward-planning/investment-strategy/politics-and-policy/31245-time-for-australia-to-consider-asian-lessons-on-city-infrastructure.html

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  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
Chris Hale's article is short on the details.  It just says that other countries have done stuff and we have not.

All right, let's consider the lessons we might learn.
  Plan B Junior Train Controller

We have to be careful comparing with other countries.  Many rail solutions have been cheaper to build there because they have ignored the aesthetics (e.g.  building ugly elevated railways and hideous concrete monoliths for stations), lower quality infrastructure (subject to collapse in some situations) or put a low price on human life - accepting worker deaths and injuries as part of the construction process.
  Flygon Train Controller

Location: Australia
...lower quality infrastructure (subject to collapse in some situations) or put a low price on human life - accepting worker deaths and injuries as part of the construction process.
Plan B

I'm going to have to call you out on that one. Last I checked, Japan wasn't too huge on having their stuff fall apart the moment an Earthquake hits, or having their workers die on the job.

There's more countries in Asia than China, and Japan very much has a lot of the same principles without the whole 'low quality infrastructure' thing.

Aesthetics are something else entirely, of course, and very very subjective.
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
If the Metro in New Delhi can have charging points for lap tops on their trains and wi-fi on some stations and trains, then even poor countries can do useful things.  Delhi is putting in an extensive metro network with some elevated (on pylons above major roads), some tunneled and some cut and cover.  The length of lines is long, the speeds are reasonable, and the price is modest (by our standards - eg $1.50 to the Airport and an all day all stations tourist ticket is about $3.00).  The system looks well built, although security is annoying - bag and body scans to get on at all stations.

I have seen Shanghai suburbs being razed so that 5 storey blocks of flats can be replaced by 30 storey units, one whole suburb at a time.  Also 6 lane arterial roads get a 4 lane freeway on pylons above it, but they are building lots of Metro capacity as well.  Thankfully, we have more limitations on what our government can do without extensive and proper process.
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
I have seen Shanghai suburbs being razed so that 5 storey blocks of flats can be replaced by 30 storey units, one whole suburb at a time.  Also 6 lane arterial roads get a 4 lane freeway on pylons above it, but they are building lots of Metro capacity as well.  Thankfully, we have more limitations on what our government can do without extensive and proper process.
"Edith"


But the article was mostly about planning, or the lack of it in Australia. When Shanghai has a map of what the metro system will look like in 2020 you know that a) they'll build it and b) they'll build it pretty much like it is in the plan. Whereas in Melbourne, a plan isn't worth the paper it's written on because the next government will bin it and spend a couple of years coming up with their own plan. Or worse, they'll spend years having their engineers come up with a plan only to ignore it and do something else anyway because 'it makes sense' (and if a politician has to justify something by saying it makes sense, you know it doesn't and there's something dodgy going on). But that is the advantage of the one party state by being able to plan projects over the long term rather than politically expedient projects to make yourself look good for the next election.
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
In the Article he cites Nagoya Metro as a city with a similar population to Melbourne and Sydney that we should model ourselves on. It is true that Australia does not invest in rail and our systems are old need to be upgraded and improved. The populations of our cities are said to double by 2050. Cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong open new metro stations yearly it states. I have not traveled enough to know what the metro systems in Asia are like but it does appear that we are falling behind other cities with investment.
wxtre


Nagoya Metro? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA
The subway shuts at 10pm. The frequency isn't great for most of the day. The coverage of the metro network also is fairly low. Compare Yarra Trams to Nagoya's Metro? Yarra Trams dominates, dare I say in terms of speed, coverage, operating hours and frequency.
Nagoya itself is quite a dead city in comparison to Tokyo and Osaka. It's easy to point from a chair and say "That place is better" - is it really?

You could implement the 1969 Freeway plan and have a really good road network, but you would have nowhere for people to travel to (you've just destroyed everywhere the Freeways pass through). Just because someone else does something and they do it cheaply, doesn't mean it's right, let alone right in every context.

Also to add to the context, if you are comparing Shanghai to Melbourne, you are comparing traffic jams city-wide that are travelling less than walking pace, and subway trains with less breathing space than a train pulling out of Flemington right after the races. If you are comparing New Delhi, you are comparing a city where the majority of the population are in impoverished conditions and would never be able to afford most things we can.
And more so - if you are comparing anywhere in Asia, average commute times are significantly higher, and speeds significantly lower. Singapore is a fraction of the size of Melbourne, yet a trip to Dandenong would be a lot faster than twice the equivalent distance in Singapore, or Hong Kong for that matter.
  billybaxter Chief Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
Cultural differences make these comparisons worthless. For example, despite the excesses and cringeworthy behaviour of NIMBYs, they are an accepted part of our cultural heritage and very very anglo-saxon. They are us, they have helped make Australia what it is. Their nonsense wouldn't be accepted  in most of Asia, for cultural reasons. And why pick, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong? Pyong Yang, Naypyidaw, Dacca and Bangkok are Asian capitals too. Should we be looking to them for advice on city planning?
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
What a brilliant idea, an express Maglev to Hurstbridge running at 300km/h for the 3 billion passengers going there per month!!! Laughing

Oh wait, we're not in China or India, and most of our train lines have curves which would rival a 4x8' train set layout, not to mention tram squares, single track sections, crossovers going every which way, level crossings, incompatible rolling stock (a Comeng can't run MU with a Siemens or X'Trap (or a Hitachi either), a Siemens set cannot run MU with an X'Trap, and all three have different shapes, widths and door positions, so platform barriers will never work with our fleet either).

The only thing which should have been scrapped decades ago is the 5'3" broad gauge.
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
Shanghai is not comparable to Melbourne or Sydney's population but still they do invest in the underground metro system.
wxtre

No, the population of Shanghai isn't comparable to Melbourne or Sydney, it's comparable to the population of Australia. And when you need to move 18 million people around you plan and invest heavily in metro railways, albeit with a network of elevated roads as well. And my point previously was when your engineers and planners come up with a plan you stick with it instead of changing it on a whim because it was your predecessors idea not yours (a double standard which doesn't seem to apply to VicRoads freeway plans which have no doubt been sitting on the shelf since 1969). THAT more than anything else is the lesson we need to learn from not only Asian cities but any other big city around the world.

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