The focus of my work during 2014 has been developing and promoting the Mobility Choices program. The Program is designed to be a successor to the ICLEI’s successful 10-year Cities for Climate Protection program and aims to work with and/or for local government to reduce private motor vehicle dependency.
Mobility Choices assists Councils to reduce future car dependence by providing councils with a way to shape an alternative future through a program of engagement with people who are moving or have moved into their municipality. It also provides for a resident program for people who are applying for parking or visitor permits. Discussions have taken place with the cities of Yarra, Port Phillip, Moreland and Melville for the delivery of the program.
The program has a number of aspects to improving mobility in our cities and towns including parking, share cars and public transport. Working with bodies such as the Municipal Association Victoria and the Melbourne Transport Forum provides opportunities to expand our knowledge base and introduce Mobility Choices to the wider local government sector.
Mobility Choices is an ICLEI Oceania project that improves mobility by developing transport choices.
The program focuses on smarter ways of moving people in order to make our cities work better. Over the longer term Councils in Australasia will be able to minimise future car dependence.
Through the program Councils will measure and develop voluntary mobility choices through direct influence as well as through indirect influence and leverage.
The program will provide Councils with a pathway to effective action and support in building capacity to deliver measurable changes in transport choices. It will follow the successful milestone-based methodology of other ICLEI projects such as Cities for Climate Protection.
Councils participating in the program will map and measure the transport mode share at agreed destinations and identify modes that could usefully perform a greater role. These assessments will be the basis for inventories and forecasts, reduction goals, action planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting.
The business case is based on the financial benefit of shifting trips to alternative modes for the individual, the community and the Council including:
• cutting the cost of transport in the family budget.
• increasing local retail sales as more people shop locally.
• reducing or deferring local government capital, maintenance and recurrent expenses.
Other benefits such as physical activity, air and noise pollution, residential amenity and ‘sense of place’ will be tracked when appropriate.
Target audiences include local residents and employees as well as people visiting or passing through the municipality.
Mobility Choices is designed as a lead-up program for the recently developed ICLEI - Europe program Eco-mobility Shift.
ICLEI is looking for Councils who wish to participate in the establishment of the program.
Mobility Choices in Action
Mobility Choices will focus on developing practical responses to existing situations:
Some projects will respond to success:
• reducing access pressures to farmers markets or other ‘pop-up’ events; access pressures at festivals or public events
• helping to bring more people into a popular dining and entertainment precinct
• reducing congestion around an important destination such as a tertiary institution or hospital
Some projects will respond to problems of demand:
• overcrowding on public transport, causing operators to miss stops
• an overflowing car park at a railway station or swimming pool
Some will respond to problems of supply:
• competition for resident parking permit spaces
• staff at local businesses having to repeatedly move their cars during the day
• development of areas that have been used for car parking
• ‘overnight’ population increases when new apartments open
Some projects will respond to inefficiencies:
• car parks developed for retail traders being used by for other purposes such as public transport passengers
• struggling strip shopping centres
• low patronage on a local bus route
young people unable to make trips by themselves