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NSW Premier Mike Baird looks to crowdsourcing to solve Sydney's traffic problems

Date

Sean Nicholls

The NSW government is looking at crowdsourcing to solve the city's congestion problems.

The NSW government is looking at crowdsourcing to solve the city's congestion problems. Photo: Peter Rae

Solutions to Sydney's worst traffic congestion hot spots will be "crowdsourced" by the NSW government to tap into the widest possible pool of ideas.

The Premier's Innovation Initiative will be launched on Thursday and from next month seek submissions on how to reduce traffic in the worst of the city's choke points.

"We need to think more innovatively about how our existing metropolitan-wide infrastructure could work more efficiently," a fact sheet says.

"Combining our know-how": NSW Premier Mike Baird.

"Combining our know-how": NSW Premier Mike Baird. Photo: Peter Rae

"Private and community sectors can provide innovative solutions to reduce congestion on hot spots on Sydney's roads."

International examples such as an "automated roadwork zone information system" in Los Angeles, which diverts traffic to alternative routes, and Toronto's "corridor retiming program", which retimes traffic signals to improve traffic flow, are highlighted.

The government is reluctant to specify which Sydney hot spots it is targeting for fear of restricting ideas that might be brought forward.

But the initiative is likely to complement its existing Pinch Points program which looks at ways to relieve peak-hour traffic congestion.

The initiative will also invite proposals in other areas.

Submissions will be sought on how best to finance "replenishment" of public housing and fast-track release of "open data" government information to improve service delivery.

More broadly, it will ask the public to nominate areas where a "policy challenge" exists and suggest solutions.

Premier Mike Baird said the initiative would use a "competitive selection process to identify inventive solutions from private and non-government organisations".

“One of the best assets the state of NSW has is its people and we know that government doesn’t always have the answers,” he said.

“This exciting initiative is about opening up government avenues to the public and combining our considerable know-how.”

Mr Baird said such an initiative had worked in the UK with the London Ventures program.

Among the solutions being developed under London Ventures - run by the organisation representing London councils - is a model that uses data to predict the likelihood of children under two being neglected or abused by the age of five.

The hope is that it will eventually lead to less intervention in families as well as cutting costs.

Another, "Pitchwise", is a website that allows residents to search for and book football grounds.

284 comments so far

  • Mike they are things that can done that don't cost a cent. Clearways on major roads should by 24hours a day, 7 days a week - Parra Rd and King George's Road in particular. And peak times are not 6am to 10 am, 3 to 7pm. It is all day during the week and traffic us worst on the weekends.

    Commenter
    Sax
    Date and time
    August 13, 2014, 6:50PM
    • Widen the major road arteries irrespective of complaints about the heritage value of run-down strip shops. The functionality of the city is more important. Build mixed residential/commercial tower blocks near railway stations so that people can get to work, buy some groceries or post a letter without having to get in a car.

      Commenter
      AM
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 7:40PM
    • The solutions are so simple...It's astounding they can't see it.

      Right where that picture is there's a ridiculously simple solution, for FREE, I've tried to tell politicians and RTA about. Start by getting rid of Gow and what's her name.

      How incompetent can our very well paid politicians get?

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 8:03PM
    • One thing I notice in Sydney is that there are an incredible number of traffic lights, causing the stopping & starting of traffic, but hardly any overpasses / underpasses. It is also odd that high-rise residential developments and shopping centres seem to be spread all over the place instead of near the rail system.

      Commenter
      VT
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 8:04PM
    • Most commuting is done between home and work or home and shops. So apart from improving the roads and public transport, the biggest issue is the placement of new housing and employment. It is preferable if housing, employment and public transport are placed in close proximity, as is happening in Chatswood. This should also be happening in Ku-ring-gai but unfortunately, the council is intent on preserving a mish-mash of single dwelling housing close to Gordon station and thwarting any commercial development in the vicinity. The planning and transport departments should be more closely linked or amalgamated.

      Commenter
      Terri
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 8:44PM
    • Baird shouldn't be premier and shouldn't be in parliament if he doesn't know the answers to Sydney's congestion problems.

      The answer is simple; more railway lines need to be built.

      Forget about West Connex; scrap that it will only make the congestion worse.

      W. Connex is an outrageous waste of money at $11.5 billion.

      All this money should be spent on rail expansion to get the traffic off the roads.

      The liberal party hates public transport and loves toll roads.

      Liberal politicians are the puppets of the road lobby or "Road Mafia" and are easily manipulated through political donations to favour road projects over rail projects.

      All the well-planned, progressive big cities overseas are switching to rail because they now realise that building bigger roads only leads to greater congestion !

      Commenter
      Rail Revival
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 9:05PM
    • Baird shouldn't be premier and shouldn't be in parliament if he doesn't know the answers to Sydney's congestion problems.

      The answer is simple; more railway lines need to be built.

      Forget about West Connex; scrap that it will only make the congestion worse.

      W. Connex is an outrageous waste of money at $11.5 billion.

      All this money should be spent on rail expansion to get the traffic off the roads.

      The liberal party hates public transport and loves toll roads.

      Liberal politicians are the puppets of the road lobby or "Road Mafia" and are easily manipulated through political donations to favour road projects over rail projects.

      All the well-planned, progressive big cities overseas are switching to rail because they now realise that building bigger roads only leads to greater congestion !

      Commenter
      Rail Revival
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 9:10PM
    • Reduce our migrant intake so our infrastructure requirements can catch up to our population increase.

      Commenter
      Darcy
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 9:21PM
    • Knock down what needs to be knocked down in order to fix the worst trouble spots. Stop building far flung suburbs with little, if any, public transport, so that commuters are driving back and forth across the Sydney basin. Make public transport more affordable. Build large railway carparks so that people don't drive right into the city centre. Get rid of a lot of merging lanes that create bottlenecks. Place any new facilities near railway stations.

      Commenter
      Noam
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 9:48PM
    • Some ideas to be starting off with:

      Green Waves traffic light system for all major roads. So often major roads are empty of traffic in one place while suffering congestion or 1km tail backs further up.

      24 hour clearways: King Georges Rd, Woodville Rd, Fairford Rd/Rookwood etc,

      King George's Rd 4 lane flyover Punchbowl Road
      Stacey Street 4 lane tunnel under Hume Hwy
      Brunker Road 2 lane flyover over Rookwood Rd
      Brunker Road 2 lane tunnel under Hume Hwy to Rawson Rd
      Arthur Street Lidcombe 2 lane tunnel under Centenary Drive
      Vaughan St to Railway St 2 lane tunnel to a multi storey commuter car park
      Henry Lawson Drive flyover and junction at Milperra Rd.
      Heathcote Rd - Alfords Pt Rd connector at Menai.

      Build an integrated cycle path network for greater Metropolitan Sydney, and connect existing stretches

      High rise parking stations at selected stations with direct off ramp directly into the station.
      30 storey high rise station at Granville, with a feed off the M4 and Parra Road.
      same at Lidcombe

      Build an integrated light rail or monorail network to connect existing heavy rail lines:
      - as per Parramatta council proposal
      - Blacktown area north and south to Prospect
      - East Hills to Ashfield stations via Milperra Rd, Yagoona and Hume
      - Hurstville - Strathfield connecting all lines in between
      - Carlingford-Epping completion
      - Mount Annan Station with commuter parking to relieve Narellan Rd
      - High Rise car park at Thomson's corner and station sunk to new NWRL, to draw traffic off Pennant Hills Rd

      Congestion tax for all non-business vehicles in CBD

      Commenter
      yogurt
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 13, 2014, 10:00PM

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