Cyclists score well on personal traffic congestion

Commuter cyclists in Melbourne have an official website they can use to show motorists how much traffic congestion cyclists save in peak hours.

It is a by-product of a new campaign by VicRoads to unlock the city’s grid during peak hours by giving commuters a way to cut down their travel time.
VicRoads Director of Road User Services, Dean Zabrieszach, said the Unlock the Grid campaign aimed to reduce Melbourne traffic congestion by encouraging commuters to assess their personal impact on congestion.
“We want to remind drivers that they are not stuck in traffic, they are traffic,” he said.
“The campaign website, unlockthegrid.com.au, allows users to enter details about their daily commute to generate a personal congestion score,” Mr Zabrieszach said.
“The site then provides users with simple and practical suggestions to help them beat their score, such as changing their mode of transport, the time of day they travel or considering a different route.
“This is the first time individuals are able to use our traffic data to calculate their personal impact on traffic,” Mr Zabrieszach said.
A survey in September commissioned by VicRoads reported that half of Melbourne drivers were stressed as a result of their daily commute.
“Drivers reported that peak hour traffic, extended travel times and frustrating driver behaviour in their daily commute was causing increasing levels of stress, both at work and at home,” Mr Zabrieszach said.
“Ninety-five percent of drivers said the most frustrating driver behaviour was blocking intersections, followed by cutting in.”
Mr Zabrieszach said one of the most interesting things to come out of the survey was that almost half of Melbourne drivers did not think their commute was adding to the city’s congestion.
“Unlock the Grid aims to show commuters that by all making a few small changes to our daily routine, together we can reduce peak hour traffic. We want to remind drivers that they are not stuck in traffic, they are traffic,” he said.
Mr Zabrieszach said congestion could be eased with more awareness around the things that caused peak hour jams.
“The website provides links to VicRoads travel information and tools to better plan your route, as well as animations of common road rules to help keep traffic moving,” he said.
Melbourne drivers could help Unlock the Grid and reduce their congestion score by following a few simple tips:• Change the time they travel
• Change the mode of travel
• Consider the route
• Know the road rules.
“The most positive information to come out of the survey is that almost two-thirds of Melbourne drivers are willing to change their driving times, which means with a little team work, we can all get Melbourne’s traffic flowing,” he said.
The VicRoads survey conducted in September by Newspoll Market Research was an independent internet survey of 700 people in Melbourne, 18 years of age and older, who drive at least once a week during peak hours.  Data was collected in line with ISO 20252 – Market, Social and Opinion Research and has been weighted with current ABS population demographics to ensure any extrapolation of results is representative of age, sex and area.)

The Unlock the Grid website is www.unlockthegrid.com.au

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