Growing Traffic Threatens Sydney

In the "letter of the week" in The North Shore Times, Save Our Suburbs President Tony Recsei decries the rising traffic congestion that is occurring in Sydney from the densification policies. Urban planners had misled residents into believing that higher population densities would reduce traffic congestion as more people shifted to mass transit. Recsei notes that "While in higher densities, a slightly higher proportion of people use public transport, this is completely overwhelmed by the greater number now in the area who still have to use their cars for all sorts of reasons." With an understandable pride typical of Sydneysiders, Recsei asks "Why should policies be allowed to transform beautiful Sydney into just another overcrowded city in the world?"

Why indeed. There are two overwhelming outcomes that are shared by cities that have climbed on the urban containment bandwagon: (1) destruction of housing affordability and (2) severely intensified traffic congestion. Sydney suffers from a particularly acute strain of the disease. The land rationing of urban containment policy has house affordability to a severely unaffordable level. Sydney's traffic congestion has also become among the worst in the world. Of course things could be worse. Vancouver, with an urban planning regime to which some Sydney leaders and planners aspire, is even worse in both categories.

Note: Tony Recsei is also a author (an example is Predictable Political Punditry Down Under).