advertising billboard at construction site

More lanes, more lies

The government couldn’t pass up the opportunity to advertise their investment in the latest round of incremental improvements to the Citylink toll road, yes they’re proud to be improving access to/from a toll road (and haven’t created any other substantial road projects so needed to point to something tangible) .

While the toll road operator funds the majority of the works with approximately 2/3rds of the total expense coming from them, in return they are being granted a longer lease and the rights to increase prices on the road so the government has in fact sold off public access to fund the works. Not an uncommon solution or a disaster in its self, but then we can turn to the advertising:

advertising billboard at construction site

Complete with the ever crafty use of a comma to literally separate the concepts, while leaving them associated by their run on use. An accurate version might read:

More lanes and safety improvements

Because all the high quality references I can find on the topic agree that increasing the number of lanes on a separated road such as this increases the rate of accidents per vehicle, before considering that the increase of vehicles using the road will further increase the quantity of accidents. We can refer to their website for more incredulous points:

What are the benefits?

The upgrades bring direct benefits to Tullamarine Freeway and CityLink users. They also benefit local residents by improving conditions on connecting roads:

  • A 30 per cent increase in capacity, reduces congestion and allows for future growth
  • A reduction of up to 17 minutes in peak time, makes trips between the airport and the city quicker and more reliable.
  • 2,300 fewer heavy commercial vehicles using local roads, improves conditions on local roads.
  • A reduction in casualty crashes of up to 20 per cent, benefits everyone.

Except when you read their publicly available information the expectation is there will be a 20% reduction in crashes from some intersections where they are making genuine safety improvements while no detailed analysis is presented or balanced against the increased capacity, or new intersections where new complex movements (as they are proudly eliminating elsewhere to improve safety) will introduce more risks.

More lanes ≠ safer freeway

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