ITE Journal - July 2021 - 22

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Transportation Perspectives from Australia
Daniel Przychodzki,
MITE, MIEAust (M)
Coordinator - Transport
City of Greater Dandenong, Victoria, Australia
Education
Bachelor of Engineering Civil (Honors),
Monash University
ITE Involvement
Global District Director, ITE International
Board of Direction, 2020-present
ITE Australia-New Zealand Section Board
Secretary, 2004-2005
Vice President, 2006
President, 2007-2009
Industry Involvement
Caulfield to Dandenong Railway Level
Crossing Removal Project Working Group
South Eastern Metropolitan Integrated
Transport Group (SEMITG)
Eastern Transport Coalition (ETC)
Community Road Safety Groups
Victorian Bicycle Advisory Council, Victorian
Motorcycle Advisory Council, and
the Victorian Road Based Public
Transport Advisory Council
Speed Limit Advisory Group
Awards
Outstanding Service to ITE-ANZ Award, 2016
City of Greater Dandenong High
Achievement Award, 2016
Transport Accident Commission (TAC)
Towards Zero Road Safety Award Winner, 2015
Municipal Engineering Foundation of Victoria
(MEFV) Scholarship for International
Study Tour, 2014
22 July 2021 ite journal
ITE JOURNAL: When examining some of the biggest transportation trends in the United
States-safety, equity, sustainability, etc.-which issues are getting the most traction in
Australia, and where does the most work need to be done?
PRZYCHODZKI: All of these issues are common within Australia. The transport engineering
sector has been focused on reducing road trauma for many years, and most state road
authorities utilize a Safe System philosophy-safer drivers in safer vehicles on safer roads.
Though we have made tremendous advancements in areas like road safety and asset
management, we have yet to resolve new disruptive transport solutions like e-bikes and
e-scooters. Unfortunately, many road rules and regulations have failed to keep up with the
introduction of these new travel modes. The sector is still trying to address several conflicts
with using these modes to travel on footpaths or bike lanes, requirements to wear helmets,
and even how are the devices stored (in many jurisdictions, they're classified as " litter " when
not stored in a designated area). If bureaucracy and regulations continue to act as barriers
to disruptive transport solutions in Australia, we may fall behind in adopting technologies
that can transform sustainability and safety in transport, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and
autonomous vehicles. Although EV uptake in the United States and Canada isn't as high as
in Europe, they are well ahead of where we are in Australia. Our modern and consistent road
network makes this is a perfect place to implement and develop new technologies.
ITEJ: As COVID numbers slow, what does the recovery look like in Australia for the transportation
sector, and what government investments are helping boost infrastructure?
PRZYCHODZKI: As with many parts of the world, in certain parts of Australia-predominantly
the state of Victoria where I reside-COVID has had a significant impact on the way
we travel. While public transit usage has declined due to COVID, there are signs it's slowly
recovering. Traffic volumes in many of Australia's major cities have increased to above
pre-COVID levels. However, this can have a positive impact, as it may assist with driving
(pun intended) some users back to public transit modes more quickly. Australian cities have
typically grown with high reliance on a single central business district. However, it looks like
the pandemic will result in a lasting change in the way many travel for work. The norm is no
longer working in the city from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday to Friday. COVID has shown many
can work from home, allowing for much greater flexibility with working schedules. We may
see progress with the biggest cities like Melbourne and Sydney moving to a more polycentric
transport system-which has been part of transport planning policy here for decades.
Both federal and state governments continue to fund significant infrastructure projects,
like completing ring roads and expanding heavy rail networks. Investment is heavily focused
on stimulating the economy, with the number of jobs created by these projects seen as the big
benefit (sometimes more so than any other improved transport outcomes). It's fantastic to see
some great projects being delivered-however, so much happening at once has its drawbacks,
with cost blowouts due to increased material and labor costs, and rushed delivery unfortunately
evident in some projects.
ITEJ: How do transportation issues differ in Australia versus the United States?
PRZYCHODZKI: Serving on the ITE International Board of Direction, I've realized we
have a lot more in common than we think, but there are a few obvious differences. We
drive on the left side of the road, and like most of the world, we use metric units (meters,
kilometers, etc.). There is a major population difference between the United States and
Australia (328 million vs. 25 million). Much of this country is sparsely populated, and

ITE Journal - July 2021

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