How to avoid problem-solution thinking

Transport challenges are complex and dynamic, and usually don’t have agreed solutions.

To solve transport challenges or problems, you need to involve a range of key stakeholders who have a keen interest, often with disparate views on what to do. Key stakeholders have a significant interest in the problem or can have a major influence on the approach taken to address the challenges.

As professionals, we are charged with solving problems and usually have our own preferred solution to most transport challenges – but beware of the trap of ‘problem-solution’ thinking.

This results from jumping to the solution immediately a problem is raised, and then unfortunately, vigorously defending this solution, and not leaving open the opportunity to consider other viable options.

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How can you avoid transport policy mistakes?

 

Solving complex policy issues, such as improving travel time reliability, are challenges facing transport professionals. Policy analysis, however is not a common skill among transport professionals.

Transport policy problems are complex

Transport problems are increasingly complex and dynamic, making them difficult to fully comprehend. These complex multi-actor problems usually don’t have a simple solution and dealing with them may require new policy to be developed.

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How to ensure the success of smart mobility

 

Measuring smart mobility initiatives is critical to success.

Transport agencies and companies are accountable for the return on investment funds and it is in their interest to demonstrate the success of past investment in moving towards desired transport outcomes, when seeking funding for future programs.

However, post-evaluation of transport projects is rarely conducted.

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What does successful transport integration really mean?

A large proportion of Australians live in cities. Our cities are shaped by where people live, work, learn, shop and play and how they travel around. As transport users, we want connected trips. Transport connectivity is key to enabling the best use of resources, with an emphasis on sustainability.

Reducing the overall socio-economic cost of transport infrastructure and services is key to achieving sustainability.

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Dealing with Unexpectedness

 

How should we deal with traffic incidents at critical times and locations, which cause major, unexpected problems for users?

Operators of road traffic networks are under increasing pressure to maintain acceptable levels of service, with declining resources and competing priorities. Urban traffic networks are not able to keep pace with the growth in travel, as a result major roads operate at maximum capacity for extended periods.

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