Usually there is more than one way to address any transport challenge. Different options have different contributions, key stakeholders, resourcing and risk profiles.
A package of interventions may be the most appropriate, for example in addressing a road safety speeding problem, the most effective approach will be a combination of engineering (check speed limits), education (advertising), and enforcement (speed camera). See article: Emerging fourth ‘E’ in improving road safety.
The main types of interventions are:
- Advocacy – such as influencing behaviour through public education
- Collaboration – in partnership with key stakeholders
- Economic – using taxpayer funds or taxing powers as incentive
- Service Delivery – such as provision of public services
- Legal – legislation and regulations.
One of the mistakes I often see is a focus on a preferred approach …“this is how we have always done this …”
You should always consider alternative approaches, for example if we have a local traffic congestion problem:
- minor infrastructure upgrade, such as provide a lane widening at an intersection where there is a bottleneck
- non-infrastructure option, such as increasing parking pricing to deter traffic to a congested area
- integrating transport and land use, such as encouraging mixed use development at a transport hub
- use transport technology, such as variable speed limits to reduce traffic flow breakdown
- staging project implementation, particularly when funds are not currently available, and progress some low cost components.
Choosing a Preferred Intervention
You should establish criteria for selecting a preferred intervention early on, before getting to option evaluation, as this allows a consistent approach when comparing options.
Criteria used should involve a combination of technical application and political practicality – some questions to help guide your choice of intervention include:
- Efficient: will it be cost-effective?
- Effective: will it get the job done?
- Appropriate: is this a reasonable way of proceeding?
- Equity: are the consequences likely to be fair and reasonable?
- Doable: can it be readily delivered?
- Scalable: can it adapt to changing circumstances (expanded, contracted)?
- interventions are means to address transport challenges and achieve desired outcomes
- there are five basic types: advocacy, collaboration, economic, delivery, legal
- selecting the most appropriate intervention is difficult and often involves trade-offs
- criteria to evaluate interventions will involve a combination of technical application and political practicality.
PS. Check out TFI Online Courses, in particular Addressing Transport Challenges, and also the Mobility Trends mini-course – both help you address transport challenges.