How communities are taking steps towards reducing car dependency

Town Team Movement
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We’ve all experienced it: you’re trying to walk across a road, and just when you think you’re able to safely cross… an oncoming car speeds up, instead of slows down.

Or maybe you spot an elderly neighbour, or a family with kids, or prams and pets all patiently waiting to cross… and no one slows down to let them through?

It just isn’t good enough!

Local communities around Perth are exhausted by drivers dominating our streets with aggressive driving behaviours that make our roads unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists.

Realistically, we can all take small steps for change by yielding when we see someone waiting to cross the street.

With over 80% of daily trips made by car, Perth is one of the most car-dependent cities in Australia. The congestion problem is equally alarming, with Perth residents spending an average of 56 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Perth City Freeways

Surely we can just widen the freeways, right? In reality, research consistently shows that expanding road capacity only leads to more traffic, a phenomenon known as induced demand.

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The real solution lies in enhancing public transport and promoting active travel. Cities around the world have demonstrated how investing in reliable and extensive public transit systems, along with safe infrastructure for walking and cycling, can significantly reduce congestion and improve quality of life.

By redesigning our streets to be ‘shared spaces’ where pedestrians, cyclists and cars coexist, we can foster a shift in behaviours. Simple measures like dedicated bike lanes, pedestrian-friendly intersections, and better public transit options can transform our urban environment – as well as reduce emissions, improve public health, and create more vibrant and liveable communities.

Perth City Jacarandas

However, it’s not just about infrastructure. It’s about embracing a vision of ‘shared streets’, and cultivating respect and empathy among all drivers – creating a community that values active travel, reducing its carbon footprint, and enhancing the overall quality of life for its residents. 

Encouragingly, change is beginning through community-led initiatives such as the Streets Alive program. This program invites community groups to codesign street calming solutions to create more people-friendly places. In its first round, Streets Alive has empowered 61 community groups with over $299,000 in funding, enabling them to take steps toward reducing car dominance and enhancing urban livability.

Delivered in partnership with Town Team Movement, Main Roads and WALGA, Streets Alive of a five year community-led funding program – for more information visit