The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic extends to all areas of society and is having substantial economic repercussions on everyone from individuals, corporates to government institutions.
Tough times require creative and out of the box thinking, and the Australian government has been doing just that.
One such measure the government is taking to combat this is a one-of-a-kind federal stimulus program that will accelerate spending on road projects — intended to save jobs and build infrastructure over the next six months. Funding as part of this stimulus package is available immediately, and over 400 local councils will submit proposals in the next few weeks to access it.
Building the winning narrative
That’s over 400 advocacy stories, all outlining specific projects and all in direct competition with the other — their proposal, explaining the council’s needs within a meaningful context, as their only narrative.
As the funding race gets underway, in this highly competitive environment, only evidence-based advocacy stories will be successful. So, what does this mean? In a nutshell, the advocacy stories (proposals) with the most persuasive evidence for their road projects will win the funding race, and those councils will get the desired grant for their planned projects.
Now when competing, no proposal can hope to be persuasive and provide meaningful context if it tells only a portion of the story. It’s like trying to drive a car with a fogged-up windshield and only having a few inches of clear glass. It’s far better to start the journey with a clear view of everything. For a road project, this means there should be enough historical evidence to support the absolute necessity of a project. Usually, road traffic data become the principal source of this evidence – be it to check project feasibility or its scope.
Using statistical evidence
In such a scenario availability of high-quality data for any foreseeable issues that may arise is imperative. Potential issues include traffic congestion, flow-on effects to surrounding roads, diminished retail activity and location-specific issues that can only be picked up by accurate data. Identifying and mitigating the impact of such issues makes the difference between project success and project failure – thus influencing the likelihood of funding allocations in the future.
In the past councils have conducted traditional traffic count surveys (also known as traffic queue surveys), but these are expensive, require a lot of pre-planning and can only provide data for a very narrow window of time.
Also, with the COVID-19 restrictions in place, it is hard to conduct these physical traffic surveys or to keep up with the changing dynamics of the patchy road traffic flow and base future project plans on it.
To overcome this challenge and to ensure their proposals seeking funding are backed by statistical evidence, what councils need is historical road traffic data that is affordable, hyper-accurate, high-resolution and easy to access. Fundamentally, this kind of data can transform an advocacy story completely.
Writing the winning proposal
In this unprecedented economic climate, high-resolution data has become a crucial point of difference. To put it plainly: proposals that base their advocacy story on high-resolution data, win.
The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is well and truly underway. That’s why the allocation of funds for road projects will occur as swiftly as possible. These short timelines mean that data needs to be available immediately for it to be useful. If it takes too long to collect, the opportunity to gain funding may be lost.
Finding a trusted partner
Intelematics is a trusted traffic data provider with the ability to support those directly impacted by the new federal stimulus program.
We understand their needs and the urgency for meeting such data requirements, which is why we have made 2016-2019 historical road traffic data available online through our road traffic data store. 2020 data will be available by mid-May 2020.
We’ve designed it this way because it’s the most efficient way to do it. And in a funding race, efficiency is king. It’s also easy-to-understand and use, thus cutting through any potential delays caused by people struggling to understand the reams of data points.
A key driver for local councils when considering road projects is continuously increasing traffic volume on their roads and the
downstream impacts caused by congestion in critical locations within their municipality. A council’s ability to convey its real-world infrastructure needs by using reliable empirical data is an integral part of telling a compelling story about why their road project deserves federal funding.
Councils need to act fast. Thankfully, communications from the federal government indicate a deliberate focus on distributing funds around councils in a way that is fair and equitable. The money is there to be allocated.
Putting forward an accurate proposal backed by high-resolution data is the most effective way for a council to ensure they receive the road funding they seek. Improving roads and communities, saving jobs and providing meaningful economic benefits to the nation during these challenging times, in the process.