ACT Greens election pledges now forgotten

The ACT Greens have now released their active travel policy for the 2020 ACT Election on the 19 September 2020. In May 2022, still very little had been done. Here is the update of what the ACT Greens have achieved for walking and cycling measured against their own 2020 plans.

Contents

We have broken up the ACT Greens 2020 election pledges into six sections.

SectionContent
1Goals
2CBR Cycle Route C10
3Seven cycle corridors
4New active travel standards
5End of trip facilities
6Bicycle hubs
Table of contents. canberra.bike

Section 1

Goals update 7 May 2020

Summary: No significant progress on achieving the goals from section 1 is evident.

GoalProgress
Building 7 cycling corridorsassessed in section 3
100 upgrades to connect gapscommunity consultation is not concluded
20% or $20 million per year spend2021-22 budget estimates $19-26 million is allocated to active travel over FOUR years
Assessment 7 May 2020. canberra.bike

Pledged goals

There are three main goals and one is a 20% funding guarantee. There is no mention of cycling targets and no way to measure progress. This is a bit of a concern.

“the ACT Greens will build a world class walking and cycling network, kickstarting a cycling revolution in Canberra and creating a walkable Canberra, by:

1. Building seven large-scale cycling corridors 

2. Over 100 small upgrades to connect the gaps in our existing walking and cycling network, based on extensive community feedback

3. Allocating a minimum 20% of the roads and parking capital upgrade budget to walking and cycling infrastructure (with a minimum $20 million per year)”

Walking and CyclingACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020

Sections 2

CBR Cycle Route C10 update 7 May 2020

Summary: To date, no further progress on CBR Cycle Route C10 has been made as it depend on the East-West Bridge of the Molonglo River which is not planned to be completed until the 2030s. No alternate route for the CBR Cycle Route C10 has been proposed.

Pledge CBR C10

The cycling corridor of top priority is Woden to Civic and then Molonglo Valley to Civic. Woden to Civic is essential and it is good to see the ACT Greens embracing it. The Molonglo Valley estate development has a bad reputation for planning. The lack of cycling infrastructure is a key point.

“The Molonglo Valley is growing rapidly, but its cycle connections are not. There is an opportunity to build a high quality east-west cycling “superhighway”, connecting a new Molonglo Town Centre to the city. A feasibility study for such a cycle highway was undertaken due to the Greens including it in the 2012 Parliamentary Agreement – now we believe it’s time to build it. Residents of Molonglo should have a convenient and safe option for commuting by active travel, and in this newly developing part of Canberra we have the opportunity to ensure this is high quality, prioritised infrastructure.”

Walking and CyclingACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020

Section 3

Seven cycle corridors update 7 May 2020

Summary: Little has been done.

The word none in the progress column would indicate nothing has changed since the 2020 ACT Election.

CorridorProgress
Woden to Citynone
Molonglo to Citynone
Molonglo to Belconnennone
Benjamin Way, Belconnennone
Gungahlin cycle pathsstudy planned
Tuggeranong to Chisholmnone
Ainslie to Watson cycle pathAinslie: none,
Watson: Garden City Route feasibility study
Assessment 7 May 2020. canberra.bike

Building Seven Large-Scale Cycling Corridors

The ACT Greens identified seven priority areas requiring major investments in cycling corridors. The first four on the listed are quoted in more detail.

  1. Woden to City (Adelaide Avenue)
  2. Molonglo Valley to Civic
  3. Northern Molonglo Valley, Belconnen and Civic
  4. Improving connections to the Belconnen Town Centre
  5. Upgrading the existing shared path on Gungahlin Drive
  6. Improving the cycling connection between the Tuggeranong Town Centre and Chisholm
  7. Improving cycling access to the City from Ainslie, Hackett, and Watson, and make Ainslie safer

Priority 1. Woden To City

Based on community feedback, the Greens’ immediate priority for cycling infrastructure is upgrading the Woden to City cycling corridor. There are a number of issues with the current cycling link between Woden and the City, which have long needed to be addressed. Just getting in and out of the Woden Town Centre itself on a bike is not ideal at present.

The development of light rail stage 2 provides an ideal opportunity to address many of these issues and improve the speed and safety of this cycling corridor.

At the same time, we would improve the connections into Woden Town Centre from surrounding areas, to ensure people can conveniently use active travel to safely access shops, services, and buses and light rail. 

Kickstarting A Cycling Revolution, 2020 ACT Election Walking and Cycling Policy, The Greens ACT, accessed 2 August 2020

Priority 2. Molonglo Valley To Civic

The Molonglo Valley is growing rapidly, but its cycle connections are not. There is an opportunity to build a high quality east-west cycling “superhighway”, connecting a new Molonglo Town Centre to the city. A feasibility study for such a cycle highway was undertaken due to the Greens including it in the 2012 Parliamentary Agreement – now we believe it’s time to build it. Residents of Molonglo should have a convenient and safe option for commuting by active travel, and in this newly developing part of Canberra we have the opportunity to ensure this is high quality, prioritised infrastructure. 

Kickstarting A Cycling Revolution, 2020 ACT Election Walking and Cycling Policy, The Greens ACT, accessed 2 August 2020

Priority 3. Northern Molonglo Valley, Belconnen And Civic

The new suburb of Whitlam, currently being built, is on the other side of the Molonglo River from the rest of the newly developed parts of the Valley, and requires a dedicated connection to link to the existing cycle network near Bindubi St and William Hovell Drive.  A segregated cycle lane running alongside Coulter Drive would help connect suburbs in the Molonglo Valley to the Belconnen Town Centre. 

Kickstarting A Cycling Revolution, 2020 ACT Election Walking and Cycling Policy, The Greens ACT, accessed 2 August 2020

Priority 4. Improve Connections To The Belconnen Town Centre

For example, a segregated cycle path along the length of Benjamin Way would connect up the existing shared path network, through the Town Centre and to the new Belco Bikeway. In addition, cycling connections to Page, Scullin, Weetangera, and Hawker could be improved. 

Kickstarting A Cycling Revolution, 2020 ACT Election Walking and Cycling Policy, The Greens ACT, accessed 2 August 2020

Section 4

Active travel standards update 7 May 2020

The active travel standards take yeas to develop. Minister Steel as part of ACT Labor pledges from the 2020 ACT Election has announced a review – see Minister Steels announcement for more detail.

Summary: Jo Clay MLA has published a discussion paper on active travel but up until now very little has come from it.

Active travel standards pledge

“The ACT Government continues to design Canberra predominantly for travel by car.

The Greens would adopt the best practice active travel standards into the ACT Government’s infrastructure design standards, and make corresponding changes to the Territory Plan, to ensure that Canberra is designed to support and prioritise active travel and ‘20 minute neighbourhoods’, in line with standards used by leading sustainable cities. This would include standards that support a rapid uptake in the use of e-bicycles.”

Walking and CyclingACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020

We welcome that ACT Greens would like to “ensure the ACT Government adopts world’s best practice cycling and walking infrastructure standards.” The standards could be improved. Our concern is that another study is another delay.

“This initiative would take the form of an immediate review of ACT active travel design standards and leading international standards, with the adoption of best practice standards from July 2021.”

Walking and CyclingACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020

Information box: Why have the standards failed so far?

It probably surprises many that the ACT has active travel standards. A draft was dated 2009. Active travel is not radical and found in Austroads standards. The problem in the ACT is that these standards have been systematically ignore. There are many examples of this, tak for example Fast Track. Canberra.bike has mentioned previously that the active travel standards must be mandatory and therefore included in the statutory instruments such as the Territory Plan but also the Estate Development Code (EDC).

“The Estate Development Code (EDC) is a key document and one of the most important ones. Much of the Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 are still not written into it, which accounts for the failings of more recent estate developments such as that in the Molonglo Valley.”

Active Travel Infrastructure Interim Planning Guideline, canberra.bike, 27/4/2020

Section 5

End of trip facilities update 7 May 2020

Summary: End of trip facilities went into another consultation phase in 2021 and nothing has been heard since. The bill has not been discussed by the ACT Transport Committee (PTCS Committee).

End of trip facilities pledge

“A lack of adequate end of trip facilities – such as showers, change rooms, storage, etc – remains a significant obstacle faced by people who are considering commuting to work by active travel, especially by bike.”

Walking and CyclingACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020

Section 6

Bicycle hub update 7 May 2022

Summary: No change and no progress to date.

Bicycle hub pledge

> commence a market sounding exercise to bring ‘bicycle hubs’ to Civic and other town centres. A bicycle hub is a dedicated, staffed building that contains showers, bicycle storage, and potentially other facilities such as bicycle repair, laundry facilities, coffee, and other services. An example is Brisbane‘s successful cycle2city facility. Following market sounding we would seek to engage private partners in the design, construction, and management of a facility, with the first facility to open by 2023.

> implement a best practice ‘bicycle parking code’ to ensure all new buildings provide quality bicycle parking for residents and visitors, and change room facilities. Existing buildings will be required to retrofit these facilities when any major upgrades are made to the building.

Walking and CyclingACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020

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