People often think that pedestrians and cyclist have the same needs, and one path will serve both. This is not true. The characteristics of walking and riding a bike are different. This conflict of interest makes life difficult for designers. This is most noticeable when the path gets steep. For pedestrians and wheelchairs, “stepping” is advised, but this is not the best for cyclist. William Hovell Drive shared path illustrates the problem.
The new London Circuit / Commonwealth Avenue intersection is an opportunity for best practice in intersection design. Former, and deeply ingrained car centric design has progressed to “doing bad, better” (to quote Brent Toderian). ACT Labor and TCCS have promised global best practice intersections since the 2020 ACT Election. The newest design, for Raising London Circuit, still has many problems. Those problems and design options are found in this article.
The last ABS Census was conducted on 10 August 2021. Only now is the data being released. The ACT Government made a recent announcement. Today, a few highlights from the ABS Census for the Molonglo Valley and Gungahlin. Gungahlin does not have a lot of apartments, after all, unlike the Molonglo Valley.
canberra.bike releases today our report Traffic calming: children centric street design (see attached). At its heart is that child friendly streets do not happen by accident but rather because we design them that way. We give priority to children rather than people who wish to drive. In this way, way make Whitlam shops and school a people friendly place.
Whitlam estate is new but has a poor implementation of ACT Active Travel Standards. The biggest issue is children crossing roads. The roads in Whitlam are very wide. Side streets have not been designed in a way to slow cars down. Evidence from traffic studies such as Kambah, would indicate that Canberra motorists will not stop for children without infrastructure such as zebra crossings in place. Whitlam Local Shops should “baked in” traffic calming into the road design of the surround streets. We see, however, for Alice Moyle Way, this is not the case.
There is a difference between the road and the street. A road is designed for cars. The street is a complex environment designed for people and may include a road. The street includes many other features including verge, median strip, footpaths, bike paths, seats, outdoor dining, gardens, and more. Streets can include longitudinal parks and playgrounds. Most people will not cycle on road. New Space For Living – Quality Of Public Space looks at the urban forms found in The Netherlands and considers what could be done with this public space.
200,000 people will soon live in Belconnen and Gungahlin, it is relatively flat, which gives the area great cycling potential. CBR Cycle Routes C11, C1 and C7 carve their way through the north, but not in ways that we would expect. Many grass reserves force the cyclist on huge detours. We still do not have a direct route between Belconnen and Mitchell. What are our options?
The COVID-19 lockdowns had an upside. It caused us to rethink what is important and provided opportunities for trialling cycle infrastructure (tactical urbanism). The United Kingdom (UK) recognised the opportunity, as did many other countries. The ACT never got off the mark. We could learn much from the UK.
We would like the ACT Government to be accountable and invest wisely, so we measure and monitoring all sorts of things. However, not everything that matters can be measured, and not everything that we can measure matters, but it matters what we measure. Confused? TCCS is. We want more people to walk and cycle, but we do not measure that. We measure congestion instead, which we do not want. We want our streets safer for walking and riding. Traffic management studies required data, but we do not collect data on that which matters: the safety of walking and cycling.
The ACT Legislative Assembly has a number of standing committees that investigate (inquiry), record (transcript of evidence) and report (report). One annual inquiry is the Estimates. The Standing Committee On Planning, Transport And City Services (PTCS Committee) is one such committee. Here are the sections from their report relating to cycle infrastructure and maintenance.