Electric vehicles appear a promising solution to the climate change crisis, but looking closer, switching to an electric vehicle is not enough. The cities need to be built differently to reduce trip distances. We need to use more public transport and active travel. Electric vehicles help, but are not a panacea to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
Category Archives: urban planning
Cycling is the most sustainable and healthy way to move around our cities. Our cities are not efficient machines but rather nice places for people to live. Let us make Canberra better for people.
$110 million William Hovell Drive
Before 2040 we see two large projects on William Hovell Drive. The duplication of William Hovell Drive will cost $63 million and expected to be completed by 2026. Bindubi Street intersection will follow, cost $47 million and be required before 2041. $110 million for William Hovell Drive – just the start of TCCS’ shopping list.
Tactical urbanism and traffic calming
Tactical urbanism is an agile approach for planning better cities. The traditional approach entails long reports and long consultations that take a long time to complete. Traffic calming is simply rebalancing the street design to give more space and priority to people walking and cycling. For people driving, this means narrowed roads and reduced speeds. Traffic calming is a common request for TCCS and a long drawn out process. The Narrabundah investigation is currently in its second year with no outcome.
Austroads design guide for Walking and Cycling (AGRD06A)
Austroads has produced many good and useful standards. One of the best is Guide to Road Design Part 6A: Paths for Walking and Cycling (AGRD06A). The ACT Active Travel Standards (MIS05) are compliment by the Austroads AGRD06A. The Austroads National Standard is more detailed than the ACT equivalent and complements the local standard.
Molonglo Valley chronicle
Directory of links to articles on the Molonglo Valley by stage. Molonglo 3 East is the main area of interest, as the active travel infrastructure has yet to be built. Molonglo 3 East is best suited for active travel.
Kenny High School
COVID-19 has turned everything on its head, including the way the ACT Government goes about development. ACT Government has fast tracked infrastructure in old suburbs and now it is fast tracking infrastructure in the new. The Kenny High School was fast tracked for completion in 2023, which due to rain is now moved back to 2024.
Traffic calming in Narrabundah should be child’s play
Why is it so hard to implement traffic calming in the ACT? The mechanism is so slow and tedious with petitions and discussions dragged through the ACT Legislative Assembly. Surely slowing traffic is not such a big thing. TCCS seems ill prepared to deal with the problem in an agile way, and labours through the problem like a mammoth through the tundra. Tactile urbanism is a faster way to do this.
Belconnen Town Centre Renewal
Belconnen Town Centre is approach 50 years of age. Lake Ginninderra was finished in 1975. The Belconnen Town Centre followed shortly afterwards. We are familiar with the renewal of Woden Town Centre. Now we can expect a similar process with the renewal of Belconnen Town Centre. The first place making activities started in 2020 with the development of the Circus Area.
Some would argue that using a scooter is not active travel, but few would fail to recognise how much scooters have changed Canberra in the last years. Despite their success, scooters are not a panacea to congestion that TCCS needs. Scooters tend to attract a different crowd. International studies show scooter are hardly used by cyclists and are an unlikely replacement for cars. Those that ride scooters would otherwise walk to travel with public transport.
Ranking cities for cycling
City rankings can be motivational but are unlikely to help city planners prioritise investment decisions for cycle infrastructure. Still, city rankings remain popular. If we are to compare Canberra with other cities, we should be benchmarking ourselves with the best cycling cities. European cities have some of the highest cycle participation rates in the world, and the Netherlands amongst the best cycle infrastructure.