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.
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.
Ride to walk to school is a school curriculum program from the ACT Government. The website has material to download for teachers, students, parents and families. The Ride to walk to school program was implemented by the Physical Activity Foundation until December 2021. The future of the program is now unclear pending further information from the Transport Minister.
ACT Health established programs to encourage walking and cycling to school in 2012. A decade later, most schools still do not participate in these programs. The participation rate for secondary schools is much lower than for primary schools. The ACT Government is slow to improve infrastructure around schools for active travel. Roads must be perceived as safe for these programs to succeed. What will it take to change this?
A demonstration of a car centric culture is the preference to duplicate arterials rather than fix the infrastructure around our schools. Good local road infrastructure is what makes our suburbs walkable and rideable. For children to walk or ride to school we need good and safe infrastructure within a kilometre of all schools. First, we need to make the roads safe for kids, and only then will parents think about other alternatives to driving children to school.
Drive so others survive! National Road Safety Week is coming up next week, 15 to 22 May 2022. Traffic injury is the biggest killer of Australian children under 15. Amongst vulnerable road users, children are the most vulnerable. We need our children to be safe crossing roads if they are to walk to school. Many schools regard the existing safety to be inadequate. Let TCCS do more and talk less.
Lyneham and O’Connor could be thought of as two suburbs but are better thought of as one suburb centred around Lyneham Local Shops. A few big roads surround the area but between them, the roads and footpaths are generally well suited for children cycling. The CBR Cycle Routes ice the cake. The second article on Lyneham and O’Connor.
Why wait until the driver’s licence? We can teach children safe cycling in school. In the Netherlands, the school children take a traffic exam on their bikes when they are just 11 years old. With a rite of passage on bicycles, are we surprised that the Netherlands is a cycling nation. The nature of a rite of passage is something to celebrate!
Don’t you think it would be desirable to see more children riding to school? Children riding to school are more likely to ride as adults. First we make our habits, then our habits make us! Industry sales of children’s bikes has declined by 22% in the last ten years. Just take the time to reflect on that! What can be done?
This section provides data on the trends, risks, and costs of Canberra car culture, where vulnerable road users have ‘no place on our road’, and the young and the old are particularly at risk. They are disadvantaged not only due to cognitive (or physical) limitations but also due to the lack of options. Some of the best reasons for fixing active travel in Canberra are health, human equity, and safety.