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.
From public data, we know that $1.3 billion will be spent on road widening or duplication projects between 2020 and 2040 around the ACT. These are projects are completed, planned or coming. Two of the projects are already completed, most are already funded, and a further 3 big-ticket items added are planned in the next decade or two. That is just what we know now – more will come.
Implications of the Wellbeing Framework from the 2021-2022 ACT Budget. The Wellbeing Framework is made up of twelve domains, of which “access and connectivity” is most important for active travel as it includes transport. Access and connectivity is found across most ACT Government agencies. Not everything in access and connectivity is transport related. We have gather those items that are.
We lack a standardised reporting practice for active travel investment and need one. It would permit comparison of active travel spend across directorates and budget years, and discerning between cycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Canberra.bike calls for an Active Travel Reporting to be standardised. We need to know what the numbers we get quoted really mean and can be trusted.
We are creatures of habit. The book The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz that we develop rules of thumb to lighten the cognitive load of making decisions. Habits, too, lighten the cognitive load, as they provide the reassurance that the way we have always thought about doing things is somehow the best.
New year resolutions are quickly forgotten, and so it seems are ACT cycle priorities. Canberra has a strategic infrastructure list for cycling since 2012. There is much to be done to improve safe cycling in the ACT. We do not lack lists, however, cycling in the ACT continues to be hijacked by motor vehicle priorities. The latest chapter of this saga is being written at William Hovell Drive. The cycle lanes on William Hovell Drive are not likely to get much use. Certainly they are not a priority. Our efforts should be focused on cycle priorities.
Athllon Drive Duplication is coming but for the cyclist it is nothing to get excited about. The Athllon Drive Duplication has been welcomed by many in the south who drive to Woden or Civic. For cyclists, however, the project sadly offers little. Road duplications are about prioritising cars not bikes.
The Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019 expects cost of road congestion in Canberra to increase to $504 million in 2031, up from $289 million in 2016.
So much money is spent on roads. Here is a comparison of the investment in road improvement (duplications and widening) with other forms of transport. As cyclists, we are interested in bike paths, but the light rail is included, too.