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.
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?
A brief introduction of active travel at a non-technical level. This submission is not about the technical aspects of active travel, which is well documented in the ACT Active Travel Key Documents. Combined with Austroads Standards there is enough there to build a good network. We are not failing because of a lack of standards. Rather the problem lies elsewhere.
Riding through Canberra we find the wayfinding signage for CBR Cycle Routes. Here is the past, present and future of CBR Cycle Routes.
Estate development is a long and complicated process. Active travel can be lost in the process, buried under other priorities. We need to get it right. Should active travel infrastructure fall short, it will be expensive to fix. A generation would grow up being chauffeured around rather than riding to school or friends. This is a real culture change barrier.
Building a network of good cycle paths is not easy, but the ACT Government has a plan.
The older parts of Canberra are due for a rebuild, to make more space for people and easier and safer to get around. Active Travel Streets will be part of it. Active travel is reclaiming space for cyclists, walkers, joggers, people pushing prams and those using wheelchairs.
The work describing what makes good cycle infrastructure has been done. The ACT active travel design standard is the Active Travel Facilities Design Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 (MIS05). The national standard for pedestrian and bike infrastructure is the Guide to Road Design Part 6A: Paths for Walking and Cycling (AGRD06A).
For a strategy to be implemented, the vague ambition must be specified in detail. To plan and build a bike path, urban planning practitioners need a specification. An introduction to Planning for Active Travel in the ACT: Active Travel Infrastructure Interim Planning Guideline.
Clear words for clear goals: making Active Travel meaningful. A post inspired by an email we sent to Shane Rattenbury on 24 February 2020 relating to the ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019-25.