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.
The average wait time for an issue to be resolved was 52.20 days. This is considerably longer than the answer provided before the PTCS Committee. What we should learn from this is we need to request data to monitor the quality of services. Opinions do not count.
Recent studies demonstrate that bad ACT road design is a major factor in why our roads poorly serve pedestrians and cyclists. Kambah is a good example. The roads need to be fixed quickly with affordable solutions. If you would like your children to be able to walk around the suburb safely, Local Area Traffic Management is worth knowing about.
Minister Steel claims that $77 million is earmarked for active travel in the ACT over the next four years but in the 2021-2022 ACT Budget we find only $20 million, leaving a large discrepancy. The Standing Committee On Planning, Transport And City Services questioned where this difference is to be found during the Inquiry into ACT Budget 2021-22.
The Act Auditor-General’s 2017 Report on community paths is damming and provides plenty of warning that the ACT Government needs to get on top of path maintenance. The most obvious thing is the lack of regular inspections.
The issues with the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services approach to the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Amendment Bill 2021 (No 2).