Intersections in the ACT: doing bad, better?

The new London Circuit / Commonwealth Avenue intersection is an opportunity for best practice in intersection design. Former, and deeply ingrained car centric design has progressed to “doing bad, better” (to quote Brent Toderian). ACT Labor and TCCS have promised global best practice intersections since the 2020 ACT Election. The newest design, for Raising London Circuit, still has many problems. Those problems and design options are found in this article.

Whitlam Local Centre and Traffic calming in the ACT: children centric street design releases today our report Traffic calming: children centric street design (see attached). At its heart is that child friendly streets do not happen by accident but rather because we design them that way. We give priority to children rather than people who wish to drive. In this way, way make Whitlam shops and school a people friendly place.

Traffic calming: measure what matters

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.

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.

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.

Kuringa Drive: no gain without pain

The history of Kuringa Drive shows how 2 decades can pass and a problem persists. If we are lucky, we will see small but incremental improvement. Kuringa Drive made little progress until the Owen Dixon Drive was identified under the Federal Government Block Spot as a dangerous intersection. Only then, did the ACT decide theyContinue reading “Kuringa Drive: no gain without pain”

Butters Bridge, Monlonglo

The Butters Bridge is the only bridge across the Molonglo for pedestrians and cyclists. Coppins Crossing is unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists, which leaves only Butters Bridge. Despite the bridge being built 8 years ago, the ACT Government has given little priority to building paths to the ends of this beautiful bridge. The completion of Namarag reserve in 2021 left the gates on Coppins Crossing Road locked. Lifting the bike over a gate is for many people impossible – wheelchairs included.

Speeding: can we kick the habit?

Speeding has become the norm in Canberra. “In a 60 km/h speed limit area, the risk of involvement in a casualty crash doubles with each 5 km/h increase in travelling speed above 60 km/h.” 5 km/h above the speed limit is the equivalent of the blood alcohol concentration of 0.05. We have kicked the drink driving habit, can we now kick the speeding habit? A 25-year-old Australian study warns of the dangers of speeding.

2022 Molonglo Group Centre Concept Plan

Does the ACT Government really believe that the average person is keen to cycle on the road along John Gorton Drive? Today saw the release of the Molonglo Group Centre Concept Plan, which will set this concept into stone. The road designs of John Gorton Drive and Flemington Road are very similar, and experience shows that they do not work for cyclists.

Local Area Traffic Management in Kambah

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.