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 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.
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.
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”
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.
The street and road are not the same thing. Simply put, the road is for cars, but everybody benefits from the street. Take way the road and we still have a street and it may even serve the local community better – particularly for children.
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.
The standards for the maintenance of ACT community paths is famously documented in the Guidelines for community path repairs and maintenance at 30 June 2012. Even without getting off your bike, as cyclist, it is clear to observe that the criteria for intervention is often exceeded.