People need paths. We all want good paths. Maintenance is expensive, boring and thankless. Active Streets is a budget measure to improve the paths in older suburbs, particularly around shopping centres and schools. Active Streets should not be confused with Active Travel Streets.
Path routine maintenance is relatively unlikely as it is expensive. The ACT Government deserves acknowledgement for the effort, but the funds are still limited.
For active travel, the infrastructure in older suburbs needs to be improved. This is discussed in the post: Active Travel Streets: making cycling safer.
Active Travel Streets is the transformation of older suburbs with the replacement of the old with the new, reconceiving space and rebalancing the priorities, to make more space for people. Active Travel Streets is a renewal of an old space.
Active Streets is the maintenance of existing space and does not fundamentally change the balance. It is driven by a duty of care (making the path safe) and cost expediency (paths that are not fixed are more expensive to replace). Active Streets is not sexy but for our old and very young loved ones it is very important. Those with disabilities will benefit from Active Streets, too, as it can include improvements such as gutter ramps. Cyclists will also see the benefits. Cycling does not, however, have to be an important part of the concept. This is self-evident from the photos in Evatt.
Road safety around schools in the territory is also being improved through the active streets program, which was piloted and evaluated at four schools earlier in the year. This will see a $1 million expansion of the program, which will also encompass a range of schools in my electorate—Chapman, Curtin, Holy Trinity primary, Garran primary, Hughes primary, Melrose High and Sacred Heart primary. This is part of the $30 million our government is investing over the forward estimates to improve walking and cycling infrastructure in Canberra, including improvements inside the Woden town centre, better links from the town centre to the Canberra Hospital and the Woden bus interchange, the construction of Butters Bridge in the Molonglo Valley, and upgrades to help improve accessibility for seniors in Weston.Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (20 September), Page 4029
The construction of Butters Bridge in the Molonglo Valley is a stretch, as it is a bridge for a sewer pipe across the Molonglo Valley as part of the estate development. There are no paved paths to the bridge and nobody currently lives there. The bridge cost $7.7 million to build and was completed in 2016.