The ACT Greens have now released their active travel policy. The Greens offer the most fleshed out and detailed policy of any party to date. Far ahead of that of the Canberra Liberals.
There are three main goals and one is a 20% funding guarantee. There is no mention of cycling targets and no way to measure progress. This is a bit of a concern.
“Critical to this vision is a walking and cycling network that gives everyone the option to walk or ride in comfort, no matter where they live or how far they need to go…
That’s why the ACT Greens will build a world class walking and cycling network, kickstarting a cycling revolution in Canberra and creating a walkable Canberra, by:
1. Building seven large-scale cycling corridors
2. Over 100 small upgrades to connect the gaps in our existing walking and cycling network, based on extensive community feedback
3. Allocating a minimum 20% of the roads and parking capital upgrade budget to walking and cycling infrastructure (with a minimum $20 million per year)”Walking and Cycling, ACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020
The cycling corridor of top priority is Woden to Civic and then Molonglo Valley to Civic. Woden to Civic is essential and it is good to see the ACT Greens embracing it. The Molonglo Valley estate development has a bad reputation for planning. The lack of cycling infrastructure is a key point.
“The Molonglo Valley is growing rapidly, but its cycle connections are not. There is an opportunity to build a high quality east-west cycling “superhighway”, connecting a new Molonglo Town Centre to the city. A feasibility study for such a cycle highway was undertaken due to the Greens including it in the 2012 Parliamentary Agreement – now we believe it’s time to build it. Residents of Molonglo should have a convenient and safe option for commuting by active travel, and in this newly developing part of Canberra we have the opportunity to ensure this is high quality, prioritised infrastructure.”Walking and Cycling, ACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020
Active travel standards
“The ACT Government continues to design Canberra predominantly for travel by car.
The Greens would adopt the best practice active travel standards into the ACT Government’s infrastructure design standards, and make corresponding changes to the Territory Plan, to ensure that Canberra is designed to support and prioritise active travel and ‘20 minute neighbourhoods’, in line with standards used by leading sustainable cities. This would include standards that support a rapid uptake in the use of e-bicycles.”Walking and Cycling, ACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020
It probably surprises many that the ACT has active travel standards. A draft was dated 2009. Active travel is not radical and found in Austroads standards. The problem in the ACT is that these standards have been systematically ignore. There are many examples of this and most recently Fast Track. Canberra.bike has mentioned previously that the active travel standards must be manadatory and therefore included in the statutory instruments such as the Territory Plan but also the Estate Development Code (EDC).
“The Estate Development Code (EDC) is a key document and one of the most important ones. Much of the Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 are still not written into it, which accounts for the failings of more recent estate developments such as that in the Molonglo Valley.”Active Travel Infrastructure Interim Planning Guideline, canberra.bike, 27/4/2020
We welcome that ACT Greens would like to “ensure the ACT Government adopts world’s best practice cycling and walking infrastructure standards.” The standards could be improved. Our concern is that another study is another delay.
“This initiative would take the form of an immediate review of ACT active travel design standards and leading international standards, with the adoption of best practice standards from July 2021.”Walking and Cycling, ACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020
End of trip facilities
“A lack of adequate end of trip facilities – such as showers, change rooms, storage, etc – remains a significant obstacle faced by people who are considering commuting to work by active travel, especially by bike.”Walking and Cycling, ACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020
This problem is not new to any commuting cyclist. It is essential for the success for cycling to work. Building public facilities is common in big cities. Existing and new buildings currently have indequate facilities in very hard to get to places. The building requirement is not taken seriously. It is pleasing that the ACT Greens would like to fix this.
> commence a market sounding exercise to bring ‘bicycle hubs’ to Civic and other town centres. A bicycle hub is a dedicated, staffed building that contains showers, bicycle storage, and potentially other facilities such as bicycle repair, laundry facilities, coffee, and other services. An example is Brisbane‘s successful cycle2city facility. Following market sounding we would seek to engage private partners in the design, construction, and management of a facility, with the first facility to open by 2023.
> implement a best practice ‘bicycle parking code’ to ensure all new buildings provide quality bicycle parking for residents and visitors, and change room facilities. Existing buildings will be required to retrofit these facilities when any major upgrades are made to the building.Walking and Cycling, ACT Greens, Active Travel Policy, ACT Election, 19/9/2020
ACT Greens walking and cycling policy is the best offer that ACT cyclists have got yet.