Letter to TCCS: the Lyneham Primary School e-Petition

Brindabella Christian College parking area

The reason children do not walk and ride to school is that the cars scare them away. Primary school children do not have the cognitive ability to judge the speed and distance of cars. The selfishness of drivers and disregard for other children’s safety makes this problem far worse. What can be done?

Email to Minister Steel

Active travel is all about kids – kids first and cars last. canberra.bike contributes with email and attachments to the Lyneham Primary School e-Petition.

Canberra.bike promotes active travel and walking to school. The petition is regarding the primary schools on Brigalow Street in Lyneham. Lyneham and O´Connor are great suburbs for active travel.

The reason children do not walk and ride to school is that the cars scare them away. Primary school children do not have the cognitive ability to judge the speed and distance of cars. The selfishness of drivers and disregard for other children’s safety makes this problem far worse.

What can be done? Lyneham and O´Connor offers opportunities. The infrastructure in Lyneham and O´Connor is coming up to the end of life and with it we can consider urban renewal.

The suburbs of Lyneham and O´Connor have a great location and the home of many schools. The terrain is generally very flat and suitable for cycling. Finally, three CBR Cycle Routes cross this area. Lyneham and O´Connor are close to both Civic and Dickson.

This case study contains the following elements.

  1. the Lyneham Primary School e-Petition
  2. Lyneham: a most walkable suburb
  3. Lyneham and O’Connor: one and not two
  4. Lyneham Primary School e-Petition video
  5. Lyneham O’Connor Path Survey video

The petition

A copy of the Lyneham Primary School e-Petition from the ACT Legislative Assembly website.

Lyneham: a most walkable suburb

A statistical overview and analysis of the suburb to demonstrate its suitability for active travel – children both walking and cycling.

Lyneham and O’Connor: one and not two

This article takes a closer look the suburb from the perspective of cycling. The emphasis is children. Large roads are major barriers for children. Strangely, we design Lyneham and O’Connor with major roads straight through the centre rather than going around the outside. The central area around Lyneham shops forms “one suburb” made up of both Lyneham and O’Connor.

Lyneham Primary School e-Petition video

This video is a flyover of the area along Brigalow Street between Lyneham Primary School and Brindabella Christian College. Due to the glorious tree cover in Lyneham, little of the paths was visible from the aerial imagery. However, from the flyover we get at overview of the area – a birds eye view.

Lyneham Primary School e-Petition

Lyneham O’Connor Path Survey

A path survey of Lyneham and O´Connor conducted on Sunday, 20 March 2022, to get close up and under trees. The beautiful autumn day showed the very best of Lyneham and O’Connor. The light flickered through the tree canopies. From the video you should gain the impression that the urban landscape of Lyneham and O’Connor has great potential for active travel.

Lyneham O’Connor Path Survey

The ACT Government has talked about active travel for the last 20 years but done too little to make difference. The finger can be fairly pointed at ACT Labor who has formed government throughout this period. The platitudes offered in the Legislative Assembly do little to hide how little the ACT Government has achieved in recent years compared to other cities around the world that have seen cycling revolutions.

Regards,
canberra.bike

Lyneham options

The text in this Info Box is found in the video Lyneham O’Connor Path Survey above. As the information may be missed by many, we have added the text again here.

Brigalow St and Wattle Street roundabout

Pedestrians should be able to cross here if the cars yield to pedestrians. What speaks for it:

  • narrow crossing points
  • traffic islands
  • good visibility

Lyneham Shops Parking

Car parking areas are always busy but with a good pedestrian crossing to the shops, this one is better than most. The parking area is adjacent to the Lyneham Primary Year 5/6 drop off and pick up entrance.

Footpaths along Brigalow Street

With two schools 120 m apart and children walking in both directions, the footpaths need to be much wider. Separating cyclists and pedestrians gives a same width path greater capacity.

CBR Cycle Route C1

Both schools lack rear entrances with a direct connection to the CBR Cycle Route C1 cycle path. All pedestrians forced toward Brigalow Street. This makes little sense if you live behind the school. Children walking and riding need direct access to the cycle path.

Widening paths on Brigalow Street

Zebra crossings in front of both schools across Brigalow Street are good but not sufficient in themselves. Widening the footpath opposite the schools along Brigalow Street would reduce conflicts with cars entering the parking area.

Car drivers are the real problem

Parents driving their children to school are the cause of the problem. The tragedy of the commons is that the act of choosing to drive kids to school makes walking to school unsafe.

Bauman A., Rissel C., Garrard J., Ker I., Speidel R., Fishman E., 2008 Cycling: Getting Australia Moving, Cycling Promotion Fund, Melbourne, 13.

Austroads Safe Systems approach for road design presumes that drivers will make choices that bring pedestrians in danger and that the road system should be designed in such a way that the risks, injuries and fatalities are minimised. Children must be therefore given special consideration around roads and cars – particularly those in primary school.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s