Categories
urban planning

Molonglo Valley stage 2 planning process

Profile of useful ACT Government documents for urban planning.

Getting your head around urban planning in the ACT is not easy. The ACT Government has attempted to explain the process for the Molonglo Valley stage 2 development. It was part of the ACT Government community consultation.

Unfortunately there is little information about this consultation apart from the information pack. I have used these two images (figure 1 and 2) from the information pack in other posts.

Categories
urban planning

An introduction to Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool

The Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool is embedded in the ACT urban development process. The general public, local residents and other stakeholders have a vested interest in new developments in the ACT. It is, however, difficult to find answers to what are sometimes simple questions. Urban development is a large machine that by necessity must serve the professionals and commercial partners, but Canberrans as residents and are important too. These two groups are separated by both language and knowledge. 

Categories
urban planning

Good and direct bike paths save time

The active travel infrastructure (facilities) are lagging in Coombs. Despite the Concept Plan being finalised in 2012 and the suburb established for several years, the active travel infrastructure is still not complete or sufficient.

As the crow flies, Coombs and Belconnen are about the same distance from Civic centre, however, while commuting from Civic to Belconnen in 30 minutes is possible, it is very difficult from Coombs.

Categories
urban planning

20-minute neighbourhoods

I recently read an article about about 20-minute neighbourhoods. This is an interesting urban planning idea to decentralise the population from the city centres by making the local area more liveable. I recommend reading the article.

The concept is not about travel by car. It is about active transport (walking, cycling) and the use of public transport. The goal is that this combination of modes would offer a reasonably sized catchment area in which people, jobs and services, including recreational opportunities and nature, are accessible.

People love the idea of 20-minute neighbourhoods, The Conversation, 19/2/2020 
Categories
urban planning

Active Travel Glossary

Extract from: Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 (MIS05) (ACT Government, April 2019)

Categories
urban planning

Whitlam Stage 2 estate design falls short on active travel

Letter to Yvette Berry, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, regarding the new estate development of Whitlam.

The active travel facilities planned for Whitlam Stage 2 fall short of expectations (see Whitlam Stage 2 Development Application 201936061, 10 September 2019). As human behaviour follows infrastructure, this lack of future proofing active travel facilities is directly detrimental to achieving an increase in active travel in the ACT.

This ACT Government held an Active Travel Design workshop (12 December 2018) and stated that the background to the new Active Travel Design Guidelines included “poor infrastructure outcomes as a consequence of planning intent getting ‘lost in translation’”. This is observation is likely relevant for the planning of the brand-new estate Whitlam. My concern is that the failure to systematically integrate active travel principles in the planning process, as well as the dominance of decade old legacy planning practices, will most likely result in the missed potential to develop active travel facilities in the Whitlam and other new estate developments in Canberra. Consequently, this will not only make the roads less safe for vulnerable road users but also not achieve any set active travel goals.

Categories
urban planning

Bus stops need bike stands

Riding the bike is a great way to get to the bus stop but what do you do with the bike when you get there? It is still common that bus stops provide no facility to lock up the bike. A bike stand of some sort should be in proximity to the bus stop. Parking and securing the bike needs to be convenient.

Let us hope the ACT Government can get on top of this.

Parking the bike at the bus stop, Belconnen
Improvised bike stand at a new bus stop

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Categories
maps

Isochrone plot generated with OpenRouteService

How far can you ride on a normal bike in Canberra in 60 minutes?

The distance depends a great deal on the infrastructure and how direct and good it is. It has less to do with the type of bike you ride. Road and electric bikes are bit better than a “normal” bike, and an MTB is slightly worse but there are more paths to choose from.

Isochrone plot generated with OpenRouteService

One way to study this question is with isochrone plots using data from OpenStreetMap.

An isochrone plot shows you travel times from a central point. The data is from OpenStreetMaps and the isochrone plot generated with the software on the website OpenRouteService. In this first plot for Civic (map 1), the coloured rings show the distance travelled in consecutive 10 minute intervals.

Categories
maps urban planning

Three bike maps of the Arboretum

The message to take away here is that there is a lot of paths missing on the Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool. The idea is great. But they should not exclude the paths that they have already built. Particularly the unpaved paths are very poorly represented but they are not unimportant for many cyclists in Canberra.

Categories
maps

Finding the right route

We rely on directional signage to find our way around Canberra. The directional signage may not be good. This is particularly true for cycling, so how do we find the best route? There will always be the need for navigation. I have written about the best cycling maps for Canberra. These maps can be used to find the best route. Finding the best route with digital maps and GPS technology can be a great aid for biking and active travel.

We could see cycling as city bikes that are designed for paved surfaces, and mountain bikes that are designed for loose surfaces. These are both broad categories, but it is the first step to making sense of the routing problem.