Canberra.bike recently expressed concern to the ACT Greens that with less than 90 days to the election they have had little to say about cycling. We know that vague promises get cycling nowhere. Caroline Le Couteur responded with the following text.
This news is not new. Caroline Le Couteur is one of two ACT Greens MLAs in the ACT Legislative Assembly. Those that casually follow politics in the ACT will have noticed that politicians come and go, and Caroline Le Couteur is the latest to retire.
Email to Caroline Le Couteur MLA regarding investment in roads, some of which could otherwise be redirected to cycling infrastructure.
“The survey, based on interviews with around 17,000 working Australians aged 15 years and older, analysed trends in commuting times in Australia over the 15 year period and the distance between a person’s place of residence and their place of work, including those who work from home.”It’s taking longer for Canberrans to get to work, according to new data, The RiotACT, 30 July 2019, accessed 3 Aug 2020
Scooters have become the symbol of a modern metropolis. Scooters are not new, we all had one as children, just the way they are being used is. Without room in the city for cars, and reliance on public transport, a scooter provides an easy way to hop around the city and cover short distances. Canberra is a bit different, and scooters are welcoming people, who have never cycled before, to active travel .
Canberra.bike recently discussed Austroads recommendations for 30km/h speed limits on local streets. Many local streets are barely wide enough for two cars to pass and without community paths. Despite this, the speed limit is 50km/h on local streets in Canberra. If a child gets injured, the motorist’s apologies are not likely to help either the child or the family – or the driver. This is the problem of vulnerable road users. Collisions are often fatal.
The active travel vision is grand but difficult to reconcile with the infrastructure found in older suburbs. The ACT Government inherits the old but the old was built in different times with different problems.
“The past is a foreign country and they do things differently there.”source unknown
The ACT Government faces today’s problems with the infrastructure designed for yesteryear. Some cities have experienced a great fire. From the bare earth, the city can be rebuilt anew for modern times. The challenge of urban planning is another, to rebuild a living city. This is more akin to rebuilding a boat while you are sitting in it. It is not straight forward and creates anxiety.
The Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway: Feasibility Study (ACT Government, 19 September 2014) was carried out by the ACT Government as a result of the 2012 Parliamentary Agreement between the ACT ALP and ACT Greens. The cycle highway is commonly referred to as the “C10 City – Molonglo” cycling route and is an official CBR Cycle Route (Figure 1 and 2). It is a cycle highway that is intended to provide a direct and high-quality cycling route between the Molonglo Valley and the City. In the Active Travel Framework, the technical language of the urban planners, it is called Principal Community Route.
Active travel has been on the cards for a while in the ACT. One of the earlier commitments to active travel was in the Parliamentary Agreement for the 8th Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory between the ACT Labor Party and ACT Greens.
Much has been achieved but much is still to be done due to the under investment cycling infrastructure in the nineties and noughties.
Below is an extract of this agreement relevant to active travel, including the commitment to the Molonglo Cycle Highway feasibility study. This new cycle highway is discussed further in another post. It is yet to be built.