ACT Conservation Council is an environment and sustainability advocate. At its heart, the ACT Conservation Council is about conservation and, in that sense, has an environmentally friendly agenda but not necessarily a progressive one. Transport is a major contributor to greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. For this reason, the ACT Conservation Council has made strong and valuable statements supporting the transition of transport to more environment friendly modes such walking and cycling that are worth looking at more closely here.
The missing cycle path along Sulwood Drive between Tuggeranong Parkway and Athllon Drive has a long history. Letters to the Minister and Roads ACT go back as far as 2003. Labor promised a path for Sulwood Drive at the 2019 Federal Election, and ACT Labor reaffirmed this at the 2020 ACT Election. Funding was included for the path in the ACT 2021-2022 Budget.
For cycling, ACT Labor is the driving force. The ACT Greens in comparison have proven unable to deliver on their ideas. Worse still, the ACT Greens have failed to approached cycling advocacy strategically. ACT Labor is delivering on its election pledges, although the achievement humble, as ACT Labor do not plan to do much. They lack the ambition necessary to get cycling moving in the ACT.
ACT Labor and ACT Green Parliamentary Agreement is a long list of “must haves” and “options”. Cycling is an option. We can be thankful that cycling did not land in the cuttings bin.
There was little cycling in the lengthy 2020 ACT Labor Policy Position Statement (no longer online) and most concerning was lack of specifics. ACT Labor did poorly on active travel in the 2016-2020 legislative term, however, seem to be doing better since. Minister Steel speech reaffirmed the pledges before the ACT Legislative Assembly (7 May 2022). This article compares ACT Labor’s progress on active travel between 2016-2020 and 2020-2022.
A blunder of urban planning resulted in a bike path disappearing from the map without the ACT Government noticing. The off-road bike path bypassing Mitchell on the Flemington Road was bulldozed to widen Flemington Road for the light rail. The ACT Government forgot to replace it and, after complaints, pledged to rebuild it. By July 2020 it was done.
The Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway: Feasibility Study was the result of the ACT Labor and ACT Greens 2012 Parliamentary Agreement: also known as the “C10 City – Molonglo” cycling route and an official CBR Cycle Route (Principal Community Route). It is intended to provide a direct and high-quality cycling route between the Molonglo Valley and the City.
A bike network is more than the sum of its parts. Small gaps can greatly decrease the popularity of the route. Missing links is a term that describes gaps in the cycling network, and those gaps can be quite short.