Intersections in the ACT: doing bad, better?

The new London Circuit / Northbourne Avenue intersection is an opportunity for best intersection design practice. The early car centric design has progressed to “doing bad, better” (to quote Brent Toderian). ACT Labor and TCCS have promised global best practice intersections since the 2020 ACT Election. The newest design for Raising London Circuit, still has many problems. Those problems and design options are found in this article.

Whitlam Local Centre and Traffic calming in the ACT: children centric street design

canberra.bike releases today our report Traffic calming: children centric street design (see attached). At its heart is that child friendly streets do not happen by accident but rather because we design them that way. We give priority to children rather than people who wish to drive. In this way, way make Whitlam shops and school a people friendly place.

What is wrong with the Alice Moyle Way street?

Whitlam estate is new but has a poor implementation of ACT Active Travel Standards. The biggest issue is children crossing roads. The roads in Whitlam are very wide. Side streets have not been designed in a way to slow cars down. Evidence from traffic studies such as Kambah, would indicate that Canberra motorists will not stop for children without infrastructure such as zebra crossings in place. Whitlam Local Shops should “baked in” traffic calming into the road design of the surround streets. We see, however, for Alice Moyle Way, this is not the case.

EVs are not enough: we need more ebikes

Electric vehicles appear a promising solution to the climate change crisis, but looking closer, switching to an electric vehicle is not enough. The cities need to be built differently to reduce trip distances. We need to use more public transport and active travel. Electric vehicles help, but are not a panacea to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

Austroads design guide for Walking and Cycling (AGRD06A)

Austroads has produced many good and useful standards. One of the best is Guide to Road Design Part 6A: Paths for Walking and Cycling (AGRD06A). The ACT Active Travel Standards (MIS05) are compliment by the Austroads AGRD06A. The Austroads National Standard is more detailed than the ACT equivalent and complements the local standard.

Is TCCS future proofed?

TCCS has grown overtime to have capability for the type of things that were needed in the past. The ACT is no exception to this rule. In the post-war era, the fashion was to build roads. Since COVID, this has begun to swing in a different direction. Even Sydney – Australia’s car capital – has come to realised that cycle and pedestrian infrastructure is a priority. TCCS may follow suite. Is the TCCS workforce prepared to take on this role?

Australia is a cycling laggard

Many cyclists in Australia think cycling is common and popular here, but is that actually true? A recent international survey from 2022 of 22 countries shows that Australia belongs to a handful of English speaking countries that are cycling laggards. Compared to other countries, many people in Australia do not support investment in cycling infrastructure. It took 20 years for the majority of Australians to support climate change. Research (2019 Federal Election) showed that even when the majority recognised the problem many were not prepared to vote for it. How long, therefore, before we are prepared to vote for cycling?

Active Travel without the spin

Before the ACT Legislative Assembly on the 23 March 2022, Transport Minister Steel spoke about Active Travel. Minister Steel is very good at staying on message and can repeat that message month after month, year after year, and budget after budget. Here is the Ministerial statement 75% shorter – just 800 words – without all the marketing.

SUVs and trucks cause more deaths

The vast majority think of themselves as better than average drivers. We judge ourselves by our intent and not the outcome. Others judge us by the outcome but rarely by our intent. We are very good at rationalising our irrational behaviour, particularly to protect our ego. The sales boom of SUVs and trucks (utes) is ongoing – even during a climate change emergency. SUVs and trucks are more likely to cause the deaths of pedestrians and cyclists – an inconvenient truth that many refuse to accept.

The forgotten Garden City Cycle Route

Braddon Streetscape Upgrade project excluded cycling. Haig Park Footpath and Lighting project lacks cycle infrastructure too. Upgrades to Northbourne Avenue last year were bicycle free. End of journey facilities Draft Variation No 357 went missing since 2019. The City And Gateway Urban Design Framework (December 2018) was filled away and forgotten. Cycling is the Cinderella of transport – we are still waiting for the Fairy Godmother. We were pleased to finally see some progress for cycling with today’s tender 30864-RFT-001 Garden City Cycle Route Project Brief Design.