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 .
The ACT Conservation Council webinar on active travel. Enjoy.
The webinar was annouced recently on canberra.bike here.
This bridge over the Molonglo River will be the last section of the John Gorton Drive to be completed by 2024. Information about this bridge is found here. The close by Butters Bridge was finished in 2016 but is not yet in use.
Weston Creek Community Council wrote to Chris Steel, Minister for Roads and Active Travel, requesting that John Gorton Drive bridge be brought forward as part of the ACT Government’s Fast Track program. This now seems unlikely.
Canberra continues to grow and we are squeezing more and more people into an ever-smaller place. Within a few years, 500,000 people will live in our city. We will be walking, cycling or riding a lot more than we do now. Walking to the bus stop makes public transport active travel, too.
Register here for a free webinar about Active Travel in Canberra.
The ACT Government’s 2019 Moving Canberra strategy was welcomed but essentially a rerun of the 2015 Active Travel Framework. The 2015 document was much more specific but failed for the lack of priorities, goals, and legislation. To say this another way, the ideas were good but the follow up poor. The 2019 Moving Canberra is vaguer and less specific than the 2015 strategy. The 2019 Moving Canberra creates a sense of urgency to do more of everything but lacks any recognition that strategy failure is not caused by the lack of ambition but rather the difficulty of implementation.
Canberra.bike has hardly mentioned ACT Government 2019 Moving Canberra strategy because it added little to the active travel debate. The ACT Conservation Council responded to it in a well-written submission. I will quote highlights from the submission here that are relevant in 2020. Between 2015 and 2020 the problems of cycle infrastructure investment remain largely the same in the ACT.
The ACT Government has an urban renewal program that includes the whole of Canberra. Check out the projects close to where you live on the interactive map. The projects include playgrounds. Canberra.bike discussed the renewal of playgrounds here recently.
“Play space upgrades
As part of the ACT Government’s Better Suburbs Program, a community-led Play Spaces Forum allocated $1.9 million to improve playgrounds. One key decision was the allocation of $350,000 for new nature play spaces to enhance Eddison Park in Woden and Glebe Park in the City. $150,000 was also set aside to build a nature play space in Farrer. Read all about the new nature play spaces here.”Play space upgrades, ACT Government, accessed 25 June 2020
There was much hype about the bike path around the edge of the suburb, along the Molonglo River. The good news is that Stage 1 is finished. The community path through the Stage 2 area is progressing but not yet completed.
Addressed to the ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr
The ACT Government has recognised the importance of investment in capital projects as part of the stimulus to offset the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 health threat. In 2018 and 2019 the ACT Government released multiple policies to make Canberra a more liveable city, to combat the effects of climate change, and to prepare the city for a population of 500,000, who will need to commute to town centres and Civic across town twice daily. It is expected that our infrastructure will collapse under the peak period loads without the strategic investment in active travel and the construction of cycle highways. Even though it might still be the commonly held mental model, Canberra cannot still live by small city standards but rather mature into a regional metropolis.
Back in February 2020, canberra.bike sent Minister Berry a letter regarding the Whitlam estate development. I received the reply today which is slow as most ministers reply in a matter of weeks. The replies from ministers are usually formal, brief, general and confirm that the current decision or policy is correct. The nature of the reply makes it of little value but asking questions most definitely is worthwhile. In the ACT, any action requires community support.