Categories
urban planning

Coppins Crossing is missing bike lanes and more

Coppins Crossing Road is an example of a popular Canberra road without bike lanes. As today is unofficial bike lane day, it is worth a closer look.

The Coppins Crossing is a river level crossing on the Molonglo River. The last section of the Coppins Crossing Road is sandwiched between the north and south sections of the John Gorton Drive duplication but the section around the river crossing remains and has long been a problem. It will be replaced with a bridge in 2024.

Categories
urban planning

Tactical urbanism: an agile approach to better cities

We all want better cities but it seems to take decades for any change. Tactical urbanism is an urban planning approach for delivering projects when needed. This webinar from Austroads tells us why we need it in the ACT.

Categories
safety

Cycling fatalities with motor vehicles

Gravel riding, mountain bike riding, and cycling on separated bike paths – far from a road – are relatively safe. Injuries are possible but fatalities unlikely. Cyclists have much greater risks riding on roads. Collisions with a motor vehicle are more likely to be fatal. This is the story of what makes motor vehicles so deadly.

Categories
safety

Safety is all in the mind

The perception of personal safety is very important for a cyclist. Many people will say that they do not cycle because they feel unsafe. Often authorities fall back to statistics, suggesting that it is not as bad as people think. However, if we want people to cycle they must first feel safe. A study in Berlin looks at cycle infrastructure that makes people feel safe.

Categories
tips

Language matters. Let’s do some definitional work!

Are you getting confused about the terminology of the Active Travel Routes Network?

Having studied several languages, I have learned early on that nothing is more personal than the words we choose to use. Nothing else is also more divisive and confusing in our day to day communication. (As a side note, if you like to read a fantastic book about the English language that confirms my sentiment, check out Bill Bryson’s book The Mother Tongue.)

So, let’s try and clarify what all this confusing lingo in the ACT active travel guidelines means for us.

Categories
urban planning

The inconvenient truth of 30km/h local streets

In Germany, the land of the Autobahn, cars driving 200km/h are not uncommon, with some reaching 240km/h. At this speed, the car roars and the fuel gauge plummets. Cars that change lanes loom up at an unnerving speed. The German government is considering reducing speed limits on autobahns to just 160km/h. Some Germans protest against driving so slowly. Other groups point out the benefits that include far less noise in the surrounding areas, and reduced fuel consumption, pollution and less road deaths. 

Many Canberrans would say Germans are crazy to drive so fast, but then the Germans react the same way to us. In Germany, the speed limit in cities is 50km/h, even on major two-lane roads, and often even slower on local streets. To a German, driving faster than 50km/h on a local street is considered dangerous. Austroads would agree, yet this is our situation in Canberra. 

Categories
urban planning

Defining what is good

It is all very well to want an improvement of the active travel infrastructure in Canberra but what precisely does “good” mean? The work of writing a precise definition has been done.

For urban infrastructure, these definitions are called standards. Australia is a federation and we have national standards but the states often have their own local standards which override the national standards. This is also true for the ACT’s active travel infrastructure. Austroads is the organisation responsible for national standards. It may have started with roads, but the standards have matured for all the ways people move around a city.

Categories
urban planning

Case study: the problems of Coppins Crossing

Road design has evolved to put great emphasis on road safety. Many of the road safety terms are for design features and considerations that impact on road safety, particularly vulnerable road users.

The Coppins Crossing is a river level crossing on the Molonglo River. The last section of the Coppins Crossing Road is sandwiched between the north and south sections of the John Gorton Drive duplication but the section around the river crossing remains and will be replaced with a bridge in 2024. The bridge is part of the 1.5km John Gorton Drive 3C Extension (JGD3C). The Coppins Crossing Road descends from the north side 36m into the valley to a level crossing and then ascends again to meet up with the south section of the John Gorton Drive.