Categories
urban planning

Go Dutch: the Propensity to Cycle Tool

Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT) is an online, open-source transport planning system from the UK for improving cycling infrastructure.

The PCT was designed to assist transport planners and policy makers to prioritise investments and interventions to promote cycling. The PCT answers the question: ‘where is cycling currently common and where does cycling have the greatest potential to grow?’.

About the Propensity to Cycle Tool
A better method than “building cycling where it is easy to build”.
Categories
urban planning

Riding in Canberra is manageable but not on the road

This example is for Belconnen but the conclusions are likely to be pretty similar in most town centres. 

This small case study concludes riding in Canberra is manageable. The direct routes on the map demonstrate this: not too far and pretty flat. However, all direct routes are on the road. The roads in Canberra are dangerous for vunerable cyclists and pedestrians, and most cyclists would rather not ride on the road.

For routes between town centres we need direct and good quality cycle highways. These cycle highways are called Primary Community Routes (PCR) in the language of the ACT active travel MIS05 standards language. 

Categories
urban planning

Cycling between Whitlam and south Belconnen

This is a very short case study demonstrating the feasibility of riding to schools and shops in Belconnen from Whitlam. Another discussion of Whitlam’s proximity to Belconnen for active travel can be found here and the location of schools in the area here.

Categories
urban planning

Active travel between Whitlam and Denman Prospect

For active travel, we need networks and not just fragments. We want to be able to travel across the city over distances of 10 km and more. When we see an active traveller they are, generally speaking, not travelling to this place but THROUGH it, on the way to somewhere else. It is not clear what their destination is only that they needed to travel through this area. When building the Active Travel Network we are building thoroughfares. 

It is important to understand the way the city is planned and developed. If we want to shape and prioritise the development of a good active travel network it will require interventions during the planning phase. This particularly true for cycle highways for riding to work. The design requirements are different from the paths for recreational riders and locals that seek a destination within a suburb.

Denman Prospect and Whitlam are two suburbs in the Molonglo Valley, south and north of the Molonglo River, and part of the Molonglo Valley Stage 3. Whitlam Residential Estate is now under construction and the planning of the Molonglo Special Purpose Reserve (Nummerak) has proceeded to a development application.

This is a case study of these two independently planned developments that are of particular interest to active travel in the Monlonglo Valley. One of the basic principles of urban planning is “permeability”. Urban environments that are permeable allow easy and direct routes for pedestrians and cyclists independent of the road network. Cars have high travel speeds and ease of travel (effort). For pedestrians and cyclists this is not the case and “ease” means a direct route. How does the Whitlam Residential Estate and the planning of the Molonglo Special Purpose Reserve stack up.

Categories
urban planning

The bike infrastructure in Wright and Coombs

The suburbs of Wright and Coombs are new suburbs finished in the last five years and as such showcase the design principles for suburb development. For new suburbs good bike infrastructure begins and ends on the designer’s drawing board. Once the suburb is built it is set in stone. I would conclude that coherent network of continuous bike paths across the city needs a master plan for bike path infrastructure, upon which new suburbs can be designed and realised so that the new infrastructure interconnects. In other words, suburb design starts with the end in mind. The suburb is a small unit of the much larger and longer endeavour, to build active travel networks across the city.

Looking at the suburbs of Wright and Coombs the following can be observed:

  • bike paths are along waterways and parks and traverse the suburb
  • bike paths connect people to schools and shops
  • bike paths often end at the boundary of the suburb
  • when bike paths are found on the edge of suburbs, they are often fragments going nowhere, stopping and starting at arbitrary locations.