The light rail from Civic to Woden has been slowed by the approval process. Central business district projects are always expensive, and this one is no exception. The provisions in the budget have been set at $1.9 billion. Few would claim this is not a big number for the ACT.
The last check of the Fast Track website showed that no new strategic bike path projects had been added in August 2020. At the current rate, it will take 166 years to double the length of off-road paths suitable for cycling in the ACT.
Fast Track is an initiative of the ACT Government to counter the economic fallout of COVID-19. The initiative is applauded. Sadly, the benefits for cyclists have been limited. At the current rate, it will take 166 years to double the length of off-road paths suitable for cycling.
Fast Track includes several projects that are strategic bike infrastructure. Pedal Power ACT is still driving its priority list of missing links that have largely remained unchanged since the 2016 ACT Election. The Conservation Council ACT Region has campaigned just as long for active travel and hosted recently a webinar. These initiatives are all most welcome.
Paint on the road does not count as bike infrastructure. Cyclists are not safe on busy roads. Grade separated cycle infrastructure is required. The consultation for the Light Rail Stage 2 offered an opportunity to rethink the route for cycling.
A quirk of Canberra is that while we have a territory government, the ACT Government is not responsible for all the ACT. Canberra is more like Rome, with Vatican City at its centre. Here we call it the Parliamentary Triangle, and it is ruled by the National Capital Authority (NCA).
Cycle infrastructure is lagging in Coombs. Despite the Concept Plan being finalised in 2012 and the suburb established since 2015, the cycle infrastructure is still not complete or sufficient. As the crow flies, Coombs and Belconnen are about the same distance from Civic centre, however, while commuting from Civic to Belconnen in 30 minutes is possible, it is not from Coombs.
How easy it is to get around Canberra depends upon from where you start the trip. In some places the infrastructure is better than others. One way to study this is with isochrone plots.