Heysen Street to Woden Town Centre

The Heysen Street Link bike path will be extended to Woden Town Centre. After years of delays, many projects shrink, but Heysen Street Link has grown to something more. A happy end.

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Molonglo River bridge

This bridge over the Molonglo River will be completed by 2024 as the last section of the John Gorton Drive. The interest in the bridge is ongoing (previously discussed here and here), and the story gets better. The adjacent Butters Bridge was finished in 2016 and now closed due to construction works.

The most recent update on the John Gorton Drive Bridge is found here from 12 February 2021.

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Fast Track: a fast, not a feast

Today’s check of the Fast Track website showed that no new strategic bike path projects have been added between 8-27 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.

Wayfinding signage for the CBR Cycle Routes C3, C7 and C9 was added, however. Signage makes a difference.

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Cycle paths needed now

The Netherlands has one of the highest participation rates of cycling in the world. It has been long accepted that for safety reasons we need to separate cyclists from motor vehicles and pedestrians.

Canberra needs a lot more cycle paths. Now is a good time to talk about how we are going to do it.

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The Fast Track story

Fast Track is an initiative of the ACT Government to counter the economic fallout of COVID-19. The initiative is applauded. Sadly though, 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.

This is unfortunate as the Canberra cycle network is long overdue for maintenance, expansion, and closing gaps. Canberra is growing faster than the cycle network. Over the last decade, many community groups have lobbied to get this fixed.

Canberra.bike has been tracking Fast Track. Here is a list of our most recent updates.

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Fast Track is too slow

A month after the Chief Minister and Minister Steel recommitted their support for active travel, this is where we stand with Fast Track. At the current rate, it will take 166 years to double the length of off-road paths suitable for cycling. The investment in Fast Track is welcome but is too little, too late.

After decades of neglect, there is good reason to make up for lost ground. Many of the older paths in the older suburbs need maintenance and many new paths need to be built for cycling. Much of the Fast Track investment is directed at projects that have no benefit to cycling. Only a very small part of the $35million will be spent on cycle paths. Cyclists are left out in the rain!

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Taking stock on community paths

The ACT standards have a minimum path width of 2.5m. The reality is that many of the community paths are much narrower than this. Only 19% of the paths in the ACT are 2.5m or wider (strategic paths). The most common path width is 1.2m and makes up 54% of the 3106km in the ACT. Many suburban streets, however, have no paths at all on the verge and pedestrians walk on the road, which is also often safer for the elderly due to lack of path maintenance.

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Strategic Fast Track: complete list

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.

This is the most recent of a list of Fast Track updates.

This is an older post. For more recent posts see here

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Strategic Fast Track update: 25 June 2020

This is the first update of the list of strategic path projects from the official Fast Track website. Of the “$25 million program” announced by Andrew Barr on 11/6/2020 very little has been allocated to new strategic path projects. The regular updated of new projects 10 days after the previous post.

This is an older post. For more recent posts see here

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Strategic Fast Track infrastructure mapped

The ACT Government has many Fast Track projects and of these, only a handful are of any benefit to the commuting cyclist. Hopefully – and we are really looking forward to it – we will see more to come. Here is what is currently on the list – mapped.

This is an older post. For more recent posts see here

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