We must remain sceptical of consultations. The consultation for (ACT) Ten Year Master Plan Trunk Cycling and Walking Path Infrastructure 2004, shows us that the recommendations have still not be implemented 18 years later. The process in 2004 has an eerie familiarity to the 2021 District Planning consultations.
The Kuringa Drive bike path is under construction and is expected to be finished later this year, resulting in improved safety and travel times. The history of Kuringa Drive has been anything but brief, dragging on for most of the last decade, but finally, the end is in sight.
The 2020-21 ACT Budget is a year late and contains little that was not made public before the 2020 ACT Election. 2020 was a special year and the budget has finally caught up. Hopefully, the budget for the year 2021-2022 will bring more investment in cycling.
For the comparison of projects, we have developed a standardised scorecard. Over the years, it is easy to lose track of what is new, as the same projects get announced at media events again and again. The scorecard will permit a graphical representation of the delivery of cycling projects over time for multiple projects.
The missing link between Kuringa Drive and Barton Highway has been discussed since at least 2016 and now tied with an intersection upgrade. Construction was not started until 2021. ACT Labor’s promises are worth little if nothing gets done over the parliamentary term.
ACT Labor took to the 2020 ACT Election what was important to them. Cycling did not feature prominently. Reading the cycling section creates a sense of déjà vu. It all seemed so familiar. Their plans for cycling in Canberra lack ambition. On the upside, they are showing progress delivering on the election pledges.
Kuringa Drive has long been a missing link between West Belconnen and West Gungahlin. Building a path along Kuringa Drive was an ACT Labor 2016 Election pledge. The design work is finally completed and gone out to tender.
A bike network is more than the sum of its parts. Small gaps can greatly decrease the popularity of the route. Missing links is a term that describes gaps in the cycling network, and those gaps can be quite short.