Cycle corridors are the mechanism by which strategic assets (public realm space) can be secured for good, fast cycling infrastructure between town centres for commuting cyclists, thus providing an alternative to driving. The cycle highways will not be finished quickly and they do not have to be. However, they will never be built unless the corridors are reserved and preserved.
On the 32nd anniversary of the first day of sitting of the Legislative Assembly, Active travel was discussed during question time. This time the topic was Gungahlin town centre. Below active travel in the hansard from 11 May 2021.
At the first meeting of the Molonglo Valley Community Forum, the politicians there were not yet particularly influential, but they were at least interested. Most politicians have little knowledge of what is planned for new estates, so it was fortunate that mandarins turned up, too.
In Europe, one common way to get to the nearest light rail stop is with the bike. All you need is a path, dedicated bike parking area when you get there. Woden light rail terminus won’t offer any of that.
Light rail stage 2 has a secure future now that Federal Government funding is forthcoming. When the Federal Government starts promising money for infrastructure projects, you know that a Federal Election is around the corner.
The Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019 expects cost of road congestion in Canberra to increase to $504 million in 2031, up from $289 million in 2016.
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.
So much money is spent on roads. Here is a comparison of the investment in road improvement (duplications and widening) with other forms of transport. As cyclists, we are interested in bike paths but the light rail is included, too.
Estate development is a long and complicated process. Active travel can be lost in the process, buried under other priorities. We need to get it right. Should active travel infrastructure fall short, it will be expensive to fix. A generation would grow up being chauffeured around rather than riding to school or friends. This is a real culture change barrier.
The off-road bike path bypassing Mitchell on the Flemington Road has now been completed. The new path closes a missing link and opens interesting possibilities in the north.