2020-21 ACT Budget: details but nothing new

At canberra.bike we are always excited to see money in the budget for cycling. 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.

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This old dog only knows one trick

We cannot build our way out of congestion. Why is it so hard to break this cycle despite all the evidence to the contrary? The transport investment in 2020 has not changed. Most of the money will be spent on roads.

“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

Abraham Maslow
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More roads and not much else

It is hard to imagine how much money we spend 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.

Approximately $1 billion has been committed to road duplications and widening in and around Canberra. $336 million for light rail but only $18 million to bicycle infrastructure. The EU would recommend $330 million for bicycle infrastructure in the ACT, based on their recommendation to invest 20% of the transport budget in bike infrastructure. In this week’s $4.9 billion announcement, Andrew Barr unfortunately did not even mention cycling. In other Australian cities, the sums spent on roads is even bigger: “The Australian and NSW Governments are investing $4.1 billion” in the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.

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Riding in the bush in Canberra

Canberra Nature Park makes it possible to ride through a network of reserves that are interconnected without ever crossing a major road. One of these areas is in the south east of Canberra.

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Mount Rob Roy: alone but not forgotten

Mount Tennent, Honeysuckle Creek and Mount Rob Roy belong to the great hill climbs in the south. Mount Tennent, south of Tharwa, is usually walked but it can be run. Honeysuckle Creek is a popular road ride (the road is currently closed), and Mount Rob Roy a gravel ascent on Banks Steep Track management trail.

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