Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019

The Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019 is published by Infrastructure Australia to model Australia’s infrastructure needs in the coming decade, and includes transport infrastructure. The Austroads’ Australian Cycling Participation 2019 survey showed that cycling has decreased in the last decade in Austalia. The Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019 predicts this is unlikely to change in the next decade in the ACT.

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National Cycling Participation Survey

The National Cycling Participation Survey is unusual for Australia. It is a standardised survey that has been repeated every two years since 2011. Repeating the survey regularly is the only way to find and analyse trends. The survey provides data on cycling participation across Australia and estimates of participation in the ACT, too.

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Living on the edge

The joy of a house in the suburbs can be short-lived should public transport and cycling infrastructure be lacking. The financial and health costs of car dependence and long commute times can push a household to the edge. Urban sprawl can entrench disadvantage.

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PTCBR wants explicit mode share targets

The Public Transport Association of Canberra might not be known to you. They are big fans of the light rail. Light rail is seen as a way of moving away from car dependence by providing an alternative. The proportion of the population using public transport is referred to as the mode share. Public Transport is part of the active travel mix.

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Woden light rail could cost $1.9 billion: ACT Budget

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.

“These provisions reflect previous government policy announcements, such as Stage 2A and 2B of the light rail.”

“In the update, it predicts the total cost of the light rail project could be up to $1.9 billion in total.”

Light rail to Woden could cost about $1.9 billion“, Canberra CityNews, 14/9/2020
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Community paths and the Conservation Council

For cycling and walking, little had changed since the 2016 election. What makes sense then still makes sense now. The slow rate of progress is a major issue. The ACT Government says they would like to do this sort of thing but there is still much to be done.

“Walking infrastructure must receive adequate funding. Only two in five Canberra households have direct access to a footpath to take them to school, shops, bus stops or shared cycling/walking paths. Another two households in five have to cross a road to get to their nearest footpath. One household in five doesn’t have a footpath along its street.”

Transport – connecting people and places, The Conservation Council, 19 Jul 2016
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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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Canberra Centenary Trail with the bus

The Canberra Centenary Trail is 140km long. Most people will not ride it in one go. One trick is to break it up into multiple stages and to do a different section on different days. The question now is how to get to the track head and home again at the end of the ride. suggests taking the bike on a Canberra Rapid Bus. The terminus stations are a base camp for the rides.

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Have YourSay on cycling: Light Rail Stage 2

Light Rail Stage 2 is coming and open now for the third round of community consultation. Gungahlin light rail taught us that bike paths are forgotten or even destroyed in the light rail construction. The light rail is an opportunity to improve Canberra’s cycling infrastructure.

The ACT Government website shows imagines of the light rail route on the Virtual Light Rail Tour. Cycling infrastructure is noticeably lacking on these images. Although it is an artist’s impression, leaving out the bike paths may mean that none are planned.

Go to the ACT Government YourSay website and suggest they build a bike path.

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