Cost Benefit Analysis thinking: unexpected results

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a common practice for considering infrastructure investment. While cycle infrastructure always works out as a net positive the 1CBA may be part of the cycling malady.

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Coppins Crossing is missing bike lanes and more

Coppins Crossing Road is an example of a popular Canberra road without bike lanes. As today is our unofficial bike lane day, it is worth a closer look. On-road cycle lanes in the ACT are also discussed here.

The Coppins Crossing is a river level crossing on the Molonglo River built to rural road standards and only suitable for low volumes of traffic. As a north-south corridor and part of the Molonglo development, the traffic volumes along Coppins Crossing Road are high.

It will be replaced with a bridge in 2024.

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

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Good reasons for cycling paths

There are good reasons for the ACT Government to invest in cycling infrastructure. Here are three:

  1. People will only cycle if they feel safe, and they do not feel safe riding on the road.
  2. Safe cycling infrastructure reduces road fatalities.
  3. Better and safer cycling infrastructure reduces injuries, particularly among the old and young, who are more vulnerable in negotiating traffic.
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The inconvenient truth of 30km/h local streets

In Germany, the land of the Autobahn, cars driving 200 km/h are not uncommon, with some reaching 240 km/h. At this speed, the car roars and the fuel gauge plummets. Cars that change lanes loom up at an unnerving speed. The German government is considering reducing speed limits on autobahns to just 160 km/h. Some Germans protest against driving so slowly. Other groups point out the benefits that include far less noise in the surrounding areas, and reduced fuel consumption, pollution and less road deaths. 

Many Canberrans would say Germans are crazy to drive so fast, but then the Germans react the same way to us. In Germany, the speed limit in cities is 50 km/h, even on major two-lane roads, and often even slower on local streets. To a German, driving faster than 50 km/h on a local street is considered dangerous. Austroads would agree, yet this is our situation in Canberra. 

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