Canberra.bikes` submission for the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services. Making Canberra a city where we can cycle safely and easily, at any time, from 8-80 years. Here is the table of contents with links to the text.
A useful list of references for active travel and cycling in the ACT from the Submission to the Standing Committee.
We live in a car culture. The fact that Canberra was built for cars is displayed in our public funding, road duplications, and many other cultural artefacts.
What can be done here is to present the transcript of three gems from Australian commentators in the Step away from the car 2.0 podcast, recorded at Australia Walking and Cycling Conference. One of my favourites is Getting There Faster by Slowing Down, featuring Paul Tranter, an academic, here in Canberra.
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.
This section explains what the Movement and Place Framework means for cycling and the challenge to implement the Movement and Place Framework in the ACT, as it will require the collaboration of both ACT Transport and ACT Planning. This is something recommended in the ACT Active Travel Key Documents, but yet not done.
The Territory Plan is part of the reason why good, fast cycling infrastructure between town centres for commuting cyclists – cycle highways – has not been and is not likely to be built. The ACT planning has been critiqued for hampering innovation. The comment, while likely directed at urban architecture, is still true for urban planning and design. Cycle highways are not possible without inclusion in statutory documents, such as the Territory Plan.
A brief introduction of active travel at a non-technical level. This submission is not about the technical aspects of active travel, which is well documented in the ACT Active Travel Key Documents. Combined with Austroads Standards there is enough there to build a good network. We are not failing because of a lack of standards. Rather the problem lies elsewhere.
This section provides data on the trends, risks, and costs of Canberra car culture, where vulnerable road users have ‘no place on our road’, and the young and the old are particularly at risk. They are disadvantaged not only due to cognitive (or physical) limitations but also due to the lack of options. Some of the best reasons for fixing active travel in Canberra are health, human equity, and safety.
Section 3 is about the ACT and Australia, and three studies. Australia is a low cycling country. International studies provide a benchmark for good practice but it would be beyond the scope of this submission.