Categories
tips

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.

Categories
tips

Tharwa: a small country town in ACT

Tharwa is a great idea for a day out and there is a lot to see in a small area. You could consider riding there south through Canberra, or if you are keen then try the loop ride from Stromlo Forest Park south through the suburbs to Tharwa, where you cross the Murrumbidgee River and return to Stromlo Forest Park on the other side of the river via Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Cotter.

The Namadgi National Park, including the visitors centre, and Lanyon Homestead are currently closed (as of 6/6/2020). Please check before departure.

Categories
tips

Woodstock Nature Reserve, Murrumbidgee River

There are a few points where there is easy access to the Murrumbidgee River Corridor, however, they are not very well known. The Murrumbidgee River Corridor has never become popular as a tourist attraction, apart from Cotter Reserve. Pine Island in Tuggeranong, Kambah Pool, and Woodstock Nature Reserve are all worth doing. 

There are a lot of animals in the Murrumbidgee River Corridor, and when I last visited the Woodstock Nature Reserve I saw deer, which was a first for me. Take time to look around as there is much to see. 

Categories
urban planning

Cycling infrastructure suitable for the ACT Government’s stimulus package

Pedal Power made a submission for bike infrastructure to the ACT Budget. A reminder was sent to the ACT Government in March 2020 after the announcement of a COVID-19 stimulus package. Many of the projects in this submission would already be known to the ACT Government, as they were promised funding at the last federal election by a future Federal Labor government. Among the remainder are found promises from the last ACT election. Pedal Power ACT is notable as it has been consistently requesting the completion of the same projects. A project can be discussed for years before it is planned or built, and government commitment means little. The Kuringa Drive bike path between Barton Hwy to Kingsford Smith Dr is a good example of this.

Categories
urban planning

ACT Government Fast-track

The ACT Government has annouced their fast-track program. This program includes path infrastructure.

Pedal Power ACT have consistently lobbied the government to complete ‘missing links’ in the cycle network. At the last federal election the federal and state ALP pledged funding for cycle projects in the ACT. These projects are not currently included in the COVID-19 stimulas measures. Below are maps of the projects that are.

Categories
urban planning

Greenfield developments and active travel

It is unrealistic to expect the ACT Government to fund all active travel infrastructure from general revenue as capital works. It cannot be done. Alone the maintenance to a high standard an ever-expanding bike paths network is a challenge.

The sale of land for dwellings will always be a top priority for the ACT Government due to the expected population growth and ever-growing costs of servicing the existing Canberra population. The ACT budget is spent on the services that are regarded by most Canberrans as essential (health, education, etc).

We are proud of Canberra, our bush capital. The environmental regulations will continue to be front-of-mind for estate planners to protected and preserve these environmental assets. The downside is that it comes at a price. There are many places in Canberra where you will not get approval to build a bike path.

Land sales are revenue, so the ACT will prioritise that over finishing suburbs (and bike paths). The land release will remain staged. This type of estate planning is within a bounded area and the bigger picture outside those boundaries, such as cross city cycle highways, are left off the map.

We will need to accept that without capital funding, the active travel infrastructure will never be built all at once, but in a fragmented way.

Riding to work requires cycle highway networks that span the city. With the above constraints, it is achievable but not quick or easy. Without long term planning and enduring effort, it will never be achieved.