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A footpath for every street

By Kramer - 10 November 2009 24

The ABC reports that the Canberra Pedestrian Forum are up in arms about new draft plans for pedestrian and cycle routes proposed for the ACT. Leon Arundell from Canberra Pedestrian Forum says “Many of Canberra’s 64,000 school children and 10,000 bus commuters can’t even get to a bus stop without walking on the road”. So the CPF seems to be asking for a footpath on every road in Canberra?!? Maybe we need an underpass every time a footpath crosses a road too? This is just another example of user conflict and non-sharing attitudes on the roads which we have seen numerous times with cyclists. Motorised vehicles are required to give way to all pedestrian traffic, so do we really need footpaths on all suburban streets?

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24 Responses to
A footpath for every street
Aeek 10:22 pm 10 Nov 09

This is also very much about non sharing gardeners blocking the pedestrian access.
Fine, take pride in the verge but leave the required way through.

Holden Caulfield 9:00 pm 10 Nov 09

“Motorised vehicles are required to give way to all pedestrian traffic…”

Huh? Learn something new everyday I guess.

Horrid 5:35 pm 10 Nov 09

No point in building more footpaths until the govt takes seriously the need to stop cars parking on them.

astrojax 5:31 pm 10 Nov 09

be good if they also spent some money on resources to ping cars what park wily nilly on footpaths/nature strips already there to maybe encourage non-blocking of access for pedestrians, some of whom are none so nimble, as gnt notes. especially builders [re pinging for illegal parking, that is, not nimblelessness…]

Special G 5:24 pm 10 Nov 09

Vehicles parked on the verge is just an excuse for some parkour practice.

CapitalK 4:54 pm 10 Nov 09

GnT said :

As a frequent pedestrian walking with young children and pushing a pram, yes, I’d love a footpath on every street and an underpass under every major road.

Kramer, you might be able to get around easily and walk around parked cars and scoot through traffic, but bear a thought for those less confident and mobile such as children, the elderly, the physically disabled or vision impaired.

my thoughts exactly + 1

Grail 4:53 pm 10 Nov 09

S4anta said :

and here is was thinking that was what the nature strip, that people seem to have a problem tending to was for.

The problem arises when the nature strip is routinely populated by parked cars, or people have taken over the nature strip as extra garden space, thereby affording no access to pedestrian traffic.

Inappropriate said :

What good are new footpaths if the current ones aren’t being maintained?

I agree! The current round of “maintenance” for the concrete footpaths appears to be simply grinding the edges until the path is too thin to grind any more off it. As usual, if you see a problem make sure it’s reported to through their easy-to-remember Canberra Connect URL:

http://www.contact.act.gov.au/cgi-bin/canberraconnect.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php?p_sid=F6lSTI*h&p_accessibility=0&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPSZwX3NvcnRfYnk9JnBfZ3JpZHNvcnQ9JnBfcm93X2NudD04OSZwX3Byb2RzPSZwX2NhdHM9JnBfcHY9JnBfY3Y9JnBfc2VhcmNoX3R5cGU9YW5zd2Vycy5zZWFyY2hfbmwmcF9wYWdlPTE*

The shorter version goes like this: Open the web page at https://www.contact.act.gov.au/ then click the “Submit a question or feedback” tab.

Bluenomi said :

I managed to get myself to and from the bus stop as a kid without footpaths and underpasses. All it takes is a bit of common sense when it comes to roads

That’s all well and good, I used to ride on the roads without a helmet! Roads are busier now though. When I was a kid, having two cars was a luxury for rich families. These days most families have two cars, and most of them have mobile phones to boot!

S4anta 3:40 pm 10 Nov 09

and here is was thinking that was what the nature strip, that people seem to have a problem tending to was for.

Bluenomi 3:29 pm 10 Nov 09

I managed to get myself to and from the bus stop as a kid without footpaths and underpasses. All it takes is a bit of common sense when it comes to roads

Fiona 2:47 pm 10 Nov 09

I don’t have footpaths (due to gardens to the edges), but it’s only a concern to me when there is a curved road, and I wonder if I’m going to be collected/collect someone if the car deosn’t go down the middle of teh road

GnT 2:20 pm 10 Nov 09

As a frequent pedestrian walking with young children and pushing a pram, yes, I’d love a footpath on every street and an underpass under every major road.

Kramer, you might be able to get around easily and walk around parked cars and scoot through traffic, but bear a thought for those less confident and mobile such as children, the elderly, the physically disabled or vision impaired.

Inappropriate 1:43 pm 10 Nov 09

What good are new footpaths if the current ones aren’t being maintained?

Grail 1:39 pm 10 Nov 09

The current review is expected to lead to a six year project starting next year (2010-2016), which is where that statement comes from. So yes, your headline was rather sensationalist, theirs wasn’t. Unless you think that it’s suitable for the government to set up a six year plan, then just change it as they feel? If so, what’s the point of planning a long-term project in the first place? The plan has to be finalised so that budgets can be prepared, contractors can be contracted, and path/roadworks can be scheduled ahead of time.

People wanting to get the facts might want to visit the TAMS website: http://www.tams.act.gov.au/move/sustainable_transport_action_plan/walking_and_cycling

Read the plans. If you feel there are changes that need to be made in order for your commuting route to be safer or more accessible, make sure you send your comments to the address provided on the TAMS website.

Kramer 1:07 pm 10 Nov 09

The headline is no more sensationalist than the headline from CPF “Last chance to ask for a footpath”, or their statement “This month may be your last chance for seven years to ask the ACT Government for a footpath on your street”. Seven years? Reality check please…

Grail 12:53 pm 10 Nov 09

Nice exaggeration there Kramer.

Some roads are not wide enough for two cars and safe passage for pedestrians – these roads need footpaths, mainly due to parking on a verge (or two wheels on the road, two wheels on the gutter) being legal but parking on a footpath being illegal. So in suburbs like Campbell where streets are narrowed by cars parking on both sides, with the off-road route blocked by gardens, it’s pretty much a case of taking your chances with the traffic.

There was no suggestion of adding footpaths to every road – many roads that don’t have footpaths already have nice wide shoulders so there is safe passage for pedestrians. There was no suggestion of adding underpasses – can you provide a link to anywhere that the Pedestrian Forum has made any such statement?

This isn’t about “nonsharing cyclists”, this is about nonsharing car drivers parking their cars on the verge (thus creating choke points) and blocking safe use of the road by pedestrians.

But don’t let the facts get in the way of a sensationalist headline 🙂

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