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Assembly Committed to Active Transport

By johnboy - 6 May 2010 18

The Greens’ Caroline Le Couteur is thrilled that she’s got a motion through the Legislative Assembly “calling on the Government to prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and public transport in planning, traffic, and urban design policies in Canberra.”

A motion without legislation is only slightly more significant than the Canberra College SRC moving to make the ACT a nuclear free zone, but it does notionally commit the Government to:

    — Convert appropriate areas into ‘pedestrian priority’ spaces;
    — Redesign Northbourne Avenue to improve transport options, including more efficient and safe travel for bus and bicycle commuters; and
    — Investigate formalising the principles from the Healthy Spaces and Places design guide and the International Charter of Walking into the Territory’s planning rules.

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Assembly Committed to Active Transport
Sgt.Bungers 11:43 am 12 May 10

For me active transport is not about reducing polution or congestion. It’s about community, responsibility, and what should be common sense.

The average Canberran gets in their car, drives out of their garage, detours via school, if necessary (often 5 minutes late… so 50-60km/h in the school zones within a metre of other people’s children is suddenly acceptable), then races to work, yelling from the safe confines of their cage, at anybody who dares be in their way.

Walking the kids to school is not allowed… as the roads are too dangerous to walk… they’re full of idiots who are driving too fast and recklessly. The kids cant ride to school for the same reason.

Riding a push bike to work results in sweat… yuck. Showering at work is too difficult.

Walking to work is understandably, not a viable option for some.

So instead… we have everyone driving themselves to their daily grind… parking, plus fuel, plus car wear and tear… $10-$20 per day. $2,500-$5,000 per year per car, not including car depreciation, insurance or rehab and lost income in case of a severe “accident”.

Our roads are then clogged with too many people driving to work. There are an average of 3.92 empty seats in every car during peak times in this country. Our solution? Build more roads to accomodate those empty seats, when then encourages more empty seats to find their way onto our wider roads.

Riding a motorbike to work, thus eliminating those empty seats, probably hasn’t crossed most peoples minds. Motorbikes are for idiots who like to utilise the space that is not being taken up by empty seats, by lane filtering at traffic lights.

We are the fattest country in the world… Our solution? Drive to the gym. Yell at those cycling home from work on the way.

Our kids are fat… it’s too dangerous for them to go out, play and be sociable on the street… that deadly space 10 metres from our front doors is for people to drive 1.5 tonne machines at speeds that are likely to kill people… not for anyone else to enjoy. Our solution? Drive the kids to the oval once a week for half an hour… at 55-60km/h… tutting at the parents who let their kids play out the front of their houses… don’t they know about the fast cars on their street? Their kids should be inside playing the play station.

We have very little sense of local community anymore. The solution for a select few? Drive to church once a week… pray for those lost on the roads.

We have a high suicide rate… 42nd highest in the world. Our solution? Tell the TV crews about how the neighbour was quiet, kept to themself, didn’t think this would ever happen in your neighbourhood. Think it’s a shame that nobody was there for them… we all used to see that person through their living room window, sitting alone every morning as we raced out of the driveway. If only they’d bought a car and driven to see a councillor or gone to do some socialising somewhere.

Something is wrong with our transport infrastructure, our way of thinking, how our suburbs and way of life revolve around the car without us realising it. It cannot be sustained. The balance is way, way out. We cannot fix the problems with our transport infrastructure with the same method of thinking that created them. Something drastic needs to change.

MrPC 11:54 pm 06 May 10

If politicians were expected to use the bus, it wouldn’t take long before they funded the service properly and there was a bus on most routes every 10 minutes or so.

Hell is more likely to freeze over first though.

annoyedcan 9:40 pm 06 May 10

niftydog said :

I was thinking that yesterday, Morgan. Two minutes walk from the interchange to the Assembly and I bet you very few of them would ever get on a bus unless the public goaded them into it.

Do they also get free, guaranteed parking?

Caroline herself lives in a location that is about as good as it gets for catching buses into the city. Anyone ever seen her on a bus?

Yes they get free Govt parking permits like all federal pollie staff do, like the blue and red expensive cars parked at the back of the city police station and walk to the offices on the otherside of London Cir.

Solidarity 8:57 pm 06 May 10

I earn money. Not a massive amount, but above the average, so I pay more tax than the average. The upside of this, is that I can afford to buy a car, and don’t need to risk my life (both actual and social) riding a bike (dodging cars/looking like a lycra clad faggot), or catch poor people transport, ie) buses. I pay more tax, so why do the poor people get the perks? I hate this active transport bullshit, if you want to cycle that is fine, but can you not do it where my car belongs? Thanks.

etc 7:13 pm 06 May 10

Last time I checked Northbourne Ave already had a bike lane. How about putting one on Limestone Ave? There’s plenty of space up the middle – I doubt we’ll ever get the trams that were supposed to go there ;D

arescarti42 6:39 pm 06 May 10

emd said :

This is all about physically active transport – walking and bike riding, primarily. Not buses. So it makes perfect sense for the Greens rep on this to be one who is regularly seen riding around town on her bike. Good on her for it.

Walking to the bus stop, riding the bus and then walking from the bus to your place of work takes a whole lot more physical activity than walking to your garage, sitting in your car, and walking from the carpark to your office.

emd 5:01 pm 06 May 10

This is all about physically active transport – walking and bike riding, primarily. Not buses. So it makes perfect sense for the Greens rep on this to be one who is regularly seen riding around town on her bike. Good on her for it.

sloppery 4:58 pm 06 May 10

Although I have no sympathy for pollies, it’s probably worth remembering that they don’t generally work normal hours, and often don’t just go from home to work and back. Buses probably don’t work any better for them than they do for me.

Morgan 3:44 pm 06 May 10

I should add that I only commented on Caroline because she was mentioned in the original article.

To be fair, many of them drive to work, and I have never seen Jon on a bus- perhaps because his native suburb of Kaleen is so badly serviced by direct routes to town.

They keep telling me I need to catch the bus, but they still have their government vehicles and paid parking places,

jjones 2:36 pm 06 May 10

Ms Le Couteur was sighted riding to work in teh Northbourne bikelanes this very morning – and at least one other of her partymates does too.

justin heywood 1:18 pm 06 May 10

Morgan said :

I have seen her Caroline Le Couteur driving home up Northbourne ave in her smart car many times. If public transport is a viable solution for the people, then why not her??

If that is true, it’s a disappointment. If she (and others in the Assembly) were regularly seen on public transport it would give her some credibility when she calls for others to make changes in their lifestyle.

She’s a junior member of a glorified local council. She is not rushing around sorting out global crises.

No wonder people are cynical about the Greens.

Gungahlin Al 12:42 pm 06 May 10

Have seen her on a treddly many times. You don’t think she has appointments she has to get to and from quickly on some sitting days?

niftydog 12:04 pm 06 May 10

I was thinking that yesterday, Morgan. Two minutes walk from the interchange to the Assembly and I bet you very few of them would ever get on a bus unless the public goaded them into it.

Do they also get free, guaranteed parking?

Caroline herself lives in a location that is about as good as it gets for catching buses into the city. Anyone ever seen her on a bus?

Gungahlin Al 11:28 am 06 May 10

If the government itself can’t clearly articulate a vision for the future, then it leaves the door open for others to chart the way for them. Katy Gallagher said something about the budget having ‘a bit of vision’ around transport and she was right, but how extraordinary to say it out loud?

Governments need direction. For most local authorities this comes from a Corporate Plan. A good corporate plan makes it very clear what direction the government wants to take, has ‘pigeon holes’ for everything that it supports, and nowhere for programs/initiatives that do not fit within that vision.

A good corporate plan is developed through community consultation.

Without such clear direction, agencies are left to make it up themselves, then try to float new policy proposals up the line. It gets like a sailboat luffing in the breeze.

IMO.

A search on “corporate plan” on the entire act.gov.au website reveals certain agencies have a corporate plan, but nothing came up from the whole of government (and the search engine does not seem to understand what “exact phrase” means…).

Morgan 11:19 am 06 May 10

From my perspective, I’d like to see people like Caroline Le Couteur on the bus. I have seen her driving home up northbourne ave in her smart car many times. If public transport is a viable solution for the people, then why not her??

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