Developers and light rail

Pandy 4 September 2008 25

I am not one to think for the moment that building company’s want to feather their own nest and have a mouth piece act for them. But the following makes me think otherwise:

The Village Building Company wants to develop the WATSON Heritage Village site for 300 houses (why not apartments?).

Then comes in today’s CT a report that says “Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter president David Flannery said a Civic-to- Canberra Airport link had been proposed but he thought a route linking Civic and Watson’s residential area was preferable.”

Like why?

Let me think the Village Building Company was the group in the mid nineties that was pushing for light rail to Gungahlin. It also proposed linking it’s Tralee building site via light rail to Civic and the Defence (but Defence said they were not going to prop it up) site at Bungendore via the old rail network. As we have been repeatedly told, properties along light rail routes provide a windfall profits to sellers and an increase in stamp duty to government coffers.

So is David being paid by Bob to back VBC?

Why does not the VBC if it has any real green credentials (or is it only profit motivated?) not place their own money in to a consortium to build these light routes for bragging rights? Never heard that they would do so and I guess unlikely to ever do so, why should they when governments and gullible community organisations will help them to line their pockets.

Thoughts?


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25 Responses to Developers and light rail
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cranky cranky 8:34 pm 05 Sep 08

Yes, it would probably require a degree of interstate cooperation. Now, given our wall to wall same party system, it could well have a hope of getting up.

Well, until tomorrow night in WA I guess.

tom-tom tom-tom 8:25 pm 05 Sep 08

cranky I agree with you about pay as you drive rego but I don’t think adding it on to fuel prices is the way to go….. If we did that I’d buy my petrol in queanbeyan

cranky cranky 6:33 pm 05 Sep 08

I’m glad I wouldn’t have to schedule the 20 buses an hour arriving in Civic from points north on Northbourne. Don’t know where I’d find the drivers for them in the first place, don’t know where I’d park them/send them after the passengers had disembarked. As has been said, Canberra has 2 peak hours a day, both lasting several seconds.

Yes, it would be marvellous if the population decided to use the public transport system, but enough posters above have explained the lack of enthusiasm.

Having said that, I can see how a far larger, sensibly administered ‘Park ‘n Ride’ system could aleviate a deal of traffic/parking traffic. I don’t think this system has been adequately promoted in the past. The paid parking at the Hospital was to penalise Woden workers from park ‘n walk.

Also mentioned above is the sensible suggestion that rego costs be incorporated in the cost of fuel. The less you use, the less you pay, and vice versa. Simple really.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 5:48 pm 05 Sep 08

Well RA seems to be having connection problems today (all week actually) and my lengthy rebuttal of tom toms claims has gone to cyberspace. Buggered if I’m going to redo it all.
Suffice it to say re-read my post #5 above.
Check the pictures on this site:
http://www.thestreetcarredefined.ca/ under Light Rail Gallery.
And check the hills on the 4th video clip – especially the one straight out of the station.
PS: Canberra ain’t flat. By any stretch of the imagination.

shauno shauno 5:45 pm 05 Sep 08

Ideally an underground station in civic would be the go. So we have civic as the major hub and the underground link to the airport appearing above ground in the middle of Ainslie ave or even more ideally continuing underground until the other side of Campbell.

Now to fund this we request the federal govt fund the majority of the underground station in civic and maybe the tunnel to airport and the Act govt with private contractors fund the rest of the network throughout Canberra. Some may argue that the cost wouldn’t be justified for our population but I say its worth it for the long term benefit and future expansion.

While where at the tunnel building stage we may as well continue the tunnel up the centre of northbourne some what to reduce the impact and lessen the disruption from traffic maybe bring it above ground halfway towards Dickson or again ideally after the major intersection there at Mouat street.

Tempestas Tempestas 4:31 pm 05 Sep 08

Deano, that was the solution for the out of towners who don’t want to deal with really slow traffic as they are not able to use the T2lanes or the bus lane.

The comments about paid parking were trying to address the other aspects.

The problem with the private rego/insurance/interest/depreciation argument is that it becomes circular. To minimise private costs per km, more need to be traveled, requiring more road infrastructure to be built.

Instead if we look at the bigger picture, build transport infrastructure that is the most effective and efficient way to move people about, then change rego to a fuel tax or some other “per use” fee structure.

If you have a Smart or Tatu Nano and travel 5000km a year then your running costs (and environmental impact) are less. If you must drive the Ford F350 by yourself to work everyday then the slower and more expensive it is for you then the better it is for everyone else.

tom-tom tom-tom 4:25 pm 05 Sep 08

i’m inclined to think light rail is a lost cause for a few reasons;

firstly canberran’s, god love em, are a bunch of nimby’s, caf is dead right, i can just imagine the whinge that would happen if power lines and tracks were laid down the middle of northbourne and canberra avenues etc, not to mention all the people who’d be a little annoyed about having a glorified tram running just past their back fence.

secondly; we dont need it. Light rails propenents suggest it linking the major transport hubs; I’d be inclined to think that this is something ACTION does quite well already. I could be convinced of a light rail system to serve the new development centres in molonglo; but due to the fact this light rail system would have to link back into the rest of the transport system i dont really see this as a likely outcome.

thirdly cost; canberra is a very hilly city and it has a lake in the middle, getting around these things would be fairly difficult for a light rail system; difficult, not impossible…but darn expensive. I’ve heard figures of upwards of a billion dollars to get a light rail system up and running and i’d be thinking that those figures are at the lower end of the scale, to put that in persepective thats 10 ‘horror’ ACT budgets worth of saving, or 3 and a bit times the recent major investment in health infrastructure. geez at 60 grand a year on a three year contract that’d be 5555 teachers or nurses.
priorities?

light rail is a pipe dream.

(and note bigred; no metion of an evil union conspiracy)

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 3:37 pm 05 Sep 08

Well that’s John Hargreaves’ line. Except Caf that the trees were planted down the sides of the median deliberately to allow for this eventuality, so they can go in with minimal damage.
But it may be that one way only is possible – depends on the mechanics, in which case the second route could complete the loop perhaps. But I think you’ll find the trees down Majura Avenue are far more established and contraining than the Northbourne ones. They would be pushing to even fit the additional 2 road lanes that it needs…

caf caf 12:16 pm 05 Sep 08

Gunghalin Al: If you think the NCA, ACT Government (of any stripe) or the people of Canberra at large are going to accept the removal of the beautiful trees that currently occupy the median strip of Northbourne Avenue, you’re dreaming. A much more feasible route from the City to Dickson is via Ainslie Avenue, Limestone Avenue and Majura Avenue. It could then continue down the Federal Hwy.

Deano Deano 11:23 am 05 Sep 08

Tempestas said :

The out of Public Transport range can be solved with a large secure carpark and a tram/train/bus every 3 minutes in peak every 20 outside that. Drive to nearest Public Trasnport node, park. Get where you are going faster.

So you’re proposing that I need to own a car but I have to use public transport as well. Having to own a car is a big disincentive to using public transport. If I have to pay rego/insurance/interest/depreciation on a car irrespective of how little I use it, it doesn’t make sense spend more money catching a bus.

The elephant in the room for public transport is the convenience factor. Its great for travelling to and from work (assuming both home and work) are close to transport nodes, but throw in a side trip to drop kids at school or childcare and its just not practical. And try doing the weekly shopping by bus or a trip to Bunnings. If I’ve got to own a car to cover the trips that public transport aren’t suitable for then it doesn’t make sense to leave it at home at other times for the reasons given above.

peterh peterh 10:56 am 05 Sep 08

mdme workalot said :

Agree with that, sounds like a good system. Would be good to see a similar idea in one of the party’s long term plans for the ACT.

A little OT, but does anyone recall when they introduced pay parking to the Hospital? The idea was because apparently people were parking there and getting buses into the city for work, so they thought they’d introduce it to discourage this. Funnily enough, the pay parking times encompassed all hospital visiting hours which I thought was an absolute disgrace. Does anyone know if that’s changed now?

no pay parking there now. there are time limits, which are a bit of a pain if you are waiting in the ED (no pun intended)

Aurelius Aurelius 10:55 am 05 Sep 08

Holden’s right. If you can’t run a bus service (with its built-in flexibility about routes etc) then a rail system wont work.
These light rail proposals are always coming up when a developer wants to gain a premium for their latest development plan. The rail lobby’s been suckered time and time again. Nothing’s changed.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 9:44 am 05 Sep 08

Light rail won’t do jack if there’s crap timetables. And if there’s crap timetables there’ll be crap patronage.

It’s not the big orange limos that people don’t like about ACTION, it’s the timetables!

mdme workalot mdme workalot 9:15 am 05 Sep 08

Agree with that, sounds like a good system. Would be good to see a similar idea in one of the party’s long term plans for the ACT.

A little OT, but does anyone recall when they introduced pay parking to the Hospital? The idea was because apparently people were parking there and getting buses into the city for work, so they thought they’d introduce it to discourage this. Funnily enough, the pay parking times encompassed all hospital visiting hours which I thought was an absolute disgrace. Does anyone know if that’s changed now?

Tempestas Tempestas 9:01 am 05 Sep 08

The out of Public Transport range can be solved with a large secure carpark and a tram/train/bus every 3 minutes in peak every 20 outside that. Drive to nearest Public Trasnport node, park. Get where you are going faster.

As for paid parking, surely it can’t be too hard to create a system where all day parking is penalised and short term parking is not. Give every parent dropping off children a free 4 hour parking voucher then they pay the extra 2 hours before picking up the kids. It might be a bugger to set up but its not impossible surely.

mdme workalot mdme workalot 8:55 am 05 Sep 08

“Don’t build a bus lane, take one of the lanes for cars away and run busses every three minutes to make the message clear. Where we don’t have a bus lane make the right lane T2 all commuting times. Force people to hate driving a car by themselves to from work.”

Yes, Tempestas, what a fabulous idea – except for the fact that due to Canberra’s geological spread and the fact that a large number of people commute from regional areas, this will be disadvantaging a significant amount of people.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for encouraging those who have access to public transport to use it, and that is why I will always support reasonable concessions being granted to them. However, when they start increasing the cost of car parking, access to car parking and road and lane closures under the guise of forcing people to use public transport, where does that leave those of us who have no choice but to drive?

And before anyone says ‘you make the choice to live in a place not serviced by public transport’ in some ways you’re right – I refuse to pay three times as much so I can live in a concrete box next to some govvie slums. And because of the increase in rent, I couldn’t afford to eat.

Tempestas Tempestas 8:55 am 05 Sep 08

Pandy

Got it in one. I’ve said it before, Canberra’s layout makes any public transport solution something of an unique opportunity, but its not space we need its getting better value out of the space we have. Of course being so close to an election there is no chance anything that will upset the masses or the benefactors getting up.

Of course the NIMBYism in this town will work against any attempt to implement a sane public transport option. *Sigh*

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 8:31 am 05 Sep 08

Don’t build a bus lane, take one of the lanes for cars away and run busses every three minutes to make the message clear. Where we don’t have a bus lane make the right lane T2 all commuting times. Force people to hate driving a car by themselves to from work.

Well said – and I agree completely. Humans unfortunately often cannot make the best decision themselves in matter such as this. It takes force!

Pandy Pandy 7:42 am 05 Sep 08

Well Gungahlin Al, I hope you are right.

Tempestas, why has the government not made a T2/priority lane in the centre lanes of Northbourne Ave a reality 7 years ago? If they had, people sitting in cars seeking how buses where getting everywhere so much quicker, would have supported light rail by now.

Tempestas Tempestas 7:02 am 05 Sep 08

Here’t the thing, apparently in Hong Kong, the Public Transport and Land Development agency were the same organisation, nothing got approval unless it benefited the public transport system.

That and actpla demolishing buildings not meeting the requirements – how many houses in Gungahlin were not built to the relevant energy rating – would be a good start.

Until we have a government willing to take on both the builders/developers and the car lobby in this town its all going to be tinkering at the edges.

Don’t build a bus lane, take one of the lanes for cars away and run busses every three minutes to make the message clear. Where we don’t have a bus lane make the right lane T2 all commuting times. Force people to hate driving a car by themselves to from work.

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