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Expanding Northbourne

By johnboy 23 April 2010 64

Jon Stanhope was Chief Minister when the on-road cycle paths were marked out on Northbourne Avenue. It constricted traffic and reduced speed limits (which in turn reduces the number of cars that can transit in a given period of time).

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that he’s now noticed this key arterial road is a bit congested (who could have seen this coming?)

Now the Canberra Times informs us that plans are afoot to upgrade the footpaths, paint over the bike lanes, and even use the median strip to build a transit lane.

(Although worryingly he’s mulling over taking a lane from the road for his crappy buses that no-one with a choice wants to use)

Better late than never comrade.

UPDATE: The Greens agree something needs to be done and seem to have better thought out ideas:

“A park and ride facility at Mitchell is a vital part of this upgrade, as together with a bus priority lane, it will give Gungahlin residents a very attractive commuting option that will save them time, and money on parking.”

The Greens’ letter also asks Mr Stanhope to consider a median strip cycle path for Northbourne Avenue.

“A broad, two-way path down the median strip would provide a pleasant, rapid and uninterrupted commute to and from Civic for people riding, and could also be used by people walking,” Caroline Le Couteur said.

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Expanding Northbourne
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Ryoma 11:00 pm 07 May 10

I think there is probably room for a cycle path down the middle between the trees, but like others, I do wonder how the cyclists are then meant to cross over at intersections. One option might simply be to set the traffic lights up in such a way that traffic in all directions stops, and cyclists are given 30-60 seconds to cross over in the middle.

More importantly, I cannot think of a better way to ensure that we reserve this space for a light rail/tram line over the longer term. Northbourne Avenue, with its hotels, offices, and large apartment blocks, is the ideal place for the first light rail servcie to operate – and once it is in place, it will help to show people that having a higher density city makes sense if you have the infrastructure in place.

Locking Canberrans old and new into (quite literally) path dependence that forces people to use cars is not a smart option.

Has anyone thought about putting this out to tender and seeing what the world’s various transport companies can offer? The city was originally built from an international competition, why not have another crack at one?

jase! 9:54 pm 05 May 10

as much as I hate to say it, I agree with Gungahlin Al, a single tidal buslane with a bike lane included down the centre of northbourne would be ideal, it doesn’t need to be 2 lanes because the other “quiet” side of northbourne during peak hour can put up with the traffic interruption of buses stopping

Spinney Woods 11:12 am 05 May 10

I would have thought the solution was simple. Widen the existing road by half a lane’s width each side. This would effectively give us 4 lanes across Northbourne. The left one could be dedicated to buses and taxis so their stopping doesn’t stop the flow of traffic on the other 3 lanes. Then create a bike path through the middle of the median strip so riders are off the road and have the added benefit of riding under the shade of the trees. There…solved!

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