Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Canberra’s most creative
residential property specialists

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.


What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
64 Responses to
Expanding Northbourne
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
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!

Thumper 6:38 pm 04 May 10

Oi Thumper – what’s this Demagogue status business??

No idea Al…

sepi 5:56 pm 04 May 10

LImestone is as bad as Northbourne these days anyway.

bethybobs 5:35 pm 04 May 10

Its not just people heading to civic that congest Northbourne. Unfortunately (when absolutely unavoidable) I have to join the traffic to get across to Manuka/Kingston. I used to take the limestone ave/kings ave way but then there were the roadworks in front of the war memorial, now the Kings ave bridge roadworks and who knows what next. It feels like they NEVER end!!
I would love a nice light rail to get me across. The buses inconveniently stop heading to Dickson from Manuka too early for me and I don’t see how an almost 1 hr stopover in civic is useful.

Skyring 4:46 am 03 May 10

I’m getting really tired of half-baked government solutions to problems they created. The government knows exactly how many houses are going to be built, and they know where. It’s not difficult to predict that (say) building a new suburb in Gungahlin is going to result in a few thousand more peak-time journeys as people get to work and school.

Expecting the sort of young parents who move into new suburbs to cycle to work in Civic, or drop the kids off by bike, or do the grocery shopping in a carrier basket is just crazy. Especially in the cold of winter or the heat of summer.

People are going to use cars because cycles are not practical. And the public transport system sucks. Put on more buses, run them on routes that are actually useful and efficient instead of a dozen suburbs in an hour. That will reduce congestion than any number of cycle lanes.

I just spent a week in Amsterdam. Half of each footpath is given over to cyclists, who have priority. It’s dangerous. One false step and you are in the way of a bloke on a motorscooter, or some super bike with fifteen seats (a favourite mode of transport for drunks – one bloke steers, one sits in the middle handing out the beers, and the rest peddle and shout abuse).

I think the ACT government should hold fire on approving new development until they work out infrastructure problems. This new town of Molonglo, for instance. People aren’t going to cycle out of the valley into Civic and Belconnen and Woden. They are going to get in their cars and drive, and about half of those journeys will go right through Gridloch Interchange.

Gungahlin Al 5:55 pm 02 May 10

Thumper said :

Monorails are usually proprietary technology, and few have any lengthy service history without serious problems. Monorails also usually run in one direction (like Sydneys tourist monorail) so loops are required.

Yes Damien, but you forget, monorails are cool and sexy, whereas light rail is simply boring.

LOL
Often the best solutions are the boring ones.

OT I’ve been saying for almost 4 years that we should simply have a “tidal” bus lane down between the trees. Every day at midday, the direction changes. Inbound morning, outbound arvo. And there is absolutely no reason nice open cycle lanes can’t run down the central median strip as well. Probably outside the trees. This would give a much-needed little more room for the existing three traffic lanes, plenty of room but with safety for cycles, ability for buses to zip straight past the traffic leading to drivers saying “I’ve got to get onto to buses instead of this stupidity”.

And the traffic will run a bit easier too because a) the bus conga line won’t be holding them up, and b) more people will use buses making it easier for cars.

And there is something I always find amusing about debates about encouraging cycling and bus patronage (or light rail). Car drivers are often quick to slag off at these options, when they should be actively encouraging people to move over to them, because the more that do, the easier it is for cars as well.

Oi Thumper – what’s this Demagogue status business??

Thoroughly Smashed 2:13 pm 02 May 10

aussieboy said :

“It constricted traffic and reduced speed limits (which in turn reduces the number of cars that can transit in a given period of time).”

This is just wrong!

With a 3 second gap between each car, total traffic volume past a point is 1200 vehicles/hr
That doesn’t change with speed limits… it is the max capacity of a car lane

I wonder how they manage to get almost 5000 vehicles/hour down the two lanes of the M2 in Sydney then?

aussieboy 1:10 pm 02 May 10

“It constricted traffic and reduced speed limits (which in turn reduces the number of cars that can transit in a given period of time).”

This is just wrong!

With a 3 second gap between each car, total traffic volume past a point is 1200 vehicles/hr
That doesn’t change with speed limits… it is the max capacity of a car lane

Thumper 12:33 pm 01 May 10

Monorails are usually proprietary technology, and few have any lengthy service history without serious problems. Monorails also usually run in one direction (like Sydneys tourist monorail) so loops are required.

Yes Damien, but you forget, monorails are cool and sexy, whereas light rail is simply boring.

Ceej1973 9:17 am 01 May 10

Put more cylcle lanes alongside main roads/feeders and more bike parking bays at bus depots and shopping centres, then more people might ride, god forbid having to do a bit of exercise. I dont understand why more Australians and Canberrans in particular dont ride. I see more bike riders at one intersection here, than in one day in Canberra. Weather is no excuss, its colder in Europe. Distance is no excuss, they have similar. Fear of traffic cant be the excuss, there are more cars on the roads in Europe. Maybe its because fuel is so cheap?!?! In Germany, the bike paths are hard up against the road but up the kerb (cars have to give way at intersections going the same direction). The footpath is hard up against the bike path, so everyone has their own space and there is no reason to slag one another all the time. How much will light rail cost? What if the Guvt. was to invest some of that into encouraging people to cycle instead AS AN ALTERNATIVE ?

damien haas 11:45 pm 30 Apr 10

Monorails are usually proprietary technology, and few have any lengthy service history without serious problems. Monorails also usually run in one direction (like Sydneys tourist monorail) so loops are required.

Light rail is a technology with dozens of different providers, all available off the shelf. Long term its costs are less than competing mass transit technologies, but the upfront cost is higher.

Further benefits of light rail can be found at the ACT Light Rail website http://www.actlightrail.info

Thumper 5:03 pm 30 Apr 10

Monorail down northbourne, through civic, across commonwealth avenue, hang a left at the NLA and across to kings avenue, back over the lake, head towards limestone, up limestone and off north to gungahlin, and around we go again.

Okay, expensive, probably not very practical, but ooohhh so cool…

BrassRazoo 4:22 pm 30 Apr 10

A not very flattering letter about Northbourne in today’s SMH –

“Paint the town red

The drive into Canberra down Northbourne Avenue is one of the most depressing approaches to a city I have experienced (”Canberra’s burger battle: taste buds versus town planners”, April 27). The rundown and neglected apartment buildings are a disgrace. There is no inspirational architecture, apart from the War Memorial and Old and New Parliament House. It is a city without soul or atmosphere because no organic growth is allowed. The Little Red Van is exactly what the city needs.

Jenny Atkins Mosman”

Perhaps the burger van – and anyone else who wants to – should just set up shop at any intersection on Northbourne Avenue like the windscreen washers are allowed to. Who knows, lone female drivers may get a squirt of sauce whether they ask for it or not.

Pandy 3:56 pm 30 Apr 10

Light rail: $100 million just spent in Adelaide to build 2.8km of dual track. Long term solution, or Stanhope can go it alone and install a congestion charge in Civic/Braddon

damien haas 2:49 pm 30 Apr 10

Light rail is the best solution, but you need to solve problems with what you have available right now, and plan for longer term solutions.

The REDEX ‘rapid limited express’ trial needs to be supported by Gungahlin residents. Action havent released any figures yet (apart from media spin soundbites) but I am not sure how popular it has been. I conducted a totally unscientific study (see http://onfourwheels.blogspot.com/2009/12/redex-one-month-on-review.html ) and would like to see proper advertising and some more active promotion of this.

Sometimes Action gets it wrong, so when they take a bold step to do it right they should be supported. Every full bus takes 80 cars off northbourne twice a day.

sloppery 1:40 pm 30 Apr 10

Md said :

SolarPowered said :

steveu said :

…I would catch the bus if there was a way that I could get the kids to and from care/school and make it to work. Its simply not possible. I caught the bus to and from work before that. With parental responsibilities, I cant. I dont think I am alone in this.

Definitely not alone.

+1

definitely not alone – Make that three Steveu and Solarpowered.

It’s a common problem. I have it too.

Md 12:19 pm 30 Apr 10

SolarPowered said :

steveu said :

…I would catch the bus if there was a way that I could get the kids to and from care/school and make it to work. Its simply not possible. I caught the bus to and from work before that. With parental responsibilities, I cant. I dont think I am alone in this.

Definitely not alone.

+1

definitely not alone – Make that three Steveu and Solarpowered.

Aeek 3:44 pm 25 Apr 10

bd84 said :

There is probably merit in making the sidewalk wide and into a cycleway, the little green man can stay green when the traffic light in that direction is also green.

Useless to legal cyclists, dismount to cross when I’m doing high 30s (and I’m slow).
I’ll stay on the road where its safer.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site