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Let’s can the tram (till October, at least)

By Greg Cornwell 24 May 2016 210

An act of political bastardry saw the ACT Government sign off last week on the Gungahlin light rail project, almost five months to the day from the October Assembly election.

The proposal has generated massive argument throughout Canberra with a final price of $710 million (ha, ha) for 12km of line to service a small section of our population. A section, incidentally, which will not directly benefit from the tram because most Gungahlin residents will have to travel from their home suburb to the northern terminus. Car parks anyone and at what daily charge?

And it is so unnecessary at this time.

By signing off now the ACT Labor Government has committed the territory to the project and also committed the Liberal Opposition to cancel the contract as it has threatened to do. Thus either way the people of Canberra are up for money and perhaps big money on any cancellation with no idea available of expenditure to date.

Why couldn’t the matter have waited until after the Assembly election when the people would vote in a government which would either commit or not commit and money would be saved? Currently it will cost us money whatever the election result.

Minister Corbell’s comments initial work would begin next month and substantial work in August could suggest Northbourne Avenue’s trees will be removed before the election, presenting a fait accompli that we might as well proceed, the damage is done.

This scorched earth approach also means if the project doesn’t go ahead the repair costs will add to our bill.

Canberra taxpayers are already facing higher charges for the tram, but if this is across the board is unknown. Should our rates rise, will those who pay no rates like ACT Housing tenants face a rent increase to compensate?

The mysterious area of union influence including a memorandum of understanding with the government carries the suspicion light rail will be a financial bonanza for its workers at the community’s expense. Figures vary as to numbers employed ranging from 500 in construction to an overall 3500 probably drivers, maintenance workers etc and including indigenous and long-term job seekers – something worth checking if the project proceeds.

Cost of the infrastructure is assumed. In Barcelona light rail runs openly between rows of tall trees, a situation in our nanny city hard to imagine without fences and signs stopping people crossing the tracks at random and markedly different from the artists’ impressions to which we have been treated.

Premature as was the signing of the contract we may still be able to cut our losses if we call a halt now. Despite its 2012 election commitment the government needs to provide much more information before taking further expensive steps.

Can the Tram is a catchy slogan and a correct one for what currently seems an indulgent extravagance.

 

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Let’s can the tram (till October, at least)
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dungfungus 11:27 am 11 Jun 16

What is the action plan to prevent this happening on our trams?
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/north-melbourne-tram-passengers-threatened-with-machete-in-latenight-ordeal-20160610-gpg6xp.html
Note it is the Age reporting this, not Murdoch.

switch 4:36 pm 07 Jun 16

theword said :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/62121682@N02/5670761878

I WANT MY MAGLEV EXPRESS!!

JC 1:17 pm 07 Jun 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

If you build something up at the expense of other things then there is nothing gained.

Yeah urban infill is at the expense of endless urban sprawl. Not an entirely bad thing I would imagine and one of the planning goals of the government and indeed most governments around the country.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Welcome to Canberra geography: Hume is in the district of Jerrabomberra, the centre of the Canberra Queanbeyan region, which is inside the ACT border. As distinct from the suburb of Jerrabomberra which is outside the ACT border. Technically it could be Jerrabomberra Valley, but then could Woden and Tuggeranong.
There are several parts of the Majura valley which aren’t yet developed yet.

There is a very good reason why Jerrabomberra district (within the ACT) and the Majura Valley haven’t been developed for residential housing. And that is because of these big noisy bird things that regularly fly into what is known as Canberra International Airport. So maybe best to keep that land for industrial uses, Defence, housing criminals and the cows and sheep.

In fact out of interest under the Y plan Gungahlin was meant to be built before Tuggernaong, the reason Tuggers ended up starting first was because there was thought of moving the airport to what is now Gungahlin. so to reserve the land they went south first. In many ways doing that and the timing really broke the NCDC’s utopic masterplan. It shifted the population centre more south than intended, though Gunners is now fixing that imbalance. It also introduced early the first town that was a double hop away from town. Many of the issues in Tuggeranong are very much brought on by the double hop distance.

The other major townships, vis Woden, Belco and Gunners all have their centre within 10-13km of Civic, yet Tuggeranong you need to go via or past Woden first and the distance is double at around 22km. So yes no wonder it takes take extra long to get to the City etc.

gooterz 12:29 pm 07 Jun 16

ungruntled said :

creative_canberran said :

bj_ACT said :

Masquara said :

JC said :

For those that support the tram? would you still sport the Labor party If light rail extensions were proposed for the rest of Canberra in future elections to win those seats?

Actually no, I wouldn’t support extensions elsewhere, except the Parl triangle and Kingston to the railway station.

The reason being the Flemmington Road and Northborne Ave corridors, PLUS the triangle and the Kingston developments are the only parts of Canberra that have the density to justify it.

Mentioned many times before but to Woden or Belco, unless Adelaide Ave and Belconnen way were turned in on themselves no chance of getting the density required to justify it. And Tuggeranong, never ever ever for the same reason.

I understood that the original idea of the tram was to get cars of the road; population density wasn’t a factor.
Then this “value added” notion of development along the corridors was added.
Please clarify what you are trying to say.

You understood wrong. The idea is to tighten up Canberra to reduce sprawl and to put in place a non-polluting transport system that obviates more heavily trafficked, noisy and polluting roads before it is too late.

Every city as it grows increases density, it is already well under way, and builds mass transport systems to get people down the main routes.

This totally novel problem has NEVER occurred before, and the solution has NEVER been implemented before!

I just came back from Broken Hill. That was a real eye-opener. It is a city with obvious problems and inevitable changes. Yet what was painfully apparent, and was explained by locals, is what it really suffers from is having an old population with old people’s thinking that condemns even the most minor and obvious solutions out of hand. They are their own worst enemies. Tuggeranong is our Broken Hill.

If the idea is to tighten up to reduce sprawl, then why was the land out at Jerrabomberra not considered? If the sprawl is an issue it happened on Labor’s watch. Why is it that so many new blocks are sold off at the northern and north west tips of the ACT? Why are there so few medium/low density apartments going up only high density?

Wouldn’t building a fixed line out to the northern reaches of Canberra be going against the idea of building a centralised ACT? Connecting the central parts like Woden and Civic should be the goal.

Its not really the sprawl that’s the issue. Canberra has long had spread out places of work entertainment and residences. However the focus the last 10 or so years is to massively build out Civic as the hub. Around 5 years ago the Labor party even draw a nice big circle around Civic and said no development would happen outside this. However we’ve since seen numerous developments on the outskirts of town. With larger developments happening in all the major centres.
In spite of this civic still lacks critical mass and still seems like some socially awkward backwater.
Lack of parking or decent public transport has encouraged more fringe culture in the other town centres, paid parking on a weekend is a cruel joke. Much the same as the crazy idea to make the centre of town a construction pit.

Woden itself is a massive waste of space*. Its pretty much central Canberra geographically. A rail link between Woden and Civic would benefit both centres as well as provide a tourist attraction that would actually be useful to get around triangle. The line between Woden and civic is actually free of crossing and there are many places along the route to build major stops and develop (Cotter road).
Light rail in Woden would service most of the public transport users from Tuggeranong and Woden heading into civic and those in civic heading into Woden. I really can’t see someone in Gungahlin catching a bus to Gungahlin then transferring to bus to head to Woden or beyond.

The business case for it doesn’t stack up for where it is. The only way to make a profit is to increase rent along that strip, which defeats the purpose of making it more desirable? Why pay a premium for a light rail in high density living when you could just move to Sydney.

Labor can’t even make the buses work. Lost patronage over the years and still the costs of providing the service keep going up. The only way to make the buses work so it seems is to put paid parking everywhere.

*Whats the deal with Yarra Glen, Yamba drive? Why are the roads so disjointed. I know there was work years ago to realign Athllon drive with Callum street, but now there are more developments (police station and more high density apartments) which completely block connecting Yarra Glen and Athllon drive.

Hard to follow what you are trying to say. Jerrabomberra is in NSW and all the rest is a ramble.

There is obviously disagreement within ACT Planning, they do contradictory things, but building up the density of the Inner North is pretty obvious and what is more it is a stated objective.

If you build something up at the expense of other things then there is nothing gained.

Welcome to Canberra geography: Hume is in the district of Jerrabomberra, the centre of the Canberra Queanbeyan region, which is inside the ACT border. As distinct from the suburb of Jerrabomberra which is outside the ACT border. Technically it could be Jerrabomberra Valley, but then could Woden and Tuggeranong.
There are several parts of the Majura valley which aren’t yet developed yet.

rubaiyat 11:14 am 07 Jun 16

creative_canberran said :

bj_ACT said :

Masquara said :

JC said :

For those that support the tram? would you still sport the Labor party If light rail extensions were proposed for the rest of Canberra in future elections to win those seats?

Actually no, I wouldn’t support extensions elsewhere, except the Parl triangle and Kingston to the railway station.

The reason being the Flemmington Road and Northborne Ave corridors, PLUS the triangle and the Kingston developments are the only parts of Canberra that have the density to justify it.

Mentioned many times before but to Woden or Belco, unless Adelaide Ave and Belconnen way were turned in on themselves no chance of getting the density required to justify it. And Tuggeranong, never ever ever for the same reason.

I understood that the original idea of the tram was to get cars of the road; population density wasn’t a factor.
Then this “value added” notion of development along the corridors was added.
Please clarify what you are trying to say.

You understood wrong. The idea is to tighten up Canberra to reduce sprawl and to put in place a non-polluting transport system that obviates more heavily trafficked, noisy and polluting roads before it is too late.

Every city as it grows increases density, it is already well under way, and builds mass transport systems to get people down the main routes.

This totally novel problem has NEVER occurred before, and the solution has NEVER been implemented before!

I just came back from Broken Hill. That was a real eye-opener. It is a city with obvious problems and inevitable changes. Yet what was painfully apparent, and was explained by locals, is what it really suffers from is having an old population with old people’s thinking that condemns even the most minor and obvious solutions out of hand. They are their own worst enemies. Tuggeranong is our Broken Hill.

If the idea is to tighten up to reduce sprawl, then why was the land out at Jerrabomberra not considered? If the sprawl is an issue it happened on Labor’s watch. Why is it that so many new blocks are sold off at the northern and north west tips of the ACT? Why are there so few medium/low density apartments going up only high density?

Wouldn’t building a fixed line out to the northern reaches of Canberra be going against the idea of building a centralised ACT? Connecting the central parts like Woden and Civic should be the goal.

Its not really the sprawl that’s the issue. Canberra has long had spread out places of work entertainment and residences. However the focus the last 10 or so years is to massively build out Civic as the hub. Around 5 years ago the Labor party even draw a nice big circle around Civic and said no development would happen outside this. However we’ve since seen numerous developments on the outskirts of town. With larger developments happening in all the major centres.
In spite of this civic still lacks critical mass and still seems like some socially awkward backwater.
Lack of parking or decent public transport has encouraged more fringe culture in the other town centres, paid parking on a weekend is a cruel joke. Much the same as the crazy idea to make the centre of town a construction pit.

Woden itself is a massive waste of space*. Its pretty much central Canberra geographically. A rail link between Woden and Civic would benefit both centres as well as provide a tourist attraction that would actually be useful to get around triangle. The line between Woden and civic is actually free of crossing and there are many places along the route to build major stops and develop (Cotter road).
Light rail in Woden would service most of the public transport users from Tuggeranong and Woden heading into civic and those in civic heading into Woden. I really can’t see someone in Gungahlin catching a bus to Gungahlin then transferring to bus to head to Woden or beyond.

The business case for it doesn’t stack up for where it is. The only way to make a profit is to increase rent along that strip, which defeats the purpose of making it more desirable? Why pay a premium for a light rail in high density living when you could just move to Sydney.

Labor can’t even make the buses work. Lost patronage over the years and still the costs of providing the service keep going up. The only way to make the buses work so it seems is to put paid parking everywhere.

*Whats the deal with Yarra Glen, Yamba drive? Why are the roads so disjointed. I know there was work years ago to realign Athllon drive with Callum street, but now there are more developments (police station and more high density apartments) which completely block connecting Yarra Glen and Athllon drive.

Hard to follow what you are trying to say. Jerrabomberra is in NSW and all the rest is a ramble.

There is obviously disagreement within ACT Planning, they do contradictory things, but building up the density of the Inner North is pretty obvious and what is more it is a stated objective.

JC 10:06 am 07 Jun 16

creative_canberran said :

If the idea is to tighten up to reduce sprawl, then why was the land out at Jerrabomberra not considered? If the sprawl is an issue it happened on Labor’s watch. Why is it that so many new blocks are sold off at the northern and north west tips of the ACT? Why are there so few medium/low density apartments going up only high density?

Sprawl has happened under Labors watch and the Liebral party watch. And both have proposed solutions to LIMIT the sprawl, including the Liebrals that first planned Flemmington Road as a commuting corridor with higher density housing along it, and shock horror light rail.

There is no way to fix or stop sprawl, it’s impacts can be limited.

creative_canberran said :

Wouldn’t building a fixed line out to the northern reaches of Canberra be going against the idea of building a centralised ACT? Connecting the central parts like Woden and Civic should be the goal.

Distance Civic to Woden, 11km, distance Civic to Gungahlin 13km, so much of a muchness. The difference? Civic to Woden is an intertown route, Civic to Gungahlin has been designed and in the case of Northborne Ave is being planned to be changed to a high density housing commuting corridor.

Want light rail to the south to work, easy, put high density housing along Adelaide Ave.

creative_canberran said :

Its not really the sprawl that’s the issue. Canberra has long had spread out places of work entertainment and residences. However the focus the last 10 or so years is to massively build out Civic as the hub. Around 5 years ago the Labor party even draw a nice big circle around Civic and said no development would happen outside this. However we’ve since seen numerous developments on the outskirts of town. With larger developments happening in all the major centres.

Yeah Canberra has long had long spread out residential and shopping etc. That is called urban sprawl. In the 1960’s and 1970’s when the NCDC was planning what is now modern day Canberra it was all the rage. Built big freeways, big carparks and if you run out of space build some more. Have a look at some of the plans. Under the Y plan (see my link below) what we know as Gunaghlin (note the different spelling) would have been inner City. Canberra was to extend NNW towards Yass and NE towards Gunning, all supported by intertown freeways. No a mention of any mass transport, because under this plan everyone would have driven to work within their own township, with little need to go to the City, or cough cough places on the extremities.

But times have changed quite clearly and unless you want to raze the whole of the ACT and start again the best we can hope for is limiting futher sprawl and look at higher density closer to town, including apartments, dual occupancies etc. In otherwords the very thing that has been happening, under the watch of all political parties, and NOT just in Canberra either.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/62121682@N02/5670761878

gooterz 10:01 am 07 Jun 16

madelini said :

Planning on contesting the nearing election Gooterz? You’ve got my vote because you are the only one so far that has made any sense. But that isn’t what the electorate wants, is it?

Haha, maybe in a few years. I think I’d be too honest as an elected representative.

Sadly I think most of Canberra has little preference with the elections, many just seem to vote for whom they think will win rather than someone to represent them. The mantra that its a Labor town is a self fulfilling idea. The idea of voting for someone who doesn’t win seems somewhat depressing.

Most of it just seems logical to me. If you want people to ditch cars and use public transport then treat drivers licences like myway cards with some amount of credit each year.

dungfungus 9:37 am 07 Jun 16

bj_ACT said :

Masquara said :

JC said :

For those that support the tram? would you still sport the Labor party If light rail extensions were proposed for the rest of Canberra in future elections to win those seats?

Actually no, I wouldn’t support extensions elsewhere, except the Parl triangle and Kingston to the railway station.

The reason being the Flemmington Road and Northborne Ave corridors, PLUS the triangle and the Kingston developments are the only parts of Canberra that have the density to justify it.

Mentioned many times before but to Woden or Belco, unless Adelaide Ave and Belconnen way were turned in on themselves no chance of getting the density required to justify it. And Tuggeranong, never ever ever for the same reason.

I understood that the original idea of the tram was to get cars of the road; population density wasn’t a factor.
Then this “value added” notion of development along the corridors was added.
Please clarify what you are trying to say.

You understood wrong. The idea is to tighten up Canberra to reduce sprawl and to put in place a non-polluting transport system that obviates more heavily trafficked, noisy and polluting roads before it is too late.

Every city as it grows increases density, it is already well under way, and builds mass transport systems to get people down the main routes.

This totally novel problem has NEVER occurred before, and the solution has NEVER been implemented before!

I just came back from Broken Hill. That was a real eye-opener. It is a city with obvious problems and inevitable changes. Yet what was painfully apparent, and was explained by locals, is what it really suffers from is having an old population with old people’s thinking that condemns even the most minor and obvious solutions out of hand. They are their own worst enemies. Tuggeranong is our Broken Hill.

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/does-canberra-need-a-road-diet-act-greens-mla-shane-rattenbury-thinks-so-20150928-gjwd7z.html
I think you have a different outlook to Shane Rattenbury (afterall, he runs Canberra, not you)..
And I see you are now adding old people to your hit list following your declaration to exterminate pedestrians.

wildturkeycanoe 7:13 am 07 Jun 16

creative_canberran said :

bj_ACT said :

Masquara said :

JC said :

For those that support the tram? would you still sport the Labor party If light rail extensions were proposed for the rest of Canberra in future elections to win those seats?

Actually no, I wouldn’t support extensions elsewhere, except the Parl triangle and Kingston to the railway station.

The reason being the Flemmington Road and Northborne Ave corridors, PLUS the triangle and the Kingston developments are the only parts of Canberra that have the density to justify it.

Mentioned many times before but to Woden or Belco, unless Adelaide Ave and Belconnen way were turned in on themselves no chance of getting the density required to justify it. And Tuggeranong, never ever ever for the same reason.

I understood that the original idea of the tram was to get cars of the road; population density wasn’t a factor.
Then this “value added” notion of development along the corridors was added.
Please clarify what you are trying to say.

You understood wrong. The idea is to tighten up Canberra to reduce sprawl and to put in place a non-polluting transport system that obviates more heavily trafficked, noisy and polluting roads before it is too late.

Every city as it grows increases density, it is already well under way, and builds mass transport systems to get people down the main routes.

This totally novel problem has NEVER occurred before, and the solution has NEVER been implemented before!

I just came back from Broken Hill. That was a real eye-opener. It is a city with obvious problems and inevitable changes. Yet what was painfully apparent, and was explained by locals, is what it really suffers from is having an old population with old people’s thinking that condemns even the most minor and obvious solutions out of hand. They are their own worst enemies. Tuggeranong is our Broken Hill.

If the idea is to tighten up to reduce sprawl, then why was the land out at Jerrabomberra not considered? If the sprawl is an issue it happened on Labor’s watch. Why is it that so many new blocks are sold off at the northern and north west tips of the ACT? Why are there so few medium/low density apartments going up only high density?

Wouldn’t building a fixed line out to the northern reaches of Canberra be going against the idea of building a centralised ACT? Connecting the central parts like Woden and Civic should be the goal.

Its not really the sprawl that’s the issue. Canberra has long had spread out places of work entertainment and residences. However the focus the last 10 or so years is to massively build out Civic as the hub. Around 5 years ago the Labor party even draw a nice big circle around Civic and said no development would happen outside this. However we’ve since seen numerous developments on the outskirts of town. With larger developments happening in all the major centres.
In spite of this civic still lacks critical mass and still seems like some socially awkward backwater.
Lack of parking or decent public transport has encouraged more fringe culture in the other town centres, paid parking on a weekend is a cruel joke. Much the same as the crazy idea to make the centre of town a construction pit.

Woden itself is a massive waste of space*. Its pretty much central Canberra geographically. A rail link between Woden and Civic would benefit both centres as well as provide a tourist attraction that would actually be useful to get around triangle. The line between Woden and civic is actually free of crossing and there are many places along the route to build major stops and develop (Cotter road).
Light rail in Woden would service most of the public transport users from Tuggeranong and Woden heading into civic and those in civic heading into Woden. I really can’t see someone in Gungahlin catching a bus to Gungahlin then transferring to bus to head to Woden or beyond.

The business case for it doesn’t stack up for where it is. The only way to make a profit is to increase rent along that strip, which defeats the purpose of making it more desirable? Why pay a premium for a light rail in high density living when you could just move to Sydney.

Labor can’t even make the buses work. Lost patronage over the years and still the costs of providing the service keep going up. The only way to make the buses work so it seems is to put paid parking everywhere.

*Whats the deal with Yarra Glen, Yamba drive? Why are the roads so disjointed. I know there was work years ago to realign Athllon drive with Callum street, but now there are more developments (police station and more high density apartments) which completely block connecting Yarra Glen and Athllon drive.

Planning on contesting the nearing election Gooterz? You’ve got my vote because you are the only one so far that has made any sense. But that isn’t what the electorate wants, is it?

11

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