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Light rail to rumble down Northbourne? Toot! Toot!

By johnboy 17 December 2011 77

northbourne avenue with train station, artist's impression

Simon Corbell has announced his thinking so far on a transitway between Gungahlin and Civic.

It appears very likely the median strip of Northbourne is going to get used for something. You might take as a clue that his office have sent out a lovely artists drawing of light rail arriving in Civic:

“The Government is considering a range of options that aim to take more people out of their cars and use public transport as well as cycle and walk down Northbourne Avenue and Flemington Road,” Mr Corbell said.

“Consideration is being given for people-friendly options that ensure the transit options fit in with land use, the public realm and other transport networks for this key transit corridor.

“This includes exploring how pedestrian and cyclist movement can be combined with transit and traffic options, and looking at making active street frontages a priority for Northbourne Avenue, reducing congestion and significantly improving travel times for public transport and car users.”

The corridor includes major residential, employment and retail areas and has high potential to see increased urban intensity to support – and be supported by – a higher quality transit service, either light rail or bus transit.

The Government is considering the possibility of light rail and bus transit accessing the Gungahlin Town Centre via Hibberson Street or a loop arrangement to Anthony Rolfe Avenue, closing Hibberson Street to car traffic.

The light rail or bus rapid transit stops would follow the same stopping pattern as the current Red Rapid, with additional stops to be considered for areas where there is high patronage potential.

The Flemington Road segment would likely have more widely spaced stops and higher travel speeds, while the higher density Northbourne Avenue section (particularly south of Antill St) could potentially have closer stop spacing, akin to a streetcar-like stopping pattern.

“The draft options show that another lane for mass transit could be added on the Northbourne Avenue segment of the corridor. Narrowing the median would allow segregated bi-directional cycle paths and separate shared paths to encourage more people to use this important boulevard,” Mr Corbell said.

“The Flemington Road alignment could use the space already reserved in the median, with single direction segregated pedestrian and cycle paths. Further work will continue to investigate key station locations at Dickson and Gungahlin Town Centres, building on the pedestrian focus of the master plans for both centres.”

They’ll be finalising options and putting them out for comment in the new year.

What’s Your opinion?


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77 Responses to
Light rail to rumble down Northbourne? Toot! Toot!
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shadow boxer 10:01 am 22 Dec 11

Gungahlin Al said :

shadow boxer said :

That would surprise me Al, you would need to source it somehow.

I don’t have anything against buses, I do have an issue when people think car drivers should have lanes removed or exorbitant parking to force them to catch them. Particulalry when it is based on an ideology or a fallacy like more roads mean more people drive cars.

Surprised me too. But it came straight from ACTION/Roads reps at one of our meetings over a year ago. But makes perfect sense when you stop and think about it. And the bus patronage has shot up since then.

YOU might be surprised to know that I have been recommending AGAINST removal of Northbourne traffic lanes – in the consultation sessions and directly to the minister just two days ago, plus in public forums. I believe there is a very high risk of losing support and therefore it becoming a political football. So apart from venting here, what have you done to communicate your concerns to the decisionmakers?

But, it has been proven through research that more road capacity does indeed increase usage.

What you need to get your head around is that wanting better PT is not an attack on those like you who have to combine multiple destinations and legs to daily trips thereby making PT impractical. As a person destined to always be driving, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t be wholeheartedly supporting moves for improved PT, because it can only lead to less pressure on the roads and therefore better driving conditions.

But like so many things that get caught up in political debates, it gets turned into a polar black/white right/wrong left/right simplistic argument. And as some wise person once said, for every complex problem there is a simple solution – and it is invariably wrong.

Yeh good post, have a good Christmas 🙂

shadow boxer 9:59 am 22 Dec 11

sigh, did you actually read our posts ?

The problem with Northbourne is the number of cross streets, traffic lights, driveways and the lack of slip roads for the buses. These things prevent it from performing its intended aim of distributing traffic into civic and State Circle in a timely manner.

The thing is if you fix these things the current PT is perfectly adequate and can run down the side streets unless it is an express service not making significant stops.

Corbell and Gungahlin Al both understand this and realise that closing a lane to cars simply isn’t going to solve the problem.

Hanksinatra 12:38 am 22 Dec 11

Bramina said :

shadow boxer said :

Until buses can make a more efficient fist of me dropping my kids at school, running the errands and going to work I will continue to do it in the most personally efficient way

I think this is a good point. People are pretty good at figuring out what costs them less. If public transport is more costly or more of a hassle, they’ll drive their cars.

If public transport is cheap, quick and abundant, people will leave their car at home.

Public transport is cheap. Cars are expensive you just haven’t done the math. Your car also impedes the quickness and abundence of PT.

Bramina 6:00 pm 21 Dec 11

shadow boxer said :

Until buses can make a more efficient fist of me dropping my kids at school, running the errands and going to work I will continue to do it in the most personally efficient way

I think this is a good point. People are pretty good at figuring out what costs them less. If public transport is more costly or more of a hassle, they’ll drive their cars.

If public transport is cheap, quick and abundant, people will leave their car at home.

alaninoz 10:21 am 21 Dec 11

Gungahlin Al said :

But like so many things that get caught up in political debates, it gets turned into a polar black/white right/wrong left/right simplistic argument.

I suspect that the logical reason for this – ignoring the numerous illogical ones – is that it comes down to money. What gets spent on one thing doesn’t get spent on something else. The pot of money is finite, so while it might not be a zero-sum game it is constrained by the size of the pot.

Gungahlin Al said :

And as some wise person once said, for every complex problem there is a simple solution – and it is invariably wrong.

And there are lot of complex solutions that are also wrong. KISS is usually a good starting point, if not the right end point.

Gungahlin Al 9:48 am 21 Dec 11

shadow boxer said :

That would surprise me Al, you would need to source it somehow.

I don’t have anything against buses, I do have an issue when people think car drivers should have lanes removed or exorbitant parking to force them to catch them. Particulalry when it is based on an ideology or a fallacy like more roads mean more people drive cars.

Surprised me too. But it came straight from ACTION/Roads reps at one of our meetings over a year ago. But makes perfect sense when you stop and think about it. And the bus patronage has shot up since then.

YOU might be surprised to know that I have been recommending AGAINST removal of Northbourne traffic lanes – in the consultation sessions and directly to the minister just two days ago, plus in public forums. I believe there is a very high risk of losing support and therefore it becoming a political football. So apart from venting here, what have you done to communicate your concerns to the decisionmakers?

But, it has been proven through research that more road capacity does indeed increase usage.

What you need to get your head around is that wanting better PT is not an attack on those like you who have to combine multiple destinations and legs to daily trips thereby making PT impractical. As a person destined to always be driving, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t be wholeheartedly supporting moves for improved PT, because it can only lead to less pressure on the roads and therefore better driving conditions.

But like so many things that get caught up in political debates, it gets turned into a polar black/white right/wrong left/right simplistic argument. And as some wise person once said, for every complex problem there is a simple solution – and it is invariably wrong.

Thumper 9:37 am 21 Dec 11

Of course, government departments could move out to Gungahlin thus lessening the amount of traffic into and through civic via Northbourne.

Surely this must have been examined?

Surely?

NoImRight 9:22 am 21 Dec 11

Hanksinatra said :

NoImRight said :

Yes this is really more of a Shelbyville idea.

True. Shelbyville already has trams. Lets get em!

And our lemon tree!

Hanksinatra 12:58 am 21 Dec 11

NoImRight said :

Yes this is really more of a Shelbyville idea.

True. Shelbyville already has trams. Lets get em!

Hanksinatra 12:52 am 21 Dec 11

shadow boxer said :

I know exactly what efficiency means, you need to take the green goggles off. You are taking my comment of

“People drive because it is the most efficient way for them to live their life and get to the places they have to be.”

out of context and twisting it to suit your argument.

Until buses can make a more efficient fist of me dropping my kids at school, running the errands and going to work I will continue to do it in the most personally efficient way

So shadow boxer I’m assuming you are a decent sort of cove but probably a bit busy for research so I have done some for you with regards to your “efficienciet ways”
On the assumption of your personal decency I make the assumption that these rights of yours are for everyone?…lets work on that basis.
Canberra has (I’m forced by my own laziness to work with old rythms) a population density of 1110 people per square mile. Bangladesh, a country has a density of 2850 people per square mile. I assume you wish that they would not be put out by the inconvenience of public transport any more than you. So instead of sitting back and making donations to charities and not getting involved why don’t we together come up with a strategic plan to save the people of Bangladesh the inconvvenient situation of not being able to drop their kids off at school.
It is a noble project we could do but not without being beset with problems from the outset. For a start, just as a city so designed to comfort the population of that country in the manner of life you and I think befitting, we would have to expand the borders of Bangladesh by 3 times its current size based upon the stats I have presented. Still there would be the problem again of arable land to feed the population…I’m not sure by how much more. I’ll leave that with you to start with. Its fair I shouldn’t have to do all the research on this project if we accept an accolade such as the nobel prize.
If that is too hard, China only has a density of 365 people per square mile only half that of our city, on the make, cashed up and with a vibrant car industry! Well…it is true that it is somewhat like Australia with vast amounts of desert, but at least smaller numbers in a certain regards and..importantly a well equiped armed forces with nuclear capability.
Anyhow the main thing is this. Lets show them how its done by sensible people.

Bramina 11:39 pm 20 Dec 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Bramina said :

This is an incredibly short-sighted analysis.

1/ Gungahlin is only half built. We have about 44,000 people – we will have within the next decade 90-100,000 people.

2/ The roads out barely cope with 44,000 people, and road congestion grows exponentially to population growth – it isn’t a straight linear relationship. While the other town centres already have higher populations, they also have pretty much most of the road network they need to support those populations.

3/ Your talk about generating more revenue in the other town centres only considers ticketing. What about increased value of land sales? Lots of land still to sell in Gungahlin. What about costs deferred or avoided? There are two sides to a ledger. The road construction costs to cope with the likely increase in Gungahlin vehicle use in the absence of a good PT solution could go close to breaking the already barely sustainable ACT Budget situation. We’re talking duplications for Gundaroo and William Slim, Horse Park Drive, Flemington Rd, Gungahlin Drive (the northern bit – yes it isn’t all 4 lanes even still!), Mirrabei and more.

Shadow Boxer: as usual, the world just isn’t as black andd white as you seem to think. No doubt you’d be surprised to find out that there are already more people travelling down Flemington Road on buses than in cars.

I’m not saying that they shouldn’t build light rail to Gungahlin, just that they should build it first to Belconnen, Woden and perhaps Tuggeranong.

NoImRight 4:23 pm 20 Dec 11

Yes this is really more of a Shelbyville idea.

missj 4:17 pm 20 Dec 11

if moving the bus lanes on northbourne to the middle lanes they would have to do thatto all the main bus ruotes, belconnen to civic to woden to tuggass to create a positive flow of traffic.

missj 4:04 pm 20 Dec 11

there is no point adding the light rail, when they can just move the buses. i think they should look at improving the road quality, and moving the buses to the medium strip would help that. has anyone seen the state of the interesection of northbourn and flemington ave? gunnas is only new but there is a huge amount of traffic.

they just did the whole my way thing so if they were going to do light rail they would have to join the my way fair ticket to that.

PA1 3:17 pm 20 Dec 11

shadow boxer said :

I know exactly what efficiency means, you need to take the green goggles off. You are taking my comment of

“People drive because it is the most efficient way for them to live their life and get to the places they have to be.”

out of context and twisting it to suit your argument.

Until buses can make a more efficient fist of me dropping my kids at school, running the errands and going to work I will continue to do it in the most personally efficient way

Talk about twisting, I have not mentioned the word bus once until now. The whole point of a light rail network is to connect the major centres with a rapid transit network allowing people the choice of a car instead of having no option but to have a car (or 2 cars for a family).

Cars are financial burdens with rego and insurance alone costing more than a year of public transport, and before you say that public transport is subsidised, remember that roads are subsided to a greater amount as the registration money does not come close to providing enough money.

Classified 2:35 pm 20 Dec 11

devils_advocate said :

shadow boxer said :

The petrol argument is equally silly, the vast majority of cars will be electric or hybrid in 20 years, there is ample oil in the ground to get us through.

Many are already switching to ethanol in the highest blend we can get (85 or above). Very resistant to detonation and the major fuel pump manufacturerings (detchwerks, sard, etc) are now making their pumps ethanol compatible. Now if only more servos would sell the good stuff.

I’ll be interested when they sell 98octane or higher ethanol.

shadow boxer 2:22 pm 20 Dec 11

I know exactly what efficiency means, you need to take the green goggles off. You are taking my comment of

“People drive because it is the most efficient way for them to live their life and get to the places they have to be.”

out of context and twisting it to suit your argument.

Until buses can make a more efficient fist of me dropping my kids at school, running the errands and going to work I will continue to do it in the most personally efficient way

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