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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!
Fliponout 12:49 am 18 Dec 11

I’am So sick of this Bloody Government and It …think Tank and Viability Studies …I have been a Labour supporter for over 30 years and I’am SO SO SICK OF THE “BS” that this one come up with
The amount of $$$ wasted of these Visibility studies is a load of crap you could have run the hole of Canberra on light rail with the money wasted on visibility studies then they do a visibility study on the study .
LABOR get of your Arse in to gear and start doing the things that the People of Canberra Want and need
PLEASE KATIE AND ANDREW don’t become another Jon Stanhope

schmeah 10:40 pm 17 Dec 11

jase! said :

put a single lane + blke lane down the middle of the median between the rows of trees (a few might have to go) and run busses down them, no overhead wires, no massive 3 ring circus. make it so it flows tidally, traffic going against the peak can stay on the current lanes.

+1 .. the buses on Northbourne are a hazard, there is no slip lane for them to pull in to and they pile on to each other every morning. Between them and the cyclists, it can be scary in peak hour traffic. I certainly think the median strip should be used for cyclists and buses .. a light rail in the middle will just be another means to cognitive overload for other road users .. get the buses and cyclists off the main drag and let them travel freely through the strip leaving cars with an otherwise unhindered trip on Northbourne. Everyone’s happy.

puggy 10:33 pm 17 Dec 11

gooterz said :

Why Gunners? didn’t people choose to live out there because it was far from everything?

I don’t get this. In the last week I’ve mentioned to a few people that I ride from Harrison to ANU every day and they can’t believe I “ride that far”. When I asked how far their rides were from Hughes and Weston to ANU, for example, it was 11-12km. My ride? 12.5km.

Henry82 10:28 pm 17 Dec 11

Why not just tarmac down the middle of northborne, throw in some special lights so they get priority and use the current bus service?

thatsnotme 9:57 pm 17 Dec 11

Hosinator said :

I’m all for it, but to make it work they will have to:

– Ensure the services are frequent. About every 5 to 8 minutes apart at peak times and up to every 15 minutes apart at other times; and
– Make parking in Canberra insanely expensive, about $50 to $75 a day should do it.

So to ensure the success of a light rail service from Gungahlin, we need to make parking in the city prohibitively expensive for everyone in Canberra, regardless of whether the light rail option is available to them or not?

PantsMan 9:15 pm 17 Dec 11

An election a year away. Right on time. But hasn’t Corbell been working on this for 10 years?

Hosinator 9:03 pm 17 Dec 11

I’m all for it, but to make it work they will have to:

– Ensure the services are frequent. About every 5 to 8 minutes apart at peak times and up to every 15 minutes apart at other times; and
– Make parking in Canberra insanely expensive, about $50 to $75 a day should do it.

damien haas 8:25 pm 17 Dec 11

ACT Light Rail are pleased that light rail is being considered as an ‘option’, but continue to remind readers that the FAQ for this project sets conditions that mean that the ACT Government actually endorsing light rail is unlikley.

It should also be made clear that numbers and reports matter very little, ultimately the decision to select light rail over buses will be a political decision.

Instead of yet another cost benefit analysis, the government should be conducting a proper engineering study. This would provide the true costs of building a light rail route from Civic to Gungahlin, and more importantly, would meet the guidelines that Infrastructure Australia have for ‘shovel ready’ projects.

More on this at our blog http://www.actlightrail.info/ or facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/actlightrail/

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

Martlark 5:06 pm 17 Dec 11

Toot Toot? Don’t you mean ‘DING DING’!

gooterz 4:51 pm 17 Dec 11

Why Gunners? didnt people choose to live out there because it was far from everything?
If anything they should be planning it for monoglo because that is currently in the build phase and light rail would be easy to adapt to the plans

And pleanty more other routes would benefit.

MJay 4:46 pm 17 Dec 11

It’d be nice if they fixed the public transport network to all the other parts of Canberra too… Northbourne and Gungahlin are but a minuscule part of the problem… No doubt they’ll worry about Molonglo AFTER it’s be built.

Plenty of space in Canberra to implement transit routes… Plenty of space down Belconnen way…

watto23 4:40 pm 17 Dec 11

The problem i see, is the trams/buses will still be stopped at traffic lights. People don’t catch public transport in canberra because its quicker to drive. This is really what the light rail group should be pushing as a reason for it, however if it doesn’t bypass the current traffic then there is no point.

Although i’m all for trialling dedicated bus lanes down the median strips, with train stop style stops.

steveu 4:25 pm 17 Dec 11

I think this is a puppet show to be honest with you to keep people thinking they are doing something about public transport in Canberra.

jase! 1:53 pm 17 Dec 11

they are so determined to make this hard (and expensive) for themselves

put a single lane + blke lane down the middle of the median between the rows of trees (a few might have to go) and run busses down them, no overhead wires, no massive 3 ring circus. make it so it flows tidally, traffic going against the peak can stay on the current lanes.

the problem is this is probably too easy a solution and not announcement/grand opening worthy

bd84 1:53 pm 17 Dec 11

Lots of planning, whether the full plan will ever happen is another story. It looks like there are some good ideas coming, also some bad ones, hopefully they will get weeded out.

Some of the northbourne priority measures could be implemented now, but TAMS cant manage traffic to save themselves. They also continue to propos to keep the ridiculously close stops on northbourne, which is a reason why the current bus network is tediously slow when buses stop every 100-200m.

They need new ideas, not recycling the old ones.

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