2 September 2008

Moving the heart of the city south to Vernon Circle

| johnboy
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For all the Inner Northicans employed in the Parliamentary Triangle Vernon Circle is just a part of the trunk road which gets them to work. Northbourne turns into Vernon Circle which becomes Commonwealth Avenue.

This admirable and functional arrangement is, it seems, at threat from our beloved leaders who see an exciting re-development opportunity.

The Canberra Times’ John Thistleton reports that Vernon Circle is to become the glittering heart of a new city.

    A plan to shift the municipal heart of Canberra to City Hill will dramatically slow traffic between Northbourne and Commonwealth avenues.

    A development plan for Section 63, the huge car park Leighton Properties and Mirvac bought for a record $92 million last year, proposes re-routing through traffic from Vernon Circle to London Circuit.

There’s lots of other in-vogue development-speak in there. Frankly I’m amazed we ever managed to get by with the retail space we had three years ago when I look at all these endless expansions.

For mine I like that City Hill is home to possums and copulating teenagers. I’m highly resistant to changing that.

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Good idea! Maybe we could pave it with cobbles, and put a big arch in the middle.

Keep in mind that the proposals for diverting through traffic on to London Cct would involve making it a one-way circular road, four or five lanes wide.

Holden Caulfield8:56 am 03 Sep 08

I’m concerned about the likely traffic stuff ups, especially as I drive through Vernon Circle every day on the way to work.

Apart from that, the idea seems reasonable enough, so long as there is actual demand for the development.

captainwhorebags7:44 am 03 Sep 08

Upgrade Clunies Ross and Ballumbir/Corranderk all to improve the flow around the city area. Get the GDE to four lanes and link it to the Federal Highway, upgrade Barry Drive and Macarthur Ave to get traffic quickly out of the city on to the GDE. Make Majura Ave 4 lanes (is this already planned?).

Northbourne Ave between Barry Drive and Parkes Way become low traffic area (reduce to 2 lanes each way) with more pedestrian/cycling amenities, green space and cafes.

It’s a big package of work but long term planning is what’s needed here.

There was some group put together to look at all these ideas a while back, I noticed because Airport Snow was involved (so I smelled a rat).they were eyeing City Hill to work out how it could be made to turn a buck.

even longer ago, there was a proposal to make a city ring-road, but seeing eastern development, I don’t think they could do that now. The way Northbourne chops civic in bits is a serious problem. a tunnel would fix this, but the price would be beyond the local gov’t, I fear.

City Hill doesn’t seem to have much of a point other than being a rather large roundabout that in all honesty unnecessarily slows the north and south traffic and that has a flag pole in the middle. The most suitable redevelopment is to put a tunnel under and rip up the roads around for any use they can think of. Diverting traffic onto London Circuit would be absolute stupidity, it’s bad enough along there already with all the traffic lights, that a lot of people pay no attention to anyway.

Section 63 will be good eventually with the proper parking, however they government will need to establish alternative parking before allowing building to begin on that site or the city will become absolute parking chaos. But then this government jumps into everything before thinking then tries to cover its ass later.

In some ways city hill is a waste of space, but by the same token the roadway through there is essential. So unless a tunnel is put in like AG said there are no other realistic options. And pumping traffic into London Circuit is not a realistic option. Bloody developers.

mmmm the only way this will work is if they bite the bullet and put a 6 lane tunnel underneath City Hill. Then yes – do something (anything) to join the two sides of the city.

captainwhorebags11:35 am 02 Sep 08

There certainly is something appealing about Melbourne-like city laneways, hidden parks and green space for lunches or “speakers corners” and open air market areas. Avoid concrete wind tunnels like Garema Place & City Walko seem to be on some winter days.

Linking it in with the rest of Civic is one challenge, not ballsing up the traffic arrangements for what is a very highly utilised section of road is another.

As for City Hill, wasn’t that supposed to be the Palais de’Sonique? I remember seeing grand plans to have traffic go underground and a shiny new Assembly building on top. Probably with death rays aimed at Capital Hill.

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