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Paths for Yamba Drive

By johnboy 13 August 2013 28

yamba drive

Shane Rattenbury has announced new paths around the hospital:

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, today announced that the contract has been awarded to construct a shared path along Yamba Drive between the Canberra Hospital and Yarra Glen intersection to improve access and safety for pedestrians.

“Work will commence in September to build a 2 kilometre shared path that will provide a safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists on both sides of Yamba Drive that link the Canberra Hospital with the sharedpaths along Yarra Glen and Adelaide Avenue,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The Yamba Drive corridor has been identified as an important walking and cycling route for residents in the inner south who access the Hospital, as well as the nearby sporting fields and skate park.

“The path will also link with existing bus infrastructure along Yamba Drive allowing commuters to use the frequent bus services which service this route.

“The project will also see the addition of a pedestrian safety fence along the median of Yamba Drive to support the recently installed pedestrian crossing at the intersection with Bateson Street. This fence will guide people towards the safe crossing point and discourage informal crossings of Yamba Drive.

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Paths for Yamba Drive
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Postalgeek 9:25 am 15 Aug 13

Willoring said :

Oh, c’mon, Postalgeek – anybody can quote a statistic for anything, or rent a talking head economist to prove whatever you want.
Why not just kick the tin like everyone else? We all have bikes and cars (and trailers) and we all pay taxes. Nobody is special – not even us bike riders.

I don’t have the expertise or resources Treasury has, so I defer to them. But you don’t have to. You’re free to counter with whatever contrary stat or talking head economist you can find.

If rego meant cycle infrastructure was taken seriously and cyclists were given a solid network of direct, dedicated, physically segregated, trunk cycleways that had right of way over other traffic if dissected by subsidiary roads like any trunk road instead of on-road lanes and chopped up paths and congested shared paths, then fine, happy to pay more than I currently do. Is that what we’ll get if we pay extra in rego?

As it is, I ride on the shoulder of a road littered with debris with traffic passing me at 100kph less than two meters away from me and a white line on the ground separating us. I don’t think I need to pay more on top of what I already pay for that privilege, as well as the privilege of removing myself and my car from the road and a parking spot, and saving the economy $21 every time I do it.

Innovation 9:56 am 15 Aug 13

I reckon cycle paths would cost even less than peanuts to construct if the Government and contractors simply used excess road materials to continually top up and extend existing networks. Surely material orders for road base, blue metal, tar and concrete are not so precise that there is nothing left over. Where does the excess go now? I wonder how many driveways have been constructed with this stuff?

Willoring 6:05 pm 15 Aug 13

Oh dear, oh dear. Why do some bike riders get so upset when somebody suggests that a contribution to bike infrastructure may not be a bad thing? Is it because as we pedal along, at one with the environment, clean and green, we think we are somehow special and deserve special treatment from society?

I am pleased, Gasman, that you pay a large six sum of income tax. It is great that your training and hard work has resulted in a significant income for you, and that you pay your fair share of taxes. We should all pay a share based upon our capability.

But this does not mean that the taxes we pay will be spent on what we want. We elect politicians and they make the decisions and trade-offs, and inevitably (although you would never believe this when the promises are made at election time), they will not be spent as exactly you or I may want. But we all trust that they are spent for the benefit of society as a whole, even if for the individual, it may seem that they are not getting the benefit. We will keep voting for whoever’s spending priorities most agree with our own.

I personally find it ludicrous that Mr Abbott suggests the federal government should only fund roads. I would have thought that long ago, building expressways and road infrastructure was a dead end street. We need to invest in public transport infrastructure. I guess I will have to vote for someone other than the Coalition to see my taxes spent more wisely.

But nothing about how much tax you pay, Gasman, is relevant to my suggestion of a co-contribution. We do this throughout society, whether it be health (gap payments), public transport (fares), roads (tolls), etc. This is because we know any free resource will be abused and since we have scarce resources, this is one way of allocating resources.

So, for example, I do not catch buses. I can usually walk or ride to do whatever I want recreationally, and use my car or motorbike for longer distances (it is more convenient). So I personally get no benefit from my share of taxes spent on buses. But I still agree that money needs to be spent on buses and am happy for that money to be spent, because it is an important part of benefiting all of society and people in Canberra.

But that does not mean I believe people should not pay bus fares. Of course they should. Not the full cost – my goodness, we would have to charge – what? – $10 or more a ticket?? – but to find that right balance between encouraging people to use public transport and recognising that it does not come free and that users should pay a share of that cost.

What that share is, is determined by governments, trying to get the balance right. For bike riders, there is no balance. All of our bike infrastructure is provided free to users. I am suggesting a co-payment to recognise our use of these facilities just like all other members of society. We are not somehow special, in my view.

This small contribution should be hypothecated – that is, specifically and only spent – on bike infrastructure. Wouldn’t this be a good thing? The government could continue with its current spending and the additional funding would add to the infrastructure effort, perhaps encouraging more people to ride bikes. We both agree, Gasman, that that would be a good thing. Plus the added benefit through registration of being able to police that small percentage of bike riders who do not do the right thing.

I think, Postalgeek, that you might support such a co-payment if it was dedicated to bike path infrastructure. That is indeed what I suggest. And before anybody else jumps in, yes, there will be an administrative overhead, but let’s trust our efficient ACT public service keeps that to a minimum.

Sorry this has been long winded. I am new to this RiotACT thing.

BTW, Gasman, there has never been an implication in my argument that only those that pay should enjoy the benefits of infrastructure. I do not think for a moment that people with disabilities should may more tax – that suggestion is not logical, but is certainly extreme. FYI, I sit on the board of a disability organisation and freely give my time, even though I would prefer if my taxes actually fully supported people with disabilities as I would expect in a social democracy. Roll on the NDIS!

davo101 9:25 am 16 Aug 13

Willoring said :

Oh dear, oh dear. Why do some bike riders get so upset when somebody suggests that a contribution to bike infrastructure may not be a bad thing? Is it because as we pedal along, at one with the environment, clean and green, we think we are somehow special and deserve special treatment from society?

No it’s because no other class of road user is expected to directly contribute so why should cyclists?

gasman 11:26 am 16 Aug 13

Willoring said :

Oh dear, oh dear. Why do some bike riders get so upset when somebody suggests that a contribution to bike infrastructure may not be a bad thing? Is it because as we pedal along, at one with the environment, clean and green, we think we are somehow special and deserve special treatment from society?

I also said I have no problem with a co-payment or registration fee for bikes, if it will stop those car drivers from wingeing about how “cyclists don’t pay for roads”.

But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any registration fee (cars or bikes) pays for its infrastructure.

Car rego does NOT pay for roads. Car rego pays for the administrative costs of registering cars, and CTP pays some of the expense of the medical treatment of those people injured by cars.

Roads are paid for by general tax revenue, both Federal (income tax etc) and state (GST).

My beef is that far too little of my (and everybody’s) taxes are used to fund cycling infrastructure. If you drive a car, you can be pretty much guaranteed that no matter where you start from and where you want to go there will be a sealed road to get you there. On a bike, you have very little chance that there will a safe, comprehensive and efficient way of getting to your destination, because the cycle path system is extremely patchy.

I have worked at TCH for 20 years. There is no safe way of getting to TCH by bicycle. The last 2km of my journey follows Yamba drive, in an 80km/h zone.

There has always been parking problems at TCH. Many times I wrote to various health ministers that if they installed good quality cycle parking and added cycle lanes or paths to the hospital, many more people would cycle to TCH, and there would be less of a need for car parking.

Instead, the Govmint built a multi-story car park, at a cost of $41 million dollars. That $41 million is offensive for 4 reasons:

1. It would have cost far less (about $40 million less) to upgrade cycle access to the hospital
2. That $41 million came out of Canberra’s health budget. $41 million could pay for a lot of nurses, intensive care beds and other health facilities that Canberra sorely needs.
3. We as Canberrans have all paid this $41 million out of out taxes
4. The car park has simply encouraged more people to drive to TCH, and has not solved the parking problem – parking is still in short supply at TCH.

This is why I have been campaigning for bike infrastructure to TCH. Its cheap, its effective, its environmentally friendly, and it promotes health! Imagine….a hospital that promotes health.

Good bicycle infrastructure benefits everybody, not just cyclists.

gasman 11:41 am 16 Aug 13

I should point out that the $41 million the Guvmint spent on the TCH car park cost each and every Canberran about $200. (assuming about 200,000 tax-paying Canberrans)

Aeek 1:11 pm 16 Aug 13

davo101 said :

No it’s because no other class of road user is expected to directly contribute so why should cyclists?

Pedestrians are road users too(why else are they in the road rules), and very much path users.
Which would be even sillier.

Willoring 4:18 pm 16 Aug 13

Ah well, Gasman, I think we are both much on the same wavelength, but coming at it from different directions.
And no, I will not fall into that trap. I know road funding is far in excess of rego, etc. But I was talking about co-payments.
I understand your frustration at continuing spending on roads, carparks, etc. But for the great majority, cycling is not the answer. Distances in Canberra for most are just too far, coupled with rain, cold, etc. Better public transport coupled with paid parking (carrot and stick) is the way to go.
But, please, not a tram – just a waste of money when compared to busses. I dream of a fast metro – only cost six billion – the price of a couple of submarines – but I suspect it will remain a dream along with bicycle registration and no helmets on off-road bike paths. Ah well.
Best wishes to you.

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