Canberra’s public transport lobby is not on board with some of the proposed changes to the design of the new Woden Interchange.
While the Public Transport Association of Canberra (PTCBR) welcomed the addition of canopies to the interchange to give passengers better protection from the ACT’s weather extremes, it has criticised other less visible proposals that it says will create a more hostile environment for pedestrians and cyclists.
“Our representation to the original DA202138251 requested modified bus shelters to provide passengers with better protection from the harsh Canberra elements. We are pleased to see this recommendation actioned in this S197G amendment,” PTCBR says.
“We are, however, concerned about several proposed changes to the design of the new interchange that have not been identified.”
It accuses the government of deviating significantly from the original approved DA.
PTCBR’s submission to the amended development application says the government’s proposal to cut the number of trees originally planned for the interchange appeared to clash with the conditions of approval.
According to the amended DA, fewer trees are to be planted in the verges and median of Callam Street, as shown in the two figures from PTCBR’s submission.
PTCBR says the project had aimed to increase the amount of tree canopy cover by 30 per cent.
The government also proposes to remove the southern pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Bradley and Callam Streets and the demarcated cycle path on the eastern verge of Callam Street.
PTCBR says a change in the paving will also downgrade the quality of the public realm for large sections of Callam Street.
It says locally sourced stone paving with a bespoke pattern appears to have been replaced with plain concrete.
“PTCBR does not support these changes, which will produce a less accessible and pedestrian-friendly interchange,” the submission says.
“If the proponent wishes to make these changes, they should be required to lodge a separate DA amendment, containing detailed justifications for these substantial departures from the original approved DA.”
The amended DA also included new bike enclosures and toilets, plans to modify the bus platforms and replace eucalypts with deciduous trees.
Comment on the amended DA is open until 22 November.