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The ghosts of Constitution Avenue ride again

By 9 November 2013 19

constitution avenue

Mayor Rattenbury is out for his first Constitution Avenue Rodeo.

A stretch of road dominated by gravel car parks and bordered by Canberra’s oldest graveyard will, we are repeatedly promised, be transformed into the Paris of the South.

Anyway, here’s Shane’s stab at it:

Work is progressing on the upgrade of Constitution Avenue with design plans now finalised for the project, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, announced today.

“The long term vision for Constitution Avenue is to provide a vibrant, mixed-use, tree-lined grand avenue with enhanced public transport, cycling and pedestrian movement. This is an exciting redevelopment and the upgrade of Constitution Avenue will ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to support the visionary design,” said Mr Rattenbury

“Last year, the ACT Government released for consultation preliminary design plans for the road’s upgrade. Over 100 pieces of feedback were received from interested members of the community and key stakeholders which has been used to help finalise the design plans

“The upgrade, between Vernon Circle and Anzac Parade, will provide major public transport and infrastructure improvements along Constitution Avenue including a dedicated bus lane in each direction, bus priority at signalised intersections, a separated cycle path, improved pedestrian facilities including street furniture, on-street parking and lighting. The plans can also accommodate the possibility of future light rail along Constitution avenue.

“In addition, the character and visual amenity of the avenue will be enhanced through the delivery of a tree replacement program for some of the existing oak trees which are in advanced stages of decline.

“Established trees will be used to replace trees that need to be removed and an additional 229 new trees will be planted along the avenue. A central median will be created and planted with new oak trees and the verge on both sides of the road will receive significant landscape upgrades.”

“With design plans now finalised, early works for the project are scheduled to commence in December 2013. This will involved relocation of underground services, car park reconfiguration, some earthworks and removal of the trees. Major construction work is expected to commence in February 2014 and be completed by June 2015.”

concept drawing

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The ghosts of Constitution Avenue ride again
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magiccar9 8:05 am 12 Nov 13

JC said :

PS most visitors will be rather familiar with chip seal, it is used the country over, Canberra is NOT unique in this regards.

Yes, but Canberra is unique in that they do a half-assed job of it. No compacting of the gravel. No sweeping of the loose stones (at least until over a week later), and no quality control.

Weatherman 1:48 am 12 Nov 13

There was a term used to refer to the usage of trams in Canberra as “modal fetishism”, however, it would be the case that more people would prefer to ride in trams than in buses. Even if buses are cheaper to maintain on the road.

JC 10:30 pm 11 Nov 13

Jere13 said :

He forgot to mention that based on current practice the new Constitution Ave will be:

“Paved with the territory’s finest gravel that bathes the surrounding area in glorious tyre roar. Visitors to Constitution Avenue can even take a piece of Canberra home with them by picking up one of the many lose stones that are cast their way by passing cars”

I see you didn’t take my advice in another thread to go get some help about this issue you have with chip seal, it is really taking over your life.

For what it is worth and as mentioned in the other thread normally when they redo a road like this they use hot mix, so don’t think you need to worry yourself with chip seal on this road for another 10 years or so. Maybe by then the therapy will kick in and you won’t be stressing so much.

PS most visitors will be rather familiar with chip seal, it is used the country over, Canberra is NOT unique in this regards.

c_c™ 5:47 pm 11 Nov 13

That’s why Sydney sucks so bad; cars, parking, stuff all that post enlightenment thinking! Now they’re having to spend billions fixing it, like making George St a light rail and pedestrian zone. We’re just getting a head start on fixing the failed planning idea of the last century.

magiccar9 4:28 pm 11 Nov 13

Another plan to satisfy the greenies and hipsters who want bus lanes and pretty grass and trees? Why can they start actually planning for the masses and provide things like parking and decent roads. Instead we’re lugged with cycle lanes, bus lanes, and car lanes that no longer fit your average hatchback.
Just leave the damn road alone! If I want bench seats, trees, and open areas I’ll go to a f*ing park!

Skidbladnir 3:10 pm 11 Nov 13

JC said :

… the main idea is to develop BuBurleyriffin’s plan of a grand boulevard.

*mutters about names*
He called himself Walter Griffin. His colleagues called him Walter, and his underlings Mr Griffin.
Menzies called him Mr Burley Griffin, and unfortunately it stuck.

Jere13 1:15 pm 11 Nov 13

He forgot to mention that based on current practice the new Constitution Ave will be:

“Paved with the territory’s finest gravel that bathes the surrounding area in glorious tyre roar. Visitors to Constitution Avenue can even take a piece of Canberra home with them by picking up one of the many lose stones that are cast their way by passing cars”

tim_c 11:08 am 11 Nov 13

If Shane’s got anything to do with it, the whole place will be riddled with spine-jarring inverted pot-holes.

And is that a ghost-car I see parked on the footpath?

watto23 9:12 am 11 Nov 13

c_c™ said :

Canberroid said :

I don’t see why they want to spend so much on beautifying Constitution Avenue. There are no shops there, there’s Parkes Way between it and the lake, and it’s a ghost town on weekends.

a) there’s a flaw in your logic, in that if there’s no shops and no people at the moment, and nothing changes, that remains the status quo. If they upgrade it, then shop will open and people will come. Basically your post is akin to Scrivener walking to the top of a hill, saying there’s no people and no pollies so why bother building a national capital on these limestone plains. We’ll keep it in Melbourne.

b) have to understand this in the broader planning context. City to Lake sees Parkes Way being sunk, hence Constitution Ave will become the main east-west ground level link in that area. There’s also plenty of potential for medium density and even higher density infill along the route, not to mention a stadium potentially.

Whoa stop spreading visionary ideas. You might scare someone!

c_c™ 5:39 pm 10 Nov 13

Canberroid said :

I don’t see why they want to spend so much on beautifying Constitution Avenue. There are no shops there, there’s Parkes Way between it and the lake, and it’s a ghost town on weekends.

a) there’s a flaw in your logic, in that if there’s no shops and no people at the moment, and nothing changes, that remains the status quo. If they upgrade it, then shop will open and people will come. Basically your post is akin to Scrivener walking to the top of a hill, saying there’s no people and no pollies so why bother building a national capital on these limestone plains. We’ll keep it in Melbourne.

b) have to understand this in the broader planning context. City to Lake sees Parkes Way being sunk, hence Constitution Ave will become the main east-west ground level link in that area. There’s also plenty of potential for medium density and even higher density infill along the route, not to mention a stadium potentially.

HiddenDragon 4:58 pm 10 Nov 13

Paris of the South (another one) – will it be mandatory for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to curse in French – but of course!

JC 4:30 pm 10 Nov 13

Canberroid said :

I don’t see why they want to spend so much on beautifying Constitution Avenue. There are no shops there, there’s Parkes Way between it and the lake, and it’s a ghost town on weekends. They might as well have decided to make the Barton hwy a “vibrant, mixed-use, tree-lined grand avenue”.

Which came first the chicken or the egg? Maybe by spending some money it may actually attract more people, especially with a couple of high density housing developments alongside.

Canberroid 2:07 pm 10 Nov 13

I don’t see why they want to spend so much on beautifying Constitution Avenue. There are no shops there, there’s Parkes Way between it and the lake, and it’s a ghost town on weekends. They might as well have decided to make the Barton hwy a “vibrant, mixed-use, tree-lined grand avenue”.

laraeddy 10:45 am 10 Nov 13

JC said :

Masquara said :

Silly billies! This has nothing to do with providing an avenue for everyday Canberrans or even tourists. This is Shane Rattenbury taking the Jon Stanhope mantel, and spending Canberrans’ rates money on cosmetic enhancements to Constitution Avenue purely to appease the developers and help their sales along. There’s a very large apartment complex about to go up alongside, remember?

And that’s a bad thing?

PS the money ($47m IIRC) is coming from the Feds and the main idea is to develop Burley Griffin’s plan of a grand boulevard.

Indeed, JC – but I think you misunderstand the rules of the game. Basically, the idea is that whatever Shane Rattenbury (or Katy Gallagher or Simon Corbell – but especially Rattenbury, because the Greens are the ultra-evil) says, there are a couple of people poised to jump in with some vacuous, inane and dismissive nonsense that tries to discredit it – on the basis, I assume, that over time we will all start to think any idea this government has is silly and the sooner we get rid, blah, blah, blah. Merits of the case (or otherwise) have nothing to do with it. Criticising a Green for being pro-business is a new one, though.

The trouble is that you’ve only got to look over the lake and up the hill to see that it can work, sadly.

Also, they can’t spell – think you’ll find it’s ‘mantle’, Masquara, unless ya reckon Shane’s coming down your chimney soon.

JC 8:13 am 10 Nov 13

Masquara said :

Silly billies! This has nothing to do with providing an avenue for everyday Canberrans or even tourists. This is Shane Rattenbury taking the Jon Stanhope mantel, and spending Canberrans’ rates money on cosmetic enhancements to Constitution Avenue purely to appease the developers and help their sales along. There’s a very large apartment complex about to go up alongside, remember?

And that’s a bad thing?

PS the money ($47m IIRC) is coming from the Feds and the main idea is to develop Burley Griffin’s plan of a grand boulevard.

Masquara 6:51 am 10 Nov 13

Silly billies! This has nothing to do with providing an avenue for everyday Canberrans or even tourists. This is Shane Rattenbury taking the Jon Stanhope mantel, and spending Canberrans’ rates money on cosmetic enhancements to Constitution Avenue purely to appease the developers and help their sales along. There’s a very large apartment complex about to go up alongside, remember?

poetix 11:28 pm 09 Nov 13

Do you think that in Paris they ever refer to the development of a part of their city as it being turned into the ‘Canberra of the North’?

No, I don’t think so either.

Also, the ghost child with the ghost balloon is uber-freaky. Or should that be tres freaky? My computer hates accents, by the way.

maxblues 9:33 pm 09 Nov 13

New dedicated bus lanes you say? Are busses better and more cost effective than trams after all?

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