The Green transport plan for Gungahlin

johnboy 22 June 2011 23

report cover screenshot

The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has announced the release of a discussion paper titled: “A Better Transport Solution for Gungahlin and Wider Canberra”:

The paper argues for a greater commitment to sustainable transport and critically analyses the Government’s approach to transport planning.

“The ACT Greens want to see real transport solutions – solutions that will create convenient, sustainable and equitable ways to get around Canberra,” Ms Bresnan said.

“We are arguing for investment in and prioritisation of a rapid, high capacity public transport network. This is the long term solution for bringing convenient, effective and sustainable transport to North Canberra.

“It is troubling that the Government’s arguments for building the Majura freeway are not standing up to scrutiny. The Government hasn’t assessed issues such as the benefits that quality public transport would have compared to a freeway. Nor has it properly assessed future traffic congestion on the road, the greenhouse gas emissions it will generate, or the impacts on Canberra’s urban form.”

Dr Paul Mees, one of Australia’s leading experts on urban public transport, backed the Greens paper, saying: “At a time when other Australian capitals are giving priority to public transport, Canberra’s planners seem trapped in a 1950s mindset. Canberra should be a model of what’s good in urban planning. A first-rate public transport system would cost less, and create greater travel time savings, than the proposed parkway — and that’s before we even consider the environmental benefits.”


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23 Responses to The Green transport plan for Gungahlin
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damien haas damien haas 11:25 am 29 Jun 11

The Greens paper is very well thought out and makes an excellent case for light rail. It was nice of the government to commission the research that was used in the Greens paper.

Of all the transport papers Ive seen in the last umpteen years – this is probably one of the easiest for the non transport inclined to read. Its not overlong, makes sound cases and presents sources for data used.

Im a little concerned at the mindset of some that it is EITHER light rail or Majura Rd upgrades. Both can be achieved. Majura Rd definitey needs upgrading but is that a higher priority than light rail from Gungahin to Civic? It depends on what the outcome being sought is.

‘Matters of public importance’ Issue 7-2011 reports that

“In moving his motion, Dr Bourke stated that the Majura Parkway was an important, strategic connection to the national freight network and will assist freights and vehicles bypass the central spine of Canberra.”

Clearly the main reason for Majura Rd becoming a Parkway being used is freight and the hope that Canberra Airport becomes a 24 hour airfreight hub for Sydney bound trucks. Is this a good use of territory money?

The ACT Govt is being quite cagey and careful in their wording on light rail, and I am yet to see an actual dollar commited from the Territory budget to any light rail engineering study which would be required for both Infrastructure Ausralia funding or actual costings if the Territory went it alone.

Damien Haas
Chair, ACT Light Rail

zippyzippy zippyzippy 9:25 pm 23 Jun 11

Snave81 said :

Couldn’t the Greens’ paper have done with a bit more detail on costings rather than just using figures out of context and which appear lower to try and push the case of light rail over the Majura Parkway?

Putting the fact that the figures are 7 years old aside, to get the $86 million price for the Gungahlin to Civic route, you would also have to pay for the following at the same time:
– Belconnen route $96 million,
– Tuggeranong route $154 million,
– Kingston route $89 million.

And these figures were only for track work. If you wanted the actual light rail vehicles and to pay for things like depots, surveys, urban design and project management, that was another $463 million.

So the $86 million Gungahlin route was part of a $890 million cost at January 2004 prices.

Just looking at this bit as well. To be fair, the paper does point these facts out. The problem I suppose is that it would pretty speculative for the greens to try and put a new cost on all of these things themselves. I think the points they make about all of the ongoing savings to the city and to people from light rail because of things like better land use, avoiding pollution etc are all very valid. These environmental options really save money in the long run.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 5:33 pm 23 Jun 11

BicycleCanberra said :

puggy said :

There is no mention of the word “bicycle” in relation to Majura in that paper either (which is what I am personally looking for).

What you’ll get is a wide shoulder with no physical protection at a speed limit of 100km/h like on the Monaro Highway. A crap cheap solution like the other on road cycle lanes on ‘high speed high volume roads’.http://vimeo.com/6271307.

+1

It continues to vex me that, even though all parties would like to see cyclists and cars separated by more than a white line, separate cycle lanes are not a new concept, and that the government likes to crow about the money it sinks in cycle infrastructure, planners will not even put so much as bumps on the dividing line in all new road construction.

Snave81 Snave81 5:00 pm 23 Jun 11

Couldn’t the Greens’ paper have done with a bit more detail on costings rather than just using figures out of context and which appear lower to try and push the case of light rail over the Majura Parkway?

Putting the fact that the figures are 7 years old aside, to get the $86 million price for the Gungahlin to Civic route, you would also have to pay for the following at the same time:
– Belconnen route $96 million,
– Tuggeranong route $154 million,
– Kingston route $89 million.

And these figures were only for track work. If you wanted the actual light rail vehicles and to pay for things like depots, surveys, urban design and project management, that was another $463 million.

So the $86 million Gungahlin route was part of a $890 million cost at January 2004 prices.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 4:45 pm 23 Jun 11

puggy said :

BicycleCanberra said :

puggy said :

How does light rail down Northbourne help those going to Barton, Russel and further south?

Obviously you didn’t read the full paper as the light rail link would also go to Russell then Barton and onto the Kingston train station.

Eventually. In any case, can you really expect the entire north of Canberra to hop onto one line in the morning? And what about further south?

It may surprise you to know that those few buses you see zipping past in the Flemington Road bus lane already carry as many passengers as do the massive daily jam of cars.

Stacks more would use a rail service because it would be way faster – no getting caught in the jam on Northbourne, and a lot more comfortable. But they don’t all have to use it to make driving a whole lot nicer for those who must drive.

Innovation Innovation 4:36 pm 23 Jun 11

Light rail would be great if it has priority over or bypasses traffic, carries more passengers and/or is driverless. But, if the Gov’t already has difficulty running ACTION properly, how is introducing an extra mode of transport going to help? Watching half empty buses playing tag on Northbourne Avenue is just one example of the waste.

If the Greens want credibility for consideration of light rail proposals etc I think that they should earn it. Why not give a Green responsibility for trying to improve ACTION with existing funding first?

puggy puggy 3:58 pm 23 Jun 11

BicycleCanberra said :

puggy said :

How does light rail down Northbourne help those going to Barton, Russel and further south?

Obviously you didn’t read the full paper as the light rail link would also go to Russell then Barton and onto the Kingston train station.

Eventually. In any case, can you really expect the entire north of Canberra to hop onto one line in the morning? And what about further south?

BicycleCanberra BicycleCanberra 3:25 pm 23 Jun 11

puggy said :

There is no mention of the word “bicycle” in relation to Majura in that paper either (which is what I am personally looking for).

What you’ll get is a wide shoulder with no physical protection at a speed limit of 100km/h like on the Monaro Highway. A crap cheap solution like the other on road cycle lanes on ‘high speed high volume roads’.http://vimeo.com/6271307.

BicycleCanberra BicycleCanberra 3:13 pm 23 Jun 11

puggy said :

How does light rail down Northbourne help those going to Barton, Russel and further south?

Obviously you didn’t read the full paper as the light rail link would also go to Russell then Barton and onto the Kingston train station.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 3:06 pm 23 Jun 11

puggy said :

Gungahlin Al said :

The bulk of the traffic problems [Majura Road] are in the mornings…

As I have a partner who takes that road every day, I can confidently say that this is incorrect and neither is the congestion limted to the southern end of the road. Having now read the paper, I’m still not completely convinced. I think light rail and Majura are solutions to different problems. There is no mention of the word “bicycle” in relation to Majura in that paper either (which is what I am personally looking for).

I also think it’s a little cute for the Greens to be arguing that the GDE hasn’t improved traffic congestion problems when it’s not really even finished.

Fair ’nuff and thanks for the feedback. Noted for future discussion

puggy puggy 2:03 pm 23 Jun 11

Gungahlin Al said :

The bulk of the traffic problems [Majura Road] are in the mornings…

As I have a partner who takes that road every day, I can confidently say that this is incorrect and neither is the congestion limted to the southern end of the road. Having now read the paper, I’m still not completely convinced. I think light rail and Majura are solutions to different problems. There is no mention of the word “bicycle” in relation to Majura in that paper either (which is what I am personally looking for).

I also think it’s a little cute for the Greens to be arguing that the GDE hasn’t improved traffic congestion problems when it’s not really even finished. And refering to roads with two lanes in each directions as freeways when comparing them to US roads isn’t credible. No one is suggesting multi lane spaghetti flyovers ala Dallas.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 1:00 pm 23 Jun 11

puggy said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Interesting to read the Greens costings in this paper – shows just how affordable it really is compared to road building.

But I am worried about what I am hearing from them regarding Majura Parkway. From what I understand, it’s light rail instead of Majura Parkway. If they really think that Majura Parkway is a parking lot because people take that route into the city, then there is a worrying lack of understanding. How does light rail down Northbourne help those going to Barton, Russel and further south?

Really, I just want both, in my lifetime preferably. Also want Horse Park duplicated before Throsby and Kenny go in.

You don’t have to read too far into their paper to see that is not the case. They were proposing targeted upgrades of Majura. Chop the Brand Depot deviation and roundabouts out, allow southbound passing lanes etc. The bulk of the traffic problems are in the mornings, so that would help a lot. Extending the rail to the airport would be the next logical step.

puggy puggy 11:07 am 23 Jun 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Interesting to read the Greens costings in this paper – shows just how affordable it really is compared to road building.

But I am worried about what I am hearing from them regarding Majura Parkway. From what I understand, it’s light rail instead of Majura Parkway. If they really think that Majura Parkway is a parking lot because people take that route into the city, then there is a worrying lack of understanding. How does light rail down Northbourne help those going to Barton, Russel and further south?

Really, I just want both, in my lifetime preferably. Also want Horse Park duplicated before Throsby and Kenny go in.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:30 am 23 Jun 11

Gungahlin Al said :

…similar to what I talked about in the Alistair Coe post a week back…

Here: http://the-riotact.com/alistair-coe-decries-the-greens/47575#comments

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:28 am 23 Jun 11

JC said :

Oddly enough Strasbourg has a lot in common with Gungahlin, so maybe the greens are onto something. If ever you can make it to Strasbourg get any of the tram lines to their suburban extremities and you will see pretty much the same people you see in Gungahlin or the depths of Tuggeranong! Plenty of yoffs with bugger all to do except have kids.

Oi! Clearly you haven’t been out to Gungahlin all that much. With the amounts the ACT Government now charge us for land, I can assure you there are very few of us sitting around doing nothing. Dual income households abound – just to keep the mortgage stress in check.

I remain convinced that light rail is a better way, and the usual arguments about “not dense enough” do not stand up to the simplest scrutiny. Interesting to read the Greens costings in this paper – shows just how affordable it really is compared to road building. They put together a good paper and a balanced position here, similar to what I talked about in the Alistair Coe post a week back. But Liberals and Labor voted together to kill the intent at the starting gate. In fact they did a bit of that voting together stuff yesterday…

Maybe we can still push the rail solution along though. We’ve got Simon Corbell coming to our meeting on 10 August, so we’ll talk directly about whether a changed stance from the Government is really happening.

Watson Watson 7:34 am 23 Jun 11

Watson said :

It is very hard to get me onto a bus, mainly because of the long waits at bus stops, the long and windy routes and them being slower than the car because of the lack of bus lanes. From where I live now, I’m faster riding the pushie than taking the bus even.

But it looks like I’ll be moving to Gungahlin at some stage and I could definitely be convinced to get onto that!

Winding, not windy!!! Though the latter could be a problem too…

Watson Watson 7:30 am 23 Jun 11

It is very hard to get me onto a bus, mainly because of the long waits at bus stops, the long and windy routes and them being slower than the car because of the lack of bus lanes. From where I live now, I’m faster riding the pushie than taking the bus even.

But it looks like I’ll be moving to Gungahlin at some stage and I could definitely be convinced to get onto that!

JC JC 10:14 pm 22 Jun 11

zippyzippy said :

That train picture looks pretty great. I can imagine that thing zipping down Northbourne Avenue full of Gungahlin folks.

That tram is a Eurotram in Strasbourg France. Sydney has 7 Variotrams that look completly different but are very similar as they were designed and built by the same company (ADtranz) at the same time.

Oddly enough Strasbourg has a lot in common with Gungahlin, so maybe the greens are onto something. If ever you can make it to Strasbourg get any of the tram lines to their suburban extremities and you will see pretty much the same people you see in Gungahlin or the depths of Tuggeranong! Plenty of yoffs with bugger all to do except have kids.

Leinna Leinna 5:15 pm 22 Jun 11

It would be hard to do anything as the opposition…

zippyzippy zippyzippy 4:13 pm 22 Jun 11

Chop71 said :

The Greens have a long history of talking about things but what have they actually introduced? We have been talking about light rail since I first moved to Canberra in 1990 (and prob well before that too).

Although the pic looks great, till I actually see it WORKING, it’s just more hot air from the greens (making them look busy).

Well, they haven’t been in government though.

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