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Tram stop design – not exciting

By Paul Costigan 18 May 2017 25

There are not too many places that have tram (light rail) stops that are exciting designs. Most are functional and are usually simply places marked where you stand to catch the tram.

I remember being very impressed with some of the Metro stops in Los Angeles and Pasadena – some being designed for the location and many have public artworks that reflected the locality.

At some stops in Melbourne you can find yourself in the middle of the road with traffic wizzing past on both sides – and getting to these stops means crossing busy streets. Melbourne trams are fabulous – but their tram stops can vary a lot in the experience they provide.

The new stops in Canberra will mostly be on green spaces down the centre of the streets – so traffic should not be a problem – which means there is scope to be adventurous with the design.

Of course Canberra did have those iconic concrete cylinders for bus stops – some still exist but I think they are gradually being taken out. We got used to them and can now appreciate that they had more character that the standard metal and glass bus shelters that have been replacing them.

Last week the ACT Government announced that it was asking for feedback on the design for the twelve tram stops from Gungahlin to Braddon. Having read the article and done my best to interpret all the stuff on the NCA’s website – I think this means that it is to be the same design for all of these stops – presuming there is something different for Civic (yet to be disclosed).

If so, that puts a lot of significance on the design of these pieces of very visible infrastructure. It is going to be very important that they are designed as part of the entrance to Canberra along Northbourne – being a main entrance point to the National Capital.

And if they are to be seen all the way from Gungahlin to Braddon, the design should be something very distinctive that should become something that locals get to be proud of and visitors admire and take that photo to send onto others.

And just to be pedantic: The images as provided include lots of fully grown trees that soften the viewing of the design for the tram stops.

The reality will be that those new trees will be much smaller for many years. The tram stops will be very visible and very dominant for the decade as the trees mature to be as shown in these images. This is even more reason that the design has to be something special – not ordinary.

Below is a couple of the images of the designs – plus I have cropped and blown up the image to provide a clearer look at the proposed tram stop.

Partially enlarged below…

Partially enlarged below…

My reaction? They are not very interesting – in fact, they look very ordinary – not exciting – very bureaucratic basic – not something iconic or innovative – not something that says Canberra the bush capital – nor something that would become a subject for tourist photos.

They look as though they could be from any city – with nothing obvious that makes them local or even Australian.

The artist-designed panels look good (I am guessing from what I can see) but they do little for the overall design of these shelters.

The present design will provide very little protection during bad weather. This fault will discourage people from catching the tram on days of inclement weather. There is ample room for better shelter arrangements than has been provided by the design as published.

Again – when you take away the tall trees – they are nothing special.

I think we can do a lot better for something that will be a very significant part of the new tram line along the new Northbourne Avenue into the nation’s capital as well as being repeated all the way to Gungahlin.

My rating: 5 out of 10

I do urge you to make your own comment on this design.

Make a comment here on RiotACT and/or to go online to the NCA’s site where they have all the documentation – plus an email to use to lodge your comments.

This new tram stop design for the twelve stops is open for comment until 2 June 2017.

I look forward to seeing your feedback to this post.

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25 Responses to
Tram stop design – not exciting
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dungfungus 10:30 am 24 May 17

JC said :

dungfungus said :

It is important that the tram stops are protected from road traffic:

New you could be counted on to link to that story. The fact it is from the hearald sun says a lot really.

And ps a bus and truck colliding would produce much the same result.

But is wasn’t a bus, it was a tram.

The point I was making was that the tram shelters should be made to avoid vehicular traffic.

Also, tram shelters in the USA are attracting crime likes moths to a light so I assume there are panic buttons and 24/7 surveillance linked to a police station in the ones we are getting?

JC 9:32 pm 22 May 17

dungfungus said :

It is important that the tram stops are protected from road traffic:

New you could be counted on to link to that story. The fact it is from the hearald sun says a lot really.

And ps a bus and truck colliding would produce much the same result.

JC 9:28 pm 22 May 17

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

A post like the OP’s. lots of criticism, but no suggestion on how it could be better. And I am not a surprised considering your anti ACT Labor stance, you wouldn’t be happy with anything they did.

I’m not an architect or a designer.

But im a daily user of public transport – ACTION buses. I know what will work for users in terms of bus/tram stop design. That design is a croc.

But, as usual when there is criticism on here about the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t, certain posters leap to their defence – if only passively.

As Dungfungus observed recently, this forum is nowvery “left”.

Talk about missing the point. You don’t need to be an architect to look or understand the plans. They show detail that are not seen on the pretty pictures on this site. Detail like the wind blocks and all the other things that are attracting criticism here.

But yeah too much for the right to seek out facts. They like headlines and jump to their own, usually wrong conclusion from that.

dungfungus 10:55 am 22 May 17

Those trees in the artist’s impressions seem to have spiralling trunks. I haven’t seen eucalypti like that before. Must be the E.Screwu.

And where are the bicycle shelters? Come in Pedal Power, over.

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