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What? You’re having a roundtable? Here’s the plan

By johnboy - 27 July 2009 16

In a masterful example of consultation Stanhope style today’s roundtable, supposedly to start the development of a Sustainable Transport Plan, has instead been used to announce a completed Strategic Public Transport Network Plan 2010-16.

    Through this plan the Government is looking to engage Canberrans on the future of our city and where they see the key public transport corridors – corridors for frequent services, which run 15 minutes or better during the peak and day period.”

    The Plan includes designs for Rapid, Frequent Local, Peak and Coverage services, where:

    — Rapid services are frequent and fast all day with services every 15 minutes or better and less stops, similar to the current inter-town bus routes;
    — Frequent Local services have many stops, serve continuous high-density areas, connect to rapid services at town centres and major centres, like the current services on Northborne Ave;
    — Peak Express are non-stop services from town centres to worksites, operating in peak commuter hours only, similar to the current Xpresso services; and
    — Coverage services are all-day service every 30-60 minutes, covering low-density areas where relatively low patronage is inevitable. They connect all suburbs to their nearest town centre.

    “The Plan also raises three key questions, which the Government is seeking the community’s input on,” Mr Stanhope said. “These questions go to what is the level of public transport services which our community expects in the future; whether the Frequent Network, that is the Rapid and Frequent Local services, is in the right place; and also how much Coverage service do Canberrans need and expect in the future?”

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16 Responses to
What? You’re having a roundtable? Here’s the plan
Pandy 11:11 pm 27 Jul 09

+1 tempestas

Tempestas 10:55 pm 27 Jul 09

Looking at the exec summary, the solution seems to be less frequent suburban routes, more routes on feeder roads and more “bus stations” on the street in Dickson, Erindale, Molongo, and a few other places, so I’m guessing the slow bus to the feeder road change to the feeder road bus, change again at the new “bus station” then at an old interchange then the reverse if you are not going to a town centre. So it might mean a cross town trip has 4 or 5 bus changes instead of two or maybe three.

So if the connections are as bad as currently, you will get to stand in non-sheltering “shelters” for 30 mins in a 60 min trip.

My guess is every block with 200metres of a “Feeder” road will get rezoned medium or high density to make it work.

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:26 pm 27 Jul 09

I wish they’d ban them from using the dreaded “comprised of”. brrr.

+11. I would of said the same thing myself for all intensive purposes.

NickD 9:37 pm 27 Jul 09

The basic problem is that Canberra was designed for car transportation – any public transport system which ventures into the suburbs is always going to be under-utilised and frustrating to ride on due to the distances involved. The current trend towards increasing Canberra’s population density is a very good idea for any number of reasons, not least that it will make public transport more viable.

Felix the Cat 9:22 pm 27 Jul 09

Pandy said :

And how to increase bus use: Increase parking to twice they are in todays real terms and place a cap on parking in the town centres. Smart move that. Not.

People need to be encouraged to use buses (one “s”) with cheaper fares and/or better (more) services. Jacking up the price of parking up or capping the number of available spots isn’t the right way to go about it IMHO. It’s just human nature for people to respond better to favourable things rather than negative.

housebound 8:23 pm 27 Jul 09

It’s a good question – some areas affected by the gradual loss of local services since 2004 will actaully lose services if this plan is to be believed.

It seems that if you live in far flung reaches of Belconnen, Weston and Tugeranong, you will need a car even more by 2031 than you already do.

I hope those outer-suburban bogans are all feeling really, really fit – because they will need their bikes once they can’t afford the petrol anymore. I guess it is sustainable, after a fashion.

Pandy 6:35 pm 27 Jul 09

Final decisions about light rail projects will await complex
decision-making processes involving many agencies, including the ACT
Government, the National Capital Authority, and the Commonwealth in its
various roles as regulator, funding source, and leading employer. By the
time this debate is resolved, crucial opportunities will have been lost to
help shape the city in a more sustainable way.
For this reason, this plan presumes bus-based services as the likely
services in each
corridor.

Why do I hear crickets from the light rail co-alition of late?

Also looking at the route map, seems that the network has been set-up so
that the local trams (orange line) line will never happen, as some of the
roads that they travel through actually have fairly steep gradients. I am
not so certain that local communities will now be pleased to know that
their homes in suburban areas that until now have not been slated for
medium density housing, will over night now be re-zoned to allow urban
consolidation. Good news for developers wanting to cash in I guess as it will give certainty that public transport will go past their door.

For the life of me I do not understand why large parts of, Belconnen and
Tuggeranong will not have a Frequent (orange) line.

And how to increase bus use: Increase parking to twice they are in todays real terms and place a cap on parking in the town centres. Smart move that. Not.

Horrid 5:44 pm 27 Jul 09

I do not believe that Stanhope et al are in any way serious about change.

We have heard it all before, and when it’s time to come up with the money for these grand ideas, as usual there won’t be any because it has been spent on freeways and car parks. One simple example- the new carpark at the Canberra Hospital- just this one project-costs more money than they will spend on walking and cycle paths/lanes over the next decade or longer.

The Stanhope government talks a lot about sustainable transport, but look at where the money goes and you can see how feeble thier commitment really is. They are totally car oriented and all the talk and tokenistic consultations doesn’t change this.

Gungahlin Al 5:31 pm 27 Jul 09

Curious that when the ACT has a structure of community councils in place to assist such stakeholder consultation, said community councils are not invited.

There’d need to be a substantial shift in approach for this new deal to warrant much more than a resubmission of the submission we did for the last inquiry in 2007, as that inquiry has amounted to nothing to date.

caf 4:51 pm 27 Jul 09

I honestly do not believe that they call for input and consultation with a blank white sheet of paper.

If all they brought to the table was a blank white sheet of paper, there wouldn’t be much need for elected representatives, would there?

jackal 4:49 pm 27 Jul 09

The plan released today is the ACT Strategic Public Transport Network Plan, which is more of a discussion paper than a plan looking towards 2031. If you’d read the link you would have seen the Sustainable Transport Plan 2010-16 does not yet exist, the Gov is seeking input into it before it is developed next year.

ant 4:17 pm 27 Jul 09

I wish they’d ban them from using the dreaded “comprised of”. brrr.

I suspect that, with many of these big proposals, when they call for input and consultation, the thing’s pretty much already shaped, or at least there’s a strong preference for a particular thing that is pretty-well what’s going happen.

Best the community gets to do is either to mount very vigorous opposition to the whole thing (that power station), or maybe they get to tweak a few bits that are tweakable or willing to be tweaked.

I honestly do not believe that they call for input and consultation with a blank white sheet of paper.

Tempestas 4:04 pm 27 Jul 09

Whilst the Xpresso’s are a great idea, they could do a little better than 3 each way for the longer hauls on the Parkway. The last one is not really late enough for realisitic usage and connections can be a bit hit and miss.

I must admit the changed Belco interchange arrangments has made me less motivated to use a bus that transits there.

We have a city of unusual design so we need a public transport system that deals with that, some kind of automated “around the suburbs” thing that fed a frequent bus-like vehicle on the inter suburb routes to town centres might work. The thing with Canberra is not that busses are unpleasant, but being stuck in a town centre waiting for a useful bus or being on an all stops through three suburbs is what turns a 20min car trip into an hour+ experience

fnaah 3:46 pm 27 Jul 09

Wait, didn’t we used to have this system? The 333 used to run every 5 minutes during peak commute hours, and every half hour at other times, and suburban routes ran every 15 mins during peak, or every hour offpeak.

1988 called, and wants its idea back.

caf 3:28 pm 27 Jul 09

Umm, that linked page says:

The Sustainable Transport Action Plan 2010-2016 will be comprised of a number of strategies, which are currently being developed:

So it’s not a done deal.

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