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Woden Contractors get the nod to expand Parkes Way

By johnboy - 13 May 2012 26

Chief Minister Gallagher has announced she’s handed over the contract for the $13 million Parkes Way widening to Woden Contractors:

“The $13 million Parkes Way widening project will benefit all Canberrans and see the construction of a third lane from Glenloch Interchange to Edinburgh Avenue, which will increase the capacity of the road and in turn improve traffic flow and road safety,” the Chief Minister said.

“This is an important road upgrade project that will improve travel times for those from the south of Canberra who currently use the Tuggeranong Parkway and those from the north and west, who use William Hovell Drive and the GDE to get onto Parkes Way.

“Parkes Way carries over 35,000 vehicles a day and with increased residential development in the Molonglo Valley and Gungahlin, the volume of traffic is forecast to increase to 40,000 vehicles a day by 2016,” the Chief Minister said.

The project will also involve improving the Parkes Way on-ramp to Commonwealth Avenue by increasing the length of the merging lane with London Circuit southbound traffic. New street lighting will also be installed along the route.

Existing lanes will stay open but with reduced speeds.

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26 Responses to
Woden Contractors get the nod to expand Parkes Way
Erg0 3:01 pm 14 May 12

johnboy said :

Inner north to Civic I always choose bike over car unless I plan to bring a bulky package back because the parking is such a pain.

The system works!

johnboy 2:51 pm 14 May 12

Inner north to Civic I always choose bike over car unless I plan to bring a bulky package back because the parking is such a pain.

gasman 2:49 pm 14 May 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

Which North American cities are you talking about?

I lived for 2 years in Vancouver, Canada, with multiple and extensive visits to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. All 4 cities have excellent public transport systems. Vancouver is now spending far more money on light rail, cycle ways and busses than on roads. In fact, it is shutting down road lanes for cars, and converting them to cycle/bus/rail lanes. It has achieved a 7% reduction in car use in the city despite a large increase in population. The community is largely very supportive of these moves.

Portland calls itself the cycle capital of the USA. It mayor is now spending 5% of all road infrastructure on a cycle system. Not because he is a hippy, but because it makes good business sense. A small investment in cycleways returns big in less infrastructure for parking, a healthier population (less spending on healthcare), a more liveable, attractive, tourist-friendly city.

In San Francisco and Seattle, similar changes are underway, though not as dramatic.

In all these cities, bus, rail and cycle use is far higher than I see in Canberra. It is cheaper and often quicker to go by bus/cycle/rail in these cities than to go by car. I don’t think that can be said for any trip within Canberra.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Also, how is sitting in a tram, bus or monorail any less healthy than sitting in a car, especially when a trip into central Canberra from the suburbs takes around an hour or more by bus but only 15 minutes in a car?

Canberra’s bus service is underfunded and badly implemented. Therefore, inadequately used. By using a well-planned bus/train/tram system, and certainly on a bike, you get more exercise, you meet with more people in your community. You interact, read, relax. Maybe even chat. You save money and use less of the world’s resources. All this is healthy.

Furthermore, less money spent on car infrastructure means more money spent on other things. Canberra Hospital recently spent $41 million on a multi-level car park. That $41 million came out of the health budget, and could have paid for hundreds of nurses, ICU and ward beds, surgical suites etc. Instead, it got a car park and a 5 day wait for emergency surgery. Car infrastructure spending takes money away from health.

wildturkeycanoe said :

If you are talking about the health aspects of riding a bike vs car [Oh-oh, let’s not open that kettle of fish!], I put it to you that sitting in a car on a 2 degree winter’s morning with heavy drizzle or -3 and heavy fog cannot be healthier than keeping dry in a comfortable 20 degree heated cabin.

Not sure how you come to that conclusion. I put it to you that sitting in a car, even at 20 degrees, is far less healthy than riding a bike on a -2 degree morning. My heart is pounding by the time I get to work after a 45 minute ride, having metabolised a couple of thousand kilojoules and boosted my immune system. Over the same distance, a car driver’s heart is turning to lard. We have 2 sorts of people on my operating table – those who drive cars and those who have been hit by them.

wildturkeycanoe said :

As for de-centralised work options, have you seen what’s going on at Majura Park, the airport precinct or Gungahlin’s new government offices. These are being not only looked at but also implemented. Yet, Majura Park seems to have created exactly the problem it is supposed to eliminate due to the lack of decent transport options and remoteness to suburbia. Tuggeranong Office park and the Centrelink building opposite is exactly what de-centralising is about. Only problem is I wonder how many of the people working there live in Weston Creek, Belconnen or Gunners?

Fully agree. A decentralised city needs to be planned well – housing, shopping, schooling, working and transport all integrated. The original decentralised Canberra began in the 1970’s and 1980’s with the creation of Woden, Belconnen and Tuggeranong. Pretty well done back then. The newer suburbs are simply dormitories – places people go to to sleep before they hop in their cars to drive to where they work.

wildturkeycanoe said :

and you may want to update to the 2012 edition of “Rioting for Dummies

I appreciate a well-structured argument, but your last sentence is inappropriate.

PoQ 10:51 am 14 May 12

JC said :

…when William Hovell was the exit rather than the straight, even to this day I often see cars indicating right at this point…

You saw a Canberran using their indicators?

“Photos, or it didn’t happen”

wildturkeycanoe 10:26 am 14 May 12

gasman said :

Translation:

We are thinking like a 1950’s north American city – where the car is king, and we MUST funnel as many cars as possible into the city. Where they will park and what common land we must sacrifice for car parking we will think about later – there is still plenty of vacant land around the lake to convert. We will not think about the fact that this will ease traffic on this short stretch for a few years until it too fills to capacity and become gridlock. We will not think about or fund alternative transport, nor will we think about decentralised work options. We will also not think about whether we are making the city a nice place to be. We will not think about the negative health aspects of sitting in a car for much of our lives. We will ignore the fact that many of those north American cities who previously thought like this are now changing their ways and instituting an integrated transport system combining public transport, cycleways, decentralised work places, and opening up city spaces for people.

Which North American cities are you talking about? A quick search on the web revealed the following cities – Arlington [pop 365,000], Ann Arbor [pop 344,791], Anaheim [pop 336,000], Anchorage [pop 291,000] and Bakersfield [pop 347,000] do NOT have comprehensive integrated public transport systems. They are like us and rely on buses and major freeways to get from point A to point B.
These are cities similar in size to Canberra, but with the advantages of economies strong in oil, industry, tourism and the like. Do we have a stadium that can seat 109,000+??
Do you have any statistical or factual information to back your generalisations?
Also, how is sitting in a tram, bus or monorail any less healthy than sitting in a car, especially when a trip into central Canberra from the suburbs takes around an hour or more by bus but only 15 minutes in a car? If you are talking about the health aspects of riding a bike vs car [Oh-oh, let’s not open that kettle of fish!], I put it to you that sitting in a car on a 2 degree winter’s morning with heavy drizzle or -3 and heavy fog cannot be healthier than keeping dry in a comfortable 20 degree heated cabin.
If you have a better way to spend $13,000,000 that achieves an improvement to the traffic problems of Canberra, let’s hear them, I’m sure the government will listen. In the US, light rail costs average $35 million per mile as opposed to $3.5 million per lane/mile for freeways. [source – Wikipedia, light rail costs] I can see why our government with limited funds has chosen the option that is a tenth of the cost.
As for de-centralised work options, have you seen what’s going on at Majura Park, the airport precinct or Gungahlin’s new government offices. These are being not only looked at but also implemented. Yet, Majura Park seems to have created exactly the problem it is supposed to eliminate due to the lack of decent transport options [single lanes from north, east and south] and remoteness to suburbia. Tuggeranong Office park and the Centrelink building opposite is exactly what de-centralising is about. Only problem is I wonder how many of the people working there live in Weston Creek, Belconnen or Gunners?
I hope these facts help you see that your translation has some errors and you may want to update to the 2012 edition of “Rioting for Dummies”

Mysteryman 9:39 am 14 May 12

Without a median strip there will be nowhere to park a camera van. So how long before they install point-to-point speed cameras on this “notorious blackspot”? I give 6 months after completion, at most.

JC 7:11 am 14 May 12

Here are the design docs:

http://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/attachments/419_60198222_Parkes_Way_Widening_20_WA_dwgs.pdf

But as I said above acording to the Canberra Crimes they are only doing the city bound lanes.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/green-light-for-upgrade-20120512-1yjto.html

Oh and Dvaey the turn from Clunnies Ross onto Parkes way is already a slip lane! Looking at the design docs however it appears as if the turn will continue as is, except rather than being given a free run into the tunnel traffic from this lane will be forced to merge.

gasman 7:04 am 14 May 12

Translation:

We are thinking like a 1950’s north American city – where the car is king, and we MUST funnel as many cars as possible into the city. Where they will park and what common land we must sacrifice for car parking we will think about later – there is still plenty of vacant land around the lake to convert. We will not think about the fact that this will ease traffic on this short stretch for a few years until it too fills to capacity and become gridlock. We will not think about or fund alternative transport, nor will we think about decentralised work options. We will also not think about whether we are making the city a nice place to be. We will not think about the negative health aspects of sitting in a car for much of our lives. We will ignore the fact that many of those north American cities who previously thought like this are now changing their ways and instituting an integrated transport system combining public transport, cycleways, decentralised work places, and opening up city spaces for people.

gooterz 1:09 am 14 May 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

Reading some docs I found in gov web pages it appears the median in the middle will become the 3rd lane in both directions, not the outside lane where bikes travel presently. There will also be a wire guard rail in the center then.
Should be fun if what I read was correct and it will take around 12 months to complete. Belconnen way will get a work out as people detour this temporary delay. Just the repairs to the slip lane from William Hovell to GDE on Saturday caused enormous back up of traffic all the way beyond Bindubi traffic lights. Wonder how the 3rd lane works will affect this and the Parkes way?

So the el cheapo that will only decrease safety.
If anything it would be better to straighten it. When I worked in civic I’d see at least one car flip on the same section each year.
The other option would be to use the lanes of the lady D. Then that gives you 6 lanes either way the middle two could be tidal flow lanes

wildturkeycanoe 10:18 pm 13 May 12

Reading some docs I found in gov web pages it appears the median in the middle will become the 3rd lane in both directions, not the outside lane where bikes travel presently. There will also be a wire guard rail in the center then.
Should be fun if what I read was correct and it will take around 12 months to complete. Belconnen way will get a work out as people detour this temporary delay. Just the repairs to the slip lane from William Hovell to GDE on Saturday caused enormous back up of traffic all the way beyond Bindubi traffic lights. Wonder how the 3rd lane works will affect this and the Parkes way?

Martlark 8:16 pm 13 May 12

“The $13 million Parkes Way widening project will benefit all Canberrans …” All of us? Really? I never use that road during the morning peak and fail to see how 40,000 other people getting to work a few minutes early provides a benefit to me. I suspect that it’d just encourage more people to drive and actually increase traffic, pollution and demand for more millions to ‘upgrade’ other roads.

screaming banshee 6:58 pm 13 May 12

I’ll be surprised if they chip away at the base of black mountain, more than likely the spacious median will be replaced with a narrow concrete barrier

dvaey 5:42 pm 13 May 12

“The $13 million Parkes Way widening project will benefit all Canberrans and see the construction of a third lane from Glenloch Interchange to Edinburgh Avenue, which will increase the capacity of the road and in turn improve traffic flow and road safety,” the Chief Minister said.

That sounds nice, a new 4km 3-lane road. The announcement fails to note that from Clunnes Ross to Edinburgh is already a 3-lane road. Does this mean Clunnes Ross will now have slip lanes instead of dedicated turning lanes at the merge/split from Parkes Way?

“This is an important road upgrade project that will improve travel times for those from the south of Canberra who currently use the Tuggeranong Parkway and those from the north and west, who use William Hovell Drive and the GDE to get onto Parkes Way.”

Which all sounds great, until the traffic has to merge at the Glenloch Interchange and the bottleneck just gets pushed further back. If youve got 2 lanes from Gungahlin, 2 lanes from Belconnen and 2 lanes from Tuggeranong/Woden/Weston, to merge into 3 lanes at the Glenloch interchange, you might increase travel times only slightly, there will always be a bottleneck.

JC 5:23 pm 13 May 12

Reading the story in the Canberra times it seems as if only the east (city bound) lanes will be widened with the other way left as 2 lanes. Personally I think that is all that is needed as the other way the traffic always flows much better, presumably the afternoon ‘peak’ is a little more spread out.

However I would like to see the bit before Glenlock heading west changed to make the straight through to William Hovell a little more natural. At present it is still a bit of a kick to the right, like it was when William Hovell was the exit rather than the straight, even to this day I often see cars indicating right at this point. By lengthening and straightening the approach a lttile it would make it flow better and give a little room to make the Tuggeranong exit a little longer.

gooterz 5:05 pm 13 May 12

13 Million seems fairly cheap, that is a lot of roadwork and digging with a few bridges. Two lanes and one of them is right next to lady dennam drive. the other next to a somewhat cliff face.

Any predictions for a finish date and end cost?
Might be open in 2018? at a cost of $50 million?

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