You control $13 million to spend upgrading any part of Canberra’s transport network… how would you spend the money?

Sgt.Bungers 15 May 2012 65

The ACT Gov recently awarded a $13,000,000 contract to build an extra lane for both directions of Parkes Way from Glenloch Interchange to Edinburgh Ave. As usual, rioters are at odds regarding how Canberra’s transport infrastructure money should be spent.

If you were given the final say in how $13 million was spent on upgrading any aspect of Canberra’s transport infrastructure, what would you spend it on?

( Me? I’d commence building a direct and fully segregated cycle route between Belconnen and Civic. The route would be built with the intention of encouraging at least 20% of people commuting between the town centres to hop out of their cars and onto their bikes, thus freeing up motor vehicle traffic congestion. Initially the route would be between the two town centres, with connections into the hearts of Civic and Belconnen’s business and shopping districts. There would be connections to the uni’s, Calvary hospital and AIS. Once completed, the routes would be similar to this recent cycle route upgrade in the Netherlands. My 2c! )


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65 Responses to You control $13 million to spend upgrading any part of Canberra’s transport network… how would you spend the money?
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Truthiness Truthiness 11:32 am 28 May 12

i’d spend the money bribing planning officials into not building such convoluted suburbs. Just take a look at Amaroo or Ngunnawal, how any public transport system is ever meant to work out there is beyond me. twisty turny tiny little backroads intermingled in suburbia, there is no efficient way to organise that mess. I feel sorry for the bus drivers trying to fit a bus down a twisting laneway roundabout to pick up a single lone commuter for a three hour ride to the other side of town.

As long as we design our suburbs for cars, people will keep using cars.

dixyland dixyland 8:45 am 18 May 12

I’d spend the money for a consultant to write a feasibility statement on something that will never happen.

Deref Deref 7:19 am 18 May 12

yellowsnow said :

Deref said :

Failing all that, I’d do what I saw in a comic book many years ago: I’d fit cars with a coin-operated short-range radio transmitter linked to the lights. The more coins you put in, the more priority you get. If you drove up to a red light at 1.00am and there was no traffic around, 1c would change it for you. If you were in a hurry at a busy time, you could feed it $5 notes at each light to give yourself priority. If you were really rich, you could set it to simply give you priority everywhere and send you a bill at the end of the month. The money in the boxes would replace rego fees.

LOL! I like. You think outside the box Deref

I wish I could take credit for it. 😉

Evil_Kitten Evil_Kitten 3:50 am 18 May 12

DrKoresh said :

c_c said :

$13m for a cycle lane that’s segregated – and cyclists wonder why they’re hated so.

I’d spend it on Woden interchange, make is a place that keeps the rif raf, graffiti and vomit out and more commuters in.

I’d like it if people could be more specific than ‘riff-raff’. I get the vibe you just mean teenagers and people wearing hoodies rather than actual trouble-makers, which leaves you sounding like an elitist toss-pot. If I were waiting for a bus in Woden and saw someone like you looking down your nose at me as though I were a piece of dog turd, I’d probably vomit on your shoes, punch you in the head and then draw penises all-over your unconscious body just so that you didn’t leave disappointed.

Oh I think I lol’d (and I really did – it was out loud) to that more than anything else I’ve read on here. Thanks 🙂

yellowsnow yellowsnow 12:20 am 18 May 12

Deref said :

Failing all that, I’d do what I saw in a comic book many years ago: I’d fit cars with a coin-operated short-range radio transmitter linked to the lights. The more coins you put in, the more priority you get. If you drove up to a red light at 1.00am and there was no traffic around, 1c would change it for you. If you were in a hurry at a busy time, you could feed it $5 notes at each light to give yourself priority. If you were really rich, you could set it to simply give you priority everywhere and send you a bill at the end of the month. The money in the boxes would replace rego fees.

LOL! I like. You think outside the box Deref

Deref Deref 9:27 pm 17 May 12

I’d spend it on traffic lights. Not new ones – reprogramming the existing ones.

I’d upgrade the computer systems that control them to something more powerful like, say, the computer that runs my $10 Chinese watch.

I’d program it to do what Adelaide does – turn them all to flashing amber outside peak hours.

I’d program it so that crossing a detector would turn the light to green if there’s no traffic on the intersecting road. (That’d only run during hours when the lights weren’t all amber, of course.)

You know that program that makes sure that all the lights in a series turn to red just as you get to them? I’d reverse that.

Failing all that, I’d do what I saw in a comic book many years ago: I’d fit cars with a coin-operated short-range radio transmitter linked to the lights. The more coins you put in, the more priority you get. If you drove up to a red light at 1.00am and there was no traffic around, 1c would change it for you. If you were in a hurry at a busy time, you could feed it $5 notes at each light to give yourself priority. If you were really rich, you could set it to simply give you priority everywhere and send you a bill at the end of the month. The money in the boxes would replace rego fees.

Spykler Spykler 8:58 pm 17 May 12

yellowsnow said :

$13m isn’t a lot – extra lanes on Parkes Way a good investment give how many people use the road (with usage projected to increase markedly). Whether the project can be delivered on time and budget is another question.

Correct- according to this study it would buy you exactly 1 kilometre of freeway..:/

http://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/general/bike-futures/10549/

yellowsnow yellowsnow 8:25 pm 17 May 12

Felix the Cat said :

I’d reseal as much or as many as I could of the crappy dangerous loose gravel roads like Fedral Hwy with proper smooth bitumen

+1

spot on. I’ve heard that smooth bitumen increases fuel efficiency / decreases carbon dioxide emissions by something like 30% over rough chip seal (whether this is a reliable figure – who knows). And then there’s decreased road noise and wear and tear on people’s cars.

As for cycling – chip seal is horrible and sometimes dangerous to cycle on, especially if the chip seal is extra rough and doesn’t stick properly – which is happening all too often on recently resealed canberra roads.

So in summary chip seal road surfaces increase fuel consumption, increase CO2 emissions, create more road noise, and discourage cycling / increase cycling commute times. You also have to reseal chip seal roads every 3 or so years – smooth asphalt bitumen lasts many years longer before requiring resurfacing. There really aren’t many advantages other than lower costs in the shorter term (though not over the life of the road). The quicker the ACT govt abandons its love affair with the rough stuff the better for the community as a whole.

Returning to asphalt on arterial roads might also be a cost effective way of reducing our greenhouse emissions profile – more so than, say, building solar power stations or buying abatement permits. But of course ACT govt agencies – TAMS and ACT Roads in particular – rarely think of the bigger picture and ‘whole-of-government approach’ is not a concept they’re familiar with

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 1:30 pm 17 May 12

I’d reseal as much or as many as I could of the crappy dangerous loose gravel roads like Fedral Hwy with proper smooth bitumen

JessP JessP 11:43 am 17 May 12

1337Hax0r said :

Me, I’d buy a used front end loader, a used tray truck with a 5 tonne front end loader on it, and a cement mixer and then call in the Canberra Hysterical Railway Society and tell them they can have the equipment as long as they build a tram line from Belconnen to Woden via Civic and a line out to Kingston railway station. I’d ask whoever owns the disused rail lines to Captain’s Flat, Cooma and Crookwell if we could buy the track on gthe cheap. Then I’d be contacting Melbourne to ask how many of their stored historical W class trams they’d like me to take off their hands. Then I’d get rid of the redundant bus lines between Belco, Civic, Kingston and Woden, use those terminuses as hubs and run buses from there. Then I’d bother places like Bunnings, Magnet Mart and other hardware stores if they’d like to sponsor some new paint jobs on trams in return for free advertising. Finally I’d buy a load of bread, saussages,onions and sauce and announce a public working bee to get some trams painted and roads dug up.
Yep, DIY tramline for $13 million. May be doable.

+1
Loving this!

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 6:10 am 17 May 12

Grail said :

buzz819 said :

So… over an hour to travel 20 minutes? That’s ridiculous….

It’s an hour of catching up on Draw Something, Words with Friends, your regular RSS news feeds, or reading The Hunger Games. All of this without the risk of smashing into someone because you were trying to text while driving.

You really need to try it sometime, rather than being so entirely focussed on getting home in time to watch whatever crap is on TV tonight.

Being chauffeur driven is worth the extra 40 minutes travel time. In fact, you’ll come to value that extra time and start wondering how people who have to commute to work in single-occupant-family-cars manage to live their lives!

Grail, I like to spend that extra 40 minutes getting my children to their sporting activities on time so I can enjoy it with them. That beats sitting in a vehicle housing snobby office workers who won’t lower their standards to look you in the eye, spaced out teens bopping away to their i-tunes and the dozens who cough and sniffle their flu germs all over the place. MUCH more desirable than getting home early and have a chance for a quick cuppa before soccer training.

yellowsnow yellowsnow 10:39 pm 16 May 12

dvaey said :

yellowsnow said :

Yes, Sydney has its traffic problems but unlike here you get the feeling traffic lights are working with you not against you

Have you actually travelled on a busy city road controlled by traffic lights during peak time in Sydney? From a statement like that, Im guessing no.

Um – I’ve lived in Sydney most of my life so the answer is yes

Sandman said :

I reckon your guess would be spot on. How anyone could favour any aspect of a Sydney road over a Canberra road is beyond my comprehension. I once got stuck on Sydney’s flagship road, the m5, for over 2 hours at 2pm on a weekday. No rain, no fog, no accidents, no red lights.
It may seem like you get more green lights in Sydney, but that’s not too hard when they’re every 100 metres for a 10km stretch.

m5 = freeway = no traffic lights. I admit traffic on sydney freeways at peak hour is horrible, but traffic lights don’t cause these problems. My point was that in Sydney it feels like other cars are the enemy and you’re battling against them in peak hour, while traffic lights try to do their best to handle the chaos to everyone’s collective satisfaction. On Northbourne, Hindmarsh, Drakeford etc traffic lights seem to create the traffic delays and chaos – especially off peak when there is hardly any traffic by modern city standards.

Travel down the Hume Hwy/Liverpool Rd through SW Sydney or Princes Hwy and onto King St outside peak times – even then there are more cars about than canberra roads ever see, yet if you stay on the main roads things flow relatively smoothly. You get three or four green lights, then a red (which rarely stays red for long), then another four greens, and so on – you get the feeling someone with intelligence programmed the lights to be as efficient as possible under average traffic conditions (and it’s only during the morning peak that the system really breaks down).

Having said all that, one of the reasons I don’t live in Sydney anymore is the terrible traffic so feel free to disregard everything I said:) But just because Canberra has comparatively little traffic doesn’t mean it can’t be better managed.

HenryBG HenryBG 10:37 pm 16 May 12

tonys said :

$13000000 worth of speed cameras.

I’ve got a better idea: how about a new scheme in Law Enforcement we could call it, say, Bounty-Hunting.

The way it works is this: Anybody with a car registered in the ACT can volunteer to carry a system of government-approved/tested/validated recording devices – a combination of video and infrared measuring systems that are always on and constantly stream data back to ACT Policing Central.

Any traffic offence detected by your device that results in a successful traffic infringement notice being issued results in you being credited into your bank account a bounty of 30% of the value of the infringement issued.

Then, we can retire all the speed cameras and we can re-purpose ACT Policing to spend their time catching robbers instead.

tonys tonys 9:56 pm 16 May 12

$13000000 worth of speed cameras.

KeenGolfer KeenGolfer 9:16 pm 16 May 12

Hank said :

I think this wish list is a great idea; maybe the local gov should build a little blog so residences can submit their local traffic/road issues and solutions.

It’s called fix my street.

http://www.canberraconnect.act.gov.au/Services/f/fix-my-street

Sandman Sandman 7:42 pm 16 May 12

dvaey said :

yellowsnow said :

Yes, Sydney has its traffic problems but unlike here you get the feeling traffic lights are working with you not against you

Have you actually travelled on a busy city road controlled by traffic lights during peak time in Sydney? From a statement like that, Im guessing no.

I reckon your guess would be spot on. How anyone could favour any aspect of a Sydney road over a Canberra road is beyond my comprehension. I once got stuck on Sydney’s flagship road, the m5, for over 2 hours at 2pm on a weekday. No rain, no fog, no accidents, no red lights.
It may seem like you get more green lights in Sydney, but that’s not too hard when they’re every 100 metres for a 10km stretch.

dvaey dvaey 6:26 pm 16 May 12

yellowsnow said :

Yes, Sydney has its traffic problems but unlike here you get the feeling traffic lights are working with you not against you

Have you actually travelled on a busy city road controlled by traffic lights during peak time in Sydney? From a statement like that, Im guessing no.

PrinceOfAles PrinceOfAles 4:57 pm 16 May 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

yellowsnow said :

Otherwise I’d probably spend the money on an overhaul of traffic lights. I travel a lot in Syd and Melb and i’m convinced that compared to those cities our traffic lights are poorly synchronised, and in many cases create traffic bottlenecks instead of solving them (eg Northbourne, Hindmarsh). In canberra, travelling on major roads, even when they’re empty, you sometimes caatch every single red light, and at each red you wait forever for light to turn green – when there aren’t even any cars on the cross-streets!

Yes, Sydney has its traffic problems but unlike here you get the feeling traffic lights are working with you not against you

We could always outsource intelligent traffic light sequencing to NSW’s RTA if RoadsACT is not up to it

100% agree. On any given day, if you travel Drakeford Dr., Belconnen Way or Hindmarsh Dr. you will find that if you stick to 80km/h you will get red, after red, after red x 10. If however, you put the pedal down and do 10km/h over the speed limit you end up just in front of them and cruise right through. Is this just paranoia or am I on to a government conspiracy designed to make more revenue?
Likewise, why do you sit at a set of lights on a Sunday, at intersection X, waiting on a red light when there is nigh on NO traffic going any other way through the intersection for up to 2 minutes?
Much less than a million could fix this problem.

Add Majura Ave/Limestone Ave to that list. It`s a terrible stretch of road for red lights.

Grail Grail 11:04 am 16 May 12

buzz819 said :

So… over an hour to travel 20 minutes? That’s ridiculous….

It’s an hour of catching up on Draw Something, Words with Friends, your regular RSS news feeds, or reading The Hunger Games. All of this without the risk of smashing into someone because you were trying to text while driving.

You really need to try it sometime, rather than being so entirely focussed on getting home in time to watch whatever crap is on TV tonight.

Being chauffeur driven is worth the extra 40 minutes travel time. In fact, you’ll come to value that extra time and start wondering how people who have to commute to work in single-occupant-family-cars manage to live their lives!

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 10:27 am 16 May 12

yellowsnow said :

Otherwise I’d probably spend the money on an overhaul of traffic lights. I travel a lot in Syd and Melb and i’m convinced that compared to those cities our traffic lights are poorly synchronised, and in many cases create traffic bottlenecks instead of solving them (eg Northbourne, Hindmarsh). In canberra, travelling on major roads, even when they’re empty, you sometimes caatch every single red light, and at each red you wait forever for light to turn green – when there aren’t even any cars on the cross-streets!

Yes, Sydney has its traffic problems but unlike here you get the feeling traffic lights are working with you not against you

We could always outsource intelligent traffic light sequencing to NSW’s RTA if RoadsACT is not up to it

100% agree. On any given day, if you travel Drakeford Dr., Belconnen Way or Hindmarsh Dr. you will find that if you stick to 80km/h you will get red, after red, after red x 10. If however, you put the pedal down and do 10km/h over the speed limit you end up just in front of them and cruise right through. Is this just paranoia or am I on to a government conspiracy designed to make more revenue?
Likewise, why do you sit at a set of lights on a Sunday, at intersection X, waiting on a red light when there is nigh on NO traffic going any other way through the intersection for up to 2 minutes?
Much less than a million could fix this problem.

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