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

By 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! )

What’s Your opinion?


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You control $13 million to spend upgrading any part of Canberra’s transport network… how would you spend the money?
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Sandman 8:58 pm 15 May 12

So with this direct cycle route from Belconnen business district to Civic, who does that benefit other than the many thousands of public servants who live in Belconnen Westfield and work in the city? I would have thought that the part of the journey via Oconner ridge or Parkes way would be the easy part for cyclists. If they can’t get out of the suburbs easy then they still won’t cycle.

buzz819 7:57 pm 15 May 12

Grail said :

Jasmine, the easiest way to see whether a bus would serve your needs (IBS aside, my sympathy to you on your predicament) is to check out Google Transit. As an example, here’s a trip plan to get from Want Place, Latham to Furzer Street, Woden (I figure there won’t be many people like me living in Isabella Plains and working in Dickson): https://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&f=d&dirflg=r&hl=en&saddr=Want+Place,+Latham,+Canberra&daddr=Furzer+Street,+Phillip,+Canberra&ttype=arr&date=5/16/12&time=8:45am

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

HenryBG 7:25 pm 15 May 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

The cycle path you linked to cost 1.5 million Euros for a 2km stretch [Total of 4km]. Our $13 million wouldn’t get us half way between Belco and Civic, even if we had an old unused road for a starting point. Also, you didn’t mention that all this was possible because of construction of a freeway, making the old road redundant. Also, Canberra isn’t a dead flat plateau, we have a mountain standing in the way. Dream on.

Yes, we already spend far, far more per cyclist in Canberra on cycle paths than they do in Holland, Denmark, or anywhere else for that matter, and still nobody’s interested.

4km of dead-flat path might attract plenty of cyclists, but 10km of viciously steep path will never do so – there aren’t that many people who are willing to arrive at work stinking of sweat and chance a heart attack on the way home.

Cycling within town centres should be the strategy – cycling between them is not an option open to any but cycling fundamentalists, and the costs of the paths required to make that tiny group happy is not a cost the ACT ratepayer should be burdened with.

molongloid 7:23 pm 15 May 12

DrKoresh said :

molongloid said :

If it does I’d like to know the route.

Uh… It runs parallel to Belconnen way/Barry drive. You really can’t miss it. 😐

That was my hope. But it seems that it still squiggles through the AIS and O’Connor, per:

FioBla said :

The cycle routes are marked cyan in this map:
http://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=15&lat=-35.26633&lon=149.09868&layers=B00

jasmine 6:19 pm 15 May 12

Thanks Grail. That link is pretty cool, makes the planning much easier. On most days I could possibly do short trips, but it is a bit out of my comfort zone. 🙂

Grail 6:05 pm 15 May 12

Jasmine, the easiest way to see whether a bus would serve your needs (IBS aside, my sympathy to you on your predicament) is to check out Google Transit. As an example, here’s a trip plan to get from Want Place, Latham to Furzer Street, Woden (I figure there won’t be many people like me living in Isabella Plains and working in Dickson): https://www.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&f=d&dirflg=r&hl=en&saddr=Want+Place,+Latham,+Canberra&daddr=Furzer+Street,+Phillip,+Canberra&ttype=arr&date=5/16/12&time=8:45am

jasmine 5:48 pm 15 May 12

I wouldn’t use buses anyway because I have IBS but it would be interesting to see if cost is a factor (disregarding for a moment other issues like picking up and dropping off kids, seeing clients during work hours, disabilities etc).

When I did use buses one thing was the system whereby you have to change for what are fairly short bus journeys but that may have changed since back then.

PrinceOfAles 4:46 pm 15 May 12

If I had $13,000,000 to spend I would spend it on adding a 3rd lane to Parkes Way. I would also find a bit more $$$ to tunnel under Coranderrk and Anzac Pde intersections.

wildturkeycanoe 4:21 pm 15 May 12

The cycle path you linked to cost 1.5 million Euros for a 2km stretch [Total of 4km]. Our $13 million wouldn’t get us half way between Belco and Civic, even if we had an old unused road for a starting point. Also, you didn’t mention that all this was possible because of construction of a freeway, making the old road redundant. Also, Canberra isn’t a dead flat plateau, we have a mountain standing in the way. Dream on.

nothappyjan 4:03 pm 15 May 12

p1 said :

With my $13m I would run a full scale experiment to determine if cost is a factor in determining the public’s use of public transport in the ACT.

Specifically – I would make ACTION Bus travel free until the $13m worth of fares run out.

I too reckon this would be a very worthwhile study, and considering the amount wasted on other studies it would not be an unreasonable use of the money.

If making public transport free did not significantly improve the uptake of Action buses then we can finally accept that nothing can be done to improve our public bus services and the ACT Gov could then start providing what the community actually wants and needs, instead what they think we should have and like. So the Gov could stop wasting money on buses and start improving the car parking affordability and availability rather than punishing people who want or need to use their cars. Big cities can make public transport work, but perhaps we could accept Canberra is just not big enough and stop punishing those who drive, regardless of whether they need or just want to.

If free buses actually did result in a massive uptake then perhaps we could try a $1 per trip system to help cover the basic costs which will increase. Having some of the best paid bus drivers in the world probably doesn’t help Action turning a profit, but it is not unreasonable to expect that public transport is subsidised in such a small town. This would also result in less cars during peak minute which would also help those that can’t reasonably use public transport as there will be more parking available and less cars on the road. Perhaps the cost of parking could also be eased or not increased as often as the need to punish drivers would be reduced.

So a study to see whether free, or almost free, Action buses would really work is a great idea to rationally justify how our Gov can actually improve our lives by spending our money on either public or private transport systems which is based on the real needs and wants of the people.

Sgt.Bungers 3:47 pm 15 May 12

c_c said :

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

I’m not a cyclist, though I do intend to become one once I move closer to my job.

I’ve done a lot of research into alternative transport and can see the value in making cycling attractive enough that a large chunk of the population hops out of their cars by choice.

Imagine a city where 20% of commuting was done by bicycling. Not because driving has been made deliberately difficult and expensive… but because the perception of cycling had been changed to being safe, pleasant (away from fast moving motor traffic), quick, easy and cheap.

Those who were still bound to their car for whatever reason, would be able to enjoy the roads with almost 20% less traffic.

c_c said :

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

It does need a bit of a face lift.

watto23 3:43 pm 15 May 12

Is the issue lack of a cycle path or lack of a cycle path that goes the way you want it to go.

A quick look at
http://apps.actpla.act.gov.au/plandev/tp-intro/projects/walk_cycle/cyclemap/canberra_path_map3.swf
Shows plenty of routes from Belconnen to Civic.

Grail 3:40 pm 15 May 12

Ditto on the free busses for a month, with a small amount reserved for reworking signage on the busses stating that busses will be free for the month of X. Bus signage would be best, IMHO since only the people who are on the same route as the bus are going to end up making use of that bus.

We’d also need to borrow busses (and drivers) from interstate to accommodate the expected surge in demand. I’d put a conservative estimate of about double the current loading. Atlanta trialled a free busses system, but they didn’t put any extra busses on. Since the first couple of days showed that it wasn’t worth trying to catch the bus, people stopped trying, and the pro-car lobby proclaimed the free bus experiment a failure.

$13M really isn’t that much money when it comes to infrastructure.

Sgt.Bungers 3:28 pm 15 May 12

davo101 said :

Me? I’d commence building a direct and fully segregated cycle route between Belconnen and Civic.

Err doesn’t this exist already? I’ve ridden on a cycle path from the Belconnen bus interchange to the corner of Barry Drive and Marcus Clarke on a number of occasions and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t just imagining it.

Not on the scale that I’ve seen. There are sections of shared paths yes, but they’re not as direct as roads. My idea was to connect and upgrade existing shared paths, as well as build new shared paths in order to provide a route that would be just as direct as riding along Barry Dr / Belconnen Way, albiet with full segregation.

Though the intention of my post was not to discuss that idea, but rather have RA readers get their own ideas out in the open. What would you spend the money on?

Though my

c_c 3:26 pm 15 May 12

DrKoresh said :

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.

Well when I say rif raf, I’m deliberately being abstract so it doesn’t stereotype. People should just be able to interpolate what it means, which is those who have no genuine need to be at the interchange or those engaged in criminal or anti-social activity. The groups of teens for example who after college sit on the steps going up to the town court having a smoke, who aren’t going to catch a bus but find it a convenient place to sit and spit on the pavement.

Jim Jones 3:23 pm 15 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.

I’d do that to him regardless of whether he thought I was riff raff or not.

DrKoresh 2:46 pm 15 May 12

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.

carnardly 2:45 pm 15 May 12

molongloid said :

davo101 said :

Me? I’d commence building a direct and fully segregated cycle route between Belconnen and Civic.

Err doesn’t this exist already? I’ve ridden on a cycle path from the Belconnen bus interchange to the corner of Barry Drive and Marcus Clarke on a number of occasions and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t just imagining it.

If it does I’d like to know the route.

Maybe one poster is referring to the on-road bike lane. The other talking about focussing on segregated facilities – which doesn’t mean an onroad lane. Or something.

c_c 2:31 pm 15 May 12

$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.

FioBla 2:10 pm 15 May 12

Aren’t the routes to Belconnen pretty steep uphill? I’ve ridden up Caswell Drive, the route parallel to Bindubi Street, and the Bruce Ridge route. I think getting 20% of car drivers going that way is very optimistic.

The cycle routes are marked cyan in this map:
http://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=15&lat=-35.26633&lon=149.09868&layers=B00

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