Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Priority works announced

Last year the ACT government commissioned a consultant to prioritize future works in the Pedestrian and Bike path network. At the top of the list is the much muted Civic cycle loop which the Canberra cycle lobby group Pedal Power has been lobbying for. This is a loop of the city will have physically protected cycle lanes. One section of the the loop will be a shared zone, which is on Bunda street.

Bunda Street ,Google View
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As you know I am a big supporter of separated facilities using international best practice ,yet I am surprised that Pedal Power are lobbying for such facilities as they have said that cycle lanes are a 'safe a practical choice' arguing that 'mere perception that cycle lanes are dangerous doesn't make them so'. 

Cycle lanes are used in many countries and in Europe, but there are a set of guidelines for cycle lanes  which are used primarily on low volume-low speed roads. Areas that are 50km/h or less. 

 Cycle lanes are a minimum 2 metre's and are coloured for the entire length not just at intersections. In the ACT and in many Australian cities we have allowed cycle lanes on major arterial roads,highways and freeways without some form of protection.

The Netherlands has over forty years of experience and statistics in improving cycle facilities that are safe for everyone to use ,most roads at 50km/h are physically separated with lower residential speed limits and also in town centre areas. Yet Pedal Power wants to argue that over a short period of 10 years in the ACT, there has been no fatalities recorded on most cycle lanes and only a small number of injures reported.

The consultation was a two part study, one looking at the network priorities and the other looking at behavioral change to get more people cycling. The second study was important in my view to introduce worlds best practice for cycling infrastructure that would guild network upgrades.  That study has yet to be released and was only an online survey.

One of my suggestions was taken on board,which was the allocation of network priorities by town centre locations not an overall priority list for Canberra. The first draft had several works predominately in Belconnen and Civic(city centre). Now the Chief Minister (John Stanhope) lives in Belconnen and I could draw some interesting statistics about the amount of works going on in Belconnen lately but that's another story.

Priority projects in each region
North Canberra (including the City)
  • Civic Cycle Loop - Allara Street to Bunda Street via Parkes Way, Marcus Clarke Street, Rudd Street and Allara Street, Civic: on road protected cycle lane
  • Bunda Street (Civic Cycle Loop shared space) - Genge Street to Akuna Street, Civic: shared space project*
South Canberra
  • Brisbane Avenue link - State Circle to Bowen Drive, Barton: on-road cycle lanes
  • Kings Avenue - Russell Drive to Parliament House, Parkes: on-road cycle lanes
  • Accessible street project on Bradley Street between Easty Street and Town Square, Woden
  • Wisdom Street link - Yamba Street to Carruthers Street/Yarra Glen, Woden: off-road shared path
  • Accessible street project on Pittman Street and Athllon Drive, Tuggeranong
  • Athllon Drive - Atkins Street to Hindmarsh Drive, Tuggeranong: on-road cycle lanes
  • Hibberson Street - Kate Crace Street to Gozzard Street, Gungahlin: shared space project
  • Accessible street project on Hibberson Street between Hinder Street and Gozzard Street, Gungahlin
  • Accessible street project on Lathlain Street to Westfield and then to Chandler Street, Belconnen
  • Chandler Street - Benjamin Way to College Street, Belconnen: on-road cycle lanes
Still more cycle lanes on roads that are considered 'high speed high volume roads' ,interestingly another consultation going on at the moment is a road safety policy 'Vision Zero' which is based on the  Swedish policy of the same name. In the Discussion paper it suggests to consider physically separate cycle lanes on high speed roads. Now what constitutes a high speed road is not clear in the document. But a simple graph which has been ignored by many Australian government transport departments is clear and is a minimum standard across many European cities. The cycling countries of  the Netherlands,Denmark and Germany well exceed this standard.


Anonymous said...

Hi Martin. LOVE your blog and would like to know where to find this table.

Martin said...

Hi, and thanks.This Chart is out of the 'Crow, design manual for bicycle traffic.
This chart is also in the RTA's NSW bicycle guidelines but only as a guide not a minimum requirement.