The National Capital Authority has released plans for improvements to Kings and Commonwealth Avenues that would prioritise people over cars, and has opened public consultation on the proposed design.
The NCA proposes to revitalise the area by planting more trees, reducing speed limits, and widening and enhancing pedestrian and cycle connections along the full length of the avenues.
Clover leaf ramps that lead on and off Commonwealth Avenue on either side of Lake Burley Griffin would be dismantled and replaced by conventional intersections to slow traffic. This would also result in land either side of the avenue opening up for development. The proposed elimination of slip lanes would also slow traffic and allow more space for people walking and riding bikes.
Pedal Power ACT’s 2013 submission to the Strategic Review of Kings and Commonwealth Avenues supported the provision of separated routes for people walking and biking along the avenues, noting the high level of congestion and conflict on the bridges. We strongly supported the removal of the clover leaf entry and exit ramps, and made recommendations for good connections to destinations at either end of the zone, as well as to the existing path network.
Our submission also stated that “Pedal Power ACT strongly recommends that the cycle route should also be separated from motorised traffic. Ideally this should be realised as a pair of one-way lanes on the far left of each carriageway, physically separated by a small change in height, curbs, grassed verges, or other barriers.”
Separated infrastructure is essential to ensure that the same problems currently experienced on the shared path surrounding Lake Burley Griffin are avoided in this proposed leisure area. A vision of harmonious active travel and recreation should be supported by infrastructure allowing people walking and riding to maintain safe distance where possible.
Community consultation will be open for six weeks and ends at midnight on 3 July 2017. Feedback will be collated and a summary will be made publicly available. The design strategy will then be updated and go to the NCA board for approval. The Kings and Commonwealth Design Strategy will be used to guide future development of the avenues.
There are a number of ways to provide feedback on the plans here. The National Capital Authority will be hosting a drop in session from 12:00pm - 2:00pm on Thursday 8 June 2017.