There is a well-known north-south side rivalry in Canberra, but what about the east-west divide at the heart of the city?
Haig Park is 1.8km long connection between Turner, O’Connor, Lyneham and the ANU in the east, with Braddon, Ainslie and Dickson in the west. There are currently no east-west shared path links, and this is the moment to link these suburbs to the existing off-road network.
The need for central cross-town cycling links will only become stronger as the redevelopment of the Northbourne Avenue corridor, and Lonsdale and Mort Streets gathers pace and attracts people to cycle or walk from ever-expanding nearby suburbs. Haig Park presents a perfect opportunity to provide this link.
Pedal Power ACT has been advocating for this since the 2012 master plan. Subsequent forums, discussions and the latest Urban Renewal Strategy also raised the need for this link. The government is embarking on a new master plan and it is clear that cycle facilities are the key to activating this space. See the Pedal Power ACT Haig Park submission.
Building a 2-way cycle path on the southern edge of the park will increase safety perceptions in the park by having more people passing through the area. The proximity to the street means it will be easily accessible, and path lighting will be beneficial to the local streets as well as to bike riders.
This path must be given priority at intersections to make it as attractive, quick and accessible as possible. The implementation of zebra crossings on the nearby Sullivan’s Creek crossing provides a good example that the transport mix in Canberra supports priority to pedestrians, bike riders, and other active travel users. The east-west path should ensure the same infrastructure is afforded to crossings at McCaughey, Masson and Torrens Streets. These areas have heavy traffic at peak times, deterring people from using active travel.
Have your say on the future of Haig Park – what do you think about building a beautiful east-west bike path?