ACT Labor’s election commitment of $15 million dollars towards active travel, will provide for a strategic if modest expansion of Canberra’s cycle network, and will address several key cycling priorities raised by Pedal Power.
The plan, announced today, will seek to further enhance strong cycle participation in the inner north, as well as improving connections and completing missing links in Belconnen and Tuggeranong.
- ACT Labor’s plan to design and start building a cycleway on the eastern side of Northbourne Avenue is welcome. The Sullivan’s Creek Path (on the southside of Northbourne) is the most heavily used path in Canberra. It supports more than 250,000 trips a year. Labor’s plan to develop a similar path on the eastern side – the ‘Garden City Path’ – will offer improved connections to the city from Watson and Ainslie and Dickson, which will be beneficial to many people living in the inner north.
- The full construction of new paths along Sulwood Drive, and between Haydon Drive and the Bruce CIT, will complete two important missing links. Pedal Power has strongly advocated for these missing links to be completed and we are very pleased that they have been adopted by ACT Labor.
- the study to improve paths into the Gungahlin town centre is an important first step, however, these improvements will need to be implemented as the connections are poor and many of the suburbs, particularly on the western side of Gundaroo drive, are not able to get into the town centre without crossing major intersections and riding on roads.
- The feasibility study into widening the paths around Lake Ginninderra is welcome, but Pedal Power would urge ACT Labor to ensure that the feasibility study also considers separated paths as a solution to the current congestion problem. Separated paths are the most effective way to increase the number of people walking and cycling.
- Importantly Labor will also undertake a study into the feasibility of building a direct off-road cycleway along Adelaide Avenue as part of the light rail project. Pedal Power identified this cycleway as a key election priority as it will significantly enhance the active travel options for people travelling between the Woden and the inner south, to Barton and the city.
Path maintenance remains poorly served by ACT Labor with only a small additional expansion to the maintenance budget. A commitment equates to less than $1 million a year in additional funding and is well below what is required to proactively maintain our crumbling path network.
People will not use our fantastic path network if the paths are cracked and uneven because of tree roots. It makes the paths difficult to ride on and unsafe. Pedal Power will continue to advocate for rolling assessment and proactive maintenance of our paths (as the government does with our roads) to ensure they remain a valuable community asset.