23 Nov 23 | By pp-admin
The past few weeks have seen some both good, and bad, announcements when it comes to active travel in the ACT. Here is a little summary of some key projects and Pedal Power’s position on them.
Elouera and Mort Street improvements
Braddon has quickly become one of Canberra’s busiest spots for pedestrians and cyclists. Yet, the area is still unsafe, inaccessible and dominated by cars.
Over the past few months, The City Renewal Authority (CRA) has begun construction of new entrances to Lonsdale Street and new raised pedestrian crossings on the street. These will help slow traffic flow and make walking and rolling safer and more accessible.
The CRA has now also released designs for upgrades to the intersection of Elouera and Mort Street. The designs include the replacement of the roundabout with a raised intersection that calms traffic, the introduction of zebra crossings, the reduction of the distance people must walk to get across the road, and the installation of new lighting and garden beds. Pedal Power strongly welcomes these designs. They will increase amenity in Braddon, making it easier and safer for all. We call on the City Renewal Authority to not stop here, but to implement the Braddon Place Plan – a document designed to make Braddon one of Canberra’s best designed public places – in full.
Kings Park on Lake Burley Griffin is extremely popular. However, at the moment, it is run down and acts more as a home for rabbits than a place Canberrans can enjoy.
Pedal Power has therefore welcomed the plans from the National Capital Authority to upgrade this park. The upgrade will result in the separation of pedestrian and cyclist circulation at the eastern end of the park. As a busy area for pedestrian and cyclist activity this will improve safety, reducing the potential of difficult interactions between these two groups. We also welcome the relocation of car parking to the edge of the park, creating new green spaces that will improve public amenity in the area.
Woden Bus interchange
In less good news, Pedal Power is deeply concerned about changes to the development application of the Woden Bus Interchange. As reported in Riot Act, a recent amendment to the development application for the new interchange included a series of hidden changes that Pedal Power and other organisations were not consulted on.
Most worryingly, the amendment includes the removal of the southern pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Bradley and Callam Streets, and the removal of a demarcated cycle path on the eastern verge of Callam Street. It seems the Government is also proposing to plant fewer trees than in the initial application. We believe these choices will result in less amenity for users, creating a more hostile public space.
In addition, Pedal Power remains concerned about the installation of secure bike enclosures in the new interchange. While we are pleased that secure bike enclosures are being installed, we believe there will not be enough racks and that they are being installed in the wrong areas. This will make it harder for people to access these enclosures, discouraging people from using them, or from riding to the interchange in the first place.
You can read Pedal Power’s full submission on the amendments here.