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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1817 ..


At a broader level, the Greens’ active transport plan covers six key areas, and I will try to comment briefly on these in the time remaining to me. Firstly, the government must more effectively use the planning system for active transport. This means formalising best practice principles of active transport planning into our planning system. These can be found in guides such as the healthy city and healthy places planning principles. It means ensuring cycling and walking networks are high quality, smartly planned, safe and integrated with public transport. It also means shifting Canberra towards denser, transport-orientated development, clustering a mix of urban and residential land uses around public transport nodes.

We also want to see the government carefully use travel demand management strategies to encourage alternative transport, as has been done successfully in other cities around the world. This can mean restricting car flow into certain parts of the city; for example, by converting appropriate parts of our town centres into pedestrian prioritised areas. The reality is that this can work for the community and for sustainable transport.

Another effective strategy is to address car parking issues intelligently. But so far we have only seen simple action by the government on this issue, just increasing fees. We also need to give much more priority to walking and cycling. Walking is the undervalued glue that holds our whole transport system together. Almost all people who are not disabled are pedestrians at some stage, even if they are only walking to and from the bus or the car park. Cycling levels are good in Canberra compared to many other cities, but there is still a lot of work to be done, and I think probably a major reason that Canberra is so good is that, compared to other Australian capital cities, we are comparatively flat, not being on the sea.

Lastly, I just want to briefly discuss our call for a redesign of Northbourne Avenue to improve transport options, including more efficient and safe travel for bus and bike commuters. As the Greens have already made clear, our position is that Northbourne Avenue is a key commuting route and needs to be improved. Its problems radiate out to inner north suburbs and Gungahlin as well. We have been asking the government to build bus priority measures, a Mitchell park-and-ride, as well as an improved cycle path. We suggest that down the median strip is a place where it could fit and it could have a crossing priority.

I see that funding has now been provided in the budget for a park-and-ride in Mitchell, which is great, and there is also funding for investigating bus priority lanes and all the options for Northbourne Avenue, which is great news.

I have been concerned that the Canberra Times reported that Mr Stanhope might remove the on-road cycle lanes on Northbourne Avenue and combine pedestrians and cyclists on a widened footpath. This seems to us to be very problematical. One of the keys to commuter cycling is providing a safe space for cyclists to ride and a safe space for pedestrians.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development,


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