Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 June 2009) . . Page.. 2793 ..
Just looking around my electorate at some of the changes that have occurred I can see examples of the failure of the provision of basic services. A range of new traffic lights has been put up through the Belconnen town centre, which is done in the name of modernising our bus interchange, but it means we now have many more places where cars must sit idle in a very inefficient and wasteful way. I have noticed that there are places where lights have been installed, especially at the intersection of Josephson Street and Cohen Street, and there seems to be no sensor to indicate that there is a car there. There is this long, elaborate cycle that the lights go through and if you miss the light cycle you can sit there for quite a long time, with no other traffic around, waiting for the lights to change in your favour. I would have thought in this day and age that sensor technology would be part and parcel of installing traffic lights.
We have seen a whole range of choke points brought to us courtesy of the Stanhope government. If people driving to work from Belconnen and Gungahlin want to go south along the Tuggeranong Parkway there are three major choke points along the way that slow the traffic down for inordinate periods of time between half past seven and about a quarter past nine every morning. There is a huge amount of traffic backed up on Gungahlin Drive, and if people want to turn off Gungahlin Drive and go onto Parkes Way, again, there are three major choke points. Two lanes become one, before they merge with another two lanes which become one, and then they merge again and those two lanes become one. Three times you do that, irrespective of whether you go straight ahead or turn left. The traffic coming down William Hovell Drive adds to that and augments the back-up.
It has been government policy for some time that when they resurface roads, where appropriate, they will put in extra bicycle lanes. That has happened along Ginninderra Drive. But in the process of doing so we now have another choke point at the intersection of Ginninderra Drive and Coulter Drive, courtesy of the Stanhope government. Every morning east-bound traffic is now backed up all the way back to Copland Drive for a good period of time because the Stanhope government has created a choke point by causing two lanes to merge into one at a really inappropriate place. If you had just thought about it a little bit more you could have merged those two lanes about another 100 yards further down and the traffic would have flowed much more smoothly. But, no, we have really badly thought out merge points.
There is a piece of road which has been resurfaced only in the last three or four weeks and the surface is falling apart already. I do not know whether it has been done at the wrong time and it is too cold to put down the hot mix, but that is a problem. There are a number of potholes that your car gets lost in in the public car parks, the government-owned car parks, at the Belconnen Mall. This is becoming a complete disgrace and is a failure of maintenance across my electorate.
During the estimates process I put a number of questions on notice on a range of issues relating to land management. The one I want to dwell on is a seven-part question—and I know this is a bit of a challenge for the Chief Minister—in relation to the urban forest policy. The minister’s answer was pretty succinct to this seven-part question. It states: