Page 279 - Week 01 - Thursday, 12 February 2015

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across the ACT. The government’s transport for Canberra policy commits us to increasing the number of people choosing to walk, cycle or use public transport. This is an important part of managing congestion in the ACT. In fact, transport for Canberra showed that without encouraging higher usage of public transport, bikes or our feet, congestion in the ACT would be on track to double by 2031.

This is why the government has delivered over $100 million of public and active transport infrastructure since 2012, including busways and bus priority measures between Belconnen and the city and Canberra Avenue; a network of new park and ride and bike and ride facilities; the NXTBUS real-time passenger information system; an expansion of the on- and off-road cycling options, including the Civic cycle loop and Bunda Street shared space; and the upgrade to cycle facilities along Constitution Avenue, which is ongoing.

It is important also to manage and optimise our road network. The Environment and Planning Directorate maintains a strategic transport model that simulates traffic during the morning peak hour period to inform land use planning and transport policy assessments.

The transport model utilises land use data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, including the travel to work data, to identify and model current traffic flows across the territory. It also considers predictions of land use such as population, employment, retail space, enrolments, transport costs and the likely future road, public transport and shared path networks arising from strategic plans, master plans and land release programs. This allows the transport model to predict future increases in traffic flows across the territory and identify potential traffic issues or bottlenecks before they happen.

Once future issues such as the potential for traffic congestion have been identified, they are reported to Roads ACT, who are responsible for delivering augmentation improvements to the road network. Roads ACT are responsible for the investigation of these future potential issues and the identification of suitable solutions. The investigation process includes the basic design of treatment options, which are passed through the traffic model to gauge which is the most cost-effective and preferred option. This process also clarifies the need for the improvement, including the timing of the improvement.

Through this process a number of road projects across the territory have already been considered for future improvements. Feasibility studies have been undertaken on Gundaroo Drive, from Mirrabei Drive to the William Slim-Barton Highway roundabout; the Hindmarsh Drive-Launceston Street-Eggleston Crescent intersection augmentation; and the Belconnen Way-Springvale Drive intersection augmentation.

Future feasibility studies are proposed for a number of other road improvements. They include Horse Park Drive, from Mulligans Flat to the Federal Highway; William Hovell Drive, from Drake Brockman Drive to Coulter Drive; and Pialligo Avenue, from Canberra Airport to the ACT border. Information arising from the studies is used to inform the ACT government of what funding is required and when, in order to provide these improvements “just in time”.

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