Page 1629 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 12 May 2015

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Community paths in residential areas have been constructed or extended at 10 locations so far this financial year. These include Goyder Street in Narrabundah, Hayley Street in Ainslie, Anketell Street in Greenway and Wheeler Crescent in Wanniassa. Footpaths near schools in Torrens, Campbell and Reid have also been completed and are ready for use on next Friday’s Walk Safely to School Day.

For older pedestrians, cyclists and users of mobility devices, we are delivering improved active travel connectivity in Weston and Ainslie. The existing network of on-road cycle lanes will also be expanded, with on-road cycle lanes designed for Macarthur Avenue and Limestone Avenue. A dedicated and separated on-road cycle lane along Phillip Avenue is also planned, which will improve cycling connectivity to a future planned light rail station.

This is just a small example of the many initiatives being undertaken to encourage more people to engage in active travel. Active travel modes are valued and prioritised and will continue to be in future upgrades and works.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how does the government inform itself of the needs of cyclists and pedestrians?

MR GENTLEMAN: The government uses a variety of ways to understand the needs and behaviours of cyclists and pedestrians. The government monitors ABS census data, local and national user surveys, ministerial requests and Canberra Connect inquiries such as fix my street. The government also prepares master plans for all town centres and most group centres across the ACT.

Currently, a master plan for the city and Northbourne Avenue is being prepared. This is called the city and Northbourne Avenue urban design framework. This document will take into account the views of the community, increasing population density in the inner north and other factors which influence the number of people commuting of a morning and the way in which they do it.

Walking and cycling studies are prepared for each of the master plans to investigate the connections between residential areas, shops, parks and community facilities. These studies outline the major constraints to people walking and cycling between their homes and centres and then on to the workplace. They also highlight the opportunities to improve these connections and encourage active travel across Canberra.

Roads ACT also chairs bimonthly meetings with advocacy groups such as Pedal Power, veterans cycling group and the Heart Foundation via the bicycle advisory group. Roads ACT assesses and prioritises all new requests, including using community path wide systems endorsed by the bicycle advisory group. This system considers factors such as safety, activity between facilities, residential and commercial areas and public transport. It also considers the likely demand and cost of proposals and links to the active travel network.

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