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Civic revamp: Bunda St for the people

Date

Larissa Nicholson

Motorists on Bunda Street will be forced to slow down and share the road with cyclists and pedestrians under planning proposals to be released by the ACT government on Wednesday.

The redevelopment is part of the $6 million Civic Cycle Loop project, a bicycle path that will circle the city centre and connect to other paths leading into Civic.

All in: An artist's impression of how a Bunda Street shared zone might look with vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

All in: An artist's impression of how a Bunda Street shared zone might look with vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

Three urban design consultants contracted by the ACT Government provided plans for the popular shopping strip, one proposing a 10km/hour ''shared zone'' with minimal signage or line markings, where all road users including motorists and cyclists would navigate the area at a slow speed, avoiding any crashes with one another.

The McGregor Coxall design also includes additional bicycle parking, seating, feature lighting and thermoplastic pavement stencils.

Stage Two of the plan would see the road raised to the the same level as the footpath.

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A plan by consultants Tract would see a 30km/hour speed limit enforced on Bunda Street, with speed limits also reduced along Genge Street, Scotts Crossing, Petrie Street and Akuna Street.

Intersections would be shared by road users and paved with a different material to other sections of the streetscape, with roads in those areas raised to the same level as the footpaths. New bicycle racks, seating, bins and light poles would be installed, and the plan also includes street art, new trees, and four extra parking spaces. A Spackman, Mossop and Michaels proposal would see a distinct, two directional bicycle path on the southern side of Bunda Street, and would make the road one-way, south bound for motorists, who would access it at four separate left-in, left-out points.

The design includes the potential Bike Hub, which would sit at City Walk and may include bicycle storage, lockers and showers.

The design also features ''shared zone'' intersections that would enable cyclists to turn onto other cycling routes, and would be paved in a different material to remind road users of changed conditions.

The three designs will be on display in the Canberra Centre, on the upper level opposite Big W, until 30 January, then in the Civic Library until 7 February.

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury said he would be consulting with interest groups including cyclist groups and Bunda Street traders during the coming weeks.

''We're not going in with any pre-conceived ideas, we're very keen to have the community give input right now and I'll be quite fascinated to see the preferred option that comes back from the various user groups,'' he said.

Mr Rattenbury had not seen specific costings for all the designs, but the entire loop had a budget of $6 million, and the government would weigh up feedback from the public and which features were likely to work best before making a final decision.

Comment on the designs at www.timetotalk.act.gov.au or below.

53 comments

  • OK - I have looked at the three options on the website and they seem very pretty on paper. But there are some people dynamics missing here. Perhaps the most important relates to Canberra's extremes of weather - noting that the sections identified for development fall into vastly different climate zones.

    The second comment relates to people draw. Given the weather "forces" people into the Canberra Centre for much of the year (too hot, too cold, too windy) - what will make people visit and use the new work? I'm not getting a "pull" factor; especially into the cold, grey parts like Akuna St.

    And finally, bicycles. Current studies reported by the C/T indicate Canberra has too much mixed cycling infrastructure. Mixing Pedestrian, Motor Vehicle and Cycling zones doesn't work well in the real world.

    Commenter
    Outraged of Palmerston
    Date and time
    January 16, 2013, 9:15AM
    • You say in the real world shared zones don't work. Well in many European cities they work extremely well. They are also in cities that are much colder than Canberra is during the winter.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSCks9Q8fNQ

      Commenter
      Martin
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 9:40AM
    • Weel said, Zat. I am a cyclist myself, but I am appalled by the morons who insist on riding at full speed through crowded pedestrian areas (and even across roads) in Civic without a thought for what might cross their paths at any moment. Then there are the ones who ride as fast as they can within a metre of a whole line of shopfronts and arcade doors (what could go wrong ....?) Unfortunately it's these fools who will be the biggest barrier to an idea like this. How is it possible to educate the brainless?

      Commenter
      Mike Micanopy
      Location
      Gnilabura
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 10:23AM
    • Urgh, how many times do people have to be told. Rego etc doesn't work.

      Commenter
      Stir the pot
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 10:27AM
    • No most it seem are all hyped up on performance enhancing substances (their 5th latte of the day) and trying to emulate their idols such as Lance Armstrong. Don't dare get in their way, expect any courtesy, or god forbid expect them to obey any traffic rules. For many it is their only escape and excitement from their dreary lifeless pen pushing Monday to Friday public service position.
      Still please ditch the lycra and slow down and relax a little. You are not in a race, nor are you any chance of setting any new speed records. Also most of you are far from built like a tour de france cycle jockey so the lycra is not flattering despite all the BMC and Europcar logos being significantly enlarged pleasing your non paying advertisers!

      Commenter
      Peter
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 10:47AM
    • Here we go - another rant turning this article into a "I HATE CYCLISTS!!!" rampage, with the usual claptrap about "lycra clad two wheelers" and "REGISTER ALL BIKES!!11!!". Get over yourself and your bee in your bonnet about cyclists, and focus on the story at hand.

      Commenter
      Xavier
      Location
      Dickson
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 12:03PM
    • Spot on Zat - why shoulkd the majority continue to pay for the luxury of the non-paying, pampered, elistist cycling minority. If they sincerely want improved cycling conditions is it unreasonable to expect them to contribute - user pays - doesn't thaty apply for other community services?

      Commenter
      Fed-up
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 12:05PM
    • Peter and Zat, you are 100 per cent correct.

      Commenter
      Lea1
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 1:20PM
    • user pays - well, when was the last time a pedestrian paid for the footpath, the pedestrian crossing or the traffic lights allowing them to cross the road?

      Surely taking cyclists off the footpaths and giving them cycle paths actually help? I wouldnt mind imposing speed limits on cyclists as well - maybe not a legal limit, but signs saying 'slow down' and 'dont be a lycra idiot'.

      Commenter
      asdf
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 5:37PM
    • Perhaps I should qualify my comments. Shared zones I have directly experienced in Australia; in cities, towns and villages do not work. We are not Europe and we do not have 2000 years of evolutionary traffic managment.

      When I was in Belgium I saw shared zones work. But the reason they work is mixed business draw people from one part of a town to another. But everyone is still conscious of cars and the streets that are shared zones are in the old town parts on a medieval street plan. Canberra and Bunda St does not have the mixture of mixed business (the draw is straight into the Mall) nor the street mix that Brugges, Ghent or Lier have.

      Commenter
      Outraged of Palmerston
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 9:58AM

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