Category Archives: transport

Not a lot of trust in the ACT government

ACT Labor Greens coalition government not trusted

Back in 2012 when the debate about the tram kicked off, there were several people who influenced thoughts on whether the city should have a tram. The first were Walter and Marion Griffin, the second was Katy Gallagher and the third was Zed Seselja.

Continue reading Not a lot of trust in the ACT government

Fact checking ACT Ministers’ press statements

 Gentleman’s patronising praise

The planning minister’s 22 March media release on the feedback received on the planning reforms was a real gem.

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Who knew that denying shelter and social housing paid for the tram?

Given their historical policy positions, the ACT Greenslabor coalition government would have been expected to have had a high priority on social housing and homelessness programs. But then there was the tram.

Continue reading Who knew that denying shelter and social housing paid for the tram?

Absence of sensible planning threatens a street in Garran

It may be a little out of fashion with the ACT Greenslabor ministers, but residents like to be listened to about what happens to their home, their street and their neighbourhood.

Continue reading Absence of sensible planning threatens a street in Garran

town cramming in the inner north

proposals to cram more into the suburbs

Inner north Canberra community members have been swamped with major development proposals that, according to the planning directorate, need to be commented on in a very short timeframe. The Bureau of Meteorology could not have forecast this inundation of paperwork.

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The Greenslabor planning minister really said that?

The mess that is planning in Canberra

Residents had good reasons to be puzzled by the 16th August decision by the ACT Greenslabor Planning Minister to use his precious ‘call-in’ powers to refuse a development at the McKellar shops. The reasons given caused readers to wonder – did he really say that?

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the ACT tram light rail hoax

Government delivers for developers, again

Throughout history, the growth in government propaganda is linked to increasing authoritarianism. The more they lie, the more they concoct alternative facts to justify dubious actions and to distract from real intentions.

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woden Valley Community Council issues

ACT Government fails on planning, again

When it comes to infrastructure and planning issues, the Woden Valley Community Council continues to have difficulties having real discussions with this ACT Labor/Greens government.

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The NCA can stop the tram going south

The National Capital Authority (NCA) finished 2021 on a low note. Not that would surprise those who have recently dealt with the NCA.

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Who benefits from the Trojan Tram going south?

Here’s some news the ACT Labor/Greens coalition government may not appreciate. The model they use to enable for development and for getting the tram done, builds on the way trains and trams were introduced in and around Sydney in the late 19th century.

Continue reading Who benefits from the Trojan Tram going south?

ACT Government stuffs up Woden Town Centre

On May 12, I finished a column on the shocking state of Woden developments with this statement: “This government’s expertise in town cramming is worthy of an award.

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ACT Government on Town Cramming

More Town Cramming for Woden

For the ACT’s Labor/Greens coalition politicians, planning is not something they worry about much despite it being something of major concern to residents.

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ACT Government and public sculpture

Need for a new public art policy

Sometime during the last election, a candidate said something about revising the public sculpture program initiated by Jon Stanhope when he was chief minister.

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More about Geocon, Purdon and Kingston

Before the last election there were promises of how planning was to be made easier to understand (the Ponton planning review that did not happen), planning was to be more people focussed (pigs might fly first), and new agencies to ensure good design and better urban environments (it has got worse).

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ACT Government messes with Gungahlin

Developers ruin the town centre, politicians silent!

In late 2019 the ACT government proposed to vary the plan for the Gungahlin town centre. It didn’t take long for the Gungahlin Community Council to spot the devil in the detail – or to be more accurate – what detail went missing.

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Spoiling the bush capital

The ACT Government ruins a good city!

The Chief Minister Andrew Barr and his Labor/Greens government have made it clear that their view of Canberra’s future is different from that of the city’s residents and those that cherish its place in the world as Australia’s bush capital.

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National Capital Authority stupidity on Commonwealth Avenue Bridge

The agency that is supposed to be the steward for the national capital, the National Capital Authority (NCA), does come out with some rubbish at times. In this case it floated the idea of pulling down Commonwealth Ave bridge to build a new bridge for the tram. Luckily the project engineer who worked on the bridge is around t point out how stupid this thought bubble was. Click here for my opinion piece in City News.

Give us this day our daily spin…

It is annoying to constantly experience the culture within this ACT government that delivers a daily onslaught of spin. Who writes this stuff? Don’t they realise how hollow they sound? What do they think this nonsense achieves? click here for my piece on this

Traffic chaos delivered by Canberra planners


Unfortunately what has been happening for years in Canberra, being bad planning and development, looks to continue given the on-going bad decisions by the ACT’s planning minister and his bureaucrats in the planning directorate. Click here.

Googong or Canberra?


With the debate in Canberra about housing affordability, the ACT Liberals have been using a particular line in their election statements to criticise the current government’s Land Development Agency (LDA) and its handling of land prices.

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how cycling changed New York

51szRwU7suL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution

Author: Sadik-Khan, Janette; Solomonow, Seth

New Book – here’s text from the publishers: As New York City’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan managed the seemingly impossible and transformed the streets of one of the world’s greatest, toughest cities into dynamic spaces safe for pedestrians and bikers.

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image_startWhile Australian governments spend a lot of time on transport matters, it usually means cars, maybe public transport and occasionally bicycles. In Canberra the pedestrian is not often on the agenda. Walking is far more fun. I visited Vienna recently and was impressed about many things to do with its urban structure. And now I read that they have a new emphasis on walking and urban planning is allowing for this!

Continue reading Walking

Cars for Canberra

11651085It was during a radio program on the future of Civic, the centre of Canberra, that an architectural academic came forward with his Big Idea on how this city centre could be refurbished. To my surprise the academic suggested that Civic’s pedestrian areas should be opened up for cars. I have to say that ‘architectural experts’ often speak on urban matters as if they are living on another planet.

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Seven Myths About New Urbanism

Re-Posted from ThisBigCity blog

brooklyn-bridgeSeven Myths About New Urbanism: Joel Kotkin, a fellow at Chapman University and an untiring defender of the suburbs, begins a recent column in the Washington Post with a valid question: “What is a city for?” He then proceeds to get that question completely wrong. But really, we should be thanking him. In his article, he neatly sums up many of the key myths emerging from the anti-urbanism set, making the job of debunking these myths a lot easier. Click here.

Bicycles and Roads

Comment: The Dangers of Bicycles

watchforbikesThe ACT Government has released plans to trial the laws that make it mandatory for cars to keep at least one metre between themselves and cyclists. This is good news that this matter is being treated seriously as cycling on Canberra roads is very hazardous. But I say that with some serious issues to be aired as well.

It must be remembered that as in the picture opposite, not everyone appreciates bike paths. There are dumb people everywhere!

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Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Notice: Urban Bikeway Design Guide, Second Edition

National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)


cover1The Urban Bikeway Design Guide, Second Edition, is based on the experience of the best cycling cities in the world. Completely re-designed with an accessible, four-color layout, this second edition continues to build upon the fast-changing state of the practice at the local level. The designs in this book were developed by cities for cities, since unique urban streets require innovative solutions.

To create the Guide, the authors conducted an extensive worldwide literature search from design guidelines and real-life experience.

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LA for Bikes

Los Angeles a city for cyclists?

LA wasn’t always a driver’s town. In the 1920s, it had the longest urban rail network in the world, and innovative infrastructure was built for cyclists as well. Despite this, Angelenos fell in love with the car early on and moved for more highway projects, making it the road-based city it is today.

click here for the story.


Paul Costigan, 19 August 2014

Car Parking

Using Parking Meters in Climate Change


parkingmadridThere are all sorts of stories in circulation in Canberra as a result of the decision to introduce paid parking for all areas within the Parliamentary Triangle. This has a big impact on those who work in the area. Some public servants are devising clever tricks to continue to have free parking.

This will also mean that visitors will now have to pay to visit the national institutions and have limited time to visit. This could be a marked change in how visitors regard the national cultural institutions. I know as a local, it will mean less visits to these institutions.

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Public Transport Facts

Public Transportation Use is Growing — the Facts


Two reports on the rise in the use of public transport in the USA.

First – set out below is a March 2014 media statement from the On March 10, 2014 by the American Public Transportation Association. or – check out the original on the association’s own web site – click here.

The second is an article in the New York Times, March 10 2014: Use of Public Transit in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956, Advocates Reportclick here

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the city and cyclists

re-posted from Gehl Architects:

The City and Cyclists

Their guest blogger reports:

Brussels – a city of cars, Amsterdam – a city of cyclists

By Devon Paige Willis
Devon is doing a Masters program called 4Cities, an Erasmus Mundus Masters that takes students from Brussels to Vienna, Copenhagen and Madrid to study cities. Gehl Architects met her when she was interning at the Montréal Urban Ecology Center in 2013.


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Urban Transportation Change Maker

Re-posted from The Dirt

Rina Cutler: Urban Transportation Change Maker

When I retire I will write a book called, ‘you can’t make this sh*t up,” said Rina Cutler, deputy mayor for transportation and utilities, Philadelphia, at a National Complete Streets Coalition dinner in Washington, D.C. In a review of her experience serving seven mayors and governors, Cutler revealed the sometimes painful truths about pushing for positive change in urban transportation.

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Big Road Projects

Big road projects don’t really save time or boost productivity?

from the Conversation, 24 Jan 2014

With the Rabbott government expressing support for large infrastructure projects in the shape of more big roads, there is the absence of any sense of what some these projects do to local communities. Let’s not also consider how roads encourage more traffic, that is more cars, that is more use of petrol, that is less use of any form of public transport and other more sustainable transport – such as walking.

The New South Wales and Victorian governments have recently released business cases for their pet motorway projects, WestConnex in Sydney and East-West Link in Melbourne. But will these big road projects, costing a combined A$20 billion (with A$3 billion being donated by the federal government), really generate the economic benefits promised? Read the full piece from The Conversation – click here

Public Transit

Re-Blogged from WIRED

Public Transit Is Underfunded Because the Wealthy Don’t Rely on It, By Keith Barry 2013

Canberra has traditionally not had a great public transport system. The population is 350,000 and as it continues to climb it is approaching the levels to support some forms of rapid bus transit or a light rail systems. There has been some very strange opposition. Maybe the article from the WIRE magazine goes some way to giving some of the possible reasons behind this opposition.

Continue reading Public Transit