London Circuit/Northbourne Avenue deconstructed

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Civic’s London Circuit and Northbourne Avenue have gone all wild west of late with the streets ripped up revealing dirty byways beset by mud as the rain came down.

Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur over the weekend said the works were not advancing Canberra’s Civic Plan – also created by the Government:

The Government is spending $3.8m just on London Circuit, but not taking the opportunity to improve the design.

If you are going to shut down London Circuit and rebuild parts of it, this is the time you should add coordinated transport infrastructure, such as separated or on-road bike and bus priority lanes that link up and are safe.

London Circuit now has some new, short, on-road bike lanes squeezed in, but they suddenly end in busy traffic.  If the Government adds better bike lanes in the future, it will need to demolish its new gutters, making the current work redundant.

Such duplication wastes time, money, and causes needless inconvenience. A Government committed to sustainable and active transport would take these opportunities to properly upgrade the transport options on one of the key commuting streets.

A CityNews reader, Dave Ellis wrote in to tell us his thoughts today:

Three or so weeks ago, the edges of the road were ripped out – for the new gutters, we presumed. The gutters were placed but road edges were not repaired, merely filled with earth. When the heavy rain came, the new soil eroded, and these instead became troughs, drenching unwary passers-by when traffic came too close and becoming a serious driving hazard, especially for the frequent buses.

A week ago, the road was ripped up and we were left with hard packed dirt, and for the first few days this was fine. Then, as all the workers came back from their break, they found that the dirt wasn’t so hard-packed anymore, that it was becoming gravel, and that London Circuit had become a dustbowl. People are walking around with scarves over their mouths, trying not to choke in peak hour.

The worst part? This is happening right outside the legislative assembly. Our politicians, the ones who made this happen, know what’s going on.

When CityNews contacted TAMs about the road works we were given this statement:

They are undergoing significant safety improvements and maintenance. They will hopefully be finalised in July.

So suck it up and put on your gum-boots folks, it’s not even close to over yet.

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