Design guide for active travel

This design guide aims to improve infrastructure for people wanting to walk, cycle, scoot, and ride mobility devices. That means anyone and everyone who is not a driver of a motor vehicle. This is part of the ACT Government’s policy is to support active travel.

In the Canberra context, unless designated, all paths are shared by people walking, wheeling, cycling and using mobility aids.

Few people fully understand road rules, which is why design treatments must indicate that pedestrians have priority.

A diagram of an intersection taking from the Design Guide .

People using mobility devices and older people are given the label of “vulnerable” pedestrians. This is default language in transport jargon, but serves, unfortunately, to reinforce stereotypes. In reality, all pedestrians are vulnerable compared to motor vehicles.

When all pedestrians are incorporated into designs, we should just talk about “pedestrians walking and wheeling”. And with a Safe Systems Approach there should be no delineation between who is safer than whom.

Movement and Place framework

The Movement and Place framework together with a Safe Systems approach puts people into the centre of the frame. The lens has always been on vehicle traffic flows and the convenience and economics of reducing traffic delays. If we are to have active travel really happening, we have to re-think this priority.

The Design Guide is comprehensive and serves as a “how-to” tool for transport planners. It covers:

  • principles of safe design
  • street types
  • walking
  • cycling and micromobility
  • intersection principles and elements
  • signalisation
  • pedestrian and cycling provision at intersections
  • public transport
  • intersection guidance
Photo of a cycle path from the ACT Design Guide.

The title of the 63 page guide is, Design Guide: Best practices for urban intersections and other active travel infrastructure in the ACT.

Images are from the Design Guide.

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