Government hides Canberra's worst roads

Nine out of the ten worst residential roads in Canberra have suddenly disappeared from the ACT Government’s list of problem roads.

The ACT Government’s traffic warrants system ranks Canberra’s residential roads according to the severity of their traffic problems. Last year the Canberra Times had to use Freedom of Information laws to access and publish information from the 2009 and 2013 versions of the traffic warrants system.

This year the ACT Government updated the traffic warrants system on the Transport Canberra and City Services website, and most of the previously worst ranked roads have simply vanished from the list.

The most notable disappearance is the western segment of Antill Street in Dickson, ranked as Canberra’s worst residential road for the past decade. Meanwhile, the eastern segment of Antill Street has remained on the list, with its ranking worsening rapidly from 92nd in 2009, to 85th in 2013, to 46th in 2016.

Other Inner North roads missing include Majura Avenue, the northern segment of Cowper Street, and both the eastern and western segments of Phillip Ave, all previously high-ranked roads in the Dickson area.

Elsewhere in Canberra, previously high-ranked roads such as Kent Street and Hopetoun Circuit in Deakin, the eastern segment of Sternberg Crescent in Wanniassa, Anthony Rolfe Avenue in Gungahlin, and the southern segment of Namatjira Drive in Waramanga have also been dropped from the list.

Maribyrnong Avenue in Kaleen is the only previously top 10 ranked road that has made it into the 2016 list, and, unsurprisingly, it is now ranked number one.

In the frequently asked questions for the 2016 traffic warrant system, it is stated that “some major collector roads were also removed from the list as it was considered that traffic calming measures may not be applicable or the best treatment for such roads. Such roads will be investigated, and treated if necessary, under other Roads ACT programs.”

Canberra Community Voters candidate for Kurrajong Mike Hettinger said, “This statement is extraordinary, given that the roads removed from the list run past a number of schools and have consistently ranked among the worst residential roads in Canberra for an extended period of time.”

“If the Government has any genuine intention or expectation of addressing traffic problems on these roads, then it must continue to include them in its list to show how traffic conditions are improving.”

“Instead, we have a Government that has adopted a policy of hiding traffic problems rather than solving them.  It’s a cop-out,” concluded Mr Hettinger.

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Authorised by Richard Farmer on behalf of Canberra Community Voters