The Woden Valley Community Council made a submission regarding the development application on a proposal for the Woden Bus Interchange. The delegate has now made a decision on that development application. Details of the submission and decision can be read here.
PO Box 280 Woden ACT 2606; e-mail: email@example.com
ACT Planning and Land Authority
PO Box 365
RE: DA 201323970 Block 8 Section 6 WODEN BUS INTERCHANGE ESD
Dear Sir / Madam
WVCC welcomes the government’s intention to replace Woden Bus Interchange with a new upgraded facility, and to improve public realm amenity by creating new links between the Bus Interchange and the Woden Town Square.
However, WVCC is concerned that the plans indicated by the current Estate Development Plan do not represent the best way to achieve these objectives. The new development falls significantly short of the kind of Interchange and associated improvements that are needed to serve the Woden Valley community and the travelling public over the next forty years (the lifespan of the previous interchange).
WVCC believes that the following principles should guide the redevelopment:
– Use of public land should be optimised for the benefit of the community and the travelling public;
– The best and most convenient interchange and public realm should be designed and built, rather than fitting public facilities around development opportunities for the private sector;
– The need for expensive realignment of communications and other infrastructure should be avoided.
Even at this late stage, it would be possible to produce an excellent facility by retaining the land occupied by the northern section of the current interchange (rather than reserving it for future commercial development) and (rather than forcing bus passengers to wait inside the mall) by using the available space to construct bus shelters and waiting areas that are adequate for commuters to use in their own right.
Apart from these unsatisfactory overall parameters, WVCC has identified the following significant problems with the design
- Inadequate weather protection in the new bus shelters;
- The need for bus users to cross bus traffic in order to reach the south-going platforms;
- Removal of park and ride from Woden (Mawson, which is some distance further south, cannot provide a satisfactory alternative site);
- The ‘ramps’ leading up to the Town Square seem precipitous, and not in keeping with the connection to the Town Square set out in the initial design consultations;
- The connection from the Interchange through to Bradley Street remains unclear. There is a very real risk that people wishing to access the Interchange after the Mall has closed, will have to walk right around the expanded Westfield development in order to reach it.
If the Interchange redevelopment goes ahead along the lines proposed in the ESD, it will prove a less than satisfactory replacement for the current facility. WVCC considers it is in the interests of all parties (including Westfield) for the proposal to be re-thought, and better use made of the opportunities afforded by the site.
For example, running both north and south-bound buses through the current site on an orientation parallel with Callam Street (rather than at right angles to it), would appear to offer a much more effective and more convenient means for running the buses than is proposed in the ESD. With minimal loss of space to Westfield, it would also afford opportunity for the construction of substantial shelters, and a fitting upgrade to the link to the Town Square.
Dr Jenny Stewart
25 August 2013