Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 03-02-2015 Contents Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 10
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Streets and roads
essential, but avoid
the dreaded stroad
Member for Fraser
What s the difference between a street
and a road? According to planner
Charles Marohn, the difference is
fundamental to good urban design.
As Marohn sees it, roads get us
quickly from one place to another.
Streets are where people stroll and
We should think of roads like train
lines for cars. They have plenty of
lanes, sweeping curves and a high
Engineers love them.
Streets are where humanity
flourishes. Streets need wide
footpaths, with easy access for
bicycles and wheelchairs. The traffic is
slower, which keeps pedestrians safer
and allows drivers to stop when they
see an interesting store. A good street
captures economic value and builds
social capital. Communities love them.
We need both roads and streets. But
the problem with many cities around
the world is that their thoroughfares
have become stroads .
On a stroad, commuters are annoyed
that they re stuck in traffic, while the
pedestrians don t want to linger. Think
Parramatta Road in Sydney, or Sydney
Road in Melbourne.
Which brings me to our city. Walter
Burley Griffin said of Canberra that he
had planned an ideal city, a city that
meets my ideal of the city of the
future . But Griffin could never have
anticipated a few hundred kilometres
down the road from his Chicago office,
Henry Ford s incursions into mass
production would have a profound
impact on city planning for the next
When Griffin designed Canberra in
1911, Australia had one car for every
400 people. Now, we have nearly as
many cars as people. The distinction
between streets and roads didn t
matter a century ago.
Now, it s fundamental.
In terms of roads, the former federal
and the ACT government invested
$288 million in the Majura Parkway --
a major arterial that will shorten
But our city has also benefited from
the ACT government s initiatives
which have breathed new life into
streets such as Bunda and Childers.
In Lonsdale Street, Braddon, just
around the corner from my office,
good urban design is creating a street
where businesses profit and residents
Canberra needs both what Charles
Marohn would call streets and roads --
and a good mix of bikes, buses and
light rail. With smart design, we can
keep commuting times short, create
liveable urban spaces and avoid the
Patrick Moore, 74, is a volunteer tour guide at the Australian War Memorial.
Photo: Kimberley Granger
A gift and commitment to share stories
For about eight years, Patrick Moore
has been dedicated to helping others as
a volunteer guide with the Australian
With a special knack for
storytelling, the 74-year-old said he
was invested in sharing with visitors
the tales enveloped within the walls of
the memorial with visitors.
With a background in philosophy
and history, Mr Moore said he always
had a specific interest in Australian
Mr Moore is so invested in his
volunteer position he has just started
studying a master of arts in military
history degree from the University of
NSW through the Australian Defence
"You re continually training in this
business," he said.
"It s very rewarding. It s such a buzz
being able to share stories, and the
people that come here are quite
interesting in their own right -- some
people can tell me stories about their
experiences which is really quite
One of his favourite stories to tell
visitors to the Australian War
Memorial is the tale of Vivian
Mr Moore s flair for filling a
succinct story with fascinating facts is
one which only comes with
"The story tends to get a good
reaction, he said.
She was a nurse in World War II
and survived a massacre at a place
called Banka Island and then was a
prisoner of war for three and a half
He goes on with tidbits about the
life of Ms Bullwinkel, concluding the
story with, "she s an amazing
Despite the fact he was never sent to
war, he was too young to be
conscripted in the 1950s, and a year
too old to go to Vietnam, his volunteer
work at the memorial has become his
"I ve been retired for quite some
time . . . I can t imagine not being here
now," he said.
Catch a tour by Mr Moore on
Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday
morning weekly at the Australian War
Memorial. Tours vary from 30 to 90
minutes in duration and are free.
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