The Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool is dated

John Gorton Drive bridge, Molonglo Valley, Canberra. source: John Gorton Drive 3C Extension (JGD3C) 211 EIS Exemption Application, 27 September 2019

The Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool (ATIPT) is essential for the planning of greenfield developments such as the Molonglo Valley. It should be kept up to date but it is currently not. This is concerning as Practitioner Tool contains the cycling corridors (Active Travel Route Alignments) that should be the starting point for estate planning. The Practitioner Tool is out of date compared to the most current estate planning documents, perhaps because it is ignored in the planning process. Canberra.bike includes an introduction and discussion of the Practitioner Tool and here are extracts from the KEY DOCUMENTS.

Key documents – Standards and guideline documents which should be used in the planning and design of active travel facilities. These are listed in Sections 2.2.3 to 2.2.7.”

Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 (MIS05) (ACT Government, April 2019), pages 13-17

Glossary

This glossary includes common active travel terms from urban planning.

2.3.2 Glossary of terms used in this document

“Active Travel Network (ATN) – The collective description for all existing facilities associated with active travel.

Active Travel Routes (ATR) – The five Active Travel Route types as detailed in this Design Standard (refer Section 3.2).

Active Travel Route Alignments (ATRA) – The spatial alignment datasets of the five Active Travel Route types.

Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool (ATIPT) – A web-based user interface that provides access to spatial mapping of the Active Travel Routes for walking, cycling and equestrian routes (ATRA) as well as access to planning and design policies, guides and other information relevant to the planning and design of active travel infrastructure in the ACT. The tool is available for use by all stakeholders including government agencies, developers and consultants.

source: Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 (MIS05) (ACT Government, April 2019), pages 13-17

The Practitioner Tool is not up to date but should be

Why is the Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool important?

  • “If there is a need to modify ATRs as shown on ATRA (for economic reasons for instance), practitioners will liaise with the Planning Authority to obtain acceptance. This should be documented in the Design Acceptance submission for the development.”
  • “Datasets produced by EPSDD through the structure or concept planning and other EDP process are provided to TCCS for update of the Active Travel Route Alignments on completion of each of these processes. TCCS will update the Active Travel Route Alignments to include amendments to the alignments resolved primarily through the outcomes of feasibility and planning studies. This exercise is to be undertaken on a proposed 6 monthly basis.”

Key points

  1. Only three of the six planned crossing points currently exist.
  2. The three crossing points that do exist are all river-level crossings that flood.
  3. The John Gordon Drive Bridge is planned for 2024 (WCCC meeting 2019) but the location is not correct in the ATIPT.
  4. The river-level crossing opposite Deep Creek on the Molonglo River does not exist at the moment (survey 17/3/2020).
  5. The bridge planned for the suburb of Molonglo is also incorrectly placed in the ATIPT.

These points are demonstrated on the following maps:

  • Map 1: Overview map for ATRA and corrections added
  • Map 2: Close up of the Coppins Crossing and the John Gordon Drive Bridge (worryingly dated), Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool
  • Map 3: Actually location of the John Gorton Drive Stage 3C (Biodiversity Review for S211)
  • Map 4: High-level planned bridge crossing from Molonglo Valley Stage 3 Planning and Design Framework

The Molonglo River Reserve Plan states that 4 low-level (river level) crossings and 3 high-level bridges are “existing or expected” for the Molonglo Valley. This is not as many as it first sounds as low-level crossings are ill-suited for active travel and the high-level bridges are in some cases colocated with the low-level crossings. For active travel, only the 3 high-level bridges are of value. Butters Bridge exits but without connecting paths, and the John Gordon Drive Bridge is only coming in 2024.

Figure 1: John Gorton Drive Bridge and Coppins Crossing – one above the other
source: John Gorton Drive 3C Extension (JGD3C) 211 EIS Exemption Application, 27 September 2019

Maps section

Map 1: Active Travel Route Alignment (ATRA), Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool

Quote from my post: When strategies collide: climate change, active travel and environmental protection

“It is noticeable that the existing crossings are favoured, and few new ones are planned. The preference is also for low level crossings which are problematic for bikes considering the gradients. The crossing points have developed historically and not been systematically planned as part of a large cycle highway city-wide network. The crossing points can be less than ideal. For example, the new John Gordon Drive Bridge (planned for completion 2024) is one crossing point. The old Coppins Crossing will also be maintained. But these two crossings are one above the other, so that the benefit to the network of the two together is little better than just the bridge.”

Map 2: Coppins Crossing and the John Gordon Drive Bridge (worryingly dated), Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool.
Map 3: Location of John Gorton Drive Stage 3C (Biodiversity Review for S211)
Map 4: High-level planned bridge crossing for the suburb of Molonglo
Molonglo Valley Stage 3 Planning and Design Framework (ACT Government, February 2019), page 13

How the planning should work

Extracts from KEY DOCUMENTS.

3.2 Active Travel Route Alignments

The current version of the Active Travel Routes (ATR) is available for use in preparing land development proposals at both a broad strategic scale and site specific level. The Active Travel Route Alignments (ATRA) represent an interconnected web of routes in established areas as well as indicative (future) alignments for routes in new areas. It is not intended to represent the facilities that currently exist on the routes, rather it shows the best alignments for human powered transport and recreation. …

Once the physical route alignments have been planned and included as part of the ATRA, the route type provides the basis for the design of the facilities required to serve the needs of users of the identified routes. In effect, it sets the aspirational standards for the routes. …

Datasets produced by EPSD through the structure or concept planning and other EDP process are provided to TCCS for update of the Active Travel Route Alignments on completion of each of these processes. TCCS will update the Active Travel Route Alignments to include amendments to the alignments resolved primarily through the outcomes of feasibility and planning studies. This exercise is to be undertaken on a proposed 6 monthly basis.

Planning for Active Travel in the ACT: Active Travel Infrastructure Interim Planning Guideline (ACT Government, January 2019), PATACT, page 12

3.3.2 Estate development – facilities in new or redeveloped areas

Walking, cycling and equestrian facilities

The Planning Authority provides strategic network planning for the pedestrian, cycling and equestrian routes in new and developing residential areas. Practitioners are to ensure the physical conditions of the facilities meet standards for each of the route types as defined in this Standard and the facilities align with the routes as shown on ATRA. Active Travel Routes (ATRs) are to be planned to comply with the strategic planning requirements of Planning for Active Travel in the ACT: Active Travel Infrastructure Interim Planning Guideline.

The connectivity of routes for transportation and recreation are checked against the ATRA. Figure 5-1 shows the implementation process in new urban areas (Estate Development context) and redevelopments in existing areas where the Active Travel Routes are aligned to most suit user needs. Route alignments are informed by terrain and directness to destinations and should not be dictated by road hierarchy.

If there is a need to modify ATRs as shown on ATRA (for economic reasons for instance), practitioners will liaise with the Planning Authority to obtain acceptance. This should be documented in the Design Acceptance submission for the development.

Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 (MIS05) (ACT Government, April 2019), page 25

References

  1. Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool
  2. Molonglo River Reserve: Reserve Management Plan 2019 (ACT Government, 26 July 2019)
  3. Planning for Active Travel in the ACT: Active Travel Infrastructure Interim Planning Guideline (PATCAT) (ACT Government, January 2019)
  4. Molonglo Valley Stage 3 Planning and Design Framework (ACT Government, February 2019)
  5. Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 (MIS05) (ACT Government, April 2019)
  6. John Gorton Drive Stage 3C Biodiversity Review for S211 (ACT Government, 2019)
  7. John Gorton Drive 3C Extension (JGD3C) 211 EIS Exemption Application (27 September 2019)

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