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urban planning

C10 City – Molonglo Feasibility Study

The Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway: Feasibility Study is hard to find as it is not on the ACT Governments website. It is currently not funded in any ACT Budget. The ACT Government has not proposed to build it. The section through the suburbs of the Molonglo Valley development will be built along with the roads. The focus here is to finish the suburb and not to finish the route. The concept of building a cycle highway independent of roads is alien to the ACT Governments thinking.

The Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway: Feasibility Study (ACT Government, 19 September 2014) was carried out by the ACT Government as a result of the 2012 Parliamentary Agreement between the ACT ALP and ACT Greens. The cycle highway is commonly referred to as the “C10 City – Molonglo” cycling route and is an official CBR Cycle Route (Figure 1 and 2). It is a cycle highway that is intended to provide a direct and high-quality cycling route between the Molonglo Valley and the City. In the Active Travel Framework, the technical language of the urban planners, it is called Principal Community Route.

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The Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway: Feasibility Study is hard to find as it is not on the ACT Governments website. It is currently not funded in any ACT Budget. The ACT Government has not proposed to build it. The section through the suburbs of the Molonglo Valley development will be built along with the roads. The focus here is to finish the suburb and not to finish the route. The concept of building a cycle highway independent of roads is alien to the ACT Governments thinking.

Further, the corridors for active travel infrastructure are reserved through the Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool. The routes in this online tool should be considered for all urban developments. If a route is not planned it will never be built. The corridors for active travel are called Active Travel Route Alignments (ATRA). However, the C10 is not found in the Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool (figure 3). And many other Active Travel Route Alignments are out of date.

3.2 Active Travel Route Alignments

The current version of the Active Travel Routes (ATR) are 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.

Traditionally, in the ACT routes for active travel modes such as walking and cycling were planned within “green corridors” utilised for “cycle paths” connecting main destinations. In recent times however, routes have followed roads with the level of amenity such as path width and lighting levels dictated by the road hierarchy. Open spaces have been subject to landscaping only, with little regard to “big picture” planning or the design of facilities necessary for active travel. This approach has not provided for route characteristics likely to encourage active travel as an alternative travel mode over vehicle use.

Planning for Active Travel in the ACT: Active Travel Infrastructure Interim Planning Guideline (ACT Government, January 2019), PATACT, page 12
Figure 1: map of official CBR Cycle Routes (ACT Government)
Figure 2: Legend of map listing the name of the official CBR Cycle Routes
Figure 3: The C10 is missing as a cycle route in the Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool

The Study

Extracts from the Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway: Feasibility Study.

Figure 4: Page 9, The Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway Feasibility Study

The Cycleway would consist of a 4 m wide asphalt path. At the edge of the path pavement the optimal
arrangement will be to provide a 0.5 m shoulder and 0.5 m clear zone. The total potential cross section width of
the corridor is 6 m (4 m path, 1 m shoulders, 1 m clear zone). The clear zone and shoulder widths may change
based on constraints along the corridor. For example,

Page 13, The Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway Feasibility Study
Figure 4: Typical Cross Section of the Cycleway

Figure 5: Benefits identified for the Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway Project

The results of the cost-benefit analysis indicate that the development of the Molonglo Valley to the City Cycleway
project is economically viable. The Cycleway presents a positive net present value (NPV) of $12.7 million and a
BCR of 1.6.
This means that the construction of the Cycleway would have an overall positive impact for the Canberra
Community. The benefits associated with the completed infrastructure are greater than the cost of constructing
and maintaining the Cycleway.

Page 20, The Molonglo Valley to City Trunk Cycleway Feasibility Study
Photo by Daniel Frank on Pexels.com
Photo by Daniel Frank on Pexels.com

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