Kuringa Drive has long been a missing link between West Belconnen and West Gungahlin. Building a path along Kuringa Drive was an ACT Labor 2016 Election pledge. The design work is finally completed and gone out to tender. It is not clear when construction will start.
Kuringa Drive / Owen Dixon Drive intersection is a known black spot.
“The intersection of Kuringa Drive and Owen Dixon Drive will be signalised to improve safety. As well as improving safety, this project will also relieve congestion at the intersection including improved safety and crossing opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists.”Kuringa Drive/Owen Dixon Drive intersection signalisation, TCCS, ACT Government, accessed 10/9/2020
Kuringa Drive crosses a CSIRO field station, which was controversial as it was “earmarked for 15,000 homes, bordered by the Barton Highway, William Slim Drive, Owen Dixon Drive and Kuringa Drive.” (You’re paying for Barton Highway flyover and William Slim Drive, Kirsten Lawson, The Canberra Times, 12/6/2017 – paywall)
Many cyclists have got caught up here. It is a road like any other, but it narrows down quickly and there is no way to get off it. Frances Ingram published her letter to the Minister about her experience.
“Yesterday I was returning from the supermarkets in Casey. As I proceeded along Kuringa Drive, just after the lights on the Barton Highway, I noticed that the traffic was held up from the lights, forward towards the Owen Dixon turnoff. Eventually, I realised that a single cyclist was holding up all the traffic. It is usually impossible to safely pass a cyclist on that particular stretch of road, due to the heavy traffic.”Comment from Frances Ingram 1:01 pm 26 Apr 2020 to Pedal Power puts spoke in government’s infrastructure wheel, Ian Bushnell, The RiotACT, 26 April 2020
Australian Government Black Spot Program
The package will provide intersection upgrades across the Australian Capital Territory at various identified locations to improve road user and pedestrian safety, and improve traffic management.
The intersections being upgraded are:
> Belconnen Way/ Springvale Drive, Hawker
> Launceston Street/ Irving Street, Phillip
> Southern Cross Drive/ Starke Street, Holt
> Kuringa Drive/ Owen Dixon Drive, Evatt.ACT Intersection Upgrade Package, Australian Government Black Spot Program, accessed 10/9/2020
The ACT Government have cleverly smuggled into it the design costs for the bike path into the intersection of Owen Dixon Drive with Kuringa Drive upgrade. Signalisation is not driven by cycling best practice but Federal Government funding. If the Federal Government is paying for half of it, then it gets priority. It demonstrates how priorities are steered by political expediency.
There is currently a bike path between Casey (shops) and Barton Highway. Pedal Power ACT proposed a path along Kuringa Drive between Barton Highway to Kingsford Smith Drive. Unfortunately, it will not quite get to Kingsford Smith Drive but stop at the new intersection at Owen Dixon Drive. From there it is dirt to Charnwood – or at least to Kingsford Smith Drive – along the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT).
The bike path stops short of Kingsford Smith Drive which is unfortunate. The rideable paths are shown on CyclOSM interactive map in blue.
The scope of works
“There will be on road cycle lanes on all approaches to the upgraded intersection of Kuringa Drive and Owen Dixon Drive. Additionally, there will be a 3m wide shared path on the northern side of Kuringa Drive, from the intersection with Owen Dixon Drive to the Barton Highway…
We expect to release the final designs in August ahead of constructing commencing in the final quarter of this year.”Tara Cheyne MLA, Member for Ginninderra, ACT Labor, email 1 July 2020
Kuringa Drive / Owen Dixon Drive intersection is shown below and the file attached for download.
The shared bike path is 3m wide.