Walkable cities: trouble in Whitlam

Pedestrians do not want to walk any further than necessary. Cyclists are the same. Roads may circle around, but direct paths must crisscross the city to make it easy for active travel.

Whitlam´s main street, Sculthorpe Avenue, is not a permeable design. This is a residential area with houses on local streets either side of Sculthorpe Avenue. Concrete paths run along the side streets. Crossing Sculthorpe Avenue is made difficult with a garden bed in the middle. It maybe expected that the residents go hundreds of metres out of their way to cross at the roundabout or lights, but this is unlikely not happen. Pedestrians will cross here because it is shorter.

Sculthorpe Avenue. Whitlam, Molonglo Valley, ACT.
By the Transformative Mobility Initiative (TUMI) – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikipedia
Whitlam, Molonglo Valley, ACT
Path running beside Sculthorpe Avenue below the roundabout. Whitlam, Molonglo Valley, ACT. Looking towards the playground

2 Comments

  1. I have just got back from going to have a look at Sculthorpe Drive.
    I think you have exaggerated the problem with Sculthorpe Drive. The garden beds in the middle of the road run for about 250 metres in total, and in that 250 m there are 2 crossing points provided and both are adjacent to the cross roads. So no-one will need to go „hundreds of metres“ out of their way. 40 or 50 metres at most.

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    1. The concept of permeability, is that pedestrians always to the most direct route because distance counts. Distance does not count for cars, so they take the long route. This design in Whitlam is the opposite.

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