Pushing uphill still: Whitlam Local Community Route

Whitlam Stage 1 and Stage 2 are finished and Stage 3 is on the way. The roundabout discussed below is in Stage 3. In 2020, in the article Pushing uphill: case study of Whitlam active travel network, the planning of active travel network was found lacking. Here is an update.

Photo 1 shows the hill beside the roundabout of “Road 01”, which has now been named Sculthorpe Avenue. The hill will eventually be a park. A Local Community Route will be built up this hill (see figure 7 from Pushing uphill: case study of Whitlam active travel network).

Photo 1: Local Community Route will go up this hill. Sculthorpe Avenue, park behind, Whitlam, ACT

Photo 2 shows where the roundabout will be built.

Photo 2: The roundabout will be built here. Sculthorpe Avenue, Whitlam, ACT

Photo 3 shows where Scunthorpe Avenue currently stops in Stage 2 before the roundabout and looking from the other direction towards the roundabout from Stage 2 in Photo 4.

Photo 3: The end of Sculthorpe Avenue in Stage 2, below Shillam Chase, Whitlam, ACT
Photo 4: Sculthorpe Avenue Stage 3, below Shillam Chase, Whitlam, ACT

The Local Community Route continues along Scunthorpe Avenue from Stage 2 (see photo 5) into Stage 3, past the roundabout until it reaches the local shopping centre and school on John Gorton Drive.

Photo 5: Sculthorpe Avenue, end of Stage 2, below Shillam Chase, Whitlam, ACT

A Local Community Route will be built up this steep hill. Last year it was not certain how steep. The terrain profile is shown in figure 3 from Pushing uphill: case study of Whitlam active travel network and suggests this hill has a gradient of 10 to 15%. From what was seen today this would be about right. This gradient far exceeds that recommended by Austroads standards for cycle paths (Guide to Road Design Part 6A: Paths for Walking and Cycling, 2017). 

Constructing a path on this hill will likely require a serpentine route cut into the hill with switchbacks to keep the gradient below 5%. The development application (see figure 6 from Pushing uphill: case study of Whitlam active travel network) would suggest this is not the case. 

Sculthorpe Avenue, close to Shillam Chase, Whitlam, ACT
Local community route. Sculthorpe Avenue, close to Shillam Chase, Whitlam, ACT

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