Pushing uphill in Whitlam: part 3

Whitlam from the top of the valley on a sunny day - 17 April 2022.

Many of the problems we have with active travel are due to years and years and year of poor design. The Molonglo Valley is a good example. In Whitlam, the ACT Government is building a Local Community Route with a gradient of 12.4% which is not compliant with the Austroads Standards (AGRD06A).

The problem remains: we continue to build cycle paths that are not suitable for the average cyclist (ie compliant with Austroads recommendations).

canberra.bike (2021)
Community path "trunk path 1 part a", New park in Whitlam. Tender SL200309, Project Whitlam Stage 2D 17-1289, File 17-1289 2D-L501 LANDSCAPE AND SETOUT
Community path “trunk path 1 part a”, New park in Whitlam. Tender SL200309, Project Whitlam Stage 2D 17-1289, File 17-1289 2D-L501 LANDSCAPE AND SETOUT

The tender documents for this hill/park at Whitlam show the steep section of the path along the ridge, now called “Trunk Path 1 – Part A”. This ridge path was previously discussed in Pushing uphill in Whitlam part 1 and part 2.

From the roundabout, the bike path (Local Community Route) rises 24 m along a length of 208 m with an average gradient of 12.4%. In contrast, Austroads recommends only short sections above 5%! As discussed in Pushing uphill in Whitlam part 1, the active travel network is often flawed in its design. “Trunk Path 1 – Part A” is a good example of this poor design. The plans on the ACT Government tender website are removed when tenders close, but the landscape plan is attached below.

Tender SL200309, Project Whitlam Stage 2D 17-1289, File 17-1289 2D-L501 LANDSCAPE AND SETOUT
Gradient profile of the “trunk path 1 part a”, New park in Whitlam. Tender SL200309, Project Whitlam Stage 2D 17-1289, File 17-1289 2D-L501 LANDSCAPE AND SETOUT

Relevant information

  • Tender: SL200309
  • Project:  Whitlam Stage 2D 17-1289
  • File: 17-1289 2D-L501 LANDSCAPE AND SETOUT
  • Plan: 2D-L501.16 on page 16

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