Building unrideable bike paths

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

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 bike path with a gradient of 12.4% (approx length 200 m, climb 24 m). This is not compliant with the Austroads AGRD06A standard – and only determined and athletic types will love it.

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 have been released. The steep section of the path discussed in the article Pushing Uphill has been released for tender and is called “Trunk Path 1 – Part A”.

From the roundabout, the bike path (community route) rises 24 m and most of this section has a gradient of 12.4%. Austroads recommends only short sections above 5%! As discussed in my original article, the active travel network is often flawed in its design. This is a good example. The plans are found on the ACT Government tender website.

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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