Building unrideable bike paths

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 rideable bike path with a gradient of 12.4% (208m, climb 24m). This is not compliant with the Austroads Standards (AGRD06A) – and only determined and athletic types will love it.

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

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 24m and 208m 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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