The Open Data Portal community path data categorises paths as either cycle paths (CYCLEPATH) or footpaths (FOOTPATH), of which 5,478 are cycle paths and 60,421 are footpaths. The segment lengths vary in length and generally the cycle paths are longer (91 m average length versus 43 m, 3900 m maximum length versus 1700 m).
Heatmaps allow us to compare the path density across Canberra. The scale is calibrated to show the highest concentrations in hot red to lowest in blue. Heatmaps are better for comparing pedestrian networks than cycle networks.
Many streets in Canberra are without footpaths. The newer suburbs clearly have a higher footpath density. With 60,421 data points, the maps are a meaningful way to compare the spatial distribution of “footpaths” across Canberra.
Belconnen has lower path densities (cool) than the Gungahlin area. Weston is cool compared to Molonglo Valley. Woden Valley is cool compared to the Inner South. Watson is sadly cool compared to the Inner North. Inner North and South are similar.
The heatmaps below are for ACT paths labelled in the dataset as CYCLEPATH. From the heatmaps, we see that Canberra’s cycle paths are not found everywhere but mostly along corridors. Some areas have more cycle paths than others, and in some areas we see big gaps in between. Junctions of multiple cycle paths show up as hotspots. The north has more cycle paths (more red) than the south (more blue).
Interesting gaps are found between Gungahlin and Belconnen, Woden and Weston, Molonglo Valley and Belconnen, and Narrabundah and Woden. Sullivans bike path stands out in the Inner North on the east side of Northbourne Avenue. The Inner South is poorly served, apart from the Manuka link from Lake Burley Griffin to the shops.
For cycle paths, we are more interested in fast and safe networks than an even distribution. This is the idea behind CBR Cycle Routes. The 5,478 segments labelled CYCLEPATH in the dataset have a total length of almost 500 km. Some segments are relatively long, up to 3.9 km in length. The data segment is represented as a point at its origin. For a few long segments, this can result in a gap on the map. Heatmaps are better for comparing pedestrian networks than cycle networks.