Gradients in Molonglo 3

Gradients are hard to guess. We do not have an eye for it. Riding a bike, we notice when it gets too steep, however, it is hard to say how steep that is. That is what the gradient measures.

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Belconnen Town Centre upgrades: do comment

Changes to the Belconnen Town Centre are afoot. Belconnen Town Centre Place Planning is a community design process and provides another opportunity to request bike infrastructure along Benjamin Way.

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Aranda CBR Cycle Route C5: falling short of expectations

The ongoing saga of Aranda bike path and the lastest email from Tara Cheyne on the topic. Maintenance is sorely needed but despite the newest promises nothing has been done. ACT Labor has never got on top of this issue in their 19 years in government.

Aranda update 13 February 2021

The lower section of the Aranda bike path (C5) has been resurfaced following the 2020 ACT Election but is already cracking due to tree roots. The root cause of the cracking previously was also the trees. This problem is well understood as asphalt reshapes itself to the underlying ground like a glacier. Asphalt is more like plasticine than concrete. The ACT Active Travel Stand Drawings and Austroads recommendations for bike paths provide recommendations for bike path construction to avoid such issues. For roads the asphalt is laid on a thick compacted road base (for John Gorton Drive it has about a 30 cm thickness). The construction of a bike path is similar with a thick “road base” and a relative thin layer of asphalt over that. The “road base” is important as it provides the stability and load bearing that asphalt lacks.

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Slow down: a sign of the times

You may have seen them around Canberra. Slower Streets is being rolled out in Ainslie, Aranda, Braddon, Crace, Downer, Farrer, Garran, O’Connor, Watson, Weston and Yarralumla as part of the COVID-19 response. This has to be good for cycling. What is Slow Streets about?

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Planning bike networks is doable

One would think that the best practice for planning road networks would also apply for planning a bike network. The high standards are, however, not translated across. Bike network planning does not use computer modelling, ABS Census data, population growth estimates, or traffic monitoring on existing paths. The ACT has no regular path monitoring, cleaning or maintenance programs. The maintenance of the bike network does not appear as an item in the ACT Budget documents. Repairs are ad hoc and it can take years for the most simple things to be fixed. So, what can be done?

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ACT Labor: Better bike paths, please!

As you know, 2020 is an election year and there is less than 100 days before the election. Get the candidates to commit to cycling infrastructure where you live.

Tara Cheyne is the local MLA for Belconnen has opened a survey for those living in Belconnen. Feel welcome to respond to it or contact your local candidates. I am sure you have similar issues in your electorate to those mentioned below.

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Black Mountain: too big to miss

Lake Burley Griffin to Black Mountain is a gentle forest climb of 165 m, followed by thrilling descents on windy gravel roads. The lower section is flat and sandy, and the upper steep and rocky. The forest is full of animals and the unexpected. The Canberra Centenary Trail meanders its way around the twin humps of Black Mountain.

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Aranda CBR Cycle Route C5

Aranda hill is a critical cycling link in Canberra. Everything south of Belconnen is best reached over Aranda hill. The official name for this Active Travel Route is “CBR Cycle Route C5 Belconnen – Tuggeranong via Weston Creek”. The vast majority of this route exists and was built long ago. Other CBR Cycle Routes are discussed here.

Read to the end of this article for a recent update.

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New Belconnen Bikeway expected late 2020

There has been an update on the ACT Government website for the new Belconnen Bikeway, which is now expected to be completed in late 2020. This is good news as the ACT Government does not update its websites for active travel projects all that often. As part of the COVID-19 Fast-track program, the ACT Government is now providing more information about cycling infrastructure projects. Check out the website for more information or visit the original project page.

Update 6 February 2021 Belconnen Bikeway

The construction along Emu Bank is completed. However, the construction of the section promised at the 2016 ACT Election along Benjamin Way has not yet begun.

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