The Molonglo 3 East Future Urban Area will open up new ways to ride to Belconnen from south to north around 2030-2035. Austroads recommends gradients below 5% for comfortable riding. Direct routes are otherwise preferred. What route options does Molonglo 3 East provide? We consider routes from John Gorton Drive Bridge to Kippax Group Centre and Belconnen Town Centre.
The Molonglo 3 East Planning and Infrastructure Study is a combination of engineering (WSP) and urban design (RobertsDay). The content related to cycling is largely found in the reports written by RobertsDay. RobertsDay is facilitating a Movement and Place framework discussion between ACT Transport and ACT Environment on the go. Molonglo 3 East project is about experimentation and innovation. The cycle network is still inconclusive but appears promising.
The Molonglo 3 East Future Urban Area (FUA) will be developed last, likely to be built from west to east. This will mean that the last suburb in the Molonglo Valley will be built within a kilometre from Molonglo Stage 1, where it all started. The irony of this is not lost on those who wish to cycle to Civic, as the most direct route would be through both these suburbs. Still, Molonglo 3 East is shaping up nicely and will be worth the wait.
Bindubi St-William Hovell Drive Intersection will change dramatically with the Molonglo 3 East estate development. Bindubi St will be extended into the heart of the Molonglo 3 East. The intersection with William Hovell Drive is expected to be popular with commuters in 2041. A grade separated interchange is planned and the first preliminary sketch plans (PSP) are available. The Feasibility Study Report is attached. Traffic studies show William Hovell Drive will exceed capacity in 2041. Finally, we will need to find space for the light rail. The facilitation of the light rail at the intersection needs to be designed in.
The Molonglo 3 East Planning and Infrastructure Study is a combination of engineering (WSP) and urban design (RobertsDay). This article outlines what is in the report for cycling. This article focuses on the reports from WSP.
The Molonglo Valley has two arterial road corridors, one running east to west and the other north to south. The North South Arterial has been named John Gorton Drive. The East West Arterial (EWA) has yet to be named and expected to be completed before 2041. The East West Arterial includes a bridge over the Molonglo River and a new East West Arterial / Tuggeranong Parkway Interchange. The route is decided and traffic studies are underway.
Separation between car and cyclist are the key to cyclist safety and encourage cycling. Only off road cycle paths meet this requirement. The report prepared for the ACT Government back in 2012 by Spackman Mossop Michaels makes clear that cycle lanes are a mistake. Furthermore, comparison of the 2011 ACT Strategic Cycle Network Plan shows that very little progress has been made building the cycling network in a decade. Cause for concern.
VicRoads Cycle Notes 21 (August 2013) has advice on the widths of off-road shared use paths. It is not the most recent. Austroads Guide to Road Design Part 6A: Paths for Walking and Cycling (AGRD06A) and the Netherlands CROW publication are more recent. Still, it is worth noting that even back in 2013 VicRoads were aware of what we in Canberra need and still do not have.
So many things need to be done to improve cycling in Canberra. The little money available for cycling should be spent where it is needed most. This means that we focus the investment on the top priorities first.
Canberra.bikes` submission for the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services. Making Canberra a city where we can cycle safely and easily, at any time, from 8-80 years. Here is the table of contents with links to the text.