Implications of the Wellbeing Framework from the 2021-2022 ACT Budget. The Wellbeing Framework is made up of twelve domains, of which “access and connectivity” is most important for active travel as it includes transport. Access and connectivity is found across most ACT Government agencies. Not everything in access and connectivity is transport related. We have gather those items that are.
We lack an accounting practice for active travel and need one. Here we consider how one could be created that permits comparison of active travel spend across directorates and budget years, and discerning between cycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Canberra.bike calls for an Active Travel Reporting to be standardised so that we know what the number really mean and can compare budgets.
The peak period traffic chaos around Molonglo Valley would indicate that we have made a mistake. The development of this Future Urban Area has demonstrated that we still do not prioritise the development of cycle and active travel infrastructure. Molonglo was chosen as it was close to Civic, however we have not seen the take-up of cycling for transport in the Molonglo Valley but rather car dependency. To move cycling forward, we need to develop the cycle infrastructure independently of roads. What went wrong in the Molonglo Valley?
The ACT Report, National Walking and Cycling Participation Survey 2021, now the responsibility of the Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand (CWANZ), confirms what we have long suspected. Cycling as a mode of transport has not increased in the ACT. In the last 10 years, there has been no statistical significant change in the cycling participation. What should we do differently.
When we walk the halls of Planning, Transport and Legislative Assembly in the ACT today, we can be sure that none of those people we see will be there in 30 years. Community groups and councils lobby with MLAs and mandarins, who temporarily fill the roles. Building a cycle network is a long term task, requiring forward-thinking past the current political cycle. The cycle network will take 30 years to build. In that time, Canberra’s population will almost double. City builders think in decades and not years. Cycle corridors reserve the space to build that cycle network.
Molonglo 3 East is an area bigger than the built area of Write, Coombs and Denman Prospect combined. Just Stage 1 of Molonglo 3 East will likely take just as long to build as Whitlam stages 1, 2, and 3. Molonglo 3 East makes Whitlam look small. Five years for Molonglo 3 East Stage 1 and 20 years for Stages 1 to 4 in total. Stage 5 will come last and likely only after the East West Arterial is finished. Way off, in any case. By that time, Woden CIT and Light Rail Stage 2 (Woden) is finished. Canberra will not be the same place.
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.