Which route to Belconnen through Molonglo 3?

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.

FOI 21-101215 EPSDD Molonglo Stage 2

The Molonglo Stage 2 Transport Planning related information is from freedom of information request (FOI 21-101215), released 1 April 2021, from EPSDD. Highlighted here are a mix of 18 documents dated from 2010 to 2019 for the suburbs Coombs, Wright, Molonglo and Denman Prospect. The documents fall mostly in the category estate development plans, planning design frameworks, or a development application.

Section 6: Territory Plan

The Territory Plan is part of the reason why good, fast cycling infrastructure between town centres for commuting cyclists – cycle highways – has not been and is not likely to be built. The ACT planning has been critiqued for hampering innovation. The comment, while likely directed at urban architecture, is still true for urban planning and design. Cycle highways are not possible without inclusion in statutory documents, such as the Territory Plan.

Section 6.6 Territory Plan: outdated and incomplete

Considering the Territory Plan is a statutory document and the rule book for development in the ACT, one would expect the information contained in it is correct. Unfortunately, our trust in the Territory Plan is misplaced. The Territory Plan is often outdated and misleading.

You ain’t seen nothing yet!

Molonglo has only 5000 residents currently and the traffic chaos might lead us to think it cannot get much worse. Molonglo is at the beginning of a rapid growth spurt and for the next decade the congestion will grow rapidly.

Molonglo Valley, Ministerial statement

Minister Steels statement in the ACT Legislative Assembly, 3 June 2021, provided little new information, but confirmed of further transport investment in improvement and duplication of roads. Cycling projects were not mentioned except one, the long awaited bridge over Weston Creek.

Gradients in Molonglo 3: cycling from John Gorton Drive Bridge

Bicycles are arguably the most efficient machine ever invented, however, everything has its limits. A 30m section of steep path is all that is required to bring a cyclist to a stop. Pushing a bike up steep paths is not popular amongst cyclists. Better is to build the paths so that they are never so steep to become unrideable. Austroads Standards tell us how. Hilly terrain requires careful route and path design.