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.
Molonglo 3 East is in an early stage of planning and the significance easily missed driving by. In the Planning Design Framework the ACT Government outlines what it does and does not want, however, the intention is to leave plenty of space for good urban planning.
The Molonglo Valley is not flat and that is well known but it does cause problems. In Molonglo 3, on the north of the river, the gradients can be a challenge.
While the John Gorton Drive Bridge is well known by now, another river crossing has barely been mentioned. Minister Steel’s presentation last night at the Molonglo Valley Community Forum shed a little light on the subject.
Kama is a nature reserve on the Molonglo River. Beautiful but somehow forgotten, it will be much loved by the residents of Whitlam. This was the first post on the Kama Reserve. At the time, cycling was permitted, but this has changed. The Molonglo River Reserve: Reserve Management Plan 2019 (26 July 2019) states that it is permitted (read more here and below). There is no reason given for any change by ACT Environment.
The Molonglo Valley has stumbled over Federal environment law. Finally, the hard work is done. The Molonglo Valley will be two developments on either side of the Molonglo. Crossing the valley is difficult, not least for the cyclist.
The ACT Government goals found in the ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019-25, the Molonglo River Reserve Management Plan 2019, and the Active Travel Framework conflict and are difficult to reconcile. These strategies show commonalities but there will be trade-offs. In the Molonglo Valley, active travel is poorly served.
“It is not intended to represent the facilities that currently exist on the routes, rather it shows the best alignments for human powered transport and recreation. …”
Active travel and urban planning documents could be of interest. For a number of popular ones, the document has been attached for download. Some are available on the ACT Government website. All documents can be obtained via a Freedom of Information request.