Categories
urban planning

John Gorton Drive bridge update

This bridge over the Molonglo River will be the last section of the John Gorton Drive to be completed by 2024. Information about this bridge is found here. The close by Butters Bridge was finished in 2016 but is not yet in use.

Weston Creek Community Council wrote to Chris Steel, Minister for Roads and Active Travel, requesting that John Gorton Drive bridge be brought forward as part of the ACT Government’s Fast Track program. This now seems unlikely.

Categories
tips

Circumnavigating the Coombs Peninsula

There was much hype about the bike path around the edge of the suburb, along the Molonglo River. The good news is that Stage 1 is finished. The community path through the Stage 2 area is progressing but not yet completed.

Categories
ride review

Molonglo and Murrumbidgee views: Stockdill Drive

A sunset ride on Stockdill Drive is one of the best things you can do. The road suddenly ends, which discourages traffic. Apart from a farm or two, nobody lives there. You will pass the Woodstock Nature Reserve and Shepherd Lookout along the way – a lot to see in just 3.4 km.

Categories
tips

Kama reserve: much loved

Update: signs at the northern entrances of Kama, Molonglo River Reserve, prohibit cycling. This post will be corrected. Read more here.

Categories
urban planning

Federal environment law and cycling in Canberra

The new Molonglo Valley estate development 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.

Categories
tips

Woodstock Nature Reserve, Murrumbidgee River

There are a few points where there is easy access to the Murrumbidgee River Corridor, however, they are not very well known. The Murrumbidgee River Corridor has never become popular as a tourist attraction, apart from Cotter Reserve. Pine Island in Tuggeranong, Kambah Pool, and Woodstock Nature Reserve are all worth doing. 

There are a lot of animals in the Murrumbidgee River Corridor, and when I last visited the Woodstock Nature Reserve I saw deer, which was a first for me. Take time to look around as there is much to see. 

Categories
urban planning

Case study: the problems of Coppins Crossing

Road design has evolved to put great emphasis on road safety. Many of the road safety terms are for design features and considerations that impact on road safety, particularly vulnerable road users.

The Coppins Crossing is a river level crossing on the Molonglo River. The last section of the Coppins Crossing Road is sandwiched between the north and south sections of the John Gorton Drive duplication but the section around the river crossing remains and will be replaced with a bridge in 2024. The bridge is part of the 1.5km John Gorton Drive 3C Extension (JGD3C). The Coppins Crossing Road descends from the north side 36m into the valley to a level crossing and then ascends again to meet up with the south section of the John Gorton Drive.

Categories
urban planning

The Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool is dated

The Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool (ATIPT) is essential for the planning of greenfield developments such as the Molonglo Valley. It should be kept up to date but it is currently not. This is concerning as Practitioner Tool contains the cycling corridors (Active Travel Route Alignments) that should be the starting point for estate planning. The Practitioner Tool is out of date compared to the most current estate planning documents, perhaps because it is ignored in the planning process. Canberra.bike includes an introduction and discussion of the Practitioner Tool and in this post there are extracts from the KEY DOCUMENTS.

Key documents – Standards and guideline documents which should be used in the planning and design of active travel facilities. These are listed in Sections 2.2.3 to 2.2.7.”

Active Travel Facilities Design – Municipal Infrastructure Standards 05 (MIS05) (ACT Government, April 2019), pages 13-17
Categories
urban planning

What is wrong with Molonglo 3 East

A case study for Molonglo 3 East Planning and Infrastructure Study Project Brief and urban planning of new estates in the ACT.

The ACT Government announced in the 2012 ACT Planning Strategy that it “sought to create a more compact, efficient and inclusive city” The proximity between new suburbs in Molonglo Valley and the city will help encourage commuting to work with a bike and the achievement of goals of the ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019-25, but the potential benefit of the proximity of the Molonglo Valley will be largely forfeited without good quality, safe and direct active travel infrastructure. This is currently NOT typical for the Molonglo Valley estate developments.

This ACT Government held an Active Travel Design workshop (12 December 2018) and stated that the background to the new Active Travel Design Guidelines included “poor infrastructure outcomes as a consequence of planning intent getting ‘lost in translation’. My concern is that the failure to systematically integrate active travel principles in the planning process will most likely result in the missed potential to develop active travel facilities in the Whitlam and other new estate developments in Canberra. As human behaviour follows infrastructure, this lack of future-proofing active travel facilities is detrimental to achieving an increase in active travel in the ACT.

Molonglo 3 East Planning and Infrastructure Study Project Brief design tender (2 December 2019), released by the Major Projects Canberra Infrastructure Delivery Partner Group, is for the first stage design of Molonglo 3 East, but not for Whitlam. It is worth monitoring it as it signals the first planning stage of these new, yet unnamed, suburbs has begun. To quote the brief, the ACT’s Indicative Land Release Program 2019-20 to 2022-23, “proposes 200 blocks be released in the study area by 2022-23.”

Categories
urban planning

Whitlam – Molonglo Valley or South Belconnen?

How far can you ride from Whitlam from the time of the first land release in March 2020? Belconnen is a 20 minute ride. The city is about 30 minutes away, but Coombs is also 30 minutes distant. It is a hard place to get out of, with no off-road bike paths beyond the first 1km. Looking at map 1, it is clear that for active travel Whitlam is part of the Belconnen community.

So should we call it Molonglo Valley or South Belconnen?