National Arboretum to World’s End

Riding along Pipe Flat through the Molonglo Valley is a great ride. It is relatively flat and very scenic. It has become more difficult to pass the building sites at Whitlam and Namarag. Care is required on Coppins Crossing Road. 

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Molonglo Valley hotspot

Many decisions need to be made around this strategic hotspot where Molonglo north and south meets Molonglo east and west, and the river is between.

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John Gorton Drive Bridge 2021 update

The planning for the John Gorton Drive Bridge has come out of the shadows – The funding promised at the ACT Election has been announced and the development application documents have been released. The construction costs will be about $177 million (June 2020 estimate).

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Namarag: before and after

Namarag Molonglo Special Purpose reserve open for consultation in 2019 and 14 people completed the survey. The plans were available to download at that time. Here is the vision of what it should become.

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Butters Bridge closure

Namarag Molonglo Special Purpose Reserve construction works have closed the Butters Bridge at its north end. Bridge access is possible from the south end (Denman Prospect) just for the view. (Stand 6 February 2021)

More about Namarag Molonglo Special Purpose Reserve found here and here.

Photo by Diego Madrigal on

When strategies collide: climate change, active travel and environment

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 as with any specific project, there will be trade-offs. In the Molonglo Valley, active travel is poorly served.

The ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019-25 goals cannot be met with Recreational Routes, and that is all the Molonglo River Reserve Management Plan 2019 is likely to produce. The Active Travel Framework describes both Recreational Routes and Community Routes. Riding to work must be attractive, direct and safe, if we are to achieve the ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019-25 goals for active travel. We need cycle highways and more Community Routes. Only 3% of Canberra’s commuters currently ride to work – and this is actually a downward trend!

The Molonglo Valley Development demonstrates the tensions that arise in urban development. The Molonglo Special Purpose Reserve and Whitlam Residential Estate show no clear benefit for the active traveller. This should be a reason for concern. A good overarching network of cycle highways will not occur by accident.

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Active travel: key documents

If you are interested in better bike paths for Canberra, active travel and urban planning, these documents could be of interest. They will be discussed in future posts on and have been mentioned in many already.

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Our Canberra: a new cycling bridge

The ACT Government hailed the Butters Bridge as “a new cycling bridge in the Molonglo Valley” (Our Canberra, December 2016).

Unfortunately, this has turned out not the case. ACT Environment does not want cyclists to use it. The intentions for the bridge are discussed more at length here.

Now the bridge is block at one end.

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Molonglo River Reserve cycling summary

The Molonglo River Reserve is a very long reserve that separates the north and south sections of the Molonglo Valley development.

On 16 September 2008, the ACT and Commonwealth Governments commenced a strategic assessment for development areas in Molonglo Valley under Part 10 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). The long process resulted, eventually, in the Molonglo River Reserve: Reserve Management Plan 2019 (26 July 2019) and lies under the responsibility of the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD).

Molonglo Valley development will give the valley character but is problematic from an urban development perspective. The Molonglo River Reserve: Reserve Management Plan 2019 is very long document and there is much to read and know about active travel. My purpose here in this document is to summary, discuss and quote interesting things relevant to cycling and active travel.

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