Molonglo 3 East has been give an optimistic timeline for completion by 2041. The future is wildly uncertain. Projects run routinely longer than planned. This is generally true but certainly true for the ACT Government. We have good intent, but building things is complicated. Environmental approvals can add years to the process and are unpredictable. Recent information on the environmental approval process for the Deep Creek Pond in Whitlam sheds light on this.
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 design of the East Gungahlin High School in the new suburb of Kenny has been turned on its head as a result of the project being fast tracked in response to COVID-19.
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.
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.
Whitlam Stage 1 and Stage 2 are finished and Stage 3 is on the way. The roundabout discussed below is in Stage 3. In 2020, in the article Pushing uphill: case study of Whitlam active travel network, the planning of active travel network was found lacking. Here is an update.
Pedestrians will take the shortest route. That is the idea behind the design of walkable cities. Cyclists are the same. Roads may circle around, but direct paths must crisscross the city to make it easy for active travel. Whitlam fails the test.
One of the big factors that make a bike path rideable is the gradient of the path. Too steep and we will find ourselves pushing uphill. Bike paths, poorly designed, are too steep to ride. A case study of Whitlam active travel network