People often think that pedestrians and cyclist have the same needs, and one path will serve both. This is not true. The characteristics of walking and riding a bike are different. This conflict of interest makes life difficult for designers. This is most noticeable when the path gets steep. For pedestrians and wheelchairs, “stepping” is advised, but this is not the best for cyclist. William Hovell Drive shared path illustrates the problem.
canberra.bike releases today our report Traffic calming: children centric street design (see attached). At its heart is that child friendly streets do not happen by accident but rather because we design them that way. We give priority to children rather than people who wish to drive. In this way, way make Whitlam shops and school a people friendly place.
Whitlam estate is new but has a poor implementation of ACT Active Travel Standards. The biggest issue is children crossing roads. The roads in Whitlam are very wide. Side streets have not been designed in a way to slow cars down. Evidence from traffic studies such as Kambah, would indicate that Canberra motorists will not stop for children without infrastructure such as zebra crossings in place. Whitlam Local Shops should “baked in” traffic calming into the road design of the surround streets. We see, however, for Alice Moyle Way, this is not the case.
A school will be built in Whitlam, however, it is a few years away yet. The SLA is pushing forward the Whitlam local shops and school development in Whitlam Stage 3. By 2025 the situation will look much better for Whitlam residents but for now the suburb is isolated and lacks services. This leaves the residents of Whitlam to make do for at least 3 years.
The story here is not that cycle paths in the ACT are often poorly built. Bike riders in Canberra know how of this because they experience it every day. What if far worse, is that we can see it in the designs years before they are built. Whitlam is an example where already in the Development Application it was clear that the suburb had not been designed for cycling and that some path were so steep to be madness. The page of the plan is flat but Whitlam is most certainly not. This article is a story of what should not happen.
The ACT Projects Pipeline gives you and idea what the ACT Government (Major Projects Canberra) thinks will be coming up. For cycling there is not much new here, except the 2022 ACT Household Travel Survey has officially started, 5 years after the last survey. Good news.
We lack a standardised reporting practice for active travel investment and need one. It would permit comparison of active travel spend across directorates and budget years, and discerning between cycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Canberra.bike calls for an Active Travel Reporting to be standardised. We need to know what the numbers we get quoted really mean and can be trusted.
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.
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.