Molonglo Valley: getting it right first time round

The Molonglo Valley is currently under construction and the cycling infrastructure is poor. If we wait until a suburb is finished then the problem will be with us for decades. This is what is happening now in the Molonglo Valley estate development.

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John Gorton Drive Bridge update

This bridge over the Molonglo River will be completed by 2024 as the last section of the John Gorton Drive. Information about this bridge is found here. The Butters Bridge was finished close-by in 2016 but is currently closed.

The most recent update on the John Gorton Drive Bridge is found here from 12 February 2021.

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ACT playgrounds: WeekendNotes

Playgrounds are of great interest for many. They are certainly a great ride destination with children. Between 2015-2018 many of the playgrounds where reviewed on Weekend Notes. There a links to playground reviews below.

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Need to go: stuck at playgrounds without toilets

With young children, a lot of time is spent looking for a toilet. Public toilets are essential infrastructure for families. Taking your children to a public place means you will need a public toilet. Ride with kids and there is no quick way home. Without a toilet, a visit to the playground will end as soon as your child needs to go.

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Stromlo Forest Park

Stromlo Forest Park lies on the slopes of Mount Stromlo adjacent to the suburb of Wright. Most would know of Stromlo Forest Park for the mountain biking but it is gaining importance as a recreational centre for the Molonglo Valley and the close by suburbs of Coombs, Wright and Denman Prospect.

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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.”

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Bridge profile: John Gorton Drive Bridge

This bridge over the Molonglo River will be the last section of the John Gorton Drive to be completed (2024). There is not much information available about this bridge. The bridge required environmental approval for its construction. Further, the bridge is mentioned in the ACT Infrastructure Plan 2019. The following information from those reports.

The most recent update on the John Gorton Drive Bridge is found here from 12 February 2021.

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An introduction to Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool

The Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool is embedded in the ACT urban development process. The general public, local residents and other stakeholders have a vested interest in new developments in the ACT. It is, however, difficult to find answers to what are sometimes simple questions. Urban development is a large machine that by necessity must serve the professionals and commercial partners, but Canberrans as residents and are important too. These two groups are separated by both language and knowledge. 

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The bike infrastructure in Wright and Coombs

The suburbs of Wright and Coombs are new suburbs finished since 2015 and as such showcase the design principles for suburb development. For new suburbs, good bike infrastructure begins and ends on the designer’s drawing board. Once the suburb is built it is set in stone. A coherent network of continuous bike paths across the city needs a master plan for bike path infrastructure, upon which new suburbs can be designed and realised so that the new infrastructure interconnects. Suburb design starts with the end in mind. The suburb is a small unit of the much larger and longer endeavour, to build active travel networks across the city.

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