The new suburbs at the western edge of Belconnen look like more urban sprawl. Although the blocks were hotly contested recently, it appears the residents are not aware of the congestion that has been predicted with the development of Molonglo 3. What are their options by bike when the road congestion hits.
The fastest way into the city from Strathnairn will be along Belconnen Way past Hawker on a combination of bike lanes and off-road bike paths. The safest ride is always on grade separated bike path. Should the 7 km bikepath along William Hovell Drive bike path be built, that would be an option. The travel time is a massive 1 hour 10 minutes, but that may be still quicker than taking the car.
The problem with urban sprawl are discussed here.
The Komoot interactive maps for this case study can be found here.
The options: from best to worse
1 – Belconnen Way cycle lane option: Strathnairn to City
The shortest route and flattest route but time will be lost at the lights through Belconnen. The lack of cycle infrastructure through Hawker will mean that road riding is required and Hawker lacks cycle lanes too.
2 – William Hovell Drive option: Strathnairn to City
Should Chris Steel have his wish and William Hovell Drive is duplicated (we are still waiting for the EIS approval), then he has promised to build cyclists a 7 km off-road cycle path to Bindubi Street.
3 – CBR Cycle Route C3 option: Strathnairn to City
The CBR Cycle Route C3 is the worst option as travelling via Lyneham from Strathnairn is out of the way. This route require the completion of the grade segregated bike path along Belconnen Way past Hawker.
2004 Missing link to Hawker
The bike path from the city along Belconnen Way ends at Coulter Drive. Since 1992, the ACT Government knows that it should continue along Belconnen Way to Kingsford Smith Drive, to provide an off-road cycle connection between Hawker Shops and schools. At the Belconnen public consultation, 16 February 2004, for the (ACT) Ten Year Master Plan Trunk Cycling and Walking Path Infrastructure 2004, the route was marked as a missing link. 18 years, the bike path is still not built. Worse still, TCCS currently has no intention of building the bike path. The road reserves in Hawker and Weetangera are very wide but both suburbs were built without off-road bike paths. How do we forget cycle infrastructure.
The price of living at Strathnairn will be long travel times to anywhere in Canberra. If the commuter rides a bike, at least they will get fit and have good health.