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.
Molonglo 3 East is an area bigger than the built area of Write, Coombs and Denman Prospect combined. Just Stage 1 of Molonglo 3 East will likely take just as long to build as Whitlam stages 1, 2, and 3. Molonglo 3 East makes Whitlam look small. Five years for Molonglo 3 East Stage 1 and 20 years for Stages 1 to 4 in total. Stage 5 will come last and likely only after the East West Arterial is finished. Way off, in any case. By that time, Woden CIT and Light Rail Stage 2 (Woden) is finished. Canberra will not be the same place.
The topography of Molonglo 3 East demands a reframing of the way planning is done in the ACT. Best practices that apply to the Molonglo valley are not support by the Estate Development Code, Single and Multi-Unit Housing Development Codes and the zoning codes in the Territory Plan. Molonglo 3 East is something new and exciting that will push ACT planing towards an outcomes planning mechanism.
The Molonglo Valley has two arterial road corridors, one running east to west and the other north to south. The North South Arterial has been named John Gorton Drive. The East West Arterial (EWA) has yet to be named and expected to be completed before 2041. The East West Arterial includes a bridge over the Molonglo River and a new East West Arterial / Tuggeranong Parkway Interchange. The route is decided and traffic studies are underway.
The Molonglo Valley is not flat and that is well known but it does cause problems. In Molonglo 3, on the north of the river, the gradients can be a challenge.
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.