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 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.
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.