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.
The bikeway along Benjamin Way in Belconnen lost funding and now seems to have been forgotten 8 years after its conception. The development of Belconnen Town Centre was further complicated in 2021. Will we ever see a grade separated bike path on Benjamin Way?
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 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 3 East Future Urban Area (FUA) will be developed last, likely to be built from west to east. This will mean that the last suburb in the Molonglo Valley will be built within a kilometre from Molonglo Stage 1, where it all started. The irony of this is not lost on those who wish to cycle to Civic, as the most direct route would be through both these suburbs. Still, Molonglo 3 East is shaping up nicely and will be worth the wait.
Molonglo 3 East Planning and Infrastructure Study (Phase 1) is coming out bit by bit. Unfortunately, it has not yet been released in full. The recent tender 53971.RFT.01, Preliminary Roads And Earthworks Design, provides a history of the planning documents for Molonglo 3 East to date.
Future urban areas are new greenfield developments and typically managed by the ACT Suburban Land Agency. Offsets are often found adjacent to these areas. Images from ACTmapi showing the areas.
This article is a chronological list of the Molonglo Valley Stage 3 development stages and contains the key documents to download. It is mostly for reference purposes.
Molonglo Valley is not lost, but it is still trying to find its way. The next step seems to be the Molonglo Valley Community Council. It is nowhere close to finished and hopefully, the Molonglo Valley Community Council will make a difference.
Pedestrians will take the shortest route. That is the idea behind the design of walkable cities. Cyclists are the same. Roads may circle around, but direct paths must crisscross the city to make it easy for active travel. Whitlam fails the test.