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.
If estate planning is done poorly and good bike infrastructure is not included in the original design and built, then the new suburb will discourage cycling. Without good bike infrastructure, most people will not develop the habit of cycling. It will be decades before the opportunity will arise again to get it right.
The active travel facilities planned for Whitlam Stage 2 fall short of expectations. As human behaviour follows infrastructure, this lack of future proofing active travel facilities is directly detrimental to achieving an increase in active travel in the ACT.
The ACT Government goals found in the ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019-25, the Molonglo River Reserve Management Plan 2019, and the Active Travel Framework conflict and are difficult to reconcile. These strategies show commonalities but there will be trade-offs. In the Molonglo Valley, active travel is poorly served.
For a strategy to be implemented, the vague ambition must be specified in detail. To plan and build a bike path, urban planning practitioners need a specification. An introduction to Planning for Active Travel in the ACT: Active Travel Infrastructure Interim Planning Guideline.
Good active travel infrastructure in the ACT requires some understanding of urban planning. The ACT Government provides many documents that are very detailed, and often highly technical, so that it is easy to become overwhelmed. A simple explanation of urban planning in Canberra is a good start.
A case study of Denman Prospect and Whitlam – two suburbs in the Molonglo Valley, south and north of the Molonglo River – that are of particular interest to active travel in the Monlonglo Valley.