Morning Molonglo traffic hitting gridlock on Cotter Road

Ian Bushnell 11 March 2021 114
Cotter Road at North Weston

The morning queue on the Cotter Road at North Weston. Traffic from Molonglo is coming to a standstill after crossing the Streeton Drive intersection. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

The morning peak hour rush out of the new and still growing Molonglo Valley suburbs is proving anything but as the bumper-to-bumper traffic comes to a standstill on the Cotter Road approach to the Tuggeranong Parkway.

Molonglo Valley Community Forum spokesperson Ryan Hemsley says the length of the morning commute is becoming a significant issue as drivers take 15 to 20 minutes getting from the outskirts of Coombs and Wright to the Parkway.

It may be dual carriageway from Denman Prospect to Weston and beyond, but drivers are running the gauntlet through multiple sets of lights, and the main culprit appears to be the signalised intersection in North Weston near the service station.


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Mr Hemsley suspects that motorists from Streeton Drive are rat-running through North Weston to avoid the congestion of the Cotter Road intersection and then emerging at the Dargie Street/Cotter Road intersection and triggering the lights.

These excessive cycles may be disrupting the Cotter flow and creating gridlock.

“It can’t continue to be a short cut, as convenient as it is for those people, for much longer,” Mr Hemsley says.

With another 10,000 residents expected in Molonglo by the end of the year as a pipeline of projects is completed, Mr Hemsley says Transport Canberra and City Services needs to take some action.

He says that long-term, the planned Molonglo River Bridge will provide another dual-carriageway route out of Molonglo and relieve some of the pressure, but that is five years away.


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Whether it be changing the traffic light sequencing, pacifying the rat run with speed humps or extending the turning lane into the service station, Mr Hemsley believes there are probably short-term solutions that need not cost a lot of money.

“These are things that might not cost us millions of dollars, and they might not necessarily fix the issue, but they are worth investigating whether there are some short-term solutions to what no doubt will be a long-term issue,” he says.

“We’ll wait and see what options will be investigated, but it’s not going to be tenable for the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate to sit on their hands for too much longer.”

Transport Canberra and City Services Minister Chris Steel may have some answers when he attends the Forum’s April meeting.

The Forum will hold its first public meeting next week as it prepares to transition to a community council by 1 July.


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114 Responses to Morning Molonglo traffic hitting gridlock on Cotter Road
rossau rossau 5:43 pm 20 Mar 21

Our concerned citizens announce their concerns about the faeces of the monster they endorse.

rossau rossau 5:41 pm 20 Mar 21

Productivity! Growth!
5,000 workers investing their time in a daily commute. Let’s say 5,000 –I did!- at 15′ each, that’s a mere 1,250 worker-hours or 160 worker-days per day. Why is growth at the expense of the worker?

Jamie Clayden Jamie Clayden 5:34 pm 14 Mar 21

Oscar Ricketts me every morning

Lizzie Paradice Lizzie Paradice 5:27 pm 14 Mar 21

Sarah Crook Paradice so glad I’ve left this behind!

Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 2:50 pm 14 Mar 21

You'd think more people would use public transport because of this but the park and ride is in the middle of the hold up.

Peter McDonald Peter McDonald 10:19 am 14 Mar 21

They need a tram.

Julio Franco Julio Franco 8:57 am 14 Mar 21

Takes me 20 min to drive 2km In the morning. Terrible traffic management. We don’t need to be experts to judge that the lights at the intersection with Maccas and Tuggeranong PrkWay are not properly set.

gobbledok gobbledok 9:28 pm 13 Mar 21

First world problem.

Kevin Wilkinson Kevin Wilkinson 7:29 pm 13 Mar 21

Bring back Covid19 lockdown, was good driving then!!😅

Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 6:54 pm 13 Mar 21

The 100 million dollar battery will fix it

Hamish Nussio Hamish Nussio 6:08 pm 13 Mar 21

Aiden McLean I can’t win

    Aiden McLean Aiden McLean 6:22 pm 13 Mar 21

    Hamish Nussio hahaha just gonna have to go through Woden to Parkway

    Hamish Nussio Hamish Nussio 6:23 pm 13 Mar 21

    Aiden McLean *sigh* what did I do to deserve this

Alan Foulkes Alan Foulkes 3:47 pm 13 Mar 21

Agree Michael Hourigan. Sensible idea that will improve our travel at minimal cost.

Michael Hourigan Michael Hourigan 1:12 pm 13 Mar 21

Possibly not a solution to this particular problem, but a change to the traffic law, allowing left turn on red at traffic lights would be a beginning. This system works fine in the US (right turn on red) and a blanket change would require minimal signposting. This is already allowed at selected intersections. PS: I live in Gungahlin and it took decades to get road duplications, and the problem is still not resolved.

    Greg Myat Greg Myat 4:55 pm 13 Mar 21

    Michael Hourigan you got the tram! Belconnen hasn’t been touched in 50 years. Belconnen way is a jam, William Hovel and Glenloch interchange jammed aswell. It takes 40 mins to travel 9 kms somedays. And they keep adding huge skyscrapers and suburbs in Belco, its development mismanagement issue.

Ian Spike Farrawell Ian Spike Farrawell 12:24 pm 13 Mar 21

Developers don’t make money from roads!

Just from how many houses they can squeeze in!

I don’t even know how an emergency services vehicle or garbage truck could get to the houses in some of the new suburbs.

    Jane Smith Jane Smith 1:53 am 16 Mar 21

    Ian Spike Farrawell yep look how close neighbours are now, too many noses in your back yard now.

Justin Sev Justin Sev 11:57 am 13 Mar 21

Only took 15 years in Gunners, she'll be right..

steve2020 steve2020 11:16 am 13 Mar 21

So the lessons were not learned from the development of Gungahlin and surrounding suburbs. The infrastructure should be built beforehand to cater for the projected growth.

    JC JC 2:42 pm 14 Mar 21

    Think the issue is people don’t understand that it is next to impossible to build a road system that doesn’t have peak congestion without massive over-engineering and cost.

    And I suspect this is the core issue here. Prior to self government we had a small population but with a road network that was way over engineered because money was not an issue. Now population is growing and the roads whilst congested are operating as designed which is with congestion.

Jenna Parsons Jenna Parsons 10:01 am 13 Mar 21

Its so bad to get from John Gorton drive to Streeton drive no buses go near my work place on kambah pool road. I have to leave at 8.05 and spend 20 to 25 minutes traveling to work. 10 to 15 minutes of this is getting through 2 sets of lights to get onto streeton drive. Once on their its a maximum of 10 mins to work. If traffic was following on the cottor road I would be able to get into the double turning lane to get onto Streeton drive.

    Steph Maxwell Steph Maxwell 8:23 am 14 Mar 21

    Jenna Parsons if I was you I'd be going up Eucumbene Drive and Darwinia Terrace

Finally Relented Finally Relented 10:01 am 13 Mar 21

Of course!! Solve rat running with speed humps! Stupid solution.

Pete Macca Pete Macca 9:44 am 13 Mar 21

If the Gov actually built buildings for Public Servants in these new areas being built all over Canberra, we would not see this traffic in the mornings and afternoons. William Slim Drive will become a Drag Strip when finished as its a raceway now. The Gov only builds 1 or 2 entrance and exits from suburbs and many are experiencing traffic jams in these suburbs in the mornings. Gov looses the plot and builds expressways in suburbs, but forgets about main arterial roads to the city or Fyshwick.

Brittney Vaughan Brittney Vaughan 9:33 am 13 Mar 21

Every morning 🙄 Paul Janssen

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