11 March 2021

Morning Molonglo traffic hitting gridlock on Cotter Road

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

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?

First world problem.

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.

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.

Finally Relented10:01 am 13 Mar 21

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

underwhelmed6:15 pm 12 Mar 21

The congestion on the Cotter road isn’t really that bad when compared to the likes of Yamba drive and other roads around town, plus the total distance travelled is generally much shorter. The government is already trying to improve the travel time and congestion on the Cotter Road by putting in variable speed signs on the Parkway which in turn will extent the travel times for the poor people Tuggeranong who already have to travel further to access jobs and services. On a side note, someone should really come up with single name for the area of Molonglo, Woden and Weston Creek as the combined population is less than any other area in Canberra ie Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Gungahlin, and it seems ridiculous that they feel they need three community councils for such a small population when every other area with the a similar population only has one……I guess they are all too precious to be one big happy family.

ChrisinTurner1:17 pm 12 Mar 21

The government’s overall priority of private cars over public transport is part of the problem. I remember a public meeting where an ACT Transport executive explained that the Molonglo valley was not designed for public transport. Crazy!

Public transport in Canberra is not worth using. I can drive to work in 20 minutes, or spend 2 hours catching busses. Why would I bother?

Put speed humps out the front of his place and see how much he likes the noise, all day and night, every day and night.

The issue has always been that the cotter road upgrade just kicked the can down the road a couple of Km, because the lanes merging to get onto Yarra Glen/Adelaide Ave is where the traffic grinds to a halt. That flows all the way back down to the Molonglo area fairly quickly. The dual carriageway should have gone all the way to Adelaide Ave. A blind man could have seen that, so I’m not sure how whoever plans road upgrades in this town missed it.

underwhelmed2:15 pm 12 Mar 21

A dumb idea would have been having two lanes going onto Adelaide Ave, There are already a enough near misses with bikes with the new deticated lane which has just moved the congestion down to the exit onto State Circle

I think a blind man could see that if you had two lanes running off Cotter onto Adelaide Ave you would be creating another issue in itself by moving the choke point further down.

Having the two lanes merge before is about the only way that works and with the Cotter Road now having it’s own lane onto Adelaide Ave things there at least are better.

But what people need to realise is it is next to impossible to build new suburbs and then build or upgrade existing roads to cater for that extra traffic without there being an increase in congestion. And adding more and more lanes just doesn’t cut it either. Do that you will end up with a 10 lane Parkes Way or Commonwealth Ave. Imagine the complaining about the upgrades needed on the bridge to add two lanes.

Have to agree. The single lane merging into Yarra Glen is one reason.

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