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Plans for Majura Valley Cycle and Pedestrian Path

By claire1013 - 25 June 2012 7

Today the ACT Government announced a plan for an off-road cycle path allowing for a more environmentally friendly transit from Gungahlin to Campbell. With the plan in motion the ACT Government hopes for more people to ride to work and use the path for recreational purposes. With the increase of recreational use it thought to boost regional tourism and businesses.

“The proposed off-road shared path will provide another means for cyclists to get to and from work. It will also help recreational walkers and cyclists, as well as tourists, to access the various businesses along the route, the Majura pine plantation and other Majura Valley tourist facilities which are particularly popular on weekends.”

[ED – The Liberals’ Alistair Coe has now weighed in worried that the backflip with twist is going to end up costing a lot more money]

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7 Responses to
Plans for Majura Valley Cycle and Pedestrian Path
davo101 11:35 am 26 Jun 12

patrick_keogh said :

Where does the 2% maximum come from?

AS1428.1 requires landings if a walkway is steeper than 3%. Ausroads has a design chart (Figure 7.1) that defines the desirable maximum sustained grade of 2% (with an acceptable of 3% but if you look at the vertical scale this chart only goes up to a grade length of 200m but we’re looking here at a grade length of at least 10 times longer).

patrick_keogh said :

There are plenty of rides around Canberra that have a lot of use from recreational cyclists that have a maximum grade greater than 4%. Mt. Stromlo has an average grade of 4.5% and is considerably longer. Lots of recreational cyclists use the old Federal Highway which has one long hill much steeper and longer than the ride up to the Federal Highway.

I think you misunderstand my definition of a recreational grade cyclist. You can identify a recreational grade cyclist by the fact that they:

Don’t wear lycra
Haven’t signed up to Strava
Only own one bike
Will never be found riding up Mt. Stromlo

Otherwise I classify them as ‘leet cyclist, who will use the new Parkway by riding in the breakdown lane anyway and are not the target market for a cycle path.

patrick_keogh said :

Even the cycle path around LBG has steeper than 4% sections at the GG’s hill, the hill opposite on the other side of Scrivener Dam, the approaches to Commonwealth Av Bridge.

The important question is how long are these grades. You can see from the design standard that you can go steeper if the grade is shorter.

patrick_keogh said :

Further, the route from Horse Park to Majura doesn’t even have to climb as high as the Federal Highway, that’s why the cutting is there. The summit is 10-15 metres lower than the Highway. So I think that you are literally making a mountain out of a mole hill.

I eye-balled the elevations off the ACT 1:10000 maps. If you have better information then good-o, but remember this is only a desk-top study. If you want detailed design you’re going to have to pay me at least half-a-mill…..

Postalgeek 10:36 am 26 Jun 12

patrick_keogh said :

So I think that you are literally making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Pretty well sums it up.

patrick_keogh 9:15 am 26 Jun 12

davo101 said :

The last 1600m of Horse Park Drive is a 4% climb, no recreational grade cyclist is going to want to do that. .

and

davo101 said :

(you’d have to have some sort of zig-zag arrangement to keep the grades under the 2% maximum).

Where does the 2% maximum come from? There are plenty of rides around Canberra that have a lot of use from recreational cyclists that have a maximum grade greater than 4%. Mt. Stromlo has an average grade of 4.5% and is considerably longer. Lots of recreational cyclists use the old Federal Highway which has one long hill much steeper and longer than the ride up to the Federal Highway. Even the cycle path around LBG has steeper than 4% sections at the GG’s hill, the hill opposite on the other side of Scrivener Dam, the approaches to Commonwealth Av Bridge.

Further, the route from Horse Park to Majura doesn’t even have to climb as high as the Federal Highway, that’s why the cutting is there. The summit is 10-15 metres lower than the Highway. So I think that you are literally making a mountain out of a mole hill.

davo101 4:39 pm 25 Jun 12

BicycleCanberra said :

Many people do not like riding on highways so they will use the path

So who exactly is going to use this path? It may have escaped your notice but no one lives at Ginns Gap. Are you expecting the residents of North Watson to ride 3km in the wrong direction so they can go around the back of Majura to the airport. Or perhaps you expect the residents of Gungahlin to ride up Horse Park Drive? I would guess if a cyclist is afraid of riding in a 3m wide break down lane they are not going to want to ride up a 1m wide shoulder.

The other major problem with this plan is that there is quite a large climb to get up to the Federal Highway. The last 1600m of Horse Park Drive is a 4% climb, no recreational grade cyclist is going to want to do that. Using the current cycling facilities it’s 21.5km from the Gungahlin town centre to the airport. Via Majura it would be 17.7km along the road or if you built a cycle path up the Gungahlin side it would be about 20km (you’d have to have some sort of zig-zag arrangement to keep the grades under the 2% maximum). Personally I rather ride the extra 1500m along the lake to avoid having to climb the 70m to go over the back of Majura.

ma7trlb 2:29 pm 25 Jun 12

“Five hundred thousand dollars has been allocated to conduct detailed design work and an environmental impact assessment for the off-road path which will help inform the final costing for the project,”

Surely the environmental impact will be pretty similar to the swathe of bitumen running adjacent to the cyclepath? And if the original plans were to include the off-road path, and it was only recently removed, how much money is needed to do the detailed design? Sounds like consultants making money for jam, or the Govt wasting more money on unnecessary studies and designs

BicycleCanberra 1:55 pm 25 Jun 12

davo101 said :

the need for a safe off-road path in the vicinity of the Majura Parkway to complement the on-road cycle lanes that will be included on the Majura Parkway

Ok, so all of the ‘leet cyclist will ride up and down on the Parkway which means the path will be used by……

Many people do not like riding on highways so they will use the path, but you raise a point about the need for on and off road facilities.

A major highway these days will be built with a sealed shoulder or a break down area which have been commandeered by racing cyclists because of the lack of off road facilities. They are now classified as cycle lanes here and in other areas around Australia with many exceptions. Depending on the stipulation of councils and state governments.

Now a 3.5 – 4 metre path is wide enough to cater for both fast and slow cyclists so the need to have also cycle lanes needs to be questioned on the safety point of view. Canberra is building two cycle networks an off road and on road and not whether one with suit all types of cyclists. In the long term this will be more expensive and will provide less priority for physically separated paths.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxuQ7Nemx9s&feature=g-user-u

It also suggested that cycling groups are greedy by wanting both on and off road facilities along the same road when the best solution ,a physically separated path, should be the only solution. Cycle lanes provide for good separation but on low speed low volume roads like our Major collector street network, not for major arterial roads or highways.

Many ‘Vehicular cyclists’ will disagree with this view..

davo101 1:02 pm 25 Jun 12

The important bits from the press release:

A feasibility study has already been undertaken for the off-road path which will run parallel to the Majura Parkway from the Federal Highway to Morshead Drive.

So it’s still a cycle path to nowhere. Are they going to build the corresponding cycle path up the other side from Gungahlin?

the Majura pine plantation and other Majura Valley tourist facilities which are particularly popular on weekends

Good luck getting mountain bikers to ride to Majura–that’s why they’ve got bike racks on top of their Subarus.

the need for a safe off-road path in the vicinity of the Majura Parkway to complement the on-road cycle lanes that will be included on the Majura Parkway

Ok, so all of the ‘leet cyclist will ride up and down on the Parkway which means the path will be used by……

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