Will this help solve the Molonglo traffic puzzle?

Ian Bushnell 11 August 2021 45
Molonglo Valley traffic

It’s a long haul out of the Molonglo Valley in the morning. The study will review all the road links. Photo: File.

A new study will gauge the impact the development of the Molonglo Valley will have on traffic flowing into the Tuggeranong Parkway and Parkes Way, and what the surrounding roads network will need to absorb it.

The Molonglo development will be part of a wider study of Parkes Way and the South-West Corridor from Kings Avenue to Tharwa Drive, and follows an infrastructure study already underway.

Already under pressure from increasing traffic volumes, the Tuggeranong Parkway and Parkes Way, without further upgrades, are expected to suffer even more peak hour gridlock, especially when accidents occur, due to ongoing land releases and population growth in the west of Canberra, combined with the densification of town centres.

Molonglo residents are already suffering from having only one escape route along John Gorton Drive to Cotter Road or the Parkway, with choke points generating peak hour traffic jams.

The ACT Government has flagged an additional northbound lane between Cotter Road and the Glenloch Interchange and a new connection from the Molonglo Valley to the Parkway to ease the pressure, known as the Molonglo East/West arterial.

The Parkway takes over 4,000 vehicles per hour in peak times and over 40,000 every day.

Tender documents say the successful consultant will develop a corridor plan, including upgrade options for Parkes Way and the South West Corridor, and review transport links to support the continued development of the Molonglo Valley.

This will involve traffic modelling for each decade to 2051 along the corridor and the key roads into and out of Molonglo and identifying necessary roadworks that will reduce congestion, make the road network safer and improve freight efficiency.

Tuggeranong Parkway

The increasingly under pressure Tuggeranong Parkway and the Cotter Road overpass. Photo: File.

The study will also estimate the cost of roadworks and project staging to determine optimal timing and scope of works to reduce potential impacts on the community.

The Molonglo Valley is expected to eventually accommodate about 55,000 people, with Wright and Coombs largely complete, and the rest of Denman Prospect, Molonglo, and three to four other suburbs, including parts of Whitlam, to be released.

The traffic assessment aims to identify the impact on the arterial road network within and around the Molonglo Valley, find likely solutions to these issues, and confirm whether the proposed internal road network in the Molonglo developments is adequate.

The overall project will have to consider the construction of light rail Stage 2, the development of West Basin, future land releases in the city, a possible city stadium on the Civic pool site on Parkes Way, and the proposed UNSW Canberra campus in Reid.

It will also need to consider the potential future development of the Western edge area beyond Weston Creek, Molonglo and Belconnen.

The government is expecting a Corridor Strategy report to be delivered by August 2022.

The tender closes on 27 August.

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45 Responses to Will this help solve the Molonglo traffic puzzle?
Bernie Ryan Bernie Ryan 3:57 am 15 Aug 21


simonm28 simonm28 3:10 pm 14 Aug 21

I think the key to future-proofing traffic flow into / out of Molonglo (and surrounds) will be to make the investment now to turn key arterials such as John Gorton Drive, Cotter Road and William Hovell Dr into true expressways. i.e. remove traffic lights and install overpasses and proper on / off ramps. Every city I can think of that has good traffic flow is generally because it makes good use of expressways. And how to improve the flow of Parkes Way? Get rid of those ridiculous roundabouts that it flows into!!!!!

Grant Ridley Grant Ridley 2:22 pm 14 Aug 21

How about infrastructure than can support high density living….. before the people move in and the profits are made.

Oiledpengu Oiledpengu 9:55 am 14 Aug 21

So no fix just another report?

Thomas Suthons Thomas Suthons 8:26 am 14 Aug 21

AyMoney Holyhead I reckon a light rail would fix it right up!

michael quirk michael quirk 7:47 am 14 Aug 21

The traffic chaos in Molonglo, reflects the abandonment of evidence-based planning by the Barr-Rattenbury government. The government has failed to analyse the merits of alternative development futures, with platitudes replacing assessment

Its 2019 “strategy” failed to assess what the optimal level of intensification should be or where it should be prioritised, did not assess the cost of augmenting existing infrastructure, the implications of restricting detached housing supply in the Territory the merits of alternative greenfield areas including Kowen, the effectiveness of policies to reduce travel including the direction of employment to locations well served by public transport or housing preferences. No analysis was undertaken to demonstrate light rail was more cost effective than alternatives such as bus rapid transport. The timing of road infrastructure, residential and commercial land releases in Molonglo have been botched.

Increases in working from home, improving electric bus technology could well mean the extremely expensive and disruptive light rail is unnecessary. The government has not explained how the its infrastructure priorities were determined.

For Canberra to become an exemplar of how to manage city growth, as it was up to the 1990s, a comprehensive review of the metropolitan plan is required. The light rail extension and proposals to increase density in Yarralumla and Deakin should be deferred until the review is completed and Canberra’s development is placed on a sound foundation.

Peter West Peter West 6:41 pm 13 Aug 21

No more studies!! Bring back NCDC.

Charles Landwehr Charles Landwehr 4:51 pm 13 Aug 21

And this is just happening now! A study at this point in time! Its laughable isnt it. The land in the Molonglo Valley was sold long ago, how did they think the occupants of 40,000 dwellings were going to get to work and the shops. DOH in spades this just shows what a waste of space ACTPLANNING is. This is kids stuff, plan this before you build the suburb and build the corridors cojointly with that expansion. What an unbelievably hopeless lot of bureaucrats we have running this little town.

Terri Lee Gill Terri Lee Gill 1:20 pm 13 Aug 21

A new study lol for what congestion what a crock

Peter Jones Peter Jones 1:19 pm 13 Aug 21

They need more smaller commercial zones in molongolo. They stuffed up Belconnen by building a massive mall with 12 minutes of urban sprawl to the border. Smaller Commercial centres 5 minutes drive apart should be the goal of molongolo. More jobs spread out means less traffic on the road and closer commercial centres means it’s more viable to walk and no need to drive as far.

John Evans John Evans 1:12 pm 13 Aug 21

So what happened? Lots of land-releases and lots of ACT Labor government revenue - yet no expenditure on infrastructure. So where is the money going - Mr Barr?

We have debt rocketing upwards even before COVID and little of the work the rates/taxes are supposed to fund actually happening - so is it any wonder that the roads are now inadequate and storm-water facilities (they have to grow as more land is covered with concrete and bitumen) are being overloaded....

So where is the money going - Mr Barr?

Robert Patch Robert Patch 11:07 am 13 Aug 21

Who would’ve thought covid would make ppl avoid the bus like it has the plague.

Charles Landwehr Charles Landwehr 10:34 am 13 Aug 21

One additional lane from the Cotter Road to Glenlock Interchange, you are kidding right? Thats not even a band aid solution! Unless the planners actually sit in the traffic jams and waste their precious time, they will never understand and never rectify the issues. At a minimum the Tuggerannong Parkway needs to be widened by one lane on each side, The GDE also needs to be widened to 3 lanes each way. It doesn't take a lot of education or common sense to see that none of these roads are up to requirement now, let alone in 3-5 years time till this plan is passed around the various authorities for comment, then we wait again. Will someone please extract their digit and get this sorted.

Lesley Malcolm Lesley Malcolm 10:21 am 13 Aug 21

Census time. If these forms had been read over the decades this population growth should have been predicted and planned for already.

    Barbara Harvey Barbara Harvey 1:12 pm 13 Aug 21

    Lesley Malcolm our Governments don’t know how to plan for anything!! Not even a pandemic 😷

Charles Godworth Charles Godworth 8:13 am 13 Aug 21

the greens-labor government are addicted to building cubby houses galore in concrete jungles and making money and then worry about infrastructure, police and medical services later on for these areas. It's a total failure how they've let down the community

    John Tozer John Tozer 8:30 am 14 Aug 21

    Charles Godworth - Betcha we’ll do it all again next election!

Richard Perry Richard Perry 8:02 am 13 Aug 21

Meanwhile, those with bikes can use the recently resurfaced bike path and enjoy one of the most scenic car-free rides to work anywhere.

Michael Ahern Michael Ahern 8:38 pm 12 Aug 21

Perhaps this traffic study would have been useful before they developed the Molonglo Valley….

    Piers Cambridge Piers Cambridge 8:47 pm 12 Aug 21

    Michael Ahern there you go again mate. Using commonsense over political financial gain won’t get you anywhere especially with this Govt!

Nick Swain Nick Swain 6:08 pm 12 Aug 21

I am a little puzzled that the planners did not predict the impact of the extra traffic generated by the Molonglo development. Surely they estimated the number of people who would live there and the approximate traffic generated? Or maybe they were all meant to get on their bicycles.

    Eristicus Eristicus 7:01 pm 12 Aug 21

    I think you know the answer to your question Nick.
    Something called common sense

    purplevh purplevh 7:39 pm 12 Aug 21

    I believe that the “planners” are developers that have one goal. To make as much money out of every acre of land that they develop.

    Surrounding infrastructure does not seem to be on their radar.
    Maybe a levy on every residence built would help the government build infrastructure.

    It’s a joke that when it rains and Coppins Crossing floods that the whole of Molonglo has two lanes in and out.

    Spiral Spiral 12:07 pm 13 Aug 21

    The planners in Canberra are incompetent.

    That is not hyperbole, but the truth.

    If you doubt it, take a look at John Gorton Drive across from Denman Prospect. A set of special pedestrian street lights were thoughtfully built, only to then have a row of trees planted directly beneath them.

    Or take a look at the design of the “Jogalong” track in Coombs which runs up Fred Daly Ave. If you can’t see the stupidity of the design then try and run or even walk it.

    That people who lack such basic skills in their apparent profession have been able to graduate from their vocational courses is not a good sign for this country.

    Once the lock-down ends they should immediately return to the villages which are missing them.

Mark Johanson Mark Johanson 4:40 pm 12 Aug 21

Who would of thought that growing suburbs would put more pressure on existing, barely coping roadways?! Wait till Whitlam is occupied, Parkes way is already a car park morning and evening, inject the traffic from Whitlam, shouldn’t be a problem!!!

Robert Honeybone Snr Robert Honeybone Snr 4:33 pm 12 Aug 21

We need Wider roads all around Canberra not two lane roads

    Warwick Bradly Warwick Bradly 5:31 pm 12 Aug 21

    Robert Honeybone Snr there’s a quote that making roads wider is like a fat man buying a bigger belt. We need to re-think where work locations are, how we work and encourage more bus and bicycle use.

    Robert Honeybone Snr Robert Honeybone Snr 5:45 pm 12 Aug 21

    Warwick Bradly disagree more thought needs to be made when planning new suburbs

    Simon Mitchell Simon Mitchell 5:58 pm 12 Aug 21

    Warwick Bradly you forgot light rail use.

    Warwick Bradly Warwick Bradly 6:15 pm 12 Aug 21

    Simon Mitchell except light rail is insanely expensive for what you get.

    Robert Honeybone Snr Robert Honeybone Snr 6:39 pm 12 Aug 21

    I didn’t forget the trams there inefficient for the area covered

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