Bowen Place Crossing

  • Bikers and half circle.  The Crossing provides the final link in the 5km Lake Burley Griffin Loop
    Bikers and half circle. The Crossing provides the final link in the 5km Lake Burley Griffin Loop
  • Crossing in the night sky featuring LED lights to guide users around the landscaping
    Crossing in the night sky featuring LED lights to guide users around the landscaping
  • Carillon night sky
    Carillon night sky
  • The Crossing allows residents and visitors to Canberra to enjoy the surrounds of Parliament and Lake Burley Griffin
    The Crossing allows residents and visitors to Canberra to enjoy the surrounds of Parliament and Lake Burley Griffin
  • Board riders coming through the tunnel
    Board riders coming through the tunnel
Introduction

Bowen Place Crossing in Canberra replaced a dangerous, at-grade crossing on busy Bowen Drive with a pedestrian and cyclist underpass. Recognising the significant opportunity for place making within the Parliamentary Triangle, the strategy was to create a simple and elegant design which would respect the National heritage significance of the adjacent Parliamentary Vista and National Gallery of Australia (NGA), while at the same time establishing new landscape connections with the heritage values of the locality. The crossing is the final link in the five kilometre Lake Burley Griffin Loop, and features a cycling and walking path, and a small, informal plaza on the lake edge which provides opportunities for rest and socialising.

Description of project

Through a design-led approach to infrastructure provision, Bowen Place Crossing offers a safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists under Canberra’s Kings Avenue Bridge.

Initial public and stakeholder consultation for the Crossing was conducted by the National Capital Authority (NCA) during 2009 and 2010. During December 2009, a representative group of key stakeholders were briefed on eight options for improving the pedestrian and cyclist crossing. The key stakeholders provided the NCA with a series of options to address the significant safety concerns of the crossing.

Of these options, three conceptual designs underwent public consultation in 2010. Options included: a footbridge over Bowen Place; a ramp and stairs with traffic signals (immediately adjacent to the existing Kings Avenue pedestrian ‘off ramp’); and traffic signals at the existing crossing. Of the respondents, 97 per cent favoured the footbridge option presented. In addition to these three options, the NCA also received feedback from the public that a grade separated underpass solution should be considered. Following further preliminary technical investigation of the site, immediate surrounds and other relevant project parameters, the conclusion was reached that an underpass solution was the most appropriate conceptual approach for the Crossing. This conclusion carefully weighed the advantages and disadvantages of both underpass and overpass.

A principal objective for this project was to ensure the safe and separated movement of cars, pedestrians and cyclists at road and lake level, but the solution sought more than just clever traffic engineering. The completed crossing comprises a light filled and generous pedestrian and cycling underpass allowing for easy and convenient active travel; a small informal plaza on the lake edge and a rain garden. The lengthy consultation process produced the design and provision of a valuable public open space; the minimalism of which generates a sense of place by highlighting the natural surroundings of the crossing, adding human scale and a varied character to Canberra’s formal public spaces.

 

Project team
  • National Capital Authority
  • LahzNimmo Architects
  • Spackman Mossop Michaels – Landscape Architects
Project cost

$9 million

Health value

Bowen Place Crossing encourages users to run, walk and cycle in an area that was previously unsafe and unappealing. The new crossing makes active transport the easiest choice, as it forms a link in the 5-kilometre link. All paths are designed with fully accessible grades and are wide to function as shared paths that accommodate all users.

Economic value

The completion to the Lake Burley Griffin Loop encourages users to actively travel around the area, increasing the amount of time spent and prospective spend within the local economy.

Environmental value

As the crossing completes the Lake Burley Griffin Loop, it encourages residents and visitors to cycle or walk, reducing the amount of travel by private motor vehicles. The design of the crossing features a rain garden which collects and filters surface water from Bowen Place before it enters the lake, improving run-off water quality.

Social value

The design promotes interaction and socialising through the wide paths and plaza, and is a good example of connective infrastructure.  

Use value

The Crossing allows pedestrians and cyclists to safely and quickly cross Bowen Drive. This promotes active travel as a means for commuting into the City Centre. The landscaped plaza and connection to the surrounding environment accentuates the natural beauty of the area and provides a pleasant place to relax.

References

Type of project
Infrastructure
Scale of project
Local Area
Location
Urban