Beachgoer anger swells over planning for new cycleway
SERIOUS questions are being asked over plans for an $8 million-plus additional cycleway from Mooloolaba to Maroochydore.
A social-media page opposing it attracted 660 members in just 48 hours across the weekend.
Anger was growing with the issue shaping as a battle between cyclists and beachgoers who would lose surfside carparking.
They would then be forced to cross the road to the beach at dedicated pedestrian crossings.
The proposal, to be jointly funded by Sunshine Coast Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, would place a set of traffic lights every 170m along the stretch of Alexandra Parade from Alexandra Headland to Aerodrome Road in Maroochydore.
The medium strip would be fenced along Alexandra Parade except at pedestrian crossing points.
An offshoot would run a dedicated cycleway along the residential Maroubra St through to Maud St and the CBD.
The M2M Cycleway Focus Group has been formed as a result of concerns by beachgoers and Maroubra St residents that their views were not being considered.
Surfer and group spokesman Darryl Mossop said the proposal would also replace areas of very limited green space with car parks.
He said the look and feel of the much-loved stretch of coastline would be lost.
"Where's the cost/benefit analysis in this," Mr Mossop said.
"It is going to cost $8.3 million, of which $1.67 million will be contributed by Sunshine Coast Council.
"There's already a shared pathway for bikes and pedestrians.
"Road cyclists won't use it. There's no nett benefit."
The Department of Transport and Main Roads has listed the benefits as delivering increased road safety, and safety for pedestrians and cyclists while increasing cycling movements and improved health and lifestyle benefits.
It also cited reduced parking demand, reduced traffic demand and increased tourism opportunities as among the benefits.
Mr Mossop said none had been either quantified or qualified.
Alexandra Headland Malibu Club president Kevin Annetts said a group had met with Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson on Saturday morning to express key concerns.
Division Four councillor Joe Natoli had also been briefed.
"We just want to protect beachside carparking," Mr Annetts said.
"Beachgoers want to get their kids, surfboards and beach gear out of their cars and on to the sand without having to cross four lanes of traffic.
"That's been the way it is forever and a day: easy, safe parking with easy access.
"And we don't want new carparking areas that take away existing green space."