Pedal power: Residents of the Northern Beaches want a proper bike lane to link their communities and connect them with the city centre.
Pedal power: Residents of the Northern Beaches want a proper bike lane to link their communities and connect them with the city centre. Trevor Veale

Combined effort to plan cycleway

SENIOR traffic designers at the Roads and Traffic Authority are keen to have a meeting on a Northern Beaches cycleway before Christmas, says Coffs Harbour mayor Cr Keith Rhoades.

“There is no rip tear bust hurry,” Cr Rhoades said.

“They probably won’t get around to building it for up to two years and on a $710 million project it is just about a full stop at the end of a sentence.”

Northern Beaches residents raised the alarm about the lack of a cycleway as part of the project recently after a community meeting on October 23.

Construction manager on the Sapphire to Woolgoolga Pacific Highway upgrade Marsh Hudson told residents the proposed ‘bike track’ was a 2m shoulder on the local road, while RTA representative Col Solomon said a separate shared path was being incorporated in the highway overpasses.

Residents want a safe shared pedestrian path and cycleway incorporated into the continuous alternate local road link.

A poster is being circulated to acquaint residents with the need to lobby for the cycleway but Tony Rothacker is unhappy with one of the illustrations used, which shows the path divided from the road by guide posts.

Mr Rothacker, a civil engineer, cyclist and the President of United Residents of Emerald Beach (URGE), said the posts depicted did not give any protection to cyclists or pedestrians.

“Any car can drive into it or park along it so pedestrians and cyclists have to go on the road to pass by,” Mr Rothacker said.

“In Germany every path along the road has a physical separation.”

URGE wants all groups involved with active outdoor activities to lobby the NSW Government, RTA and Coffs Harbour City Council to have a shared path properly designed and addressed.

“We are interested in a dialogue rather than confrontation,” Mr Rothacker said.

“We want to engage in talks and come to a solution where everybody agrees.

“We know the RTA has limited funds but the State needs to see the benefits.

“At the moment the RTA is not seeing the benefits of cycling as an alternative form of transport.

“They are building the highway just for cars.”



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