Thursday 29 October 2009

Cairns CBD to Aeroglen cycleway

Motorists on the Northern highway will notice that the Cairns CBD to Aeroglen Cycleway is now well underway. It is the first stage of a dedicated cycleway connecting Palm Cove in the north of Cairns, all the way to Gordonvale in the south.

The joint long-term project is between Cairns Regional Council and Department of Transport and Main Roads. The objective is to to provide a safe and convenient cycling option to encourage everyone to get on their bike.

There has been extensive negative publicity of the initial changes to McLeod Street, alongside Cairns Central., whipped up largely by a small minority on John Mackenzie's 846am radio talkback.

"You won't get me out there with the less than 1% of cyclists," Mackenzie defiantly said on radio.

In 2007 and 2008, Main Roads consulted with community groups. Abbott, Lake, Grafton and Sheridan, McLeod and Martyn Streets were all looked at, but the Esplanade route was favoured as the safest for cyclists. There are only 3 intersections and 6 driveways along the route. Cyclists will be physically separated from vehicles and pedestrians. Car parking layouts along the Esplanade, Airport Ave/Sheridan St and some side streets, will be reconfigured.

75% of the $6.1 million project is coming from Main Roads and Council chipping in $1.5 million.

The proposed Esplanade route will run along the eastern side of the Captain Cook Highway from the General Aviation entrance to Airport Avenue. The route then follows the northern side of Airport Avenue for a short distance, crosses over and connects to Moffat Street.

It then travels on the northern side of Moffat Street to Lake Street and along the eastern side of Lake Street to the northern side of Lily Street. It then connects to the eastern side of the Esplanade to arrive at the Minnie Street intersection.
The Lily Creek route will complement the cycleway by providing an alternative day use recreational route. Its also a scenic route alongside landscaped parklands.
It was considered a high priority for a cycle route from Smithfield to the CBD. There's no truth in the rumor that it will be named the John Mackenzie Memorial Cycleway.
Current angle car parking bays on western side to become parallel parking – less parking bays in immediate vicinity
but reconfiguration of parking layout in the side streets will result in more parking
• 3m wide path
• Slow point for cyclists at pedestrian crossing locations by the use of raised humps
• Fencing to direct pedestrians to safe crossing locations
• Pedestrians using proposed path between future parking and new fence will be protected by raised kerb

• 4m wide path at same level as road but separated by raised kerb on western side and landscaping on eastern side
• Current 45° car parking with separate service lane will be changed to 90° parking (with buffer zone) off the two-way

• 3m to 3.5m wide path
• Separated from vehicles by raised kerb
• Formalising the car parking in the business area and providing parking along Airport Ave

• Mostly 4m wide path; • Separate dedicated cycleway beside the highway; • Separate bridge over Saltwater Ck
You can still provide feedback for the project by telephoning 4044 3303 or email Council before 13 November.


Unknown said...

Some of McKenzie's main sponsors have businesses on McLeod and Grafton St. Any coincidence ?

I also wonder why the mayor still appears on his show on Fridays. he spends all week bagging her and any proposal she makes, then is all cosy and nice to her on Fridays.

The hypocrisy is nauseating. 99 % views expressed on this show are so one-sided and biased that is almost beyond belief, that he can get away with it.

Fosnez said...

So when the city has already got a deficit of around 400 parking slots, we are going to remove more?

It's all well and good for people to say "get on your bike and ride to work", but what people don't think of is this is the tropics. I have to ride 15km to get into work, and I used to do it at my old workplace. But I cannot do it now because there are not showers at my current workplace.

Unknown said...

Fosnez, you make a valid point, but we can't be for ever keep widening roads and creating more parking slots within the limited space of the CBD.

I never have any trouble parking in town, even if it means having to walk a block or two. I never have problems parking in McLeod St or driving through there.If those who live relatively close to town left their cars at home and others used (an improved) public transport system then there would be more room to park for people like you who need to drive into town.

We can't keep doing things the same old way forever.

KitchenSlut said...

I think Fosnez is correct and the case for cycleways as a transport system rather than a lifestyle feature has been overstated. As an inner city occasional cyclist and non-car-owner I will however probably use it.

I was also surprised by the removal of parking places given the priority placed on this by Council and the recent haste to install centre parking in Abbott St outside the private hospital absent any prior consultation with affected residents and absent any apparent strategy.

The query I have is why we are building this cycleway section along the Esplanade when there is already a parallel cycleway in the Esplanade parkland a few metres away?

Also with parking in that area it has been suggested(with some positive feedback from Val) that the Esplanade should be one way extended to the Upward St roundabout which would enable increased angle parking, room for a cycleway, and safer traffic. There is just no need for that 2 block section to be 2-way.

This would also remove the joke of an interesction at the RSL Club. KS was highly entertained staggering home from town recently to observe a vehicle right turn into the oncoming one way traffic and then knock over a concrete bollard outside the RSL while attempting a 3 point turn to extricate themselves.

Pam Eggleton said...

Bring em on! I want more cycleways everywhere... less cars is not a bad thing for anyone ya know.

I also like the idea of separating the cars from the bikes with barriers - they do that in Euorpe

stinhambo said...

This is a great idea if it's policed properly. Also it should have CCTV to help with the inevitable muggings.

Otherwise I think it's a great idea and will encourage tourists as well as locals to get to and from the city without having to resort to taxis and cars.

In fact a couple of businesses could expand to hire cycles and helmets for people to explore more of Cairns.

It would make a useful walkway back home after a few beers too many!

If you live a way from the city then yes you need to take a car. If it is humming down with rain then take a car.

As long as we get properly air conditioned buses, I think the loss of car parking spaces won't be felt. I always find a space anyway.