Let's get peddling - Peregian Beach & Marcus Beach
Peregian Beach Community Association
Response to: Noosa Draft Cycling and Walking Strategy 2020-2040. (April 2021)
The Peregian Beach Community Association (PBCA) welcomes and applauds the initiative of Noosa Council in developing and inviting consultation on its Noosa Draft Cycling and Walking Strategy 2020-2040.
Rather than comment on multiple aspects of the detailed Strategy, PBCA has elected to focus on several aspects of specific significance to the Peregian Beach locality, as follows:
1. Provision of a safe, convenient and acceptable cycling route between Peregian Village shops and the South Peregian Beach roundabout on David Low Way.
1. There is currently no safe, convenient and acceptable cycling route between Peregian Village and the roundabout at South Peregian Beach on David Low Way.
2. Such a route is essential for:
· local residents wishing to cycle safely between their homes in South Peregian Beach and the shops and services at Peregian Village;
· anyone cycling from north of Peregian Village onward to Coolum via the David Low Way cycle path or to Peregian Springs via the footbridge on Havana Road;
· primary school students cycling from Peregian Beach to Peregian Springs State School (the nearest primary school to Peregian Beach), to Coolum State High School (the nearest state high school to Peregian Beach) or to St Andrews College (the nearest non-state school to Peregian Beach).
3. There is an existing southbound on-road cycle lane on the section of David Low Way between Peregian Village and the roundabout at South Peregian Beach.
4. However, this cycle lane is manifestly and dangerously unsafe at all hours because of the parking of significant numbers of cars in the cycle lane.
5. Car parking forces cyclists to either swerve at great risk into the southbound car, bus and truck traffic or to ride onto and along the footpath, where multiple driveway and gateway exits expose cyclists to the risk of collision with exiting vehicles and pedestrian residents.
6. These hazardous conditions suggest that Council promotion of this cycle route could be deemed incompatible with the Council’s duty of care to cyclists.
7. PBCA acknowledges that the ‘obvious’ solution – i.e. prohibiting the parking of cars in the cycle lane – would be unfair to residents of and visitors to residences on David Low Way.
1. PBCA advocates, as a priority, the development by Council of a safe, convenient and acceptable alternative route for cyclists between Noosa Village and the roundabout on David Low Way at South Peregian Beach.
2. PBCA recommends that the alternative route be created by upgrading and redeveloping the route using sections of Plover Street, Piper Street, Shearwater Street and Lorikeet Drive.
3. At present, that route is not fully fit for purpose, due to a number of factors including a lack of dedicated cycle lanes, the roadway width, the condition of the roadway surface and random parking of cars in a part roadway/part footpath situation. In places, the roadway is barely wide enough for two cars to pass, and is made impossible if cars are parked on the road verge. Adding bicycles into that situation simply worsens the existing situation and invites incidents and accidents. Currently, frequent exceeding of the 40kph speed limit is another aggravating factor.
4. Fortunately, the road reserve along this route appears to be wide enough to accommodate the redevelopment that will be necessary. PBCA envisages improvements including a substantial widening of the surfaced roadway; provision for car parking that is fully ‘off road’; provision of dedicated off-road paths for bicycles and pedestrians; possibly traffic calming features to encourage adherence to the speed limit.
5. PBCA is familiar with conceptual sketches developed by local resident and architect Sharyn Kerrigan and made available some years ago to the then Council. These posited an imaginative and workable integration of vehicular traffic, car parking, and dedicated cycle/pedestrian paths. These could form a basis for Council’s development of a solution to the challenge outlined in this submission. At the same time, PBCA recognises that Council might explore other ways of producing this desirable integration.
6. While the criteria of ‘safe’ and ‘convenient’ might appear clear in terms of both vision and realisation, the criterion of ‘acceptable’ invokes issues of environmental sustainability and of the amenity of residents who might be affected by the proposed solution, in particular residents in the nominated streets. The need for adequate consultation is obvious.
PBCA recommends that Noosa Council develop a safe, convenient and acceptable route for cyclists and walkers travelling between Peregian Village and the South Peregian Beach roundabout on David Low Way - based on the existing Plover Street, Piper Street, Shearwater Street and Lorikeet Drive and informed by the analyses and proposals in this submission. See Map 1
2. Further development/improvement of the paths available for cyclists to travel from Peregian Village to Noosa Junction and thence to Noosa Main Beach
1. This is a complex route, with a mixture of on-road and off-road pathways, and with options available at various points. PBCA is keen for Council to improve the pathways -where appropriate – throughout its entire length. However, PBCA is limiting this submission to two ‘problems’ most proximate to Peregian Beach.
2. There are two main routes currently available for cyclists to travel from Peregian Village to Noosa Junction and thence on to Noosa Main Beach.
3. One main route is based on the on-road cycle lane that – for both northbound and southbound cyclists – provides (in the main) a fairly smooth, well-surfaced and sufficiently wide pathway for travel as far as Noosa Junction.
4. This is the preferred route for seriously training riders – an important demographic in Noosa Shire - but is used also by everyday cyclists, an arguably even more important demographic if cycle travel is to be increased in the shire.
5. The second main route starts at Peregian Village, using Kingfisher Drive/Osprey Avenue/Peregian Esplanade to join David Low Way at the Lowry Street (Glen Eden) intersection. The route then uses a series of off-road paths and footpaths to travel as far as Sunrise Beach.
6. This second route is important, as many everyday cyclists prefer to avoid the David Low Way bike lanes because of the intensity and speed of vehicle traffic and, to lesser extent, because of the problem of obstructing higher-speed groups of training cyclists using the bike lane. Further, the largely off-road route is preferred by some because of its ecological interest and its shaded course as it passes through the vegetated near-dune precincts.
7. One significant problem is the Kingfisher Drive/Osprey Avenue/Peregian Esplanade section mentioned above. That route is characterised, in the main, by a poor road surface, narrow roadways, obstruction by parked cars and a lack of designated bicycle lanes. There is an off-road bicycle/walking path along the ‘duck pond’ part of the route, but that path is dangerously narrow and its bitumen surface is in poor condition in places.
8. Notably, this problem area affects both ‘seriously training’ riders and the various types of ‘everyday’ cyclists. Many training cyclists use this section to avoid riding over the steep ‘water tower hill’ on David Low Way.
PBCA recommends that Council attend to the various problems of the Kingfisher Drive/Osprey Avenue/Peregian Esplanade section to develop a safe, convenient and acceptable pathway from Peregian Village to the ‘Glen Eden’ intersection. See Map 2
9. The second significant problem proximate to Peregian Beach exists just north of the ‘Glen Eden’ intersection. From that intersection, the designated off-road bike path is along the footpath on the eastern side of David Low Way. Several hundred metres north of Glen Eden, the pathway changes course, entering the vegetated dune area and emerging several hundred metres further north on Callitris Crescent/Tristania Drive in Marcus Beach. That stretch of several hundred metres includes an overly-taxing, twisting climb for northbound cyclists and an equivalent perilous descent for southbound cyclists.
PBCA recommends that Council provide an alternative to the abovementioned several hundred metres by extending the off-road (on footpath) section on the eastern side of David Low Way so that it extends for the entire distance from Glen Eden to the Marcus Beach roundabout on David Low Way. From the roundabout, cyclists can then descend to the beachside streets of Marcus Beach, and join the cycle path that leaves from the northern end of Tristania Drive. See Map 3
3. The need for ongoing liaison between Noosa Council and Sunshine Coast Council in relation to proposed development of new cycle/walking paths in the vicinity of Peregian Breeze/Emu Mountain Road/David Low Way
1. It is likely that there will be development of cycle/walking paths and associated road crossings in the vicinity of Peregian Breeze, Emu Mountain Road and the David Low Way south of the South Peregian roundabout.
2. While this area is outside the Noosa Shire boundary, the proposed developments are of great interest and importance to some residents of Noosa Shire, particularly in Peregian Beach. The proposed development could bring mutual benefits to residents in both Council areas, and the actual works could articulate with Noosa Council infrastructure in the adjoining areas of Noosa Shire, including routes canvassed in this PBCA submission.
PBCA recommends that Noosa Shire maintain both a ‘watching brief’ over the proposed developments described above and appropriate liaison/engagement with Sunshine Coast Council, with a view to identifying and encouraging mutually-beneficial synchronicities and synergies as developments are proposed and realised.