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The Mann Street Cycleway Project
Third Open Letter to Bob Manning and Richie Bates

At first thing this morning on the 21st of November 2016, the CRC started cutting down the trees designated for removal. One of these trees can be seen below:

Now, I want to make it absolutely clear that I'm not standing in judgment on you - or more generally the CRC - for doing things the way you did in the Mann Street Cycleway Project. I just want to know the reasoning behind why things were done the way they were.

In my first open letter, I suggested that the CRC send a press release to the Cairns Post explaining in detail all of this. Otherwise, the present CRC will appear to the general public as being aloof, smug and arrogant. And guys don't forget, we know how to vote!

Second Open Letter to Bob Manning and Richie Bates

It is a very sad thing to say, but it seems that the CRC just can't get things right as far as the Mann Street Cycleway Project goes. Is it really necessary to remove the "offending" trees that are near to the cycle path? An alternative to tree removal could be to amputate all the roots that look likely to damage the bitumen path. A root barrier of high-density polyethylene could then be placed around the tree to prevent a root invasion of the new infrastructure. (See here for root barrier images).

But the Mann Street Cycleway Project fiasco doesn't end there. For the most part, the northern side of Mann Street tends to have shrubs and fewer trees and if the cycleway were to be placed there instead, there would not be a "tree problem". Also, having the cycleway on the southside creates other problems. This can be seen in the photo below. Notice the 133 bus turning left across the cyclist's path. This problem did not exist with the original footbridge. Notice also the lack of a proper chicane on the new footbridge. Brown Street is often busy with traffic and without a proper chicane on the bridge, this would make crossing Brown Street very risky for inattentive cyclists.

In my first open letter to the CRC about the Mann Street Cycleway Project (see below), I mentioned that I was puzzled by the unnecessary duplication of a cycle path that was working quite well. However my main concern is why nothing has still been done about rebuilding the Given's Street footbridge. The importance of this bridge can be seen in this PDF called the City Earlville Bikeway.

At the beginning of this letter I said how sad it is that the CRC just does not seem to "get it" as far as major projects go. It is of course too late to undo what they have done as far as this one goes. Therefore in the light of this, I now fear for other issues that involve the CRC. An important future issue is the public transport connection to the soon to be upgraded Cairns airport. One suggestion that I made in this essay was for the swap of locations for General Aviation and the passenger terminals. This would make it easier for public transport to access the new airport. We can only wish that the CRC will help in getting this one right - hopefully.

First Open Letter to Bob Manning and Richie Bates

As a keen cyclist, I'm curious to know why the Cairns Regional Council Engineers made decisions, that to me at least, make very little sense.The location in question is in the area just north east of the DFO between Brown and Lyons Streets, and where this area splits Mann Street. There is a well maintained shared path and footbridge still in place here. This can be seen in the photo below and is still quite popular with cyclists and pedestrians:

Not so popular is the new shared path recently constructed, shown below. Also - probably in the near future - there will be a new bridge across the canal. This is indicated by a space in the new guard rail.

This possible future footbridge is just a few metres away from the original one. The mesh of the original bridge can be seen in the photo below:

An obvious question to ask is why build a new bridge so close to one that is doing just fine. Why waste ratepayer's money on something that is not necessary - or am I missing something? Please let me and many others know why the CRC can do this without doing anything about rebuilding the Given's Street footbridge. Please see this PDF map where I describe and outline the importance of such a bridge. Again I repeat, please let me and others know why the engineers did what they did. What would be nice would be a press release to the Cairns Post explaining all of this.

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