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Feedback for the Cairns Southern Cycleway Project

The following is an extract from the Cairns Regional Council website:

The Cairns Southern Cycleway project will provide a 5km cycling commuter link from Wharf Street in the CBD through to Gordon Creek in Woree.
The proposed $2.8 million extension of Cairns' cycleway network from the CBD to Woree is now open for public comment. It is proposed that a 3m wide path be constructed, utilising a disused rail corridor which runs parallel to Spence Street to create a safer, more direct route for cyclists commuting to the CBD. It will connect with existing crossings into McCoombe Street, allowing access to the retail, sporting and entertainment areas at Earlville.

The photo below shows the route:

Although many cyclists will applaud this project, they would, I'm sure, lament the lack of connectivity with the existing bikeways of suburban Cairns. Although this proposed cycleway does have a connection along McCoombe Street and would be reasonably adequate, an alternate cycleway on the southern bank of Chinaman Creek would be a safer and more pleasant ride - especially for those cyclists travelling from the south and wishing to go on to suburban Cairns.

The photo on the left, shows this alternate route, indicated in red. It runs from Mulgrave Road and goes to the cycleway just before the proposed bridge across Chinaman Creek.

 

This route would require a small bridge across Clarkes Creek.

 

The photo on the right shows the intersection of the proposed alternate route cycleway and the proposed Cairns Southern cycleway. The creek is Chinaman Creek.

 

Also shown are the future concrete walls designed to contain the erosion of the banks of Chinaman Creek.

This erosion can be seen in the photo below. Therefore in the future, most certainly, these banks will be reinforced with concrete, similar to what has been done upstream along Chinaman Creek. The concrete walls will make it easier to construct a cycleway path on top of the bank.

 

THE SOUTHERN CYCLEWAY AND THE EXISTING BIKEWAYS OF CAIRNS

Below are four sheets that show how the alternate cycle route will connect with the existing bikeways of Cairns. The maps start at Aeroglen and then head towards Chataway Street where the bikeway splits into two with one bikeway heading toward Bayview Heights and the other meets up with the alternate cycle route that runs beside Chinamans Creek. (Note that these maps can be viewed in the PDF format where it is possible to zoom in on the photos; their sizes range from 1.76MB to 3.11MB. These maps are Sheet 1, Sheet 2, Sheet 3 & Sheet 4.)

 

 

CONCLUSION

For the the southern cycleway and the existing suburban bikeways to work, upgrading and replacing parts of the bikeways will be required. For example, there is no proper bikeway along Mann Street, Westcourt. Another example is that there "may or may not" be a replacement of the Givens Street Footbridge over Moody Creek, despite requests to the Mayor and Councillors. See this email.

If these modifications are made as well as some others, we should expect that our bikeways and cycleways will become more popular. This will give the residents of Cairns an alternative to driving the car to the CBD. All this, could even result in motorists who wouldn't be seen dead riding a bike, getting easier parking in the city!

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