By Alicia Bolton
The Sunshine Coast council anticipates an 18 per cent decline in pedestrian and cyclist trauma, involving serious injury and death, by 2021 due to the installation of green bicycle lanes.
The lanes allow cyclists and motorists to be safer on the roads by highlighting high-risk areas such as roundabouts and intersections.
The lane installations coincide with the recently adopted Sunshine Coast Active Transport Plan which encourages healthier lifestyles and alternative means of transport for Sunshine Coast residents.
So far, the bright green markings are along Perwillowen Road in Nambour, but will be rolled across the rest of the Coast as road works commence in those areas.
Nambour councillor, Paul Tatton, said the markings have increased road usage and made motorists aware of cyclists on the road.
“Many areas across the coast will have cycle lanes installed,” Mr Tatton said.
Senior technical officer of Transport Innovation, Scott Morgan, said the green lanes promote better lifestyles and give people the choice to ride a bike in a safer environment.
“Riding a bike is definitely a healthier way to get around,” Mr Morgan said.
Mr Morgan said the cycling infrastructure will be installed around the Coast in a cost effective manner.
“To ensure cycling infrastructure is provided in a cost effective manner Council tries to install bike lanes in conjunction with other road work improvements being undertaken,” Mr Morgan said.
Nambour resident, Daniel White, said the markings are a waste of taxpayers money and make no difference to the safety of riders.
“I walk to work everyday because I don’t have a license. The lines make no difference to traffic buildups and cyclists in the area rarely use them,” Mr White said.
Mr Morgan says it’s because most cyclists don’t feel comfortable on the roads.
“As we gradually improve the cycle network we expect more people will feel comfortable riding on the road,” Mr Morgan said.
Mr Morgan said the Nambour lanes haven’t reduced traffic congestion yet, but as the rest of the Coast follows, it will become more effective.
“The affect on minimising congestion is probably minimal at this stage. But as the network extends more people will be able to ride bikes to more places,” he said.
Nambour employee, Nina Ashfield, said she catches the bus into Nambour and looks forward to less congestion on the roads.
“I haven’t noticed anyone using the lanes yet, but if they do then I’ll be able to get to work quicker on the bus,” Ms Ashfield said.
RELATED LINK: Sunshine Coast Active Transport Plan