Future plan for Woolgoolga Bike Lane

Numerous safety issues have been raised about the Woolgoolga bike lane trial.

THE contentious issue of the Woolgoolga bike lane has reached a milestone in its evolution after City of Coffs Harbour’s Council meeting on Thursday 23 March.

Noted in the minutes of the meeting, councillors approved the removal of the section of on-road protected bike lane between River Street and Bultitude Street and allocated $53,089 from the Road Reseals budget to fund the balance of the trial and the critical works required for implementation.

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Also approved was the retention of the concrete shared path between Boundary Street and Wharf Street.
Councillors voted to delay consideration of the retention of the section of on-road protected bike lane between Bultitude Street and Boundary Street.

Also noted is that the long-term option of providing a bike lane that links West Woolgoolga to the beach reserve and Beach Street town centre will be addressed as part of the draft Woolgoolga Movement and Place Plan.

Community feedback from the six-month trial highlighted a range of issues which were noted in the council meeting debate.

These included the aesthetics of the temporary infrastructure, the lack of connectivity at the truncated end at the River Street intersection, and traffic and road safety issues at some intersections.

Ray Willing, President of the Northern Beaches Residents Association (NBRA) told News Of The Area the NBRA congratulates City of Coffs Harbour councillors on reaching this decision on a complicated issue.

“At last, they have heard the community,” said Ray.

“Getting rid of the cycleway on-road between River and Bultitude Streets begins the potential resurrection of Beach Street.

“At least the community can now continue to pursue the removal of the off-road section from Bultitude to Boundary.

“It is just possible that Beach Street may be brought back to its full former glory after Easter by having this section removed.

“Councilors Wolgamot and Pryce had the better motion for every good reason we can think of – safety, aesthetically, efficacy and financially,” he said.

“It’s disappointing that this motion did not get up.

“These councillors seemed to have the support of Councillors Judge and Cecato.

“Special thanks to all four of them as they are listening with both ears,” said Ray.

“We know that there are still safety issues.”

NBRA has advised Council that it believes its safety audit is not a robust document.

“There were very significant differences between the plan used in the audit and what is on the ground in Woolgoolga.
“The implementation of the new approvals will change what is on the ground,” he said.

With the new ‘temporarily retained’ on-road structure from Bultitude to Boundary and the permanent Boundary to Wharf structure, NBRA urges “a proper and robust safety report” as a reasonable community expectation.

“This should be followed at least by fixing lax safety features and utter confusion at road crossings,” said Ray
“Getting rid of all the on-road parts would seem to be a big step towards acknowledging a common sense solution.”

Cr Scott Walgamot told NOTA, “The original motion proposed the following: Remove the west end (Bultitude-River Streets).

“Make certain changes to the centre section, and have it become more than a trial, it would become permanent between Boundary and Bultitude.

“Retain the Eastern 1/3 which is on the new, widened footpath.”

Cr Wolgamot said that essentially the debate was centred on opposing views about the centre section.
“One view was to remove it now.

“The second one, which won the support of a majority of Councillors after extended discussion, was to delay a decision on removing the centre section as it may be of value if a larger, longer bike path is constructed in the future.

“The original motion was amended to note that a decision on the section would be made later – this passed,” he said.


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