We recently received notification from Council with a preliminary design for a new section of the Moreton Bay Cycleway from Elanora Park to Export Street, travelling along Wynnum North Road, Wynnum, and Pritchard Street, Lytton.
Stages 1 and 2, which are due to commence shortly, will involve an off-road shared path (1) along Wynnum North Road, from Elanora Park to the roundabout at Pritchard St and (2) along the northern side of Pritchard St from the existing off-road bikeway near the Export Street intersection to the railway crossing. Sometime in future (hopefully 2018), Stage 3 will link them, but the preferred alignment has apparently not yet been determined.
Although we strongly agree with the need for a safe connection from the Moreton Bay Cycleway at Wynnum, through to Lytton Road and eventually the Gateway Bridge, we are concerned there are serious flaws in the current plan.
North of the roundabout at Pritchard St, Wynnum North Road serves less than 30 houses and the carpark for the bird-hide at Eleanora Park. Being a short, quiet, dead-end street, we feel this should be very low priority for a separated bikeway. Further, the roadway has a very gentle gradient, whereas on its western side where the bikeway is planned, there is a bank which would require expensive excavation, or see the bikeway take a route substantially more hilly than the road – in which case it’s unlikely to be used.
We note that $759,000 has been allocated in Council’s 2016-17 budget for “Moreton Bay – Wynnum North Rd to Lytton Rd”. Rather than build a bikeway here, we suggest that the money would be much better spend improving the condition of the shared path within Eleanora Park itself – particularly the tight and treacherous section at the bridge between the carpark and the dog park.
Between the end of the current shared pathway from the motorway connection (Export St intersection) and the railway crossing, Pritchard St is wide, with substantial shoulders which double as great on-road bike lanes. Again, we do not see this as a priority for an off-road bikeway.
Stage 3: Bikeway along Pritchard St connecting stages 1 and 2
This is the missing link, without which Stages 1 and 2 are of no value. The road along Pritchard St here is very unfriendly for cycling, with no shoulder, and a railway crossing at 45 degrees which is quite treacherous for narrow bicycle tyres.
Building a separated bikeway (shared path) along the northern side of Pritchard St here will require:
- Building a level crossing control for the shared path at the railway line;
- Potentially removing several large established gum trees along the roadway corridor;
- Building a crossing of the roadway into the new industrial park (Industry Place); and
- Replacing the footpath that was built less than 12 months ago along the Pritchard St front of the new industrial park development site.
Given these issues, we are sceptical about whether budget will be found for stage 3 next financial year, or that it will receive community support.
We consider there is a real danger that stage 3 will be delayed for years, and perhaps abandoned altogether, which will see the money spent on stage 2 completely wasted. We therefore request that stage 2 be put on hold until Stage 3 is finalised and ready for construction.