‘Someone will hit a cyclist’: Division over new bike lane

AUTHORITIES are sticking to their guns over new Captain Cook Hwy bicycle lane dividers despite criticism they are an accident waiting to happen.

Division 9 Cairns Regional Councillor Brett Olds has railed against safety upgrades at the Kewarra Beach turn-off, arguing the original roundabout was "probably the safest in Cairns for bikes and cars".

"Now they've tried to make it really safe for bikes, but they've just made it unsafe for everyone," he said.

Cr Olds said the new cement dividers jutted out into the left lane of traffic and caused cars to swerve at the last moment if drivers were not paying total attention.

"If two cars are side-by-side, the person in the right lane almost has to go right before they go left to get around the roundabout," he said.

"But people cut that line, and that's forcing people in the left lane to go even further left.

"Pretty soon we will have someone hitting a cyclist."

A new cement barrier meant to separate bikes from cars at the roundabout on the Bruce Highway and Discovery Drive, Kewarra Beach. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
A new cement barrier meant to separate bikes from cars at the roundabout on the Bruce Highway and Discovery Drive, Kewarra Beach. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

A spokesman for Transport and Main Roads said the works were part of a $25 million safety upgrade project spanning the length of the Captain Cook Hwy between Cairns and Buchan Point.

"These safety upgrades were identified and prioritised during a safety audit undertaken in 2017, which incorporated feedback from local road users," he said.

"Close consultation was undertaken with technical officers from the Cairns Regional Council, members of the Cairns Bicycle Users Group and Cairns Cycling Club, who contributed to the upgrade design at the Poolwood Rd roundabout.

 

QLD_CP_NEWS_BARRIER_24JUN19
The lane itself.

"Treatments for roundabouts from Barron River Bridge to Buchan Point, including Poolwood Rd, include realignment of approach curves to meet current design standards and barrier treatments at all major culverts."

The spokesman said the request for a different profile for cycling lane kerbs came directly from consultation with Cairns Regional Council.

"Works are continuing at this site and will include concrete infill for traffic islands, signs and street lighting," he said.

"Road works signs will be removed when works are completed."