Council call to bridge safety gap at Bli Bli
  • Thursday 19 March 2015

Sunshine Coast Council has urged the State Government to address cyclist safety concerns on a narrow bridge at Bli Bli.

Division 9 Councillor Steven Robinson said the state-controlled carriageway across the Maroochy River wasn’t wide enough to safely cater for cyclists and high volumes of traffic.

“The capacity of this bridge in Bli Bli as a multi-use transport link is a serious concern to council given the increase in people riding bikes on the Sunshine Coast and the community has raised these concerns with us,” Cr Robinson said.

“This 300m bridge has a 6m wide carriageway so it’s a dangerously tight squeeze for cyclists and motorists and particularly concerning given the high traffic volume on the bridge of approximately 10,000 vehicles per day.

“The adjacent 1.2m wide pedestrian bridge isn’t wide enough to allow safe travel for both bike riders and pedestrians.

“Council has previously appealed to the State Government to have this bridge upgraded for both vehicles and bicycles.

“We again wrote to the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) in late December with concerns about bike rider safety.

“Council would welcome an opportunity to discuss the potential for providing a fully accessible off-road bridge to cater for both pedestrians and cyclists with safe connections to the pathway network on both sides of the bridge.”

Sunshine Coast Bicycle Touring Club president Helen Gavigan said many cyclists opted to avoid travelling across the Bli Bli bridge due to the potential safety risks.

“We have around 240 riders within our club and tend to avoid that bridge wherever possible in our planned weekend rides because it is too narrow,” she said.

“Certainly the less experienced riders within our club aren’t confident riding on the bridge, and most will dismount and walk their bikes across rather than run the gauntlet on the narrow carriageway.

“We would certainly support anything that would make the bridge safer for bike riders because in its current state, it is pretty scary.”

Council has a goal to shift to public and active transport modes through the Sunshine Coast Sustainable Transport Strategy 2011-2031 and the Sunshine Coast Active Transport Plan 2011-2031.

Both council and TMR have provided infrastructure for cyclists in and around Bli Bli over recent years to encourage an increase in active transport.

Research shows that more than 70,000 people are riding bikes on the Sunshine Coast each week and there has been an increase of more than 60% in bike rider numbers in urban areas over the past two years.

Providing safer routes for cyclists will help to encourage more cyclist activity on the Coast and assist with reducing traffic congestion.