Noosa council is adopting a new Cycling and Walking Strategy in a bid to address future congestion issues, reduce emissions and increase the uptake of active travel in the shire.
The strategy will draw from the councils 10-year forecast of $12.8 million to spend on walking and cycling projects, and identifies a number of low-cost, quick-impact priority projects over the next two years.
These include the installation of pathways of major projects such as the Noosa Parade Corridor Upgrade, Garth Prowd Bridge replacement and Beckmans Road Bypass Stage 1.
And the strategy has been largely driven by the community, with the community-based Project Reference Group identifying 22 priority projects.
Project Reference Group member Cr Brian Stockwell said: “We received a great deal of feedback through a series of consultations that guided the priorities set in this bold new strategy.
“The health and wellbeing plus environmental benefits of cycling and walking are well documented.
“This strategy endeavours to create an environment that makes riding a bike and walking so convenient and safe that it is the preferred mode of transport for our residents and visitors.”
The strategy also prioritises a list of projects for Council to deliver, with many of them potentially eligible for Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) grant funding.
Mayor Clare Stewart said for every $1 invested in cycling infrastructure, it returns almost $5 to Queensland in health benefits and reduced traffic congestion.
“This strategy will play a major role in addressing future congestion issues and help Noosa to reach its carbon emissions targets,” she said.
While the strategy will look to capitalise on the popularity of MTB and trail riding in the area, it also couldn't come at a better time for half of the population who are predominantly old and car-bound... not a combination that is conducive with a healthy community.
Approximately 40% of Noosa’s population is over 54 years of age. 71% of workers drive to work with only 3.4% of people walking and 0.9% of people cycling.
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