Welcome to 2lanesnot4
Join our community! Value Caloundra
Join our community! Value Caloundra
Last Thursday, the Federal Government announced they were withdrawing funding from the Caloundra Transport Corridor project, citing that there are projects don’t demonstrate merit and meet the Australian Government’s investment priorities. This might seem like a blow to Caloundra, but maybe it’s the prompt we needed to have one last hard look at this project.
A common catch cry at the Sunshine Coast, is that we don’t want to be like the Gold Coast. I’ve just spent a few days in South Port and I’m wondering what it is about the Gold Coast that offends us. The foreshore areas with bike paths, coffee shops and parklands are lovely. Precincts around the light rail stations are great places to walk and filled with interesting little shops and restaurants. The skyscrapers don’t stand out in my experience, and their suburbs don’t seem vastly different to ours.
The thing that I didn’t like about the Gold Coast, was the roads. There’s a busy highway between the town and the beach! It’s wide, noisy, smelly and scary. Many roads through town centres are also terribly wide. It’s hard to enjoy walking around so much asphalt, and you spend a whole lot of time standing at corners waiting to crossroads.
This seems to be a main point of difference between the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. Many roads at the Gold Coast, dominate the surrounding land areas, and take the joy out of moving. In contrast, many sections of the Sunshine Coast have been spared this asphalt domination. In areas like Coolum, our Council has even invested in narrowing roads and slowing them down to improve liveability of the precinct.
Caloundra, and many of the small villages around the coast have a particular advantage on this front. These towns weren’t planned around everyone moving in cars. They assumed people would need to be able to walk places. As a result, we have schools, sports facilities, and a bushland park, all within walking distance from the CBD.
However, all that doesn’t address the issue that prompted the Caloundra Transport Corridor project. The road congestion at the Nicklin Way and Caloundra Road roundabout disrupts vehicle travel to Caloundra and makes a frightening entry for anyone coming by bike or the bus stops near the police station and soccer fields.
There are limited ways into Caloundra and people are forced to choose between Caloundra Rd or the northern suburb of Dicky Beach. Providing another access to Caloundra makes sense. Council and TMR flagged future connections through Ben Bennett Park (near the powerline easement) and at Queen St near the golf course, several years ago. This is an appropriate response, provided neither of the new road connections are overdesigned to encourage an unmanageable flood of vehicles into one area. Contrary to what Council’s claims, concentrating 20,000 vehicles through the Oval Ave precinct each day, will not improve safety for active transport and particularly the many school children who will need to cross this road.
The current project that is planned for Caloundra provides for an incomprehensible and implausible amount of cars in our CBD. It rightly assumes that more people will want to live in this area. However, it wrongly assumes that these people will use their cars to do most of their daily trips. The vision for this area should be that we protect our green spaces at all cost, improve our walking and cycling facilities, improve our public transport and welcome more people into this pocket of the coast where transport is affordable and sustainable. At the same time, we should carefully plan to improve vehicle access into Caloundra, ensuring we don’t overdo it!
Value Caloundra are devastated by the media releases that were released this week about the Caloundra Transport Project.
Since the concept was first released to the community
we have advocated for compromise. We have advocated to increase road capacity in a sensible way. We have provided data, information and experiences to try and have a positive influence on this project.
We remain concerned that the traffic volumes predicted for Oval Avenue are not plausible, or likely and that the road may be overdesigned. We are also concerned that road expansion on Oval Ave does not reflect previous agreements and commitments by Council. We welcome and encourage an independent review of these elements of the project.
A three-lane road through Bicentennial Park, and 4 lanes in Ben Bennett will permanently damage and transform the park and surrounds.
Come join us in the park
Activities for kids, bicycle maintenance, guest speakers, wildlife ...
We hope that as the project moves on, that there will be more scrutiny of the decision making and data used to justify this project. We still hold out hope that good data, good processes and appropriate scrutiny will deliver a better outcome for this project. You can still write letters asking for this.
Value Caloundra began in 2020 after concepts for major road expansions in Caloundra were released. Our first project was a survey capturing community values around affected areas.
Since then, we've worked with other groups to advocate for an efficient solution to improve traffic flow and protect other community values.
We continue to advocate for a sensible increase in road capacity in Caloundra that doesn’t destroy what’s unique and special about our town. We have been pleased to learn from TMR that social factors and environmental impacts are the most important criteria for determine the Ben Bennett part of the project. This is what we have been advocating for all along. We continue to hope that the impacts on Ben Bennett will be significantly reduced from what the original concept design showed. We will anxiously await these designs.
We are most concerned about the Council stage of the project. It was a big setback, back in 2021 when Council voted to proceed with compulsory acquisitions of properties on Oval Avenue and Third Avenue. They were still in the middle of holding pop-up community engagement when this important decision was passed. We felt it was rushed and not prudent at the time.
We want the Council to work towards the best option for our community, regardless of this decision. If the capacity of the road is slightly reduced, we could potentially have an option that doesn’t involve this devastation to homes, local sport clubs, parks and businesses. We don’t want Council to be influenced by their previous decisions in this regard.
We have met the residents at 15 Oval Avenue. They are courageous people, who have retained hope, in very difficult circumstances. Luke Carey is 14 years old and has written to decision makers to urge them to consider a 2 Lane Option for the corridor. The letter resonated with hundreds and hundreds of people in our community and has been shared more than 120 times on Facebook. The Carey family and others, continue to oppose the project and land resumptions. Whilst Council has approved land resumptions, these resumptions have not yet been signed of by the State Minister for Resources.
Land acquisitions need to be signed of by the State Government Minister for Resources. Contact the Minister for land resources to object to compulsory acquisitions on Oval Ave
2 lanes, not 4 refers to building a 2 lane road, not a 4 lane road. A 2 lane road would significantly improve traffic access but would have a fraction of the impacts on the environment that a 4 lane option has.