Cyclist suggests replacing Esplanade car parks with bikeway

CYCLISTS are campaigning for a fairer slice when it comes to sharing Hervey Bay's popular but busy Esplanade with motorists.

A www.change.org petition proposes the Esplanade be open to one-way traffic only to create safer roads for local cyclists and motorists.

Lianne Esposito set up the petition after witnessing a "frightening incident between a bus and trailer and cyclists" near the Hervey Bay surf club.

Ms Esposito, on change.org, makes the point that despite new Queensland road rules legislating motorists give cyclists a 1m berth, the Esplanade has no room to accommodate such a law.

Well-known Hervey Bay cyclist Ron Morgan has since suggested another solution: a cycleway replacing the ocean-side Esplanade car park lane, and additional multi-car parking bays be constructed at intervals along, or near, the Esplanade using vacant blocks or council-controlled land.

Mr Morgan said motorists and cyclists mostly did their best to share the roads, but problems still arose.

He suggested the current Esplanade bike-pedestrian path, while useful, was unsuitable for road cyclists, who often travelled at fast speeds on bikes that require surfaces to be smooth.

"The main thing that people don't understand is they think every bike should be on the bike path and we actually get abused by motorists at times saying, 'Get on the bike path'," Mr Morgan said.

"But there's different sorts of bikes, just like with trail bikes and motorbikes, and what happens if you're riding a bike and doing 30kmh and come across a lady with a dog on the bike path? It could be more dangerous than ever.

"These road bikes are really not designed to go on bike paths."

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the Hervey Bay Esplanade was a work in progress.

"A part of council's work on the Esplanade includes traffic studies which will look at one-way options, parking strategies and speed limits, especially at the Pialba, Scarness, Torquay and Urangan precincts," Cr O'Connell said.

"What we have to remember is that when traffic conditions are changed in one area they have impacts on others."

Ron Morgan is calling for a new road bike lane on the esplanade.
Ron Morgan is calling for a new road bike lane on the esplanade. Valerie Horton