Walking or cycling on the Sunshine Coast ranges from safe and enjoyable to very dangerous, depending on the user and the location. Unfortunately, certain high-risk locations are unavoidable and still a part of many trips. In June 2020, Transportation Choices Sunshine Coast, a member-based organization working to create more sustainable transportation alternatives on the Sunshine Coast, surveyed Coast residents to learn more about active transportation infrastructure needs on the Coast. Active transportation refers to any mode of transportation that relies on one’s own energy, such as walking, cycling, scootering or skating, that promotes individual and community health, and reduces carbon emissions.
The survey identified twelve locations of concern and asked respondents to indicate which ones posed the highest risk to cyclists and pedestrians. Responses varied by where people lived, but Marine Drive between Gibsons and the Langdale ferry and Highway 101 in Wilson Creek were indicated as the highest areas for improvement among all respondents. Overall, respondents indicated they find much of the cycling and walking infrastructure on Sunshine Coast roadways to be unsafe or not enjoyable. Primary issues noted were the lack of adequate separation from vehicles, dangerous highway crossings, and poorly-constructed and maintained road shoulders. Numerous respondents also voiced a strong demand for a continuous coast-wide cycle route completely separated from vehicle travel.
TraC is urging the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and local government to complete bikeable shoulders along Highway 101, provide regular ongoing maintenance of these shoulders, and commit to the creation of a continuous coast-wide non-highway route using secondary roads.