5.3 Pedestrians and cyclists | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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5.3 Pedestrians and cyclists

An attractive, well planned network of walking and cycling paths is developing across the Campus. These effectively serve the major elements of the bus interchange, the art gallery and cafe area, the bicycle hub and car parking areas.

It will be necessary to build upon existing paths to service the continued expansion of built form to the south-east so that the lakes, the University Club and other elements continue to be safely accessible. Presently, the walking and cycling network on Campus does not address external onward destinations to the east, north or clearly define routes east-west across Campus. The network will need to start to fully integrate with external arrival and departure points around the Campus including northward to Sippy Downs Drive, south to the future GreenLink connection, and east to Claymore Road.

It is anticipated that the University will also continue to advocate for improved external paths and linkages, in particular into the Sippy Downs Town Centre and into the Palmview development as it proceeds.


Shared zones

Both the eastern and western access roads feature areas signed as shared zones, however the speed environment and appearance, as vehicular roads, is not consistent with the environment needed to engender equal priority for drivers and pedestrians.

Over the short to medium term, it is recommended that these environments are progressively upgraded to achieve a speed environment more reflective of the 10km/hr required for a shared zone. This could include pavement treatments, and the incorporation of shallow swales and landscaping to the inner roadside to control parking, in place of the steel tubular fencing currently in use.

On the western access road, a section of the access road on which buses run is designated as a shared zone. Considering the required feel, speed environment and traffic mix for a shared zone, it is recommended that this area be designated as a vehicle carriageway only, with pedestrians to use footpaths to either side of the road.

Pedestrian paths

The 2012 Campus Master Plan proposes a number of strategies to build upon and augment the existing pedestrian path network. These include the creation of a high quality path from Sippy Downs Drive main access south to the main access road; the creation of high quality walking paths along either side of the main access road, which will require the removal of the current overflow parking along the eastern access road, and will require a reasonable degree of construction on the western access road, particularly opposite the bus interchange where there is currently no footpath.

Further strategies include reinforcing the pedestrian path from the Innovations Centre south into the ‘green spine’ of the Campus, by integrating with built form on this alignment; creating distinct, well defined walking routes east-west across the southern section of the campus adjacent the lakes, to link the suburbs to the south with Chancellor State College to the north and Claymore Road to the east; building upon the existing Alumni Way path as a desirable, well shaded walking route between Science and Engineering and the Sport Centre; this will ultimately run between large buildings, potentially including the Student Life and Learning building, where the intention is to provide a walking focus, and provide for bicycle trips on an additional path further to the south.

Finally, the transportation strategies aim to ensure the retention of the open ‘green spine’ down to the lakes remains an unobstructed walking space.


Cycle paths

Currently there are no cycling facilities to either side of the east-west access road. The western access road is likely to have a more of a through trip commuter focus, due to its alignment relative to the town centre and suburbs and existing paths to GreenLink, while the eastern road will be more of a focus for trip ends at the Bicycle Hub.

As a consequence, the 2012 Campus Master Plan proposes a shared cycle-pedestrian path to the eastern access road, and a shared segregated path, to cater for higher commuter volumes, to the western access road.

Shared paths are generally in the order of 3m wide, and can be used to cater for both pedestrian and cycle trips, however pedestrian and cycle space is not delineated. They are suitable for a wide range of trip types.

On the eastern access road, USC have identified the potential for the use of the partially paved parking overflow area as a shared path. The overflow area can be seen below. The shared path along this route would provide access to the Bicycle Hub on the eastern side. Lighting columns would require relocation, and the path would need to be integrated with the shared zone in this area.

Shared segregated paths are of high quality, at least 3-4m wide, line marked, and perhaps coloured, to indicate space for pedestrians, and space for cyclists. The treatment is useful in situations where path traffic is high and trip types have the potential to conflict, and is in widespread use around inner Brisbane’s busier cycling corridors.

A major desire line exists through the campus between Chancellor State College and Chancellor Park to the west. Currently students access the central campus via its several east-west paths, which are mainly pedestrian oriented, and this mix of higher speed commuter cycle trips, and slower speed pedestrian trips, has resulted in occasional minor conflict.

It is proposed to strengthen the link for students, particularly school students, by providing a highly delineated shared, segregated path through the southern parts of the campus, to indicate clearly where the desirable cycling route lies, and to discourage higher speed cycle trips through the built-up sections of campus. A section of this path would integrate with a boardwalk proposed across the lake frontage, providing access to the sheltered BBQ area.

This path would link to a similar standard of path linking all the way through to Sippy Downs Drive via the western access road. It would also provide access to a second major Bicycle Hub located adjacent the bus interchange.

End of trip facilities

There are several examples of bicycle racks around the University grounds, and a well used bicycle hub, complete with showers and lock up facilities, is located on the eastern side of the Campus access road, although somewhat isolated from the main Campus.

This hub caters for upwards of fifty cycles. Even a modest mode swing from one to four percent would far exceed this existing capacity, indeed such a swing would result in an increase from sixty trips per day to 240 trips per day, without taking account of population growth beyond 2012.