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Survey reveals where residents want changes made to town's footpaths

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Residents living in an historic Sunshine Coast town have identified changes they would like to see to increase pedestrian safety in the area.

Pedestrian and active transport pathways have long been a concern for Yandina locals, particularly around the primary school.

Concerns have also been made around a lack of pathways connecting nearby housing estates to the centre of town.

In 2022 the Yandina and District Community Association (YADCA) said the town’s “haphazard” network of pathways needed attention from Sunshine Coast Council and the state government.

Earlier this year the council engaged Caloundra-based Sidelines Traffic to conduct a survey in the area.

The recently released survey results outlined footpath and crossing safety for children and residents accessing the school and town as the primary concern.

An unsafe Yandina footpath used by school children under the railway bridge on Ninderry Road.

YADCA president Marie Reeve told Sunshine Coast News the survey provided a starting point for future planning and would hopefully lead to future funding commitments to upgrade Yandina’s footpath network.

“As the oldest town in the shire, many of Yandina’s footpaths are grass,” she said.

“This does not make it easy for pedestrians with prams or mobility devices or parents with children on scooters or bikes. They are forced onto the roads.

“Distances to school and town are walkable but footpaths and safe crossings are missing.

“It makes sense that the results show a desire for the completion of missing links in the older part of town and safe pedestrian crossings, particularly on Farrell Street at the northern end near the rail overpass and in town in the vicinity of the Stevens Street intersection.”

Ms Reeves said the YADCA had a long history of advocating for pedestrian and road safety in Yandina and would continue to lobby to ensure the town’s paths are brought up to standard so residents can walk safely to school and town.

Footpaths and safe crossings are lacking in Yandina.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said the survey was distributed to the parents of Yandina State School students and the wider community.

“Sunshine Coast Council has initiated an active transport survey to gain a deeper insight into the active transport needs within the Yandina State School precinct,” the spokesperson said.

During a two-week period in April, 112 people responded to the survey. Of those respondents, 57 per cent were a parent or carer of a school student, while 39 per cent were Yandina community members.

Of the respondents with children, 52 per cent stated their children currently did not walk or ride to school but would be hopeful they could in the future.

Almost 80 per cent of survey respondents also said they would like to see missing pathway links completed and safer designated crossings in Yandina.

Residents have identified where they would like to see new or upgraded crossings, including 32 responses for a crossing on Farrell Street near Steggalls Road.

There is also a call for an additional crossing on School Road near the railway overpass and a better crossing at the intersection of Farrell and Stevens streets.

New paths on Buckle Street, near the corner of Steggalls Road and Farrell Street, and from School Road to Pioneer Drive have also been identified as a priority.

The survey also called for improvements to paths connecting Farrell Street to School Road and on Farrell Street between North and Stevens streets.

Other suggestions made by residents were to complete paths from estates into the town centre, including from the Retreat Crescent estate.

Proposed pathways (yellow) and proposed crossings (blue) identified in a recent active transport survey for Yandina.

The council spokesperson said it would consider the survey results to look at bettering active transport options and safety in the town.

“Active transport offers numerous benefits, including reducing traffic congestion, promoting better health and benefiting the environment,” they said.

“Council recognises the key role of active transport in establishing an enhanced transport infrastructure that enriches residents’ quality of life, contributes to the economic viability and adds to the sustainability of the region.

“The survey findings will assist council in prioritising infrastructure projects aimed at promoting active transport within the Yandina school area.

“We are committed to ongoing collaboration with the school community to implement new initiatives that promote active transport.”

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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