DPTI have released a summary of responses to a recent community consultation (May & June, 2020). Results indicate overwhelming support for construction of Stage 1 of the Coast Park as proposed between Semaphore and Grange, specifically comprising the section between Semaphore Park & Tennyson Dunes conservation reserve (Stage 2 will connect from Tennyson Dunes reserve further south to Grange).
Construction of the combined 4.8km length of these 2 stages will see completion of key sections of the Coast Park providing ‘a continuous public cycling and walking link along the Adelaide metropolitan coastline to enhance public use and enjoyment of the coast.’
The consultation noted that the project’s objectives demand a publicly accessible, shared use path at least three metres wide and constructed of a smooth surface that supports prams, bicycle riders, wheeled toys and wheelchair users.
The Proposal for Stage 1 is for a shared-use pathway within the cleared, grassed area next to the dunes and as far as possible from the adjacent houses, minimising impact on vegetation, habitat & the dunes, mitigating risk of coastal erosion & providing clear demarcation of public & private land.
A petition was also received (from the community groups involved in previous legal action against the City of Charles Sturt) with 1,773 signatures calling for a more ‘environmentally friendly’ material for the pathway. Analysis reveals that the majority of these petitioners were from outside South Australia and in all probability were not provided with the public notices the consultation was based on. It remains unclear if these respondents were fully aware of the proposal!
Overall, the proposed design for the Coast Park shared-used pathway received strong community support. Approximately 28% of comments received about the Coast Park design related to its alignment with the majority supportive of what is proposed without change. Strong support for the pathway’s DDA compliance was also noted!
It is interesting to note that the impact of the proposed Coast Park Pathway – Stage 1 on the dune system was not seen as a major concern by respondents, presumably because the proposed pathway is situated on already cleared & grassed areas on the other side of the existing dune fencing.
Let’s hope that with such positive community support, Corey Wingard – our newly-installed Minister for Transport – can now get on with completing the Coast Park ASAP for the benefit of all of Adelaide’s citizens!