Parking is already at a premium at Coolum during the summer holidays and the situation is predicted to worsen, according to Save Yaroomba spokeswoman Kathryn Hyman who said the situation will be far worse if the Sekisui project at Yaroomba goes ahead.
“Mooloolaba has just opened an ugly but useful multi-deck car park close to the beach and has parking meters. That could easily be the future for Coolum too as the traffic crush is already intense and distressing,” she said.Ms Hyman said Coolum’s popular beachfront restaurants and businesses will be the big losers with the removal of car parking spaces to cater for significant extra traffic that would be generated by the development.
The group is fundraising for an Appeal in the Supreme Court on March 10 against this project’s approval with $20,000 still to raise.
“People may think that a multi high-rise development in Yaroomba will be tucked away and not cause impacts elsewhere. But the anticipated flow-on traffic impact onto Coolum’s main intersection at the traffic lights and out to the motorway roundabout would be significant,” Ms Hyman said.
Court documents show that the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) has made its approval of the Sekisui development conditional upon changes to the busy Beach Road/Coolum Esplanade intersection.
“The documents clearly show that nearly half of the car spaces on David Low Way opposite “My Place” and “Canteen” will be removed to create a second lane for traffic turning south onto David Low Way from Beach Road.
“Not only that, you will have to reverse park to get into half the remaining spots rather than drive in as we do now. This will hold up traffic. With the lack of parking spaces in central Coolum already, you will need your hiking boots to trek to these restaurants.”
Other changes will affect the shops fronting Beach Road near the traffic lights. They will lose their loading bay and one of the two carparks. This is to extend the left-hand lane coming down the hill towards the ocean, to cater for both left and right-turning traffic.
“How much harder are we going to make it for these Beach Road businesses to function when they have nowhere sensible to offload their goods? Or will they lose all adjacent customer parking to keep a loading bay?” Ms Hyman said.
“On completion, this one development will more than double Yaroomba’s existing population with over 1500 new residents and up to 440 hotel guests. To drive anywhere they would either go via Coolum which would add extra vehicles to the already congested motorway roundabout near the Coolum Primary School, or they would head south along David Low Way.
The traffic report also outlines changes for the one kilometre stretch of David Low Way in Yaroomba from Warran Road to Tanah Street. There will be two sets of traffic lights, two large roundabouts plus another secondary road on the eastern side. That is double what is there now.
“This will be about the same amount of stop/start driving as on Nicklin Way past Kawana Shoppingtown or Brisbane Road into Mooloolaba.
“This is dangerous in times of emergency, and impacts residents’ liveability, access to already struggling local businesses, our tourism industry and our brand as a laid-back destination.”
Ms Hyman urged residents to help their own local businesses retain their existing trading conditions by donating to the Save Yaroomba fighting fund for the Supreme Court Appeal in Brisbane on March 10 and 11 against the approval of the Sekisui project. To donate search for Go Fund Me Yaroomba.