According to Discover Ballina, the Coastal Walk users are to expect a peaceful bush track and a splendid coastline experience.
The reality is a walker is safer on the nearby shared path because there at least are some accepted cyclists norms. On urban footpaths and the shared paths, cyclists can’t dominate, speed and/or weave amongst pedestrians, but on the Coastal Walk it’s a free-for-all.
Walkers are expected to move well aside (go bush) for cyclists on the narrowest track sections and to feel perfectly fine with downhill racing alongside them (sans bell) on this rough track.
Originally, the community negotiated two paths 1) a shared path alongside the road and 2) a National Parks standard track over Skennars and Lennox Heads for walkers ONLY.
Instead, we’ve ended up with this feral free-for-all where walkers are unsafe; rapidly eroding track edges and new cycle tracks being bashed through years of volunteer re-wilding of the headlands.
I guess the situation will end up like the speeding scooters in River Street saga – with a serious incident (death) before anything gets done about the problem.