A bid to reopen Mount Keira Road for walking and cycling is gaining pace ahead of a council meeting where the issue will be decided.
Wollongong City Council staff have recommended against allowing foot and bike traffic on the road because of the high cost of cordoning off parts considered prone to rockfalls and landslides, estimated at $150,000 to $200,000.
But cycling groups argue the cost estimates are too high and are based on an "over-engineered" solution involving more concrete barriers than are necessary.
North Wollongong's Ted Booth was among about 50 cyclists and walkers who met Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery on the road yesterday afternoon to argue their case.
"We're suggesting [the council] look at some more economical strategies for opening the road," Mr Booth said.
"The barriers [costed in the report] are 2½ tonnes and the type that separate trucks on Mount Ousley Road. There are clearly much more economical options available."
Council closed a section of the road shortly before Christmas due to safety concerns associated with rockfalls and landslides.
At issue is a 180-metre section of the nine-kilometre stretch of road, which Mr Booth says is used by more than 500 cyclists a week.
Mr Booth said cost estimates were based on the need for 180 metres of concrete barriers, but 120 metres worth were already on site to close the road.
"The additional cost would only be for 60 metres of barrier," he said.
Councillors will consider a recent geotechnical report by Douglas Partners at Monday's meeting.
The report presents two options to partly reopen the roadway until stabilising works can be carried out on the site, considered a possibility in July at the earliest.
Both options involve a three-metre-wide cycleway and a one-metre-wide pedestrian path, and are considered to carry a "tolerable" risk to user safety.
Option one proposes a white line to separate the pathways; option two suggests a more costly concrete barrier.
The options are priced at $150,000 and $200,000 respectively. The third option - maintaining the current full closure - would cost about $40,000.
All costs are based on closing or cordoning the road until July only.
Cr Bradbery said he supported the view of cyclists and pedestrians at yesterday's meeting and that he would "probably" vote for option one or option two.
"I'm pretty keen to see the road opened to the cyclists and pedestrians as soon as possible," he said.
Illawarra Cycling Club member Chris Allen suggested the road could serve as a valuable tourism drawcard if it were closed to cars but open to bikes and walkers - a "green mile" to match The Blue Mile along Wollongong's foreshore.