Sylvan Road clearway trial

It’s up!  The community feedback survey.   Council is seeking  feedback on the effectiveness of the Sylvan Road peak period bike lane trial and the future layout of the road once the trial concludes. The online survey is open from Thursday 1 June to Wednesday 21 June 2017. The survey includes 15 questions and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

We would like the Sylvan Road bike lanes to be available 24 hours, 7 days a week for everyone.  Protected bike lanes which are suitable for 8 to 80 year old’s would be great too.

We encourage people who ride bikes to complete the survey to have your say. You can bet there will be lots of people who park cars doing the survey too wanting 24/7 car parking.

The link to the council web page and survey: https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/traffic-transport/roads-infrastructure-bikeways/current-road-intersection-upgrades/sylvan-road-peak-period-bike-lane-trial-toowong

 

Sylvan Road peak hour No Standing zone trial – Update 1 November 2016

We’re relieved that Brisbane City Council today voted to continue the trial of peak-hour clearways along Sylvan Road, Toowong until May 2017 as originally intended. This was in response to a petition requesting that the No Standing zones (6-9am inbound, 4-7pm outbound) be removed. The petition had 167 signatures and was received by Council approximately a month after the trial commenced on 9 May 2016.

The No Standing zones have already made it safer for the many hundreds of people commuting by bicycle from the south western suburbs during peak times. However we note that riders do report that vehicles are regularly illegally parked during the clearway times, making it dangerous for commuters who must then choose to ride in the risky “door zone” of parked cars, or move into the main traffic lane to avoid doing so. And of course for those riding in off-peak times, or against the flow, the current arrangement affords no protection.

We appreciate the concerns of the business owners that the clearway might result in loss of trade. Hopefully these concerns can be put to rest during the trial period, as similar trials in other cities in Australia and overseas have shown that bike lanes actually provide a boost for local businesses. Where data is measured, almost all business owners significantly over-estimate the number of their customers who arrive by car and park immediately in front of their premises.

Brisbane’s bicycle user groups have argued for many years that we should go further than painted lanes, and provide physically protected bike lanes along Sylvan Road. This would bring it to the standard of the Centenary Bikeway which it connects to the Bicentennial Bikeway. It would make this route safe and attractive for anyone to ride a bicycle – including children, seniors, and less experienced riders in contrast to the experienced and determined commuters or sporting cyclists who are currently the main users (but who would also certainly appreciate a less stressful riding environment).

A petition from Brisbane CBD BUG in 2014 calling for protected bike lanes along Sylvan Road attracted 763 signatures. In rejecting that petition, Council stated that the rate of injuries to cyclists using Sylvan Road had fallen since 2011. However CBD BUG is aware (from Queensland Ambulance statements) of at least five incidents resulting in riders being transported to hospital since October 2013. And of course, relying only on data about riders who are struck and seriously injured ignores those who are put off by a near-miss or other uncomfortable experiences, and those who simply won’t ride at all on a major road in close proximity to traffic.

In responding to the 2014 petition, protected bikelanes (either 2-way on one side of the road, or one-way on each side) were considered for Sylvan Road but rejected. We hope that this decision will be revisited, as numerous cities (including Sydney and Melbourne) have achieved protected bike lanes while still maintaining some on-street parking on streets of comparable width.

There is a strong and growing demand for safe cycling infrastructure in Brisbane – both as a means to combat traffic congestion, and to support a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.

We support the decision to continue the peak-hour clearway trial on Sylvan Road, and hope that evidence from this trial, and a review of best practice in Brisbane and elsewhere will lead to an effective and permanent solution being implemented at the end of the trial period in May 2017.

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