Plans have now been released for the Woolloongabba Bikeway – which includes 2-way protected bike lanes on Stanley St from Dock St to Ipswich Road, and painted bike lanes on Annerley Road from Stanley St to Gladstone Road.
Although we’re happy that this important project will go ahead, we have concerns about the details of the design, and hope that Council will genuinely listen to feedback from bicycle user groups and from people familiar with designing for cycling in cities where active transport has a significant mode share.
Our primary concern involves the intersection of Stanley St and Annerley Rd, where the design seems to be aimed at ensuring that motor vehicle traffic is not inconvenienced in any way, even though this is to the significant detriment of people walking and riding bicycles. As in the current configuration, motor vehicle traffic will still flow in each of the 3 phases of the traffic signals, but under the proposed changes, certain crossings by people walking or travelling by bicycle will involve long delays and diversions. We don’t consider that a balanced approach, or one which will encourage more people to choose active transport. The proposed design also mixes pedestrians and people on bicycles in confined areas, and we know that’s a situation likely to lead to conflict and frustration.
We believe a better solution would involve separate bike crossings, as illustrated and a bicycle green phase, meaning bicycle traffic should flow in all directions for one of 4 phases of the traffic signals. Motor vehicle traffic would still operate on the other 3 phases as it does now.
For the skeptics who think this couldn’t work because bicycles must be controlled like cars, check out this excellent video from the Dutch city of Utrecht:
The reference designs for the Woolloongabba Bikeway are available at Council’s project page.