Bel on Wheels reviews the preliminary design for the Woolloongabba Bikeway.
As someone who rides inbound along Stanley St nearly every morning, and also typically rides home that way in the evening a couple of times a week (which of course involves picking my way along the footpath from Annerley Road to Logan Road) I’m very much looking forward to the 2-way protected bikeway that will be built along Stanley St as part of the Woolloogabba Bikeway project. The project will also include improvements to Annerley Road, which I’ll leave to others to discuss, but here are my thoughts on the latest design for Stanley St – starting with the eastern end. (And only getting as far as Leopard St before realising I’ll need to split this into chapters!)
Ipswich Road intersection
I realise that the project scope has to stop somewhere, but to me it doesn’t make sense to ignore the connection to Logan Road near Planet Cycles, as that is the nominal start of the CBD to Carindale Bikeway and also a great shopping and dining precinct that deserves to be connected to the CBD. I’ve previously highlighted to the project team that it would be relatively inexpensive, but highly effective to:
- Take measures to make traffic slow and give way when turning left in the slip lane from Stanley St into Ipswich Road, and provide more room on that crossing so people on bikes aren’t squeezed together onto the narrow ramps with people walking with prams, strollers, wheelchairs, etc.
- Provide kerb ramps and painted lines on the main crossing of Ipswich Road so there is a bike crossing immediately north of the current pedestrian crossing. There’s plenty of room, and it wouldn’t require any changes to the traffic sequence. This seems like a no-brainer.
- Do the same for the crossing of the left turn lane from Ipswich Rd to Stanley St. This turn is already signalised, so it would only be a matter of installing kerb ramps and road markings. That would separate bicycle and pedestrian traffic, and provide a safer path for both.
Ipswich Road to Leopard St
I’m really impressed with what the designers have done here. By keeping the service lane, they have avoided compromising the parking and loading zones for the businesses along that section, and also moved the bikeway clear of the intersections with Gibbon St and Hubert St. I love that they have created priority bike crossings at the entrance and exit to the service lane (as it should be!), at the one remaining driveway (to parking for the Ski Shop at 743 Stanley St), and at Reid St – which is left-in only since it is one-way. Although it’s hard to make out in the drawings, the designers have assured me there will be room for a car to stop clear of the main traffic flow while waiting to cross the bikeway to 743 Stanley.
It’s kind of a big deal for Council and TMR to agree to close the motorway entrance from Stanley St at Leopard St. That gets rid of a nasty conflict point for inbound cyclists, and is key to making the outbound trip possible. While there have already been howls of outrage from some ill-informed motorists, the reality is that the current entrance point only serves around 200 vehicles per day outside the afternoon peak (4-6pm) when entering the freeway there is already banned! It’s important to note that those 200 or so drivers can still reach the M1 southbound via a short detour using Allen St, Vulture St and Leopard St, or head south on Ipswich Rd and accessing the motorway via Cornwall/Juliette St. Seriously, the world will not end; sit back and enjoy the few extra moments listening to the radio in your air-conditioned cabin folks 🙂
Removing the slip lane to the motorway allows room for a floating bus stop – which is awesome! Stop 9A will move approximately 40m west from its current location – which will obviously be slightly further to walk for some people, but will actually move it closer to the pedestrian crossing at Leopard St, thus making it more convenient for others.
This whole stretch of Stanley St from Ipswich Road to Leopard St will benefit from more street trees, more people passing by (and stopping) on foot and by bike, and a new CityCycle station. I see that Yellow Jersey Cycles are already gearing up, featuring some nice upright and cruiser bikes in their window, and they can probably expect a deluge of customers like me on clunker-bikes shopping for lights, bells, baskets and panniers. (Of course, the money I save using a bike for transport might tempt me to spend more on a fancy set of race wheels for the weekend too…)