In this post we attempt to throw some light on the confusion about the North Brisbane Bikeway, and take a closer look at some of the claims made by Brisbane City Council (BCC) and Transport and Main Roads (TMR) about what’s delaying the start of construction of Stages 2 and 3 (which are supposed to extend the existing bikeway from Somerset St through to Wooloowin Station at Rigby St) and stage 4 (from there to Price St).
For clarity, these are the various sections of the North Brisbane Bikeway for which TMR are responsible:
- Stage 1A: Section 1 runs between Gilchrist Avenue and the RNA showgrounds (including the underpass under Bowen Bridge Road), and was opened in May 2015. Section 2 runs from the RNA Showgrounds, through Bowen Park, to O’Connell Terrace. It was opened in May 2016.
- Stage 1B connects from Federation Street, Bowen Hills to Somerset Street, Windsor, and was opened in September 2016.
- Stages 2 and 3 will run between Somerset Street, Windsor and Rigby Street, Wooloowin.
- We understand that the detailed design for stages 2 and 3 were submitted to Brisbane City Council for endorsement in January 2018. Because the bikeway will impact on Council roads, TMR require this acceptance before they can call for tenders.
- As of May 2018, early works have commenced with the clearing of 14 TMR-owned sites in Albion and Wooloowin to make way for construction of the bikeway.
- Stage 4 will connect from Rigby St, along Dickson St to Price St. According to the TMR website, detailed design for Stage 4 will commence following endorsement of stage 2 and 3.
The next piece would be Council’s “North Brisbane Bikeway: Price Street to Kedron Brook − Kedron Brook – Wooloowin” project, which was to be delivered by Council commencing this year, and funded 50% by them and 50% by TMR.
Earlier this month, Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced that Council was putting this section on hold due to complaints from residents about parking, and confusion about progress on the connections further south (stages 2, 3 and 4). He also wrote to Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey MP asking that TMR halt progress on stages 2 and 3 until they had undertaken further community consultation.
Stages 2 and 3 – Questions of design and consultation
TMR conducted a community consultation on the preliminary design for Stages 2 and 3 back in June 2015. Technical experts from TMR conducted a cycle tour of the proposed route to delegates at the Asia Pacific Cycle Congress (including representatives from Brisbane City Council) which was held in Brisbane in September 2015.
We also note that detailed drawings of the proposed works were available to developers of sites along the corridor – for example A004465701 for
22 Morris St, Wooloowin submitted in August/September 2016.
As far as we can see, the only significant difference between the latest design and that which TMR put out for consultation in June 2015 is that where the bikeway crosses Blackmore St (and possibly McDonald Rd) there will no longer be a priority crossing of the type recommended by Austroads. We understand that’s due to insistence by Brisbane City Council who seem very reluctant to provide priority crossings.
Reference: Austroads Publication AGRD04-17 Guide to Road Design Part 4: Intersections and Crossings – General).
Looking at the budget, we note that the State Government funding for the North Brisbane Cycleway is included in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2017-18 to 2020-21 (QTRIP). QTRIP details the current transport and road projects that the Queensland Government plans to deliver over the next 4 years.
- Somerset Street – Price Street (Stage 2 and 3) in included for $1,675,000 in 2017-18 and $6,150,000 for 2018-19
- Mawarra Street, Bridge Street and Dickson Street (Stage 3A and 4) has $2,800,000 in 2019-20
Indicative amounts to complete the project in 2019-20 are included but not yet approved.
This all leaves us a little confused about Cr Schrinner’s statements that it is TMR and who are responsible for delays to stage 2 and 3; that they have not consulted with the community; and that the project is not funded. However we are encouraged by his enthusiasm for Stage 4 of the project, since cycling conditions along that section of Dickson St are sufficiently uncomfortable for regulars to refer to it as the “Death Corridor”.
We hope for a speedy resolution to the impasse, and that construction work will begin on this important project very soon. Hopefully Brisbane City Council can also employ their considerable marketing and public relations teams to educate nearby residents about the value of protected bikeways, and convert skeptics to supporters.