Howard Smith Wharves – Gravel Rash

gravelThe paving surface through Howard Smith Wharves has not worn well since it was opened just prior to Christmas 2018. Adding more gravel on top — as occurred on late last week — has not helped the situation. We think it’s fair to say that the current state of the pathway surface doesn’t satisfy the undertaking made in the development application that it be “skid resistant, durable, stable, firm, relatively smooth, and safe for all users”.

Looking at the details of the documentation provided as part of the development application process, (and in particular for applications A004897423 Traffic Functional Layout for Minor Roads and A004897686 Signs and Line Markings for Minor Roads), it is revealing to read the letter from Brisbane City Council to the developer’s representative (Howard Smith Wharves Nominees) dated 15 October 2018. This letter indicates that compromises had already been made allowing the developer to provide a shared path through the site, rather than separated space for cyclists and pedestrians as advocated by Brisbane CBD BUG, and recognised as preferable for safety – for example by AustRoads.


In their letter of 15 October 2018, Brisbane City Council insisted that the path at least have a centre line to improve safety by indicating the importance of the through movement for pedestrians and cyclists. We are disappointed that the advice of Council’s own experts from their Public and Active Transport team and Transport technical specialists was apparently overturned in making a last-minute decision to approve the plan (on 14 November 2018) without the centre line.


We believe the safety of all path users and site visitors has been compromised by allowing this major development to proceed without separating the 6m linear pathway into a cycleway and a pedestrian-only path, and without even providing a centre line to remind people to keep left.

Obviously there is always an onus on individuals to act responsibly and with care for the safety of others, but Council and the developer should be held accountable for conflict which has been made inevitable by a design which does not follow recommended practice.

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