On Tuesday, 22 October 2019, Donald Campbell from Brisbane CBD BUG gave the following public address to the 4605th Meeting of the Brisbane City Council:
Mr Chair, Lord Mayor, Councillors, Thank you for allowing me to address you today.
As some of you are already aware my name is Donald Campbell, and I am one of the co-convenors of the Brisbane CBD bicycle users group.
I am here to address the opportunity to ensure all members of the community benefit from city shaping projects such as Brisbane Metro, and specifically the change to the urban landscape at South Brisbane. The redesign of Melbourne Street as part of the Culture Centre Station redevelopment presents a chance to incorporate a modern urban principals to streetscape to cater for people weather they are on foot, bicycle or in public transport.
As outlined in the released documents from Brisbane City Council, the current design proposes for bikelanes to be sandwiched between loading and moving buses.
Unfortunately, this is not world’s best practice and will result in buses pulling across bike lanes, creating a high stress environment for both people on bicycles and bus drivers . The CBD Bicycle User Group, who I represent, proposes world’s best practice where bicycle traffic travels behind the bus stops as outlined in the petition titled Protected bike lanes for Melbourne St, North Quay and Adelaide St.
There is a perception from some including within the Brisbane City Council administration that this design is unsafe for people on foot, as people have to cross the bicycle lanes when accessing or egressing the bus stops. Similar concerns were held in London when this world’s best practice was installed, the fears have proven to be unfounded. This design is so safe and sensible that even on Vredenburg in Utrecht, where 35,000 people cycle up and down the street every day, people can easily and safely cross the bikelanes to access the bus stops.
It is common sense that people on bicycles and heavy vehicles (in this case buses) do not mix. This is incredibly important around bus stops that will have in excess of 70 buses servicing them per hour. That’s why we consulted with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, and they agree that best practice for their members (the bus drivers) would be to have protected bike lanes that travel behind the bus stops.
We are also sympathetic to the needs of pedestrians. That is why CBD BUG consulted with Queensland Walks about our proposal, and they have confirmed in-principle support. The CBD BUG understands the importance of using rate payer’s funds for the maximum benefit to the people of Brisbane. With this in mind the CBD BUG consulted relevant professionals, and found that due to assumed level of works required on Melbourne St, installing protected bike lanes would be price-comparative to the current proposal. Not only are protected bikelanes price comparative, but they appeal to everyone regardless of age, gender or ability, meaning more people will use them more often. This means dollar for dollar more people will jump on a bicycle, meaning more bang for buck. Drawing more people to the area will boost local businesses and restaurants, as similar bike lanes have proven around the world.
In summing up: installing world’s best practice protected bike lanes will result in a safe, appealing, low stress design that supports cyclists of all ages and abilities, pedestrians, bus passengers and bus drivers, and provide a showcase transit hub that draws people to the cultural precinct. It can be delivered at the same cost as the current plan, but with far greater return on investment.
As I sit before you I can state that representatives of cyclists, bus drivers, public transport users and pedestrians have provided in-principle or full support for World’s Best Practice protected bike lanes to be installed on Melbourne Street as part of the Metro Project. I ask all councillors, when you vote on this petition, remember this is not just desired by people on bicycles but people representing the other three user groups as well!
You can read Donald’s petition to Brisbane City Council, and (coming soon) their response here.