1 Aug 2021

Progress at Dutton Park

Look, the separated protected cycletrack on Gladstone Road, Dutton Park past the new Inner City South State Secondary School is now open! There’s still obviously work happening in the area, so proceed with care. Also, since the footpath is not yet completed, people are (understandably) tempted to walk this way, so look out for pedestrians on the path. When everything is finished this is going to be great, but we appreciate that it has been quite disruptive to everyone for a long time.

Thanks to everyone who signed our petition to get good quality cycling facilities here. It can be done!!

Also around the Inner City South State Secondary College at Dutton Park it’s good to see wombat crossings (raised pedestrian crossings) at both ends of Maldon St, and at the entry to Grantham St off Annerley Road.

Also, finally, the barricades and other clutter have been moved away from the Annerley Rd bike lane, and there is a signalised pedestrian crossing on each side of the intersection of Annerley Rd and Peter Doherty St.

Bicycle Kerb Ramps

Changes currently proposed to the Brisbane City Plan, include a new Standard Drawing for bicycle kerb ramps between the roadway and verge – ie. for transitioning from a shared path to an on-road bike lane, or transitioning off the road onto a shared path or footpath (eg. at an intersection or where a bike lane ends).

In Council’s proposed design, the angle of a ramp for transitioning off the road is 30 degrees. That means a cyclist must slow considerably before taking the ramp and/or swing right before exiting. We’re concerned that something that is appropriate for a busy pedestrian environment like the CBD isn’t necessarily a great option in other locations with heavy traffic bearing down on you. The guidance under Austroads is better; allowing for a 20 degree transition for a “low speed ramp” and 10 degrees for a “high speed ramp”.

Council’s proposed on-ramp is at 45 degrees to the road, which is the same as the Austroads “low speed” option—with the reasoning given that the 45 degree approach permits good visibility of traffic already on the road. However we think there are circumstances where the Austroads “high speed” option of 10 degrees is more appropriate.

More information can be found on Council’s webpage under “Planning scheme policy changes”, “Brisbane Standard Drawings”, “5000 series – Pedestrian and cyclist facilities”. Submissions on the proposed amendment are due by Monday, 9 August 2021.

Vulture Street

There was some great news via Amy MacMahon, Greens MP for South Brisbane, this week: serious planning is underway for a protected bikeway along Vulture St from Montague Rd to connect through to the Gabba Bikeway at Stanley St.

This is something the community has been crying out for. We presented a concept plan from Brisbane West BUG five years ago; we’ve joined community groups on advocacy rides (including some hairy ones on Vulture St!); petitioned Council; and been involved in the South Brisbane Transport and Mobility Study where this east-west link stood out as a hotspot in community feedback.

There’s still a long way to go, and this project will require cooperation between Council (who are responsible for Vulture St), and the State Government (who are contributing a big chunk of the necessary funding), and across party lines. We’re excited about what can be achieved with elected representatives in council and state government who are champions for healthy transport.

Carina and Carindale

From East BUG: the latest progress on the active transport facilities that are being included in the Eastern Transitway project at Carina/Carindale. It will be great to finally improve the cycling options inbound on Old Cleveland Road past the Carindale Shopping Centre, and have a connection to the Bulimba Creek Bikeway.

Currently the left turn from Old Cleveland Rd (eastbound) into Creek Rd (north bound) is closed, with traffic diverted to Narracott St. That’s something we asked to be a permanent arrangement, to avoid east-bound cycle traffic having to contend with the high-speed slip lane at the intersection. Unfortunately that suggestion did not make it into the final plans.

Hanlon Park, Stones Corner

East BUG reports that there has been plenty of action in Hanlon Park at Stones Corner recently. Stages 2A and 2B are scheduled to open in “late 2021”, but the paths are looking good, so we’re hoping the connection through to Lincoln St won’t be too much longer.

August is “late” in the year, right? 😉

The con of congestion-busting: duplicating Walter Taylor Bridge

In news that will not surprise most of our followers, information obtained by Michael Berkman, Greens MP for Maiwar, has found modelling for duplicating the Walter Taylor Bridge at Indooroopilly would make traffic congestion worse in the future.

The findings showed that most of the traffic on the bridge were for local trips between Yeerongpilly, Sherwood, Chelmer and Indooroopilly, rather than through traffic to the CBD. The logical conclusion then is to focus on solutions to enable more people to swap these local car trips for other modes, reducing demand on the road network and the bridge.

One such option is to improve cycling conditions between Tennyson and Graceville, and there’s a Council e-petition seeking to achieve just that. (Have you signed up yet?)

Reduce traffic by making it less convenient to drive

Birmingham—once, proudly the U.K.’s “motorway city”—has plans to reduce motoring by making motor vehicle journeys longer and inconvenient. At the same time journeys by bus, bicycle and on foot will be made quicker, easier and safer.

The plan is similar to that successfully enacted in the Belgian City of Ghent in 2017. The architect of that plan advised Birmingham not to introduce change slowly or allow lobby groups to derail the plans. “We had people complaining that a drive of 300 meters became a car journey of two kilometers,” remembers the Deputy Mayor. “We had to explain that we don’t want people to use a car for 300 metres: they should walk.”

Cars are loud

Did you wake to a wonderfully quiet neighbourhood and the sound of birds rather than the sounds of traffic this morning? If you have 15 minutes today, we highly recommend this video on the issue of noise in cities. We could turn down the volume—and enjoy all the health benefits—permanently.

Climate breakdown

Thursday, July 29, marked Earth Overshoot Day for 2021. That’s the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. It’s sobering to think we’re there already, before July is even finished.* Every day we are now borrowing from our children and their children, instead of leaving them a suitable future.

(*Note: the situation is much worse for countries like Australia. If all the world’s population lived like us, the Earth Overshoot Day would be 22 March!)

There’s no one single step that will change the trajectory, but hundreds of positive changes we can chose to make to #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day.

Transportation is an area where we can make a big difference. City planning plays a major role in shaping our need for cars, and that matters because personal mobility makes up 17% of humanity’s carbon footprint. It has been calculated that if we reduce our footprint from driving by 50% around the world and assume one-third of car miles are replaced by public transportation and the rest by biking and walking, Earth Overshoot Day would move back 13 days.

So, that’s something we can do immediately as individuals: reduce our number of trips by car in favour of journeys on foot or by bike that are both healthier for us and the planet. But even more importantly, we need to continue to insist that our city leaders get serious about reducing reliance on cars for personal mobility; stop prioritising those trips, and get serious about supporting better alternatives.

Science tells us there is still time to mitigate the worst effects of global heating, and save species (and perhaps ourselves) from a sixth mass extinction. But we must act now.

Electric vehicles are not enough!

Focusing soley on electric vehicles is slowing down the race to zero emmissions. Active travel can contribute to tackling the climate emergency earlier than electric vehicles while providing affordable, reliable, clean, healthy and congestion-busting transport.

Have you been watching reports of extreme weather around the world and feeling increasingly concerned about the climate crisis? Help us get the message through to our governments that Brisbane residents want to do our part by driving less and walking and cycling more. The bonus is, we’ll all be healthier, happier, and more prosperous too!

Lockdown distraction

Did you get caught-out by lockdown with an empty pantry/fridge and not wanting to deal with crowds at the supermarket? Sam is a trained chef, and offers some tips on adaptive menu planning from his cycling trip around Tasmania last year…

His short film “Tasmanian Degustation” won the People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Brisbane Bicycle Film Night. Be inspired!*

*possibly inspired to order takeaway or go grocery shopping…