We’re in to December… How did that happen?? It’s exciting to see concrete being poured on the North Brisbane Bikeway north of Chalk St for the first time this week. A few of us rode this route and heard about the plans from the designers at the Asia Pacific Cycling Congress back in 2015. It’s great to finally see those plans becoming reality, but we need to do more to speed up the step from plan to construction. Don’t forget to sign and share the petition to extend the bikeway all the way to Eagle Junction – only a few days left.
There’s progress on the south side too, with Brisbane South BUG sending through these pictures of the Veloway soaring over Marshall Rd and the motorway off-ramp at Gaza Rd. We understand it’s well on track to be finished in mid 2020.
As for future Veloway sections, from their website: TMR is continuously working towards improving the quality and directness of the V1. Future sections for works include:
- Lower River Terrace, South Brisbane – planning underway and construction subject to funding
- O’Keefe Street, Woolloongabba – detailed design for grade separation underway and construction subject to funding
- Birdwood Road, Holland Park West
- Worrell Street, MacGregor – planning underway and construction subject to funding.
Let’s ensure our state government representatives keep getting the message that bikeways are a great investment in transport, safety, and in public heath. Can we have them all now? 🎁🎁
Reports of bikeways “exploding” all over Brisbane are greatly exaggerated, but the good ones are certainly being well used, and there is a strong appetite for more.
You almost have to feel sorry for Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner when a member of his senior leadership team is out in public undermining his administration’s supposedly signature policy on active transport. According to the Courier Mail*, Infrastructure Chairman Cr David McLachlan has assured his residents that the “cycleway explosion” in Brisbane is the fault of the State Government.
Cr McLachlan is somewhat correct; we are excitedly watching the state government deliver the high quality North Brisbane Bikeway, while Council repeatedly fumbles every attempt to achieve their commitment to connect it to the Kedron Brook Bikeway and through to Chermside. First they botched the obvious route north along Dawson St and Shaw Rd in the interests of prioritising cars using the driveway to the cricket club at Shaw Park. Then they fumbled their proposed alternative route when a local business cried that the bikeway would put them out of business—something they then quickly achieved on their own. Now it looks increasingly unlikely that Council will even be able to deliver their further compromised western diversion via Lutwyche, as another business owner has caught on and is crying foul about customers having to drive a few metres extra to park at the door.
After all, “how is a mother of three kids supposed to ride a bike to the dentist?” We know a few mums who might have some helpful suggestions until the kids are old enough to enjoy the independence of being able to ride their own bikes—if only Council can get their act together to provide safe infrastructure to enable them!
Speaking of infrastructure which is anything but safe, we reported this week on another pedestrian struck by a car at the intersection of Old Cleveland Rd and Harries Road Coorparoo. This location is a classic case of Council approving increased urban density (which is not at all unreasonable just 5km from the CBD) but completely failing to deliver a transport network which can support that sustainably.
Recently, a couple of us took time out to attend courses run by TMR on designing for pedestrians and cyclists, and a masterclass on separated cycle tracks. We know that the technical knowledge and expertise exist within Council and State Government to design infrastructure which is functional and accessible for people walking, cycling and accessing public transport. Yet we continue to see designs like the Indooroopilly roundabout replacement project which completely fail to take into account even the most basic principles.
This week Council announced their preferred option – which is an overpass from Coonan Street over Moggill Road (initially presented as Option B, with a few small modifications). Despite their claims, this design clearly hasn’t incorporated feedback from anyone who might wish to walk or cycle. It includes:
- Another left turn slip lane into Stamford Road
- A strange new slip lane/shared bike lane off Moggill Road to Coonan Street
- No vehicle access to or from Nelson Parade
As Brisbane West BUG’s Chris said in the Quest News article:
There is no indication of low stress, high quality, separated cycling facilities for all ages and abilities, as required under the Principal Cycle Network Plan, both along Moggill Rd itself and along or parallel with Coonan St.
I understand that there will be more consultation to go into the final design, but at the moment it’s an underwhelming outcome for active transport in the area, and that will do little to motivate people to leave the car at home for short, local trips and ride or walk instead.
With each step this project progresses that doesn’t include quality active transport provision, the harder it becomes to get it included. We know from the consultation sessions local Cr James Mackay is a supporter of active transport, and this is an opportunity to advocate for a much better outcome for the community.
People are becoming increasingly impatient with a Council and state government that designs transport systems that exclude many members of the community. We reported back from a community forum on the weekend on the topic of Truly Inclusive Transport.
There was some better news for cycle commuters to Brisbane Airport, thanks to Airport BUG. The Kedron Brook Bikeway crossing at Widdop Street now has approach detection for cyclists installed about 40 m from the intersection.
Hopefully this will mean less wait time for cyclists at the crossing which has predicted wait times of up to 80 seconds. Whilst not as good as a priority crossing, like those used on the North Brisbane Bikeway, the advance detection will at least reduce the waiting times for cyclists. (Pedestrians will likely still have to wait however, as the technology seems only designed to detect cyclists.)
Council’s last meeting of the Public and Active Transport Committee for 2019 was given a presentation on the “Creative Brisbane Creative Economy Strategy“. There were a lot of nice words and phrases: world-class lifestyle, adaptive, emergent, entrepreneurial hub, creatives, “currency of needs” (what?), but not really any talk of what encourages creativity in a city. This article takes a look at Copenhagen, and makes the case that cycling, accessibility, and public space are key to fostering creativity. Perhaps there should be a stronger emphasis on those in the Creative Brisbane strategy?
In local conversations this week, Belinda caught up with Karleigh Auguston, Labor candidate for Holland Park Ward at a community BBQ in Tarragindi for a good chat about active transport. Holland Park Ward straddles the Veloway, which is fantastic for people cycling to work in the CBD (although there are long stretches between entrances in some places). But like everywhere else in Brisbane, the connections which people would like to use to ride to destinations in their local neighbourhood—the shops, school, parks, and public transport hubs—are too often missing, or not suitable for people of all ages and abilities.
Karleigh has realised that her own kids don’t have the same opportunities to be active that she enjoyed growing up in Bundaberg when riding bikes was just what kids did. She has recently got a bike again herself, and has promised to join Belinda for a ride over summer when she has holidays from her job as a teacher.
In other news
“The city has seen steady improvements in cycling infrastructure, but disconnected path networks, inconsistent funding and poor quality and safety of existing networks along with sprawling low density suburbs is keeping cycling numbers down.” Sound familiar? Well, it’s not Brisbane, it’s Perth. According to this report, Perth increased its cycling uptake by 28 per cent between 2006 and 2011 through simple action, not revolutionary plans.
Targeted, smart, strategic investments in Brisbane could make a significant difference to reinvigorate our stagnating cycling participation. We think a good, simple place to start is connecting our high quality cycleways with a grid of protected bike lanes in the Brisbane CBD.
Meanwhile, Sydney’s planned separated cycleways are starting to look like a minimum grid… Brisbane is being left further and further behind, with the most hostile CBD in Australia for anyone wanting to get around by bike.
A decade ago, a trial of bike racks on the front of buses in Brisbane proved unsuccessful. But there’s no reason bikes can’t be carried on board a well-designed vehicle like the planned new Brisbane Metro buses. A trial of bike buses in Scotland proved so popular that Boarder Buses made the decision for all brand new vehicles to be fitted with bike racks. Public and active transport are a healthy, happy, perfect match!