12 Dec 2021

First, the good news: cyclists in the CBD got an early Christmas present this week, with the CityLink Cycleway now continuous along Edward St between Elizabeth St and the City Botanic Gardens.

This is good news for pedestrians too, and for the businesses along Edward St which previously missed out on a lot of foot traffic between the gardens and the city because there wasn’t a safe crossing at Alice St.

Mt Gabba finally flattened

There was also good news from Annerley Rd, where Mt Gabba was finally razed. But not before it had reached a frightening peak. Hopefully the new fill and surfacing will be strong enough to withstand the pressure of buses turning into the Clarence St stop.

SE Freeway Bikeway

In Tarragindi, another short section of the upgraded SE Freeway shared path is now open – from the Tarragindi Bikeway turn-off to the ‘elbow’ of Sunshine Ave.

Yes, there are lights – although we haven’t visited at night to check if they’re working yet. (Perhaps someone local can update us?)

Sylvan Road

Brisbane West BUG is asking people who ride on Sylvan Road to provide feedback on their experiences.

Sylvan Road is one of the most important missing links in the cycling network in the west. It joins the high quality Bicentennial Bikeway and Centenary Cycleway, but only provides painted bike lanes with carparking on both sides. It’s a stretch of road that has also recorded 34 bicycle crashes in the past decade that required attendance by paramedics.

In 2017, Council initiated peak hour parking restrictions inbound (6-9am) and outbound (4-7pm) during weekdays. But how much has that helped? We have seen a big jump in usage from around 950 per day in 2010, with most on weekends, to over 1600 per day in 2020, with most on weekdays (source: Brisbane City Council’s open data bikeway counts).

With the Toowong-West End Green Bridge likely to start construction in 2024 that demand will only increase further, and we think it’s important to fix this missing link. Providing your feedback will help us build the case.

The survey link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HZJ8KRC

Trevor Evans MP and the North Brisbane Bikeway

Thank you to everyone who has written to their local elected representatives about completing the North Brisbane Bikeway’s missing link. We found this response from the Federal Member for Brisbane, Trevor Evans MP, quite astonishing:

“As the current proposal is part of a joint Brisbane City Council-Queensland Government project, I will have to look into this further before I can provide a detailed response.”

Hon Trevor Evans MP, Member for Brisbane

Has the Member for Brisbane forgotten that he co-signed a letter to constituents recommending they sign a petition demanding that this long-awaited bikeway connection be stopped? Surely he would have “looked into this” before concluding the route proposed by Brisbane Council was “flawed”?

Has he forgotten the multiple rounds of community consultation on the route for the North Brisbane Bikeway? Has he forgotten our petition to finally complete the most direct and efficient route via Eagle Junction, and Brisbane North BUG’s representations asking for his support?

Has Trevor Evans MP forgotten his all-smiling visit to Bicycle Queensland shortly after his election in 2016, talking the talk about making Brisbane a bicycle-friendly city?

Perhaps most puzzling of all: on the electorate map proudly showing his local achievements during five years in government, has the Member for Brisbane forgotten to mark the bikeway projects he has actually supported??

If you live in the federal electorate of Brisbane, we encourage you to write to your representative in Parliament and ask what he and the government he is part of are actually doing to support, rather than oppose, high-quality cycling routes. Write to Trevor.Evans.MP@aph.gov.au

Dutton Park Station

One of the issues we’ve raised in the context of the Dutton Park Station redevelopment is the incredibly dangerous crossing over Cornwall St at the intersection with Annerley Road. According to Queensland road rules, drivers turning into Cornwall St from Annerley Rd are required to give way to people using the footpath, but in reality almost no-one respects this rule. So people walking or cycling on the footpath are left to wait for a break in traffic, and scramble to make it across the road before the next car or truck turns the corner. The situation is not helped by poor sight lines, and kerb ramps which are only wide enough to accommodate one user at a time.

One of our followers wrote to Council about an incident where he was riding down the footpath towards the intersection on his cargo bike, and was involved in a collision with a cyclist travelling in the other direction. That cyclist was a school kid who had dashed across the intersection and not noticed the oncoming path user until the last moment. He had been concentrating on trying to get safely across the road during a brief gap in traffic.

It is very easy to envisage this happening, and horrifyingly easy to envisage how the result could have been much much worse. For example if the path user had been a frail or elderly pedestrian, or if they had collided on the road or kerb ramp instead of on the footpath.

Council’s response is an example of victim blaming at its finest:

“I am sorry to hear that Mr Z had an accident due to a speeding cyclist. As you may appreciate, there are no laws restricting the speeds of cyclists as cyclists do not have registration. The only road rule that could be considered to address this issue is dangerous/poor cycling on roads. Council is not empowered to enforce these rules and driver behaviour problems should be referred to the local traffic Police for their attention. It may assist Police in providing a targeted response if you are able to advise of days or times of the day that this behaviour is most likely to occur.”

Brisbane City Council response

The “speeding cyclist” was a school child. A kid trying to get across the road without getting flattened by a turning car or truck. It’s unlikely he was travelling very fast at all; up hill and from a standing start. The other party was a man on a cargo bike which he uses to transport his own children to school. Both were using the footpath because the road is unsafe.

The fault here lies with the infrastructure and the default assumption by Brisbane drivers that “might is right” – which is encouraged by a council that designs our road network to favour driving ahead of any other transport mode. We would encourage police to attend and observe how many turning drivers fail to give way. But that won’t solve the problem in the longer term. What’s desperately needed here is safer infrastructure for people who are walking and cycling instead.

We’ve raised this issue with the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, and asked for it to be included on the agenda for the Active Transport Advisory Committee. We also thank Amy MacMahon MP for South Brisbane, and Tennyson Ward Councillor, Cr Nicole Johnston who have also been strong advocates for active transport safety improvements in this area.

A station “accessibility upgrade” is quite meaningless if it’s not safe for people to get to and from the station.

On a happier note at Dutton Park, we were advised that works to reinstate the temporarily narrowed section of the Kent Street shared user path near Dutton Park station were due this week to remove the concrete barriers and temporary fence. Additional works to complete the rebuild of the path are scheduled late this coming week and then the path will be reinstated for two-way bicycle and pedestrian usage. During the work, access through the area will be maintained for cyclists and pedestrians, however traffic management will be in place to assist.

Yarrabilba Rail Trail

This one is just a little outside the Brisbane City Council area we focus on, but we can’t resist a new bikeway: this week, John from Brisbane South BUG reports on Australia’s newest rail trail, the Logan Village – Yarrabilba Rail Trail. This is only a short rail trail but it connects the shopping district of Logan Village to the estates of Yarrabilba.

The trail is built on part of what was formally the Canungra Railway line, which branched off the Beaudesert Railway Line and opened on July 2nd 1915. Railway traffic appears to have declined after World War II and the line closed on June 1st 1955.

In 2019 Logan City Council secured funding for feasibility and design of a 3.2km long rail trail along the Canungra Spur Line from the State Government Rail Trail Local Government Grants (RTLGG) program.
Logan City Council then contributed $1.25 million from their own budget towards the project in July 2020, which the State Government then contributed a further $2 million.

This 3.5km Logan Village – Yarrabilba Rail Trail opened on Friday December 3rd 2021 and forms Stage 1 a larger rail trail project. It is hoped that the next stage would be a 10.5km stretch to link Bethania Railway Station to the former Logan Village Railway Station, which is the northern section of the former 34km long Beaudesert Railway Line.

The Beaudesert Railway Line opened on May 15th 1888 and operated until May 20th 1996. It reopened on April 4th 2003 as a tourist service but closed again in August 2004.

Logan City Council did apply for funding for the northern stretch of this line from the RTLGG program in 2019, though it is yet to be finalised.

Once complete the ultimate gaol would then be to connect the final section, which would travel from Logan Village to Beaudesert.

When John from South BUG visited this week, workers were still completing some final touches to the pavement and while there does appear to be a parking area included near the former Logan Village Railway Station, it too does appear unfinished. Regardless, we do recommend visiting and seeing it for yourself.

Veloway at Springwood

Also south of Brisbane, John spotted an important change to the V1 extension at Springwood. When we met with Transport Main Roads back in October 2019 we were showed a signalised crossing at the new Lexington Road M1 onramp. But thanks to some strong advocacy from Logan BUG, this crossing has since been upgraded to a flyover, which we think is amazing. It would be far more cost effective to construct an overpass with the highway upgrade than it would be to come back 10 years later, which is what we have been seeing with much of the V1 upgrades.

The pylons appear well advanced and we see truss girders in the distance, which we feel it might be installed soon.

John also investigated the progress of the Springwood Road overpass, which appears to be attached to the onramp lanes. It also appears that there will be an entry point located on the southern side of Springwood Road for local connections. Well done to Logan BUG and others who have lobbied for these improvements.