13 June 2021

Cycling is for everyone

“I can keep up with my family on this.”

We’re noticing more and more adult tricycles about on Brisbane’s bikeways recently. They’re a great option for anyone who might not have the balance to feel comfortable on two wheels but still enjoys cycling. Electric assistance is great value if you want to keep up with the grand-kids or beat hubby up the hills.

With good quality infrastructure, people of all ages and abilities can enjoy cycling!

Indooroopilly Riverwalk

Speaking of good quality infrastructure, this week’s Public and Active Transport Committee meeting had a presentation about the newly completed Indooroopilly Riverwalk. More than 1,000 people attended the opening last Sunday.

The presentation highlighted Council’s engagement with the local community, including the local historical society. Along the riverwalk there are information boards highlighting local history, including the Indooroopilly Canoe Club, the old ferry landing that existed prior to the Walter Taylor Bridge, and the cross river bridges.

It’s worth stopping to enjoy the view and check out these nice features of this great new facility.

Chris from Brisbane West BUG reports that it’s quite spectacular by night too!

Last weekend, more than 50 people gathered at John Magee Park in Seventeen Mile Rocks to ride with Brisbane West BUG and Brisbane Bicycle Explorers Club to the Riverwalk opening celebrations in Witton Barracks Park. With kids, parents, grandparents in the group, it was truly an all ages and abilities event. Some of the kids were on a group ride for the first time, and did really well with the hills on the Centenary Cycleway. But the crossing at Fig Tree Pocket Road was a challenge; that really needs improvement!

As the group reached the Riverwalk entrance at Twigg Street at 9.45am, the fence was still shut. Despite phone calls and the efforts of Councillor James Mackay, the contractors would not let the group through before the official opening after 11am. Not wanting to miss the festivities, Chris and marshals led the ride onto Radnor Street, and the footpath across Walter Taylor Bridge, then back across Jack Pesch Bridge. That highlighted just how much the Riverwalk is needed; the alternative route was awful.

Councillor Mackay was sincerely apologetic. He, and Council did everything they could to allow the ride to cross as planned, and he was very grateful for everybody’s patience and understanding. To make it up to us, he has committed to sponsor the 2022 Brisbane Bike Film Night!

In the end everybody got to enjoy the Riverwalk, and it was worth the wait.

Riverwalk at Bulimba

Back on 1 June, Council’s City Planning and Economic Development Committee had a presentation on the plans for a new apartment building at 67-69 Byron St, Bulimba. Our interest was sparked not because of the apparent up-zoning of land currently zoned LMR3 Low-medium density residential (up to 3 storeys), but because we’re very conscious of ‘plans’ for a Riverwalk along this section of the Bulimba River, connecting to the Apollo Road Ferry terminal, and providing an alternative to increasingly busy Byron St.

This application and other recent developments along this stretch of river have left the mandated setback for the future Riverwalk (so that it can be on land rather than having to be built out over the river). But the developers have not been required to construct the pathway as has occurred in other parts of the city. The new residents are no doubt enjoying the riverside parkland hidden away behind the buildings, and might be disappointed in future when a paved path attracts other people to ‘their’ riverfront.

And what about access to the Riverwalk? There are narrow paths between a number of the already constructed buildings to connect from Byron St to the riverside, but these give the appearance of private access to the mail boxes and side gates.

The site at 67-69 Byron St is particularly important for access to the western end of a future Riverwalk. It will provide a 2m allocation, which combined with 2m from the adjacent site will provide a 4m corridor between the buildings to reach the Riverwalk. But a shared path through a 4m canyon, with a right-angle entry point is not great access for a bikeway.

The council officer giving the presentation did a great job promoting the new luxury apartments, but we felt that the Committee and the following week’s full Council meeting didn’t do such a good job of asking how redevelopment of this area of Bulimba could enhance public access to the Brisbane River and improve public and active transport connections.

Lytton Road, Morningside

On Lytton Rd, Morningside, East BUG were horrified to see that the on-road bike lanes have been removed to west of Beverley St to create a right-turn lane into Riverside Pl. They weren’t great bike lanes, since they would usually be blocked with parked cars on weekdays, but early in the morning and on weekends they were useful. Now there is nothing.

It looks like traffic islands are yet to be installed. It will be interesting to see if any facilities are provided to make crossing the road here feasible for pedestrians, or whether this is just all bad news for active transport.

A little further west, there are now signs either side of Perrin Creek Bridge saying “No overtaking bicycles on bridge”.
We really doubt that will do anything to help make people comfortable for their kids to ride to school, or to cycle to the pool or to work sharing with the trucks along Lytton Rd.

Observing just for a few minutes on Sunday, almost no-one will be surprised to see that the signs appear to be having no effect whatsoever.

Adding insult to fear of injury: while there is work being done to the narrow footpath on Perrin Creek Bridge there are signs saying “Bikeway maintenance in progress”. What bikeway??

We don’t particularly recommend dismounting for these works either, as there’s not really enough room if you encounter someone coming the other way. Also, the temporary gravel surface is arguably in better condition than the footpath immediately east of it!

This week is budget week in Brisbane, with the Queensland Government delivering their budget on Tuesday, followed by Brisbane City Council on Wednesday.

We haven’t yet heard anything from Council in response to our petition (with over 600 signatures) asking them to make Lytton Road safer. It’s supposed to be a principal cycle route. Will there be funding in the 2021-22 budget for Lytton Rd, or will this community be short-changed again?

Bollard Update

Perhaps Lytton Road just needs some little plastic bollards?? The flexible bollards on Wynnum Road, Morningside guarding the bike lanes near the intersection with Jack Flynn Memorial Drive have now lasted a week longer than we were expecting. In fact we wonder if they have super-powers against trucks when we spotted this one with its wheels fallen off just around the corner in the driveway at 550 Wynnum Rd.

Griffith Road, Nathan

A number of people have contacted us about the signs at Griffith University’s Nathan campus warning people on bicycles not to use Griffith Road, and instructing them to use Johnson Path instead (but without providing directions to find it).

The challenge is that Johnson Path has a number of flights of stairs. Those stairs have a bike wheeling ramp, but that still effectively rules out anyone with a trike or cargo bike, and probably a trailer. Ironically, someone with a heavy electric bike for riding up hills like Griffith Road may well struggle to push it up all the stairs on the Johnson Path.

Griffith Rd is the only rideable access to the Nathan campus from the south (Kessels Rd), so this move by the University looks like it would make arriving by bike quite unattractive. It also cuts off an important connection between the V1 Veloway and the suburbs of Robertson and Coopers Plains (including the QE II Hospital).

Griffith Rd is steep, with a few bends, but it’s not Alpe D’Huez (or for that matter Mt Coot-tha or Mt Gravatt which hundreds of people cycle up each week). Surely Griffith Uni could have come up with a more innovative solution to make this road safer if they are fearful someone will get hurt there. Perhaps something as simple as lowering the speed limit to 40kph at all times, disallowing overtaking on the descent, and making room on the shoulder for people cycling up hill?

We asked our followers on Facebook what they thought of this move. Most agreed with Elle:

I’ve ridden up that road every work day for the past 13+ years. The only thing that makes it dangerous is bad drivers. Most drivers are perfectly capable of passing safely. It feels safer along there than Troughton Rd where there is an actual bike lane. I think if anything, lowering the speed limit to 40 would be safer for wildlife and drivers too. It’s also a short stretch, so not a huge inconvenience.

Elle on Facebook

Slip Lanes

“Turn left at any time with care” – or not.

Just opposite The Gabba stadium (proposed as the main Olympic venue for 2032) a couple of concrete bollards have been bowled over, apparently by a motorist turning left from Stanley St into Ipswich Rd. This notorious Woolloongabba intersection forces cyclists, pedestrians and scooter riders to play chicken with left-turning motorists who typically are looking for other drivers coming from their right along Ipswich Rd.

Slip lanes are intended to enable motorists to travel fast through intersections. They’re bad news for anyone walking or cycling. If Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government are serious about enabling active travel, it’s time for dangerous slip lanes like this to go!

Bikeway Lighting

In June last year, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner expressed frustration that Brisbane City Council had only been allocated $5million of the Queensland Government’s $200million COVID Works for Queensland program to support local jobs and Local Governments with funding for building productive infrastructure.

This funding was for “shovel-ready” projects; they were required to commence as soon as practical once endorsed and to be completed by 30 June 2021.

In the budget sessions, we learned that one of the four projects Brisbane City Council nominated was $0.25 million for Bulimba Creek Bikeway lighting between the V1 Veloway and Freesia St, Macgregor. We’re concerned by the apparent lack of progress on this project, given there are now less than 3 weeks left before 30 June.

We don’t want to see Brisbane City Council miss out on the funding for lighting this bikeway, when we know there are dozens of other similar pathway upgrades that are needed around the suburbs.

Residents in Moorooka, Yeronga, and Annerley are asking Council for lighting on the path through Poinciana and Clifton Parks, Moorooka. This is part of an important local link from Ipswich Rd though to Tarragindi Rd. If you walk or cycle in this area, you might like to add your signature to help make it feel safer at night.

Kedron Brook Bikeway

We reported late last year that Council had approved spending of $163k from Councillor Adam Allan’s Suburban Enhancement Fund for the reconstruction and widening of the Kedron Brook Bikeway between Shaw Road and Kedron Brook at Wavell Heights. Brisbane North BUG members reported that work is underway and it seems to be progressing quickly. There’s no easy detour for this path (which is one reason it’s so busy), but you can make your way across the back of the sporting field.

Like many of Brisbane’s older bikeways, sections of this path were less than 2m wide, and not coping with the volume of pedestrian and cycle traffic. This will be a great improvement.

Ipswich Motorway Cycleway

As of last weekend, fencing along the edge of the Ipswich Motorway underpass at Oxley Creek is almost complete. That should prevent anyone somehow riding off the edge into the creek. But also, importantly, it aims to stop any wildlife climbing up and getting on to the motorway.


Speaking of wildlife, Belinda spotted this furry local on her ride home along the Lophostemon Track in Salisbury recently. Koala hospital records show that about 300 koalas are killed on the roads in South East Queensland each year, and sadly, many more deaths are likely to go unreported. More than 85 per cent of koalas hit by a car die. Fewer cars on our roads, and slower urban speed limits give everyone a chance to have a great day out and make it safely home.

GoBetween Bridge

We received notification that the Go Between Bridge works are finally complete and both the pedestrian and cycle paths are open as normal. Transurban thanks the cycling community for their patience, and as a thank you advised they would be offering free coffee vouchers to users on the bridge between 7.30am and 9am on Wednesday. Ironically, it rained on Wednesday morning, so they deferred the coffee event until Thursday. A few riders reported that they weren’t there on Thursday either…

Some people have pointed out that you can build a whole new bridge in the time it took to resurface the GoBetween…

Riverside Expressway Closures

On the weekend of 18-21 June, the Riverside Expressway will be closed while spans of the Neville Bonner Bridge are lifted into place.

Traffic will be diverted—primarily via Merivale and Cordelia Streets, South Brisbane. Of course, for the safety of pedestrians and other road users, drivers will be required to dismount and walk* along Stanley St and Vulture St past the Queensland Children’s Hospital and the busy pedestrian precinct near South Bank Station. This will be policed by a shouty red-faced man who will particularly target single females.

The Bicentennial Bikeway will remain open although for safety reasons will require hold and release of users during the major overhead heavy lifts. Traffic controllers will be on-site during these periods. Outside of the planned heavy lifts cyclists and pedestrians will pass under the work zone protected by an overhead gantry that will be installed in the days prior to 18 June 2021.

*Some aspects of this section are satirical. You should click this link for more accurate reporting.

Vale Duncan Pegg

On a much more sombre note, we were saddened to learn of the death this week of Duncan Pegg MP, who until only weeks ago served his community as the Member for Stretton – even as he battled cancer. We offer our condolences to Mr Pegg’s family, friends, colleagues, and community.