15 Nov 2020

In the media

Image credit ABC News: Emilie Gramenz

Our friend and enthusiastic commuter cyclist Kath Angus was interviewed by the ABC about cycling in Brisbane. Kath tells the ABC there is a safe cycle route to her work but it’s twice as long as the direct route to her work. Kath points out that the choice between safety versus convenience is not a choice that drivers have to make each day, illustrating the inequity of our road system for different users. Our mission is to change that!

In Council, this week’s Public and Active Transport Committee presentation was on the CityLink Cycleway along Elizabeth St and Edward St in the CBD. The construction contract is imminent, and the cycleway is expected to be ready by Christmas. (Woohoo – best present ever!). The design for Victoria Bridge and the William St connection should be ready late this year, with construction in the first quarter of 2021.

The 2-way cycleway will repurpose the right-most lane along Elizabeth St, and on Edward St between Elizabeth and Margaret St – where it will then swap to the left side for a block to connect into the Botanical Gardens path. (That’s an interim measure before the Kangaroo Point Bridge is connected.)

The cycleway will be protected from traffic with a bolt-down yellow kerb (similar to George St by the looks), and will have bike-signals at the intersections – sometimes with the main traffic flow, and sometimes with the pedestrian phase.

Although construction looks fairly straightforward, we realise it hasn’t been an easy task to manage kerbside space. We congratulate Council on ensuring the 6 disability parking spaces are reallocated to nearby streets (we appreciate that might be awkward for some, but hopefully it will bring other people closer to their CBD destination). Similarly with the 3 night-time taxi zones, and 14 of the 17 loading bays.

Although this first stage involving just 2 streets won’t immediately connect for everyone, it’s a big step for Brisbane. We’re confident it will be successful, and look forward to a fast rollout of more protected cycleways as people see the benefits of allocating more space in the city’s heart to people, rather than motor vehicles.

For more details, see Council’s web page.

CityLink cycleways will bring a welcome ‘balance’ to our city’s streets. Protected bike lanes make a clear delineation between motor vehicle and bicycle traffic, making the streets more appealing for everyone, but especially to new riders. We can’t wait!

Viola Place connection

There was more welcome news from the main Brisbane City Council meeting on Tuesday: the Viola Place connection through Trade Coast to Schneider Rd is going ahead. Councillor Ryan Murphy, Chair of the Council’s Public and Active Transport Committee advised land resumptions are at approval stage and construction will start in 2021.

Over the last few years, airport cyclists campaigning for this bikeway have watched with envy while other council bikeway projects have moved from concept to completion including: The Gabba Bikeway, Kingsford Smith Drive Bikeway, the bikeway beside Lytton Rd, and the Weyers Rd connection to the Gateway North Bikeway. It seems the City Link Cycleway in the CBD will be completed by Christmas so the race is on to see if the Viola Place Bikeway can beat the Indooroopilly Riverwalk project to completion.

When complete, the Viola Place bikeway will allow safe cycle access between the Kedron Brook Bikeway and the bikeway on the Gateway Bridge. The Viola Place bikeway will be a boon for commuter cyclists travelling from the south to their workplaces at Brisbane Airport and Trade Coast.

Disruptions to Bicentennial Bikeway

Queensland Urban Utilities will be replacing a water main on the Bicentennial Bikeway between Archer Street and near the Regatta CityCat terminal. Unfortunately, the water main is directly under the current bikeway, which means there’s no getting around having to dig it up.

Chris from Brisbane West BUG joined Andrew from Bicycle Queensland to meet with representatives from Brisbane City Council and the contractors for QUU to discuss plans to manage this important bikeway during the works to minimise disruption for cyclists, with up to 600 per hour through this section in morning peak.

The work will be done in two stages. Stage 1 runs from Archer Street to the Booth Street pedestrian crossing. For one week (weather permitting), pedestrians will be diverted across to the other side of Coronation Drive, and cyclists directed to use the footpath. Because the footpath is narrow due to the garden beds, it will be one way, and flow directed by traffic control. This will of course create some delays if you’re travelling through this stretch, so pack your patience.

Stage 2 will be from Booth Street pedestrian crossing towards the Regatta. Because this section is wider, it should still be open both ways for cyclists. Pedestrians will be directed to cross at the Regatta Hotel and can cross back at Booth Street.

Unfortunately, delaying until Christmas when bike traffic would be lower, or closing a lane of traffic for the duration were not deemed feasible options. Given that, we think the proposed solution is manageable, and far better than the early plan we saw a few weeks ago.

The upshot is that QUU will leave behind a 3m wide concrete path that will be much smoother and more consistent than the current patchwork of asphalt and concrete.

Work is expected to start Wednesday November 18, and both stages should be complete by the 2nd week of December – weather permitting.

Around the Suburbs

In other news from around the suburbs: North BUG bring us the latest construction photos from the North Brisbane Bikeway:

We’ve noticed a recent increase in numbers using the Land Bridge at Victoria Park heading in/out of the city – many of these people will be benefitting from the safe protected route north. On Tuesday evening the counter was up to 1,222 cyclists by 6pm, and 1,310 by around 9pm.

West BUG love bike parking and maintenance stations like this one at Coles at Jindalee. But boy it’s annoying when thoughtless people leave their trolleys in the way. Take your trolleys back please!

In Morningside, EaST BUG are celebrating a small win: the sign with its low-visibility grey pole in the middle of the path beside Jack Flynn Memorial Drive has been replaced! (This possibly only happened because the old sign was very faded; the person we spoke to at the call centre said “people should not be riding bikes or scooters on the footpath”, but was eventually persuaded to log the issue report.)

Minister Bailey reappointed

Congratulations to Mark Bailey MP (Labor for Miller) who has again been appointed as the Minister for Transport and Main Roads. We are looking forward to working with Minister Bailey once again on the Active Travel Advisory Committee and hope to see him out on his bike more now the election is over.

Cycling Without Age

Good news from the Sunny Coast: our friends at Cycling Without Age ( you may remember them from our cargo bike expo) have received a very generous donation from Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban of a new trishaw. The trishaws allow people who can’t walk very far because of age, health, disability or medical reasons to get out share the fun of a bike ride in the fresh air and sunshine and feel the wind in their hair.

A message from Cycling Without Age Brisbane:

We’d love to see the program in Brisbane so have been reconnecting with ages care facilities and looking for funding to get it started. If you have ideas, networks, or even a spare $20k 😉 we’d love you to join us in making rides in Brisbane a reality.

Ryan, Cycling Without Age Brisbane

Remembering Road Traffic Victims

Sunday 15th November is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, a global event to remember the many millions who have been killed and seriously injured on the world’s roads and to acknowledge the suffering of all affected victims, families and communities – millions added each year to countless millions already suffering: a truly tremendous cumulative toll.

On this day we call for governments to improve the safety for vulnerable road users through applying Safe System principles to all road infrastructure investment, improving infrastructure and implementing speed reduction measures in pedestrian and cyclist risk areas, improving speed enforcement, attempting to reduce driver distraction and drink driving, and reducing the risks to vulnerable road users of sharing the roads with heavy construction vehicles.