16 Jan 2022

CBD disruptions

We’ve been advised of upcoming changes in the CBD to facilitate construction for the Brisbane Metro project. From Monday 17 January 2022 a section of footpath on the river side of North Quay between Victoria Bridge and Adelaide Street will be closed for up to 4 months. It appears that this will prevent access to the Bicentennial Bikeway ramp from Reddacliff Place and from the upstream footpath on Victoria Bridge. The Bicentennial Bikeway ramp will only be accessible from the western side of Adelaide St – where there is no longer a signalised pedestrian crossing over North Quay.

We’ve asked about the process to coordinate between this project and work which has partially blocked the footpaths on George St and Adelaide St around the Brisbane Square building. Disappointingly there doesn’t seem to be the same level of coordination required for projects impacting CBD footpaths as there is for projects that affect motor vehicle traffic.

We also note that the North Quay elevator immediately downstream of the Victoria Bridge is currently out of service (again) for an indefinite period. This makes access between the Bicentennial Bikeway and the CBD even more difficult.

Meanwhile, this is weird: something or someone keeps cutting the pneumatic counter cables on the Victoria Bridge cycleway. We don’t know why or how this happens. Is it a short-sighted street sweeper? Is it a local with an anti-data agenda??

Brisbane City Council own this counter and they replace the cables but the ratepayers of Brisbane are the ones ultimately paying the bill.

Bicentennial Bikeway at Toowong

A development application has been lodged for a new 10-story residential tower with 29 apartments at 570 – 576 Coronation Drive, Toowong. Many cyclists will be familiar with the location as the first two properties the Bicentennial Bikeway passes where it turns away from the river after the Regatta Ferry Terminal.

We’re pleased to see that the pre-lodgement advice from Brisbane City Council emphasises the importance of upgrading this section of the Bicentennial Bikeway – which has been identified in the Local Government Infrastructure Plan as project TOO-SP-002 Bicentennial Bikeway – Stage 5 (Regatta Park to Glen Road).

“The LGIP item TOO-SP-002 is a high priority for our network. The LGIP works, road reserve widening, and the realignment of the bicycle & pedestrian paths would need to be completed as part of the redevelopment. Council would accept liability for these works as a trunk item.

“The cross-section here that is consistent with stage four of the Bicentennial Bikeway to the east – a 3.5m bi-directional cycleway and 2.5m pathway. This should be considered alongside any road widening works and offsets required to the kerb.”

Brisbane City Council – Pre-lodgement advice

The plans do appear to indicate space to be allocated to accommodate the cycleway upgrade, but we’re concerned about what might happen in the short term if this development proceeds before land is acquired from the adjoining properties. There are also likely to be major disruptions here during construction.

We will be watching this application keenly.

More information about the development application (A005905033) can be found online.

Buranda Village re-development

Across the river, South BUG have been taking a look at the proposed redevelopment of the Buranda Village Shopping Centre site. The owner of this site plans to demolish the ageing shopping centre (built in 1978) and replace it with 627 apartments, with just the Woolworths Supermarket being included in the development.

They plan on including 1,258 parking spaces and just 710 bicycle spaces, which likely will be mostly allocated to residents and for the commercial tower being included in the development.

We feel it is a shame to remove the department store from the site as it just forces people to travel the extra distance to the larger shopping complexes on the outskirts or in the CBD.

South BUG would also like to see plans for cycling infrastructure on surrounding streets. In particular, a bikeway travelling up the eastern side of Ipswich Road to the Woolloongabba Fiveways would be great for local connections, with the shopping centre, PA Hospital, future Bunnings, PA Hospital Bikeway and V1 all being connected.

Transport planning for the western suburbs

It has been more than 10 years since Richard Pollett was killed while cycling on Moggill Road. This article in the Brisbane Times again reminds us of that, and embeds Chris’s excellent video on the issue. But the solution proposed seems to miss the mark.

Member for Moggill, Dr Christian Rowan MP on one hand is calling for an integrated and coordinated planning approach to transport and infrastructure in the western suburbs, but merely offers a road bridge between River Hills and Bellbowrie as a solution.

It’s also worth remembering that Brisbane City Council proposed a bus, cycle and pedestrian green bridge connecting Bellbowrie to Darra Train Station and local residents objected to it. While Dr Rowan might support a holistic view of transport planning in the western suburbs, residents are going to have to look beyond their cars for solutions as well.

Speed check: Chermside to Aspley bikeway

In the northern suburbs, we’ve asked Marchant Ward councillor, Councillor Fiona Hammond, to look into why the speed limit on the Gympie Rd service road in Aspley hasn’t yet been dropped to 40kph in accordance with the plan for the Chermside to Aspley bikeway which follows this route.

In fact we’ve advocated for 30kph as a safer speed for mixing cycling and motor vehicle traffic, and also to deter non-local traffic from using this road as a short-cut to avoid traffic lights. The advisory speed over the speed platforms is 20kph, and it’s likely that a consistent 30kph pace would be faster overall than rapid changes of speed between 50kph and 20kph.

Petition for space for cycling on Nudgee Road

This week is the last chance to sign our petition for continuous bike lanes along Nudgee Road.

Nudgee Road should be an excellent route for people to connect from the Kingsford Smith Drive Bikeway to the Kedron Brook Bikeway providing access to the employment centres of Toombul, Nundah, Hamilton and Newstead. The route is flat and straight but due to the lack of suitable bike infrastructure, many people choose not to use this corridor. Airport BUG are trying to change this disappointing situation. They are sponsoring a petition for the corridor to be provided with bikelanes that are not blocked by the storage of private property (ie. cars, trailers etc).

If Brisbane City Council want people to use cycling infrastructure, quality corridors such as the Lores Bonney Riverwalk and Kedron Brook Bikeway need to be connected with infrastructure that follows desire lines. Nudgee road is one off those desire lines!

International News – Car free Berlin

A citizen-driven plan in Berlin could be set to create the largest car-free area in a city anywhere in the world.

“We want people to be able to sleep with their windows open, and children to be able to play in the street again. And grandparents should be able to ride their bicycles safely and have plenty of benches to take a breather on.”

Nina Noblé, Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei
From https://volksentscheid-berlin-autofrei.de/

This article discusses the need to be proactive in shifting people away from cars, rather than making incremental improvements and expecting that will be enough for people to change their behaviour en masse.