16 May 2021

Brisbane Bicycle Film Night

With just two weeks left until the Brisbane Bicycle Film Night on 29 May, we were a bit shocked to read on Friday morning about the sudden closure of the Schonell Cinema at the University of Queensland. However we’re happy to be able to move just a few hundred meters across campus to the GHD Auditorium in the Advanced Engineering Building. This is a great venue, in a building showcasing Australian excellence in environmental initiatives; the perfect location to celebrate one of the most elegant and efficient engineering inventions of all time; the bicycle.

If you already have your tickets, look out for an update on the location. Don’t miss out!

Indooroopilly Riverwalk

In case you missed the recent announcement from Councillor James Mackay, the official opening date for the Indooroopilly Riverwalk has been set for Saturday 3 July with an event at the Witton Barracks. It’s looking rather excellent!

Witton Rd connection

We certainly pricked up our ears listening to the Council meeting last week when Cr David McLachlan mentioned state government funding to build the missing bikeway connection between the Centenary Cycleway and the Indooroopilly Riverwalk. Now we have a little more information from Michael Berkman, MP for Maiwar: the plan is for this to run along the northern side of Witton Rd.

This is really exciting news. Of course the details are critical: how will the Kate St intersection be managed, and how will the cycleway cross from the northern side of Witton Rd to the Riverwalk which is on the southern side?

(If you’re thinking “they can’t just leave out critical pieces” you haven’t seen the Moreton Bay Cycleway at Pritchard St, Wynnum.)

We’re very keen to hear more, and to see the funding in the upcoming budget.

Granard Road connection

Also looking good: progress on the Granard Rd cycleway which will connect the Ipswich Motorway Cycleway to Balham St, Rocklea. There’s #FreshKermit on Balham St too – for those brave enough to sit between a bloke in a ute and Bunnings…

Go Between Bridge

Chris, from Brisbane West BUG, spoke on ABC Radio on Monday morning about the Go Between Bridge debacle. It has been a “cyclist dismount” zone since January for resurfacing works that were scheduled to take 6 weeks. That’s now out to four months with apparently another month to go. As Chris points out, the path could simply have been made a slow-speed zone while shared with pedestrians, rather than putting up barriers that create a real problem for people with mobility issues – like the gentleman recently with a hand-cycle who couldn’t get through! Transurban have cited “extreme wet weather” as the reason for the months of delay. We agree with the radio presenters; that’s laughable.

Put on the spot with the question “where do you see the next big need for a better cycling connection”, Chris nominated extending the CityLink Cycleway into The Valley which is a major cycling black-spot.

If you missed it, you can listen back here from 1:15:10.

Bikeway Maintenance

EaST BUG report that on 30 March, they submitted a request to Council to cut back (or remove) the shrubs blocking half the ‘bikeway’ along Wynnum Rd, Norman Park just down from Wendell St. Council responded that someone would be out to inspect it within 28 working days (accounting for public holidays, that’s around 6-7 weeks).

On Tuesday, Belinda happy to see a Council arborist had attended and pruned back the foliage. He advised that a truck will come within the next 24 hours to remove the branches.

Interestingly, it seems it wasn’t our concerns about the bikeway/footpath that prompted action; it was a complaint from a motorist that morning about the poor site-line when turning out of Wendell St. Perhaps in future we should ensure our requests to Council highlight a problem for motorists in order to get a faster response?? Anyway, it’s good that the issue is being addressed.

We’ve also asked Council to fix the badly uneven slabs nearby. Unfortunately that’s not something Council will act on, because the driveway crossover is considered the responsibility of the property owner, even though it’s a hazard for people using the path.

Just a little further up the path, the sign warning of road work ahead (or around two corners on Cawmore St) was placed where it blocked half the (already narrow) ‘bikeway’ on Wynnum Rd. When the council officer attended a few days later, the sign was gone – presumably because the work was finished.

Norman Creek Bikeway

There was much better news from Stones Corner this week: work has finally started at the northern end of Hanlon Park which will enable the Norman Creek Bikeway to continue under Logan Road. Like Laura from Stones Corner Road Safety we’re so happy and relieved we could cry!

Centenary Cycleway at Jindalee

Brisbane West BUG report that the Centenary Bikeway at Jindalee has been reinstated to its original alignment, with fresh, smooth asphalt in place. You may recall late last year that a detour was built while the sewer works were being completed.

Thanks to Fulton Hogan for their excellent engagement on this project, having provided a briefing to West BUG and Bicycle Queensland, and delivering an excellent interim solution, and now, reinstating the bikeway as planned.

District Sports Parks

This week, Council’s Environment Parks and Sustainability Committee received a presentation on upgrades to a couple of District Sports Parks.

One of these is Wally Tate Park at Kuraby where work is currently underway. The project includes upgrades to sporting facilities, as well as widening the access road and constructing a new car park. It does include a new shared pedestrian and bicycle pathway into the park from Jacob Lane—although that path seems to be routed through the existing carpark (why??).

What doesn’t appear to be included is a connection in to the park from the west (Runcorn) or the north (Eight Mile Plains). We’d like to see Council take this opportunity to seal the existing dirt path into Wally Tate Park from Corella Pl via the Gateway Motorway underpass, and to plan a connection north into Underwood Road Park to connect up with the Veloway and Bulimba Creek Bikeway at Eight Mile Plains.

COVID restrictions over the last 12 months have demonstrated the value of local parks and recreation facilities that people can access without having to drive. Currently, access to Wally Tate Park from Runcorn is via Beenleigh Rd which is a very hostile environment for cycling or walking.

Sports park upgrades are great, but why is additional carparking always a priority while active transport connections are left out of scope??

Also discussed in the meeting: creation of new sporting facilities in Nudgee Recreation Reserve at the end of Elliot Rd, Nudgee (across the tracks from the Nudgee Train Station).

Predictably, the concept plan includes a vast new car park, but doesn’t offer any new active transport connections – for example to the newly developed residential area along Weyers Rd and on to the Gateway North Bikeway, or across Nundah Creek to Boondall.

The plan does include a small BMX park to replace the quite extensive dirt jump area which has been created by local enthusiasts over many years.

But again, we’re left wondering: why is building extensive carparking prioritised ahead of the local active transport connections and facilities that local residents demonstrate they really want??

Following the presentation on District Sports Parks, Council’s Environment Parks and Sustainability Committee voted on responses to a number of petitions. One of these requested Council deliver off-road cycling facilities in The Common Park, Coorparoo, and Whites Hill Reserve, Holland Park, within the current Council term.

The response—which was agreed without discussion—references Council’s Draft Brisbane Off-Road Cycling Strategy. That draft proposes the establishment of a pump track or skills track within the sports field area at Whites Hill Reserve, mountain bike facilities within the Whites Hill Quarry, and the possibility of off-road cycling access to existing fire trails within Whites Hill Reserve. It reiterates that Council is not proposing to establish dedicated mountain bike trails or a mountain bike competition facility in the forested part of Whites Hill Reserve, and that motorbikes will continue to be prohibited within all of Council’s conservation reserves.

Future facilities proposed in The Common Park at Coorparoo in the draft Off-Road Cycling Strategy include a pump track, skills track or dirt jumps. But that strategy is still in very early stages. In the meantime, Council has proposed a new scooter track in The Common Park “that can also be used by bikes and other wheeled craft”; a final concept plan will be available in mid 2021. We’re not aware that anyone asked for a scooter track.

We’re left feeling this will be a disappointing response to teenagers who have been campaigning for a couple of years already to be able to build some dirt jumps in The Common Park to complement the popular skate park. The location is already connected by the Norman Creek Bikeway and proximity to Coorparoo Station. It doesn’t need a carpark…. but perhaps that’s the problem?!

Kids: Can we have somewhere to ride our bikes?
BCC: Here’s some cricket fields
Kids: We’d really like somewhere to ride our bikes
BCC: Here’s a carpark
Kids: Somewhere to ride our bikes?
BCC: OK, a scooter track!
Kids: No, Bikes.
BCC: You must need more car parking!!
Kids: OK, don’t worry, we’ll build our own.

Around the World

A huge area of central Paris is set to become a low traffic neighbourhood – with motor vehicle traffic restricted to local residents, buses, taxis, tradesmen, professionals and delivery vehicles needing access to the city centre. Currently, of the 180,000 motor vehicles that use the zone each day, 100,000 cross it without stopping. The ban on through traffic can be expected to result in a big reduction in air and noise pollution. The plan is the latest move by Mayor Anne Hidalgo to transform Paris, with a focus on encouraging cycling and walking and making the city more liveable.

We suspect that a similar proportion of motor vehicle traffic in the Brisbane CBD and The Valley is through traffic. Recall that removing that traffic was the justification for billions of dollars of public funds spent on the Inner City Bypass, Airport Link, CLEM7 tunnel, etc. Now is the time to take back the city for people rather than cars.

Across Spain from this week, the maximum speed for motor vehicles on urban roads which have one lane in each direction (the majority) will be 30 kilometres per hour. On multi-lane urban roads, the current 50 km/h speed limit will remain. All the evidence favours 30kph as the default speed limit for safe and pleasant urban neighbourhoods.