17 Jan 2021

10 Years since the Brisbane Flood of 2011

This week marked 10 years since the 2011 Brisbane River flood reached its peak, and the water gradually started to recede. Then we were left with the mud….

Well done to all the community groups and individuals who rallied together for the clean up. Here are a few photos from our followers of the flooded bikeways:

Indooroopilly Riverwalk

Radnor St at Indooroopilly flooded badly in 2011, with part of the road falling away. Fortunately, the Indooroopilly Riverwalk – which will allow pedestrians and cyclists to bypass Radnor St – is made to withstand river flooding.

If you’ve been watching the Indooroopilly Riverwalk taking shape in recent months and thinking it was going quickly, you would be correct! Brisbane City Council announced this week that construction is well ahead of schedule, and instead of a late 2021 opening, it’s likely to open in May!

In the CBD, progress doesn’t seem to have been so fast. Work on the CityLink Cycleway along Elizabeth St has been strangely stop-start, but the was plenty of action on Friday morning, with signals being installed at the George St intersection. Some green paint appeared overnight too!

Opening up Elizabeth St is just the first step to giving people transport options in the CBD that are good for them, good for business, and good for the environment. Not long now!

A few people have asked how the CityLink Cycleway on Elizabeth St will connect to the shared path along the riverside. The short answer is: not particularly well.

As far as we can tell, the cycleway will end at the fig tree triangle on the corner of Elizabeth, Creek, and Eagle Streets. Riders will then need to cross Eagle St and carefully wind their way across the Riparian Plaza and the hairpin ramp down to the river. (Or alternatively, the similar ramp at the Riverside Centre.)

Yes, we know this is a pretty poor connection, but on the other hand, people have been finding their way through the CBD on bikes with no cycling infrastructure, because it’s a convenient way to get around. That’s one of the strengths of personal mobility; it really is flexible!

We fully support efforts by Bicycle Queensland to engage with the Dexus developers with the aim of creating a protected cycleway along Eagle St which could potentially offer a huge improvement for commuting cyclists.

In the short term, we’re probably most concerned about the pedestrian crossing at Eagle St. This is well over capacity already, and won’t cope at all with additional cycle traffic. We hope it can be widened – perhaps to it’s previous location (circa 2007).

Pop-up bikeway on Gregory Tce

Perhaps Brisbane City Council could take a lesson on building pop-up cycleways from Cross River Rail? As we emerged from Brisbane’s short, sharp lock-down, the pop-up protected bikeway along College Rd and Gregory Tce seemed to be working well. There was a bit of confusion at first; it could do with some pavement markings to indicate that it’s 2-way, and ideally the ramps would be a little wider. But overall, the Cross River Rail team have done an impressive job of providing a safe off-road cycling route while the Grammar Path is closed.

It will be a real shame when this is all dismantled in time for the start of the school year – effectively prioritising those families who drive their children to the school gate ahead of those who might take active transport instead, if only there was a safe route to school.

Lessons from Sydney

“70% of people across greater Sydney want to ride, or want to ride more, and they would if it was safe and convenient; if they were separated from traffic.”

Fiona Campbell, Manager of Cycling Strategy, City of Sydney

The City of Sydney have recognised that providing separated facilities is what it takes to let the majority of people who want to ride, ride. And they are getting on with delivering.

Check out this great video featuring Sydney’s Manager of Cycling Strategy, Fiona Campbell. Brisbane City Council needs to employ and empower someone like Fiona to lead change in our city!!

North Brisbane Bikeway progress

There was better news on the North Brisbane Bikeway this week, where it was full steam(roller) ahead. Smooth new tarmac and protection barriers were installed from Wooloowin Station to McIntyre St.

Go Between Bridge closure

Work to resurface the GoBetween Bridge looks like it’s about to start (a week later than we were originally informed). For the next 6 weeks, that means riders will have to take a long and convoluted detour via the Kurilpa Bridge, or WALK across the GoBetween Bridge – first on the pedestrian side while the bikeway is resurfaced, and then on the bikeway which will be pedestrianised while the walkway is done.

When we requested they look at improving the detour and removing the requirement for cyclists to walk, this was the response from Transurban:

Dismounting: We have provided both an option to dismount and walk directly over the bridge or detour to Kurilpa Bridge to allow cyclists the option that best fits their circumstance. As this is a river crossing, there are limited locations to detour and Kurilpa Bridge is the most efficient detour route. To assist cyclists understanding their options and compliance we will have traffic controllers located on either side of the bridge for the first week of works. Regarding the decision to not operate as a shared path, the width is only once aspect. The grade of the cycleway creates a high speed environment and is not safe to have both pedestrians and cyclists utilising it as a shared path. The pedestrian pathway also does not have adequate access on the northern end for cyclists and pedestrians to utilise as a shared path.

Detour: The detour route utilises the most direct path and will be monitored daily for effectiveness.


Story Bridge path closures

There will also be shared path closures on the Story Bridge from this week:

  • On Wednesday and Thursday, the path on the western/upstream side (closest to the city) with be closed.
  • On Friday and Monday next week, the eastern/downstream side will be closed.

Be prepared for the stairs in the pedestrian underpass, or a detour to Rotherham St – which is not very bike-friendly.

EaST BUG report that the pedestrian underpass has been (mostly) repainted, and is looking much brighter. Council have gone with a pale yellow colour which feels much better than the dull grey they’ve used in other areas recently.

Old Cleveland Rd and Gateway ramp

Finally, if you haven’t already signed our petition requesting better conditions for cyclists on Old Cleveland Rd through the Gateway interchange, please add your voice (link below). In our latest blog post, Belinda takes a look at the issues in detail, and what could reasonably be done to improve conditions in the short term.