18 April 2021

Sumners Road underpass

This week, we were able to bring you breaking news from the Centenary Cycleway at Sumners Road….

It was fitting that Chris from Brisbane West BUG got to cut the ribbon to officially open the Centenary Cycleway tunnel under Sumners Road. This part of the project would not have happened without a persistent local advocate, a supportive local member in Jess Pugh MP, Member for Mount Ommaney, and a Transport Minister, Mark Bailey MP who insists that good quality active transport infrastructure must be included in state government road projects.

The underpass saves a 500m detour to the lights at Dandenong Road, making for a faster, more direct, more pleasant trip to and from the CBD. The project also includes new on road bike lanes across the motorway, as well as a wide shared path, providing connections between Darra and Jamboree Heights for people cycling, walking and on e-scooters.

To celebrate, you’re invited to join West BUG for a family friendly, leisurely ride from Jindalee next Saturday 24th April at 8am. The ride is fully on off road bikeways and shared paths, so very suitable for children and new riders.

Please join us for coffee and a chat afterwards at Chase the Rider Coffee Shop. There’s plenty of space to park near Amazons Place Park if you wish to drive and ride, including the undercover carpark at DFO.

CityLink has only been open a couple of weeks, but people are already enjoying safe, separated cycling in the CBD!

If you haven’t already, check it out, and make sure you let Brisbane City Council know how much you value it as part of their 12-month trial.

It was good to hear Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner on the radio on News Talk 4BC talking about the CityLink Cycleway on Tuesday. The summary here is a bit negative, which actually doesn’t represent the tone of the conversation very well. It’s worth listening if you didn’t catch it live.

Thanks to Luke from Brisbane City Council for a great presentation and tour on the CityLink Cycleway to PedBikeTrans—a group of transport and planning professionals with a focus on designing for walkability, cycling, and e-mobility. It was interesting to hear how important community advocacy was in giving Council the social licence to move forward with this plan.

Thanks to every one of our supporters who helped make this happen: from the thousands of you who signed the biggest online petition Council had ever received; the hundreds who rolled up to events like The Big Push and sent post cards to the Lord Mayor; those who came and lay on the road with us on Victoria Bridge to protest initial plans for the Metro which didn’t include a cycleway; and everyone who joined us on one of our weekly Slow Roll social rides (which are now moving to Thursday nights by the way).

The current CityLink implementation is a trial until next February, so we need your help to make sure it is locked-in, improved, and expanded. Here’s what you can do:

1) Fill out Council’s survey and provide positive feedback.

2) Get out and ride! Be seen (and counted) on the cycleway. Even if it’s not your most direct route, maybe you can detour along Elizabeth St next time you’re in the CBD. Or go for a pootle at lunch time or on the weekend.

3) Spread the word. Tell your family, friends and co-workers about the cycleway and show them how to access it. (Yes, some of the connections aren’t exactly intuitive – there’s lots of potential for improvement).

4) Tell your story. Help counteract the negative campaigns about bike lanes causing congestion (which we all know is rubbish) by talking about the benefits of being able to ride or scoot through town, or the improved pedestrian experience, and improved access to shops and businesses which are no longer hidden behind a wall of parked vehicles. Tell that story to your local councillor, people in your community, local businesses, in online discussions (try to stay away from to-and-fro, just counter with a positive story), on talk-back radio, and to anyone who will listen!

After years of highlighting the need for separated infrastructure in the Brisbane CBD to allow people of all ages and abilities to ride, it’s fabulous to see it finally happening.

Even though some of the connections to the CityLink Cycleway are still a bit unintuitive and awkward, people are finding their way; some of them on personal mobility vehicles that didn’t even exist when we started our campaign back in 2015.

When you start to connect safe cycling routes, magic happens. Check out our album of Sunday in Brisbane. Why would you live anywhere else??

Go Between Bridge

We can confirm that work on the Go Between Bridge has now switched sides. This means the pedestrian path is closed, and all active transport users are now directed to the cycle path on the upstream side. There are signs instructing cyclists to dismount, and chicane hazard barriers in place.

Please be careful, patient, and considerate of your fellow travellers – including when riding along the Bicentennial Bikeway past the bottom of the bridge.

Responsibility for this project lies with Transurban. We think it’s fair to say that support for active transport is not their core business.

Goodwill Bridge

Back in April 2020, we were informed that in order to perform necessary maintenance work on the Captain Cook Bridge, scaffolding would be installed under it—on the Goodwill Bridge—until September 2020.

At the time we pointed out that while traffic was light due to COVID lockdowns, it would have been a good time to trial turning one of the 8 lanes on the Captain Cook Bridge over to bike traffic (with suitable concrete separators), thus continuing the V1 Veloway directly into the CBD at Margaret St. That idea was waved away as unthinkable; car capacity could not be reduced even when almost no-one was working in the CBD.

Now the September 2020 finish date has long gone, and the scaffolding blocking half the Goodwill Bridge has been in place for over a year. We’re chasing answers about what is going on, and when the choke point will be removed. Imagine the outcry if half the Captain Cook Bridge was blocked for 12 months!

Kenmore Roundabout

Consultation on the Kenmore roundabout upgrade project closed this week, with the last in-person information session hosted by Department of Transport and Main Roads on Saturday. We’ve provided feedback highlighting that the State Government Cycling Infrastructure Policy requires that cycling infrastructure be explicitly provided on primary principal cycle network routes (which this is), and that on a sub-arterial road with a speed limit over 50kph (which this is) that their guidelines require a separated solution, and not sporadic, unprotected on road bike lanes as the design indicates.

Gladstone Road, Dutton Park

There’s better news from Dutton Park: it looks like work has re-started on the new intersection of TJ Doyle Memorial Drive and Gladstone Rd. You might recall that last year we petitioned for a re-think of the plans which were not suitable for such a busy cycling junction and on the doorstep of a brand new school.

When finished, the new configuration will provide separated cycleways along both sides of Gladstone Rd through the intersection and for a few hundred metres past it. It will allow cyclists riding the popular fitness and recreational “River Loop” to turn left from TJ Doyle Memorial Drive into Gladstone Road without having to stop at traffic lights at the top of the hill.

Although one thing we didn’t achieve was a pedestrian crossing on the western side of the intersection, we think the new design is an order of magnitude better than the original. We hope this will set the standard for future intersection projects near schools.

You can download the approved plan to see the details by searching for development application A005521080 on Development.i

Things that make you go “hmm”

The replacements for the CityCycle scheme are due to hit Brisbane streets in June. This afternoon we spotted a prototype; a Black and Gold Premium Edition dockless bike on display at West End. Something about it looks a little familiar though… 🤔

This made us go “hmm” in a good way: There aren’t many acceptable excuses for parking on a bikeway, but giving birth is one of them! Well done Mum and Dad! Welcome to the world little man.

World News

This is a great move: France is offering the owners of old, exhaust-belching cars the opportunity to hand over their vehicles for scrap in return for a 2,500 euro grant to buy an electric bicycle. Imagine being able to to trade in your family’s second car for an electric cargo bike. Or your aging mum or dad being able to let go of their car (and no longer needing space to park it), but maintain their independence with a folding electric bike they can easily take on the train.

Because “the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number.”