Ahead of the grand opening of the “Goodwill Extension” section of the Bicentennial Bikeway on 30 October, we bring you a preview of the new, massively improved bikeway – including the bridge section which removes the previous sharp, blind corner under the Expressway. We like the clear delineation between the bikeway and footpath, and the thought which has been given to the interaction points. We’re very much looking forward to riding this!
On Wednesday, Andrew from CBD BUG spoke with Steve Austin on ABC Radio about the continuing issues at Howard Smith Wharves. Currently construction vehicles litter the “shared space” in front of the hotel and the area is being rebuilt just a year after it opened. The space is hardly shared and certainly not safe. Riding from New Farm to the CBD should be comfortable and pleasant however over the past few months it has become a trial.
Council returned this week after a long spring break, and Belinda went along as an observer to Tuesday’s committee session, along with Michael from The Translink Ripoff. The committee formerly concerned with Public and Active Transport – but which has recently added Economic and Tourism Development – heard a presentation on the “Visitor Economy 2031”. As that didn’t seem very relevant to cycling, Belinda crossed the corridor to attend the Infrastructure Committee instead.
At that meeting, there were two presentations: one on the School safety initiatives and SAM update, and another on the Black Spot program for 2019-20.
School safety initiatives mainly involve signs and lines, but also sometimes additional pedestrian refuge islands (some with cages to ensure people don’t inconvenience anyone driving by attempting to cross the road at the most direct point). Schools also have the opportunity to apply for a fence banner with an inspiring catch-phrase such as “Drive with Care”, “Stop Drop and Go”, and “Think Before You Park”. (Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an option for a banner saying “Please Don’t Drive” or encouraging other life-saving initiatives).
Cr Nicole Johnston queried the novelty Halloween-themed SAM signs (speed awareness monitors), which show red(orange?) and green together rather than the simpler green smiley face or red frown if the driver is speeding.
This year, Council succeeded in getting funding under the Federal Government’s black spot program for all the projects they nominated:
- Gregory Terrace and Boundary Street, Spring Hill
- Logan Road and Birdwood Road, Holland Park West
- Lutwyche Road and Bowen Street, Windsor
- Azalea Street and Eugenia Street, Inala
- Beenleigh Road and Nursery Avenue, Runcorn
In general, these focus on reducing crashes caused by people turning right without giving way to oncoming traffic. Knock-on benefits for people walking and cycling will possibly arise if people are less likely to be struck when waiting to cross the road. More information on these road projects can be found on Council’s website. (There wasn’t any time left for questions following the presentation).
What your rates pay for: We note that Brisbane City Council’s cheap car parking in the CBD is popular. It’s usually full by 8am on Saturdays and by around 9:30am on Sundays. With most customers storing their cars all day, it’s hard to see how this is meaningfully supporting city businesses. Additionally, nearby hotels point their customers to the subsidised parking; at $15 for the weekend it’s hard to beat. Hands up if you think Council rates should go towards better public and active transport rather than offering incentives for people to drive.
National Ride2Work Day
On Wednesday we had a great morning at the National Ride2Work Day breakfast, hosted by Bicycle Queensland. Thanks to everyone who dropped by our tent for a chat – including Maiwar MP Michael Berkman and Greens candidate for the council ward of Coorparoo, Sally Dillon who rode to work on her penny farthing.
Brisbane people are super-keen for the missing connections between our cycleways. People who have an opportunity to commute on the Veloway, the Centenary Cycleway, or the Bicentennial Bikeway know how great it can be riding to work. But off those main routes the experience is often very different. Thanks to everyone who signed our petitions for a quality commuter cycleway to the eastern suburbs, and for the North Brisbane Bikeway to extend all the way to Eagle Junction. (If you didn’t have a chance to sign on paper, you can online).
We were a little jealous to see a facebook post from Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Sandy Verschoor, riding along a pop up bike lane Adelaide City Council created for ride to work day.
Two years ago when we created a pop-up bike lane in West End to help kids cycle safely to school, then Deputy Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner labelled it dangerous and irresponsible. Meanwhile, a decade after the two-block section of protected bike lane on George Street was first opened, it still doesn’t connect to anything, and remains the only section of protected bikeway in the Brisbane CBD.
Let’s not be left behind by Adelaide! Brisbane people want to be able to ride safely to work and to school, just like people in cities and towns across Australia!
Around the Suburbs
Brisbane Times published a disappointing response to a proposal by Council designed to make Dornoch Tce in Highgate Hill safer for people wanting to cross the road to access shops and services; safer for residents turning in and out of their driveways; and safer for the hundreds of people commuting by bicycle and cycling for recreation. Not everyone travels by car, and these improvements will encourage healthier and safer options for everyone. Unfortunately we have seen safety projects cancelled or badly compromised in the recent past following similar outbursts about “loss of parking” (which is really repurposing public space so it better serves the needs of the community) and concern-trolling. We hope that can be avoided here.
In the Kenmore, there was a good turn-out on Sunday at a community information session hosted by Councillor Kate Richards to discuss the Cubberla Reserve Sports and Recreation Precinct Plan. Residents expressed concern about aspects of the draft plan which indicated sacrificing green space to parking, but Cr Richards was adamant the goal was to make better use of existing “black space”, rather than to create more. Most people were, however, very much in favour of widening the bikeway and/or separating it from the footpath. The 2.5m shared path through Cubberla Reserve is a well-used link between the Centenary Bikeway and Kenmore, and also very popular with local people (and their dogs) walking and jogging. It’s currently beyond capacity.
If you missed the consultation session, you can still provide input online until Sunday October 27. We recommend including requests to widen the shared path to 4m or include separated bike and pedestrian paths, and to include bicycle parking at the lower field and at the shared club facilities. More details of the sports precinct plans are available on Council’s website.
To the south: Last week we brought you photos of the new shared path along Beaudesert Rd / Mount Lindsay Highway which was built as part of the Logan Enhancement Project. Another part of that project has seen big improvements to the cycling infrastructure on Wembley Rd where it crosses the Logan Motorway at Karrawatha / Berrinba.
Also in Brisbane’s southern suburbs, here’s a look at the bikeway on the new Underwood Road bridge over the Pacific Motorway at Eight Mile Plains. The Veloway extension included in the most recently announced road widening project will run under this bridge, and will have a link up to this path. As you can see, that will involve a bit of a climb.
Speaking of the Veloway, we’re always excited to see the latest progress on Stage E at Tarragindi; here’s the overpass structure over Marshall Rd:
In other news
It’s a finding which won’t surprise anyone who understands the basic concept of induced demand: Brisbane no longer receives any congestion-busting benefits from its three underground road tunnels after a decade and $10 billion in costs. Someone should write a Utopia episode about it. Oh, wait, they already have:
Imagine if, instead, Council and State Government had invested that $10 BILLION into a series of green bridges and connecting cycleways!
Short of banning cars altogether, congestion charging is the one tactic that has been proven to work to reduce the number of motor vehicles–with their associated noise, danger, and pollution–in the centre of cities. What has been suggested is only a small fee; around the cost of taking public transport. In Brisbane, we have seen how effective a toll on roads like the Clem 7 tunnel and Go Between Bridge are at making drivers consider other alternatives, so there’s every reason to think a toll for driving into the CBD in peak hour would be effective here. Ideally of course, the money collected should be invested into good quality public transport and making walking and cycling more convenient. But even without that, reducing the traffic in the CBD would make for a safer, more pleasant, quieter, cooler city, and would save rate payers millions of dollars. Seriously, just do it already!!
SUVs were the second-largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions since 2010 after the power sector, but ahead of heavy industry (including iron & steel, cement, aluminium), as well as trucks and aviation. To get serious about tackling the climate crisis, we desperately need to re-think how we prioritise and support personal transportation. For a majority of trips in cities, there is absolutely no need for an SUV. And no, we’re not saying they shouldn’t exist. There are clearly people who use these vehicles as tools of their trade and for family holidays. But for short trips – especially where you are the only person travelling – the best place for your SUV is at home in your garage! Our vision for Brisbane is a city where the easiest choice is almost always *not* to take the car!